All Commentary
Sunday, January 1, 1961

Republic and Democracy: A Study in Meanings

The subject of the following article was suggested by the editors to Dr. Manchester, an educator formerly of the Department of  English, University of Wisconsin.

Evidence had accumulated that there exists considerable vagueness, or even confusion, regarding the two terms here examined, and some clarification seemed desirable. We do not become good libertarians merely by acquiring an exact knowledge of key words in economics and politics, but it is obvious that to acquire such knowledge is to take an important step toward the goal.

It was about a year ago that The Freeman forwarded me a letter from a woman whom I had obviously much displeased. My offense was that in the course of an article on the presidency I had (following, as it happened, an author I was reproducing) re­ferred to our form of government as a “federal and constitutional democracy.” America a democ­racy? The very idea! Where had I been brought up? Well, she didn’t put it quite that way, but she came near it, for she said: “… I made up my mind this Frederick Manchester must have gone to a foreign school,” and con­tinued: “The school I attended taught us that our government is a ‘REPUBLIC’ and my teacher added, ‘don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.’ Every time that we repeat the Pledge to the Flag we pledge allegiance to the flag and the Republic for which it stands. No wonder the children leave school without knowing what to think.” She said more; but what I have quoted is perhaps enough to suggest the state of mind to which my words had brought her.

Now I find it refreshing to real­ize that there still are citizens—one at least beyond question—to whom our political system is so precious that even its name is something to be zealously guarded. Only, I suspect that the lady is not fully aware of what has been going on since those Revolution­ary days of which her attitude so much reminds me. A great deal has in fact gone on, and a part of the result, it would seem, is no little uncertainty in many minds as to the correct meaning and re­lation of the two terms with which her letter is concerned—the terms democracy and republic.

What follows is an attempt to throw light on these expressions, not indeed to treat them exhaus­tively, for that would require a book, and the labor and space a book implies, but only to give something of their origin and his­tory and of the more important meanings that have been attached to them, and, especially, when this has been done, to summarize suc­cinctly what appears to be—in the more troublesome particulars—their proper present use.


The Word “Republic”

Since of the two terms republic is much the more indefinite and elu­sive, let us, with exemplary cour­age, begin with that. Etymology, often useful, is in this instance—res, “thing,” “affair,” “concern,” and publica, “public”—enigmatic, and tells us little or nothing to our purpose. Rousseau, to be sure, appears to have made something of the two Latin words, but what he made is general and vague, and, linguistically, far from con­vincing. “I call republic,” he says, “any state ruled by laws, what­ever the form of administration, for where there is such rule the public interest governs, and the public thing has some impor­tance”—literally, “is something.”2 This interpretation is, so far as I know, peculiar to its sponsor. Res publica was expanded by a sixteenth century French writer on political science into “adminis­tration of the public thing”;3and if we may take this to mean—what strikes one as much more intelligible—”the agency which administers the public business,” or, simply, “the state,” we have arrived at an all-inclusive sense of the expression which has been well established in the past and has modern and recent authoriza­tion. It was recorded, with no in­dication of obsoleteness, in Tom­maseo’s Italian dictionary (1879), in Littre’s French dictionary (1889), and in Larousse’s French dictionary (1947 or later).

The all-inclusive sense of the expression to designate any kind of government whatever is partly illustrated by James Madison in the following passage from The Federalist (Essay XXXVIII). “Holland,” he observes, “in which no particle of the supreme author­ity is derived from the people, has passed almost universally under the denomination of a republic.

