Constitutional republic

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A Constitutional republic is a republic where both the chief executive and members of the legislature are elected by the citizens and must govern in accordance with a written constitution.[1][2][3][4]


The outline of the government of the United States is laid out in the Constitution. The government was formed in 1789, when the Constitution went into effect, making the United States the world's first constitutional republic.

According to James Woodburn in The American Republic and Its Government, "the constitutional republic with its limitations on popular government is clearly involved in the United States Constitution, as seen in the election of the President, the election of the Senate and the appointment of the Supreme Court."[4] Woodburn says that in a constitutional republic, unlike direct democracy, people are regulated not only by electing officials but also by making laws through their representatives.

John Adams defines a constitutional Republic as "a government of the law, and not the government of the people."[5] In the same way, the power of government officials is controlled so that no one keeps all executive, legislative and judicial powers. On the contrary, these powers are divided into discrete sectors that serve as a system of checks and balances. A constitutional republic has the form of "no person or group can obtain absolute power". [6]


  1. ^ Inc., US Legal,. "Constitutional Republic Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc". Retrieved 2018-07-19. 
  2. ^ "Constitutional Republic - Definition, Examples, Cases, Processes". Legal Dictionary. 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2018-07-19. 
  3. ^ "Constitutional Republic Definition|Define Constitutional Republic". Retrieved 2018-07-19. 
  4. ^ a b Woodburn, James Albert. The American Republic and Its Government: An Analysis of the Government of the United States, G. P. Putnam, 1903. pp. 58–59.
  5. ^ Levinson, Sanford. Constitutional Faith. Princeton University Press, 1989, p. 60
  6. ^ Delattre, Edwin. Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing, American Enterprise Institute, 2002, p. 16.

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