What characterizes a republic as a form of government: Republic | Definition, History, & Facts

The Roman Republic [ushistory.org]

Ancient Civilizations 1. How Do We Know?   a. Archaeologists and Their Artifacts   b. Anthropologists and Their People   c. Historians and Their Time   d. Geographers and Their Space 2. Prehistoric Times   a. «I Love Lucy»   b. Food, Clothing and Shelter   c. A Page Right Out of History   d. First Technologies: Fire and Tools 3. Ancient Egypt   a. Life along the Nile   b. Egyptian Social Structure   c. Dynasties   d. Mummies   e. Pyramids   f. Women of Ancient Egypt 4. The Early Middle East   a. Life in Sumer   b. Babylonia   c. Hammurabi’s Code: An Eye for an Eye   d. Assyrians: Cavalry and Conquests   e. Persian Empire   f. Phoenicians: Sailing Away   g. Hebrews and the Land of Milk and Honey   h. Birth of Christianity   i. Muhammad and the Faith of Islam 5. Ancient Greece   a. Rise of City-States: Athens and Sparta   b. Democracy Is Born   c. Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes   d. Greek Literature   e. Art and Architecture   f. Thinkers   g. Alexander the Great   h. The Olympic Games 6. Ancient Rome   a. The Roman Republic   b. Julius Caesar   c. The Pax Romana   d. Life of the People   e. Gladiators, Chariots, and the Roman Games   f. The Fall of the Roman Empire 7. Africa   a. Kingdom of Ghana   b. Mali: A Cultural Center   c. Benin and Its Royal Court   d. Great Zimbabwe   e. Life on the Desert 8. South Asia: India and Beyond   a. Early Civilization in the Indus Valley   b. The Caste System   c. The Rise of Hinduism   d. The Birth and Spread of Buddhism   e. The Gupta Period of India 9. China   a. The Middle Kingdom   b. Shang Dynasty — China’s First Recorded History   c. Han Dynasty — Cultural Heights   d. Tang Dynasty — The Golden Age   e. Taoism and Confucianism — Ancient Philosophies 10. Japan: An Island Nation   a. Japanese Religion and Spirituality   b. Early History and Culture   c. Feudal Japan: The Age of the Warrior   d. The Martial Arts   e. Life During the Edo Period 11. Central and South American Empires   a. Blood of Kings: The World of the Maya   b. Deciphering Maya Glyphs   c. The Inca Empire: Children of the Sun   d. The Aztec World   e. Clash of Cultures: Two Worlds Collide

The Romans established a form of government — a republic — that was copied by countries for centuries In fact, the government of the United States is based partly on Rome’s model.

The ladder to political power in the Roman Senate was different for the wealthy patricians than for the lower-class plebeians.

It all began when the Romans overthrew their Etruscan conquerors in 509 B.C.E. Centered north of Rome, the Etruscans had ruled over the Romans for hundreds of years.

Once free, the Romans established a republic, a government in which citizens elected representatives to rule on their behalf. A republic is quite different from a democracy, in which every citizen is expected to play an active role in governing the state.


The Roman concept of the citizen evolved during the Roman Republic and changed significantly during the later Roman Empire. After the Romans freed themselves from the Etruscans, they established a republic, and all males over 15 who were descended from the original tribes of Rome became citizens. Citizens of Rome distinguished themselves from slaves and other noncitizens by wearing a toga; most wore a white toga. During the Empire, each emperor wore a purple toga to distinguish himself as the princeps, or «first citizen.»

Citizenship varied greatly. The full citizen could vote, marry freeborn persons, and practice commerce. Some citizens were not allowed to vote or hold public office, but maintained the other rights. A third type of citizen could vote and practive commerce, but could not hold office or marry freeborn women.

In the late Republic, male slaves who were granted their freedom could become full citizens. Around 90 B.C.E., non-Roman allies of the Republic gained the rights of citizenship, and by 212 C.E, under the Edict of Caracalla, all free people of the Roman Empire could become citizens.

Frescoes line the walls of long-forgotten Etruscan tombs. This painting, found in the Tomb of Augurs in Tarquinia, is titled Hell’s Door.

The aristocracy (wealthy class) dominated the early Roman Republic. In Roman society, the aristocrats were known as patricians. The highest positions in the government were held by two consuls, or leaders, who ruled the Roman Republic. A senate composed of patricians elected these consuls. At this time, lower-class citizens, or plebeians, had virtually no say in the government. Both men and women were citizens in the Roman Republic, but only men could vote.

Tradition dictated that patricians and plebeians should be strictly separated; marriage between the two classes was even prohibited. Over time, the plebeians elected their own representatives, called tribunes, who gained the power to veto measures passed by the senate.