The same title has been bestowed on Venice, where absolute power over the great body of the people is exercised, in the most absolute manner, by a small body of heredi­tary nobles. Poland, which is a mixture of aristocracy and of monarchy in their worst forms, has been dignified with the same appellation. The government of England, which has one republi­can branch only, combined with an hereditary aristocracy and monarchy, has, with equal impro­priety, been frequently placed on the list of republics.”4

The use of republic to designate an obvious and acknowledged monarchy, such as England in Madison‘s time, has probably al­ways been exceptional. Indeed, that it should not be so used is one of the restrictions that have been imposed on the word, and the one that has seemed most constant and in practice is probably uni­versal today. It is explicit in the Grimm German dictionary (1893). After recording the original sense of “state,” this work observes that in more recent usage repub­lic means, exclusively, a polity “at whose summit there stands no monarch—an dessen spitze kein monarch steht.” Our South American “sister republics,” as we genially call them, have in the past been much subjected to one-man rule (as is Paraguay today), but the one man has never been called king.

The restriction of republic to nonmonarchical regimes may very plausibly be related to its original use. In ancient Rome, centuries before Christ, kings were ex­pelled, and there followed, and continued down to the empire, what is known and celebrated as the Roman Republic. From this circumstance might naturally arise, and establish itself, a radi­cal antithesis between republic and monarchy.5


James Madison

Two definite restrictions on the meaning of republic—as we shall see presently—were imposed by Madison in The Federalist.

“What, then,” Madison asks (Essay XXXVIII), “are the dis­tinctive characters of the repub­lican form?” and observes: “Were an answer to this question to be sought, not by recurring to prin­ciples, but in the application of the term by political writers, to the constitutions of different States, no satisfactory one would ever be found.” Here follows the passage quoted above in which ex­amples are given of varied appli­cations of the word republic. “These examples,” Madison con­tinues, “which are nearly as dis­similar to each other as to a genuine republic, show the ex­treme inaccuracy with which the term has been used in political disquisitions.”

To charge a verbal use with “extreme inaccuracy” suggests that one has an idea of what is correct. Madison goes on: “If we resort, for a criterion, to the dif­ferent principles on which differ­ent forms of government are es­tablished, we may define a repub­lic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices dur­ing pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.” To get this definition, Madison resorts, he says, “to the different principles on which different forms of gov­ernment are established”—but just how this resorting enables him to arrive at the definition he formulates, he does not say. He appears to sense that he is tread­ing on logically thin ice, for mid-entence he inserts the alternative or at least may bestow that name on: in short, he is by no means sure that the definition he is giv­ing has a solid foundation.

I suspect it has not. I at least have come across none. He could hardly have got his definition from Montesquieu, the famed po­litical philosopher whom his col­laborator Hamilton calls “that great man” and quotes at consid­erable length; for Montesquieu understands republic to include both democracy (government by the body of the people) and aris­tocracy (government by a part of the people). The fact is, I fear, that in this instance Madison did some defining on his own.


Representative Government

In his formula the words “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people” will perhaps, at least apart from their context, bear some interpretation. What Madison seems to mean is that in a republic the members of the government—legislative, ex­ecutive, judicial—act as repre­sentatives of the people, and are chosen by the people, some directly, some indirectly. In our original Constitution, for example, it was provided that the House of Repre­sentatives should be chosen by the people, directly, and the Senatealso by the people, but indirectly, through the several state legisla­tures. The essential point is that in a republic the people act, not collectively, as a single body, but through their elected representa­tives. This would appear both from the development immediate­ly given the definition, and from an explicit passage in an earlier essay (The Federalist, Essay X), in which Madison says that by a re­public he means “a government in which the scheme of representa­tion takes place,” and gives as one of the points of difference between a democracy and a republic “the delegation of the government in the latter to a small number of citizens elected by the rest.”6

The restriction of republic in the theorizing of The Federalist to a state employing the representa­tive principle shows the term in what appears to be its narrowest widely specified compass—and this very possibly for the first time. Johnson’s dictionary gives no hint of it. On the other hand, it is the meaning of republic recorded in Webster’s dictionary of 1806, and appears as the first meaning in Tommaseo’s Italian dictionary (1879), cited above; as the first modern meaning in the great Ox­ford English Dictionary (1910); as the first meaning in the dic­tionary of the French Academy (1932), and as the second mean­ing in Larousse’s French diction­ary (1947 or later).


