Republic Definition: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tammie Mihet

Tammie has taught elementary school for 14 yrs. and holds an MA in Instructional Technology

Did you know that the United States of America has a republic form of government? Do you know what that means? In this lesson, find out what it would be like to run your own republic!

A Strong Foundation is Important

Have you ever thought about what holds a house together? If the ground shakes or starts to erode away, what keeps the house from falling apart? Every house must be built on a strong foundation, or base. Without a sturdy foundation, houses would crumble to pieces and not be able to hold steady in even the slightest wind!

To stay strong, a government also needs a strong foundation. The foundation of a republic type of government is made up of each individual citizen. In a republic, it is not a king who has all the power, it is people just like you!

That's right; in a republic form of government, the people and those they elect to represent them hold the power. That is because citizens have the ability to vote someone into and out of office. When you are 18 and have the ability to vote, you will have this power too!

Citizens and their representatives make up the foundation of a republic.
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To truly understand what it means for a country, like America, to have a republic form of government, let's imagine if you were starting your own country. What would your country look like if it were a republic?

Building a Republic

First, you would set up your government using some kind of charter or constitution. This document would state the limits of the government and the basic rights of all people. You would do this to make sure that the rights of a few people are not overrun, or taken over, by a majority, or greater number of citizens.

The Constitution of the United States is an example of a charter.
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In your country, the will, or wishes, of the people would matter. You would hold elections for the citizens of your country to pick people who could represent them in government, including a president as commander-in-chief. These representatives would go to government meetings and be a voice for the people that elected them into office. They would promise to keep the interests and ideas of the citizens in mind when making decisions for the country. If your citizens did not like the representatives who were voted into office, they could vote them out and replace them with others during the next election.

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