Federal republic

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A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. [2] 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. [3] 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.


Federal state Official name and style Subdivisions Head of state
Argentina Argentine Republic Provinces and one autonomous city President
Austria [4] Republic of Austria States President
Bosnia and Herzegovina [5] Bosnia and Herzegovina Entities, Cantons and one federal District Collective presidency
Brazil [3] Federative Republic of Brazil States and one federal district President
Comoros Union of the Comoros Autonomous islands President
Ethiopia [4] Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Regions President
Germany [8] Federal Republic of Germany States President
India [9] Republic of India States and territories President
Iraq Republic of Iraq Provinces President
Mexico [10] United Mexican States States and one autonomous entity President
Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia States President
Nepal [2] Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal Provinces President
Nigeria [2] Federal Republic of Nigeria States and one federal territory President
Pakistan [2] Islamic Republic of Pakistan Provinces President
Russia [2] Russian Federation Federal subjects President
Somalia Federal Republic of Somalia Regions President
South Sudan Republic of South Sudan States President
Sudan Republic of Sudan States President
Switzerland [2] Swiss Confederation Cantons Federal council
United States [2] United States of America States and one federal district President
Venezuela [2] Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela States, one capital district and federal dependencies President


Federation Official name and style Period Subdivisions
Dutch Republic Republic of the Seven United Netherlands 1581–1795 Provinces
Great Colombia Republic of Colombia United States of Colombia 1819–1831 1863–1886 States
Federal Republic of Central America United Provinces of Central America Federal Republic of Central America 1823–1838
Mexico United Mexican States 1824–1835
Confederate States Confederate States of America 1861–1865 States
China Republic of China 1912–1949 [2] Provinces
Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus 1917-1920 States
Germany German Reich (Weimar Republic) 1919–1933 States
Russian SFSR Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian Federation from 25 December 1991) 1917– 1993 Federal subjects
Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1922–1991 Republics
Yugoslavia [18] Federal People's Republic of YugoslaviaSocialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1945–1992 Republics
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Serbia and Montenegro Federal Republic of Yugoslavia State Union of Serbia and Montenegro 1992–2003 2003–2006 Republics
Burma Union of Burma 1948–1962 States
Indonesia Republic of the United States of Indonesia 1949–1950 [2] States
Cameroon Federal Republic of Cameroon 1961–1972
Czechoslovakia [18] Czechoslovak Socialist Republic Czech and Slovak Federative Republic 1969–1990 1990–1992 Republics

See also

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