American Influence Abroad

That The Federalist was at least a factor in narrowing the term derives support from the fact that this remarkable book has been much attended to abroad. Two edi­tions of a French translation ap­peared in 1792 (the year in which Hamilton and Madison, along with Jeremy Bentham, James Mackin­tosh, and others, were “granted honorary citizenship by vote of the National Assembly of France”), and a third in 1795; a Portuguese translation appeared in Brazil in 1840; a condensed form of it appeared in a German work published in Bremen in 1864; and in 1868 a Spanish translation was published in the Argentine—after the work had there been frequently appealed to a half-century before in connec­tion with the “struggle between a unitary and federal constitution.” Altogether, it does not seem at all improbable that this widespread reading of The Federalist, sup­plemented by the shining exampleof the great North American na­tion, gave to the term its most precise modern meaning.?

The word republic does not oc­cur in our Constitution.8 How soon the new American state be­gan to be commonly called by the name, I have not learned. I do not find it so called in Washington‘s First Inaugural, nor in his Fare­well Address. Webster does thus refer to it in his reply to Hayne, 1830, and in his Seventh-of-March speech, 1850. Calhoun, who died in 1850, declares in a posthumously published discourse that the United States is “of course, a Re­public.”`’ Lincoln speaks of “sixty-odd of the best years of the Re­public” in 1854. The Northern veterans of the Civil War organ­ized themselves as the Grand Army of the Republic. Garfield, dying at the hand of an assassin, wrote of himself, in Latin, “tor­tured for the republic.”¹º Our pledge of allegiance is ultimately a pledge to the republic. However fast or slow the process, it is clear that republic became at last en­shrined in our history and suf­fused with patriotic emotion. Re­public, “honorable title,” as Madi­son called it, appears to be still a constant in our more ceremonious rhetoric. What American orator, rising to the upper strata of his eloquence, would dream of refer­ring to his country as anything but a “republic”? In one matter having to do with its mere deno­tation the word is unique: that is its absolute use. Charles A. Beard wrote a book and entitled it The Republic. No one could have had a moment’s doubt what nation he meant.


The Word “Democracy”

But farewell, for the moment, to republic and its fortunes; let us turn to democracy.

Although, according to Harold J. Laski, “No definition of democ­racy can adequately comprise the vast history which the concept connotes,”” the word which names it seems simplicity itself when compared with republic. That is mainly because, in sharp contrast with republic, its basic and enduring significance is un­mistakably indicated in the ele­ments of which it is composed: demos, “the people,” and kratia, “rule.” Democracy means “rule by the people.”¹² “People” in this statement is to be understood as a majority of the whole body of the people, not any minor group or any class. This whole body of the people, however, in the slave-based city states of ancient Greece, the original democracies, was limited in fact to the male freemen, who, it is said, almost never numbered more than 10,000, and in no community constituted a majority of the total inhabi­tants. These citizens, or as many as got together in a given meet­ing, exercised immediately, in their own persons, full legislative power.” A form of government in which the people (or what passes for the people) thus act directly is known as a direct, absolute, or pure democracy.

Direct democracy, the original democracy, seems to have ob­tained almost exclusively in the ancient world. Though its prin­ciple has been operative in the New England town meeting, and though it is said to exist to some extent in Switzerland, I have come across no modern instance of it in a completely sovereign unit. But democracy in a broader sense, modern democracy, feasible in large states, was destined to come into being and to have an immense career.13 But not—as would seem obvious—full executive power. “In the most pure democracies of Greece, many of the ex­ecutive functions were performed, not by the people themselves, but by officers elected by the people, and representing the people in their executive capacity.”—Hamilton in The Federalist, Essay LXII.


