Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic with an emphasis on liberty and the civic virtue practiced by citizens. Republicanism always stands in opposition to aristocracy, oligarchy, and dictatorship. More broadly, it refers to a political system that protects liberty, especially by incorporating a rule of law that cannot be arbitrarily ignored by the government. According to John Adams, “They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.” Much of the literature deals with the issue of what sort of values and behavior by the citizens is necessary if the republic is to survive and flourish; the emphasis has been on widespread citizen participation, civic virtue, and opposition to corruption.
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