Quotes About Republic

republic is a form of government in which affairs of state are a “public matter” (Latin: res publica), not the private concern of the rulers, in which public offices are consequently appointed or elected rather than privately accommodated (i.e., through inheritance or divine mandate). In modern times, the common definition of a republic is a government which excludes a monarch.

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Republic means rule based on the people’s election and consultation. The first book to teach this principal fully is the Qur’an. Saying that republican rule is contrary to the Qur’an, if done without bad intentions, shows a lack of knowledge. Supporting the republic but refusing to see its source is just plain stubbornness. – M. Fethullah Gulen

The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, did not claim kingship, and his four immediate political successors followed his example. Kingship appeared when people grew remote from the Islamic spirit, and eventually this digression became a vehicle for oppression and despotism. – M. Fethullah Gulen

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Based on true freedom and justice, a true republic is an elevated and safe form of rule. However, it is also an extremely tender system. If this aspect is not considered properly, atheism and anarchy will appear and grow in its heart. – M. Fethullah Gulen

A true republic is a form of rule by elevated spirits and is the most suitable for humanity’s honor. Immature spirits and those with no understanding of the ways to human perfection consider it a mirage, a temporary bower that offers no shelter. – M. Fethullah Gulen

The republic can be the mother or governess of freedom, for it nurtures and raises the generations in love with freedom. It is a government of freedom, virtue, and morality, and not a rule of “loose” freedom. – M. Fethullah Gulen

The republic provides a foundation that elevates us with uplifting values. Later it leaves us alone with our elevated morality and alert conscience. Finally recognizing ourselves as human beings with will power, we always think good and virtuous thoughts and follow high human values at home and at work. – M. Fethullah Gulen

As our spirit, which has an innate desire for freedom, rejects all forms of domination, it reacts to any limits to be placed on its freedom of thought, behavior, and expression. For this reason, while a republican government allows individuals broad rights and freedoms on the one hand, it must, on the other, educate them as people of elevated morality and virtue, and sound thinking and strong will. – M. Fethullah Gulen

The republic is obligated to protect its citizens’ religious faith, feelings and thoughts. If its leaders do not do so, but rather hold people in contempt because of their religious feelings and thoughts, violate their rights, and smear their good names, in reality they are holding the republic in contempt and violating all that it represents. – M. Fethullah Gulen

The republic needs people who fully identify with its principles. Its governing body should be dignified and wise, and its works should be fair and just. – M. Fethullah Gulen

  • [A] licentious people is not going to sustain republican government. We’ve got to make sure that republican government, government not only of the people as all government is but by and for the people doesn’t perish from the Earth. If we lose it here, it’s not as if it’s going to be restarted somewhere else.
    • Robert P. George, interview with Bill Kristol (April 2016), transcript
  • “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
    “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    • Response attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention. McHenry’s notes were first published in The American Historical Review, vol. 11 (1906), and the anecdote on p. 618 reads: “A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it.” When McHenry’s notes were included in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand, vol. 3, appendix A, p. 85 (1911, reprinted 1934), a footnote stated that the date this anecdote was written is uncertain. As noted in this library of congress post on the topic. This quote is probably false. “Although this story recorded by James McHenry (1753–1816), a delegate from Maryland, is probably fictitious, people wondered just what kind of government was called for in the new constitution.” http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/creating-the-united-states/convention-and-ratification.html#obj8. It is not the quote that is false but the date.
  • The Republic needed to be passed through chastening, purifying fires of adversity and suffering: so these came and did their work and the verdure of a new national life springs greenly, luxuriantly, from their ashes.
    • Horace Greeley, Greeley on Lincoln, ed. Joel Benton, p. 78–79 (1893).
  • You and your descendants have to ascertain whether this great mass will hold together under the forms of a republic, and the despotic reality of universal suffrage; whether state rights will hold out against centralisation, without separation, whether centralisation will get the better, without actual or disguised monarchy; whether shifting corruption is better than a permanent bureaucracy; and as population thickens in your great cities, and the pressure of what is felt, the gaunt spectre of pauperism will stalk among you, and communism and socialism will claim to be heard.
    • Thomas Henry Huxley, Science and Education (1904), p. 138.
  • But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans—we are federalists.
    • Thomas Jefferson, inaugural address (March 4, 1801); in Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1904), vol. 3, p. 319.
  • In truth, the abuses of monarchy had so much filled all the space of political contemplation, that we imagined everything republican which was not monarchy. We had not yet penetrated to the mother principle, that “governments are republican only in proportion as they embody the will of their people, and execute it.” Hence, our first constitutions had really no leading principles in them. But experience and reflection have but more and more confirmed me in the particular importance of the equal representation then proposed.
    • Thomas Jefferson, letter to Samuel Kercheval (July 12, 1816); in Paul L. Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1899), vol. 10, p. 37.
  • When a monarchy gradually transforms itself into a republic, the executive power there preserves titles, honors, respect, and even money long after it has lost the reality of power. The English, having cut off the head of one of their kings and chased another off the throne, still go on their knees to address the successors of those princes. On the other hand, when a republic falls under one man’s yoke, the ruler’s demeanor remains simple, unaffected, and modest, as if he had not already been raised above everybody.
    • Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, ed. J. P. Mayer, trans. George Lawrence, vol. 1, part 1, chapter 8, p. 123 (1969). Originally published in 1835–1840.
  • Just as people are born, live a time, and die by diseases or old age, in the same way republics are formed, flower a few centuries, and persih finally by the audacity of a citizen, or by the weapons of their enemies. All has their period; all empires, and largest monarchies even, have only so much time: the republics feel continually that this time will arrive, and they look at any too-powerful family as the carriers of a disease which will give them the blow of death.
    • Frederick II of Prussia, Anti-Machiavel Chapter IX
  • A republic is, in essence, what a monarchy is not. That, in short, is the argument, based on a very long history of states called republics, and thinkers called republicans, who learned from each other. A republic is a state that has many rulers, instead of one, most of them independently elected rather than appointed. A republic is a state where most of the public business must perforce be publicly aired, since these many magistrates naturally differ about that business and thus cannot conduct it without robust argument. Though it is still said in our civic pedagogy that a republic is something called a “representative democracy,” many of history’s republicans have not been representative, and many have been far from democratic, including some which were undemocratic precisely by virtue of being representative. What all republics have been is polyarchal, ruled by the pluribus instead of the uno.
    • William Everdell, The End of Kings: A History of Republics and Republicans (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
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