Limited Suffrage

At first, in what was ultimately to become the United States, it was, at most, incipient. The suf­frage was severely limited. Prop­erty qualification “for the right to vote existed everywhere at the time of the Revolution and… even higher qualifications were often imposed upon those who would represent their fellows in public office.”14 Formal class dis­tinctions were not yet abandoned. The gentleman was still not merely a male of the species but a very particular kind of male. In Vir­ginia a tailor was fined by a court one hundred pounds of tobacco for arranging a race between his mare and a gentleman’s horse, the offi­cially recorded reason being that it was “contrary to law for a la­borer to make a race, [that] being a sport only for gentlemen”; and when a Boston minister announced a meeting and called for the at­tendance of the “gentlemen of the church and congregation,” several of the men, realizing that they were not “gentlemen,” did not con­sider themselves summoned and did not attend. We can hardly be surprised to learn that the term democrat, savoring as it did of the unsifted multitude, was in general disrepute. “As a matter of fact, when the Constitution was framed no respectable person called him­self or herself a democrat. The very word then had low connota­tions, though it was sometimes mentioned with detachment; and the connotations became distinctly horrible to Respectability after the outbreak of the reign of terror in France…. As was said long afterward, the founders of the re­public in general, whether Fed­eralist or Republican, feared de­mocracy more than they feared original sin.”15

But in time all this was to change. In the latter part of the eighteenth century events began to happen highly favorable to democracy. Equality, said to have been regarded by de Tocqueville as its “inherent principle,” be­came a watchword. First appeared the American Revolution, pro­claiming that “all men are created equal,” and soon thereafter the French Revolution, celebrating equality (along with liberty and fraternity), and making the word resound throughout the Western world. Equality meant political recognition for the masses, and the trend toward this recognition, once started, has never stopped, but has continued, basically and generally, into our own time, how­ever paradoxical the form it may sometimes take. Open the Russian constitution, and you may read: “In the U.S.S.R. all power belongs to the working people of town and country as represented by the So­viets of Working People’s Depu­ties…. Members of all Soviets of Working People’s Deputies… are chosen by the electors on the basis of universal, direct and equal suffrage by secret ballot…. Elec­tions of deputies are equal: each citizen has one vote; all citizens participate in elections on an equal footing…. Women have the right to elect and be elected on equal terms with men…. Citizens serv­ing in the Red Army have the right to elect and be elected on equal terms with all other citi­zens.”16 The U.S.S.R. is notoriously a dictatorship, but the idea of equality, the inherent principle of democracy, and the political recognition it calls for, are im­bedded in its Fundamental Law.


The Trend Toward Democracy

Our immediate concern is with the change of attitude toward de­mocracy in the United States. Cal­houn described our government as a “constitutional democracy.”” This was of course before the Civil War. “From the close of the civil war to the end of the [first] world war,” we are told, “democ­racy, or ‘the American way,’ had been loosely, though by no means universally, accepted as a fact…”18Woodrow Wilson said that the world must be made safe, not for republicanism, but for democ­racy—and fought to save it. “At last the United States was some­what officially and generally pro­claimed to be in fact a democracy, engaged in a conflict to save de­mocracy from the force of authori­tarian States…. The word once so hated and feared, so long repro­bated, so reluctantly accepted in the United States, became for the hour the sign and symbol of Amer­ican unity and government… Could George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison have witnessed the scene and heard the chorus they certainly would have been sur­prised to find their representative republic universally and vocifer­ously hailed as a democracy.”19

According to the authors just cited, the War Department, the conflict over, repudiated the doc­trine that the United States was a democracy; but all such opposition as it represented appears to have been largely lost from sight in the era that began not long afterward with the advent of Franklin D. Roosevelt—who “solemnly identi­fied the United States with democ­racy and suggested a second union of all the faithful against the au­tocracies of the earth,” and whose “opponents likewise seized upon democracy as the device under which to wage war at home on the Roosevelt ‘dictatorship.’”²º From the Roosevelt era we can hardly be said even now to have emerged, and if during it or subsequently the vogue of the word democracy has given way among us to any general ardor for the word repub­lic, the fact has certainly escaped my notice. It would seem safe to assert that it has not done so.

