Republicanism in the United States

Republicanism in the United States is the use of the concept of republic, or the political ideals associated with it in the United States. The political ideals have been discussed since before the concept of republic was introduced legally by Article Four of the United States Constitution. As opposed to classical republicanism, modern republicanism has been a guiding political philosophy of the United States.[1][2] and has been a major part of American civic thought since its founding.[3][4] It stresses liberty and inalienable individual rights as central values; recognizes the sovereignty of the people as the source of all authority in law;[5] rejects monarchy, aristocracy, and hereditary political power; expects citizens to be virtuous and faithful in their performance of civic duties; and vilifies corruption.[6] American republicanism was articulated and first practised by the Founding Fathers in the 18th century. For them, "republicanism represented more than a particular form of government. It was a way of life, a core ideology, an uncompromising commitment to liberty, and a total rejection of aristocracy."[7]

Republicanism was based on Ancient Greco-Roman, Renaissance, and English models and ideas.[8] It formed the basis for the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Constitution (1787), and the Bill of Rights, as well as the Gettysburg Address (1863).[9] Republicanism includes guarantees of rights that cannot be repealed by a majority vote.[10] In the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville warned about the "tyranny of the majority" in a democracy, and suggested the courts should try to reverse the efforts of the majority of terminating the rights of an unpopular minority.[11] Republicanism is derived from republic, but the two words have different meanings. A republic is a form of government (one without a hereditary ruling class), while republicanism refers to the values of the citizens in a republic.[12][13]

Two major parties have used the term in their name.[14] They are the Democratic-Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson (founded in 1793, and often called the Jeffersonian Republican Party, as it is a political antecedent to the Democratic Party), and the Republican Party, founded in 1854 and named after the Jeffersonian party.[15]

The Capitol exalted classical republican virtues[16]

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