A state is constitutional if a constitution limits the government's power. If the people choose by election the head(s) of state and other officials, then the state is a republic. The United States of America is an example of a constitutional republic.
In practice, the term is not so clear. There are republics with constitutions which the head of state can ignore. There are democratic monarchies which have unwritten constitutions, and where the monarch is not the head of government. One element which varies greatly is the nature of the election system.
References[change | change source]
- "Three Branches of Government". Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/teacher_lessons/3branches/1.htm. Retrieved 12:03, 10 January 2011.
- Everdell, William R. 2000. The end of kings: a history of republics and republicans. 2nd ed, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-22482-4
- van Gelderen, Martin & Skinner, Quentin (eds) 2002. Republicanism: a shared European heritage. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80756-2 and ISBN 978-0-521-67234-4