As was indicated earlier, the democracy which developed in the modern world was ordinarily de­mocracy in a broader sense than is attributable to the democracy of ancient Greece. In this broader modern sense it is a form of gov­ernment in which the people rule, but indirectly, not immediately in their own persons, but mediately through persons whom they choose to represent them. This form of government, in contrast with di­rect democracy, is known vari­ously as indirect or representa­tive democracy.21

Exactly when the broader sense of the word democracy was first recognized I do not know. Johnson’s dictionary does not record it. Webster’s dictionary of 1806 does not specify it, defining democracy simply as “a popular form of gov­ernment.” In The Century Dic­tionary (1904), The Concise Ox­ford Dictionary (1934), The Shorter Oxford English Diction­ary (1955), The American College Dictionary (1955), Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1956), and doubtless in other current dic­tionaries, it is plainly indicated.

An indirect democracy, it is in­teresting to observe, admits of dis­tinct gradations as regards the closeness of the relation between the immediate will of the people and the legislation enacted. Where the representatives, once chosen, are left free to exercise their own best wisdom and judgment, the democracy is clearly more indirect than where the representatives are presumed, as far as humanly possible, to reflect the instant opinions of the majority of their constituents. In proportion as the representatives do actually reflect in their legislative activities the immediate desires of this majority (such desires as would find ready voice in an Athenian ecclesia), the government approaches in effect the original direct democracy.

Hitherto we have discussed re­public and democracy successively, and, so far as possible, separately, ignoring their intertwining, merging, and overlapping. These we must now examine.

The direct democracies of an­cient Greece (and this scarcely makes for simplicity) are some­times called republics. They are sometimes so called in The Fed­eralist—in obvious contradiction of the Madisonian definition of republic, in the same work, with which we are acquainted. Repub­lic is sometimes seen as the genus, democracy as the species. We have already met with this relationship in Montesquieu; John Adams, at a date earlier than that of the Con­stitutional Convention, classified republics as democratic, aristo­cratic, and monarchical or regal;22 and the dictionary of the French Academy illustrates its article de­mocracy with the sentence: “The republic of Athens was a democ­racy.” The relationship in ques­tion is present in “democratic re­public,” a phrase recorded in the French dictionary just cited and recently employed by East Ger­many as the name of its polity. (What I have yet to see is “repub­lican democracy”—though I should not be exactly astonished if I came across it tomorrow.) In the fol­lowing figurative passage by John James Ingalls democracy and re­public are identified (or virtually so) by inference: “In the democ­racy of the dead, all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave.”23 More than a century ago Calhoun, in a passage already cited in part, iden­tified a republic with a species of democracy: the United States is of course, he said, “a Republic, a constitutional democracy, in con­tradistinction to an absolute de­mocracy…”24 W ebster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1956), recording pres­ent usage, defined the two words separately thus:

republic: A state in which the sovereign power resides in a certain body of the people (the electorate), and is exer­cised by representatives elected by, and responsible to, them…

democracy: Government by the people; government in which the supreme power is retained by the people and exercised either directly (absolute, or pure, democracy), or indirect­ly (representative democracy) through a system of repre­sentation.

Here the words are not identified, but their overlapping is plain. Curiously enough, the lexicog­rapher in defining republic, and perhaps wishing, with the wide modern world in view, to give a measure of inclusiveness to the word, here runs some risk of mak­ing it inapplicable to the United States. Note the expression “A state in which the sovereign power resides in a certain body of the people (the electorate)”—that, I suggest, is hardly the manner in which to speak of a polity such as our own, in which there is uni­versal suffrage. On the other hand, we have no trouble whatever in recognizing ourselves in portions of the definition given of democ­racy.25

Secondary meanings of our two terms and the meanings of terms related to them—neither yet dis­cussed—may here be generally ignored as either obvious (for ex­ample, democratic in “democratic institutions”), obsolete, or obso­lescent. Brief comment may be in order, however, on one distinct, nonpolitical sense attaching to democracy and its derivatives democrat and democratic.


