Federal republic

A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. At its core, the literal meaning of the word republic when used to reference a form of government means: "a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (such as a president) rather than by a king or queen".

In a federal republic, there is a division of powers between the federal government, and the government of the individual subdivisions. While each federal republic manages this division of powers differently, common matters relating to security and defense, and monetary policy are usually handled at the federal level, while matters such as infrastructure maintenance and education policy are usually handled at the regional or local level. However, views differ on what issues should be a federal competence, and subdivisions usually have sovereignty in some matters where the federal government does not have jurisdiction. A federal republic is thus best defined in contrast to a unitary republic, whereby the central government has complete sovereignty over all aspects of political life. This more decentralized structure helps to explain the tendency for more populous countries to operate as federal republics. Most federal republics codify the division of powers between orders of government in a written constitutional document.

The political differences between a federal republic and other federal states, especially federal monarchies under a parliamentary system of government, are largely a matter of legal form rather than political substance, as most federal states are democratic in structure if not practice with checks and balances. However, some federal monarchies, such as the United Arab Emirates are based upon principles other than democracy.

Contemporary

Historical

FederationOfficial name and stylePeriodSubdivisions
 Dutch RepublicRepublic of the Seven United Netherlands1581–1795Provinces
 Great ColombiaRepublic of Colombia
United States of Colombia
1819–1831
1863–1886
States
Federal Republic of Central AmericaUnited Provinces of Central America
Federal Republic of Central America
1823–1838
MexicoUnited Mexican States1824–1835
 ChinaRepublic of China1912–1928Provinces
Mountainous Republic of the Northern CaucasusConfederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus1917–1922
1989–2000
Republics
 GermanyGerman Reich1919–1933States
 East GermanyGerman Democratic Republic1949–1952States
 Russian SFSRRussian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic1917–1991Federal subjects
 Soviet UnionUnion of Soviet Socialist Republics1922–1991Republics
 YugoslaviaFederal People's Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1945–1992Republics
 Serbia and MontenegroFederal Republic of Yugoslavia
State Union of Serbia and Montenegro
1992–2006Constituent republics
 BurmaUnion of Burma1948–1962States
 IndonesiaRepublic of the United States of Indonesia1949–1950States
 Congo-LéopoldvilleRepublic of the Congo1960–1964
 CameroonFederal Republic of Cameroon1961–1972
 South AfricaSouth African Federation1961–1994
 TanzaniaUnited Republic of Tanzania1964–1965
 CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovak Socialist Republic
Czech and Slovak Federative Republic
1969–1990
1990–1992
Republics

See also

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article Federal republic, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.