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Classical definition:

"Est igitur, inquit Africanus, res publica res populi, populus autem non omnis hominum coetus quoquo modo congregatus, sed coetus multitudinis iuris consensu et utilitatis communione sociatus. eius autem prima causa coeundi est non tam inbecillitas quam naturalis quaedam hominum quasi congregatio; non est enim singulare nec solivagum genus hoc, sed ita generatum ut ne in omnium quidem rerum affluentia." - Cicero, De Re Publica I, 38

"Scipio —Well then,—A commonwealth is a constitution of the entire people.—The people, however, is not every association of men, however congregated, but the association of the entire number, bound together by the compact of justice, and the communication of utility. The first cause of this association is not so much the weakness of man, as the spirit of association which naturally belongs to him—For the human race, is not a race of isolated individuals, wandering and solitary; but it is so constituted for sociality, that even in the affluence of all things, and without any need of reciprocal assistance, it spontaneously seeks society."

We should perhaps say "hereditary monarchy" (properly simplified); Some of the people elect their leaders/representatives; they can well elect a king (in other words: there are many Constitutial Monarchies)...--Eptalon (talk) 16:38, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Confusion between "republic" versus "republicanism".[change source]

For respect of generality, the definition of republic should not say anything about representation or elections. The core meaning of republic is a kingless society with no monarchy or hereditary aristocracy. This way it is perfectly reasonable to say North Korea is a republic and Cuba is a republic or any dictatorship is a republic. The problem comes from fanatical conservatives trying to confuse political discourse.