A Social Meaning

Since in a political democracy the people have equal rights and privileges, it was natural that the concept of equality should carry over into nonpolitical areas with the meaning of freedom from snob­bishness or pretension. “What we noticed about the club, instantly, was its agreeable democracy.” It is perhaps in the derivatives demo­crat and democratic that this sense is of tenest encountered. “Surpris­ingly enough, he proved himself the perfect democrat, despite his birth and wealth”; “It was her easy democratic ways that won the affection of her subjects”; “He was simple, affable, informal, dem­ocratic: they took to him from the start.”

A social meaning of democratic of a much broader sort is evident in such expressions as “democratic art (fiction, poetry, painting, etc.) “—art, that is, which represents, reflects, or is suited to democracy, where democracy means the com­mon people in a nonpolitical aspect.

With this last detail we may end our semantic adventure. What in­ferences of chief practical impor­tance can we now make regarding the proper present use of the terms under examination? Let us begin with republic:

Republic. (1) In application to the United States: Entirely cor­rect, and especially appropriate for oratorical or otherwise ele­vated purposes. It has a tradition­al, conservative, pleasantly aris­tocratic, and generally rather dis­tinguished connotation. (2) In ap­plication to any and all other coun­tries which call themselves by the name: Entirely correct. It must be remembered that the word has been applied to states regardless of their form of government—and that this application, quite re­cently (Larousse, 1947 or later), has been unqualifiedly recorded.

Democracy (political). (1) In application to the United States: Entirely correct, and doubtless in­creasingly common; probably des­tined to edge republic more and more out of use—particularly since republic has no relevancy to the present ideological division of the world. (2) In application toother countries: Entirely correct when referring to polities in which the great body of the people exer­cise sovereign power, whether di­rectly or indirectly; incorrect, and misleading, when applied to dicta­torships, however much they may exploit the term. When a state has the words and forms of democ­racy, but not the substance, let us make the name correspond with the thing (as Confucius would sug­gest) and call it what it is, a sim­ulacrum and a sham—in short, a pseudodemocracy.

Democracy, democrat, demo­cratic (social). Democracy: free­dom from snobbishness. Demo­crat: one who is free from snob­bishness. Democratic: (1) of per­sons—free from snobbishness; (2) of things—concerned with ex­pressing, appealing to, the masses of the people.


The Latest Tally

I will close with an item of jour­nalistic fact. In its issue of February 22, 1960, the U.S. News & World Report displayed an outline map of the world showing “the line­up now” of “democracies vs. dicta­torships,” and roughly indicating the actual nature of the govern­ment, regardless of its nominal classification, in each of the nations of the globe. The types distin­guished were democracies (freely elected governments), limited democracies (prodemocratic, but par­tial dictatorships now), and colo­nies and dependencies. The United States, Great Britain, and Japan stand among the democracies; the Union of Soviet Socialist Repub­lics, Communist China, and the Dominican Republic among the dictatorships. What in all this would be likely to strike the reader of the present study is that one word—no doubt because of its uselessness as an identifying term—is, except as part of a country’s of­ficial name, conspicuously and completely absent. That word is republic. Henceforward, indefin­itely, the question likely to be of paramount interest, as regards any state, anywhere, is simply this: To what extent do its people really govern? or, in other words, To what extent is it, in the proper sense of the term, a democracy?


The Memory of Man Runneth Not to the Contrary

There are persons who constantly clamor. They complain of oppression, speculation, and pernicious influence of accumulated wealth. They cry out loudly against all banks and corporations and all means by which small capitalists become united in order to produce important and beneficial results. They carry on mad hostility against all established institutions. They would choke the fountain of industry and dry all streams. In a country of unbounded liberty, they clamor against oppression. In a country of perfect equality, they would move heaven and earth against privilege and monopoly. In a country where property is more evenly divided than anywhere else, they rend the air shouting agrarian doctrines. In a country where wages of labor are high beyond parallel, they would teach the laborer that he is but an oppressed slave.

