Tacitus' Political Dictionary

  • Democracy
    A system of government in which all citizens have the right to exercise political power, either directly or through representatives elected by the people.
  • Republic
    Speaking broadly, a country in which political power is claimed to be vested directly in the people, as opposed to an unelected monarch or dictator. In a republic, power is usually obtained via democracy, through free elections, though this is not always the case. Historically, not all republics have been free and democratic states; many were oligarchies in which only a small percentage of the overall population had the right to vote.