Federal republic

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A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. [1] 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 defence, 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. [2] 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 stateOfficial name and style Subdivisions Head of state
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Argentine Republic Provinces and one autonomous city President
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria [3] Republic of Austria States President
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina [4] Bosnia and Herzegovina Entities, Cantons and one federal District Collective presidency
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil [5] Federative Republic of Brazil Municipalities, States and one federal district [6] President
Flag of the Comoros.svg  Comoros Union of the Comoros Islands President
Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia [7] Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Regions President
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany [8] Federal Republic of Germany States President
Flag of India.svg  India [9] Republic of India States and union territories President
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq Republic of Iraq Governorates President
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico [10] United Mexican States States and one autonomous entity President
Flag of Federated States of Micronesia.svg  Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia States President
Flag of Nepal.svg    Nepal [11] Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal Provinces President
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria [12] Federal Republic of Nigeria States and one federal territory President
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan [13] Islamic Republic of Pakistan Provinces, Autonomous territories and federal territory President
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia [14] Russian Federation Federal subjects President
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia Federal Republic of Somalia Federal member states President
Flag of South Sudan.svg  South Sudan Republic of Sudan States President
Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan Republic of the Sudan States President
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland [15] Swiss Confederation Cantons Federal council
Flag of the United States.svg  United States [16] United States of America50 States, one federal district and several territories President
Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela [17] Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela States, one capital district and federal dependencies President


FederationOfficial name and style PeriodSubdivisions
Statenvlag.svg  Dutch Republic Republic of the Seven United Netherlands 1581–1795Provinces
Flag of the Gran Colombia.svg  Great Colombia Republic of Colombia
United States of Colombia
Flag of Haiti (1806-1811).svg  Haiti State of Haiti 1806–1811
Flag of the Federal Republic of Central America.svg Federal Republic of Central America United Provinces of Central America
Federal Republic of Central America
Bandera Histórica de la República Mexicana (1824-1918).svg Mexico United Mexican States 1824–1835
Flag of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation.svg Peru-Bolivian Confederation Peru–Bolivian Confederation 1836–1839
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  China Republic of China 1912–1949 [18] Provinces
Конфедера́ция го́рских наро́дов Кавка́за (КГНК).png Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus 1917–1920
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg  Germany German Reich 1919–1933 States
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany German Democratic Republic 1949–1952 States
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg  Russian SFSR Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
(Russian Federation from 25 December 1991)
19171993 Federal subjects
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1922–1991 Republics
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia [19] Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1945–1992 Republics
Flag of Yugoslavia (1992–2003).svg  Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1992–2006Constituent republics
Flag of Burma (1948–1974).svg  Burma Union of Burma 1948–1962 States
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Republic of the United States of Indonesia 1949–1950 [20] States
Flag of Cameroon (1961-1975).svg  Cameroon Federal Republic of Cameroon 1961–1972
Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg  South Africa Republic of South Africa 1961–1994
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia [19] Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
Czech and Slovak Federative Republic
Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg Turkish Cyprus Turkish Federated State of Cyprus 1975–1983Districts

See also

Notes and references

  1. "republic".
  2. Forum of Federations: , Schram, Sanford. Handbook of Federal Countries: United States, pg 373–391, 2005.
  3. CIA World Factbook: Austria, 14 May 2009
  4. CIA World Factbook: Bosnia and Herzegovina, 14 May 2009
  5. CIA World Factbook: Brazil, 14 May 2009
  6. "http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/Constituicao/Constitui%C3%A7ao.htm". planalto.gov.br. Retrieved 2018-05-04.External link in |title= (help)
  7. CIA World Factbook: Ethiopia, 14 May 2009
  8. CIA World Factbook: Germany, 14 May 2009
  9. CIA World Factbook: India, 14 May 2009
  10. CIA World Factbook: Mexico, 14 May 2009
  11. CIA World Factbook: Nepal, 14 May 2009
  12. CIA World Factbook: Nigeria, 14 May 2009
  13. CIA World Factbook: Pakistan, 14 May 2009
  14. "Text of the Russian constitution in English". Constituteproject.org.
  15. CIA World Factbook: Switzerland, 14 May 2009
  16. CIA World Factbook: United States, 14 May 2009
  17. CIA World Factbook: Venezuela, 14 May 2009
  18. Government continued as a unitary state on sovereignty undetermined Taiwan.
  19. 1 2 "The CIA World Factbook officially dated October 15, 1991". Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
  20. The states lived on until a final treaty in 1956 in which Republic of South Maluku and the State of Eastern Sumatra agreed to devolve into the Republic of Indonesia.[ citation needed ]