Daniel Webster. In the Senate in 1833


1. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the friendly and able help I have had in the preparation of this article from Mr. Irwin Stein of the History Department of the Los Angeles Public Library. Final re­sponsibility for the article is of course entirely my own.

2. Quoted in Littré’s French dictionary, article république.

3. Quoted in Larousse’s French dictionary, article république.

4. Republican in the preceding sentence implies a definition of republic. Madison probably means by it: “in which the rep­resentative principle obtains.”

5. When the Roman Republic was suc­ceeded by the empire, the word republic was retained. Similarly in France when the First Republic gave way to Napoleon: the “first coins struck in 1801 [1804?] bore on one side ‘République francaise’ and on the other ‘Napoléon empereur’ ” (Littré’s French dictionary, article ré­publique).

6. Compare Hamilton (The Federalist, Essay LVI): “The elective mode of ob­taining rulers is the characteristic policy of republican government.” The second of Madison‘s restrictions (having to do with tenure of officers) appears to be regarded by both Madison and Hamilton as of secondary importance.

7. The data on The Federalist abroad are from an introduction by Edward Gay­lord Bourne to a two-volume edition of the work published by M. Walter Dunne (New York and London, 1901.)

8. The word republican does occur in the Constitution, once, where a republican form of government is guaranteed to the states. According to John Adams (writ­ing to Mercy Warren), nobody knew just what was meant (Charles A. and Mary R. Beard, America in Midpassage—New York, The Macmillan Company, 1939—p. 922). James Madison, however, who was a member of the Constitutional Conven­tion (John Adams was not), seems lucid enough on the point. Commenting on the guarantee in question, he says (The Fed­eralist, Essay XLII): “In a confederacy founded on republican principles, and composed of republican members, the superintending government ought clearly to possess authority to defend the system against aristocratic or monarchical inno­vations. The more intimate the nature of such a Union may be, the greater interest have the members in the political institu­tions of each other, and the greater right to insist that the forms of government under which the compact was entered into should be substantially maintained.”

9. John C. Calhoun, Works (New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1888), I, p. 185.

10. Walter Fogg, One Thousand Say­ings of History (Boston, The Beacon Press, Inc., 1929), p. 586.ence, left uninterpreted, would have been a subject for specula­tion.

11. Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, article democracy.

12. Such are the vagaries of language that even the preceding sentence is sub­ject to more or less modification. La­rousse’s French dictionary (1947 or later) includes in its article on democracy the following definition: “Predominance of the power of the people in a govern­ment of whatever kind, even monarchic.” Littré’s French dictionary, cited above, gives as a meaning of democracy: “Politi­cal regime which favors or pretends to favor the interests of the masses,” and quotes the expression “the imperial de­mocracy of Rome.” With the latitude afforded by Littré, one might correctly refer to Soviet Russia as a “democracy”—to the confounding of political debate.

14. Leonard Woods Labaree, Conserva­tism in Early American History (Ithaca, New York, Great Seal Books, 1959), p. 1. The two incidents which follow shortly are cited from the same source, pp. 111f.

15. Beard, op. cit. (footnote 8), 922f. Surprisingly enough, the word republican was with many in little or no better standing than demo cratical. Colonial con­servatives, in general, “used ‘republican’ and `democratical’ almost synonymously and considered them as terms of reproach, much as in the social sphere they used the adjective `leveling’ and as most present-day Americans use `red’ and `Com­munist.’ “—Labaree, op. cit., p. 140.

16. Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (New York, The National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, [1941]).

17. Calhoun, loc. cit.

  • Dr. Manchester is an educator, formerly of the Department of English, University of Wisconsin.