Gradually, the plebeians obtained even more power and eventually could hold the position of consul. Despite these changes, though, the patricians were still able to use their wealth to buy control and influence over elected leaders.

Hannibal marched his elephants south into the Italian peninsula during the Second Punic War.

The Roman Senate

The history of the Roman Senate goes as far back as the history of Rome itself. It was first created as a 100-member advisory group for the Roman kings. Later kings expanded the group to 300 members. When the kings were expelled from Rome and the Republic was formed, the Senate became the most powerful governing body. Instead of advising the head of state, it elected the chief executives, called consuls.

Senators were, for centuries, strictly from the patrician class. They practiced the skills of rhetoric and oratory to persuade other members of the ruling body. The Senate convened and passed laws in the curia, a large building on the grounds of the Roman Forum. Much later, Julius Caesar built a larger curia for an expanded Senate.

By the 3rd century B.C.E., Rome had conquered vast territories, and the powerful senators sent armies, negotiated terms of treaties, and had total control over the financial matters of the Republic.

Senatorial control was eventually challenged by Dictator Sulla around 82 B.C.E. Sulla had hundreds of senators murdered, increased the Senate’s membership to 600, and installed many nonpatricians as senators. Julius Caesar raised the number to 900 (it was reduced after his assassination). After the creation of the Roman Empire in 27 B.C.E., the Senate became weakened under strong emperors who often forcefully coerced this ruling body. Although it survived until the fall of Rome, the Roman Senate had become merely a ceremonial body of wealthy, intelligent men with no power to rule.

Occasionally, an emergency situation (such as a war) arose that required the decisive leadership of one individual. Under these circumstances, the Senate and the consuls could appoint a temporary dictator to rule for a limited time until the crisis was resolved. The position of dictator was very undemocratic in nature. Indeed, a dictator had all the power, made decisions without any approval, and had full control over the military.

The best example of an ideal dictator was a Roman citizen named Cincinnatus. During a severe military emergency, the Roman Senate called Cincinnatus from his farm to serve as dictator and to lead the Roman army. When Cincinnatus stepped down from the dictatorship and returned to his farm only 15 days after he successfully defeated Rome’s enemies, the republican leaders resumed control over Rome.

The Twelve Tables

One of the innovations of the Roman Republic was the notion of equality under the law. In 449 B.C.E., government leaders carved some of Rome’s most important laws into 12 great tablets. The Twelve Tables, as they came to be known, were the first Roman laws put in writing. Although the laws were rather harsh by today’s standards, they did guarantee every citizen equal treatment under the law.

Laws from the Twelve Tables

  • Females shall remain in guardianship even when they have attained their majority (except Vestal Virgins).
  • A spendthrift is forbidden to exercise administration over his own goods.
  • It is permitted to gather fruit falling down on another man’s farm.
  • If any person has sung or composed against another person a song such as was causing slander or insult to another, he shall be clubbed to death.
  • Quickly kill … a dreadfully deformed child.
  • With respect to the law and citizenship, the Romans took a unique approach to the lands that they conquered. Rather than rule those people as conquered subjects, the Romans invited them to become citizens. These people then became a part of Rome, rather than enemies fighting against it. Naturally, these new citizens received the same legal rights as everyone else.

    The Punic Wars

    The early Roman Republic often found itself in a state of constant warfare with its surrounding neighbors. In one instance, when the Romans were fighting the Carthaginians, Rome was nearly conquered. The people of Carthage (a city in what is today Tunisia in north Africa) were a successful trading civilization whose interests began to conflict with those of the Romans.

    The two sides fought three bloody wars, known as the Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.E.), over the control of trade in the western Mediterranean Sea. In the second war, Hannibal, a Carthaginian general, successfully invaded Italy by leading an army — complete with elephants — across the Alps. He handed the Roman army a crushing defeat but was unable to sack the city of Rome itself. After occupying and ravaging Italy for more than a decade, Hannibal was finally defeated by the Roman general Scipio at the Battle of Zama in 202 B.C.E.

    Why «Punic»?

    How did the word «Punic» become an adjective meaning «relating to the people of Carthage»?»Punic» is derived from the Latin word Poenicus, meaning «an inhabitant of Carthage. » Carthage was founded by Phoenicians, and Poenicus is the Latin word for «Phoenician.»

    By the Third Punic War, Rome was ready to end the Carthaginian threat for good. After a successful several-year siege of Carthage, the Romans burned the city to the ground. Legend has it that the Romans then poured salt into the soil so that nothing would ever grow there again. Carthage was finally defeated, and the Roman Republic was safe.

    Lesson 3: What Is a Republican Government?

    Shop Subscribe Donate

    This lesson is from the first edition of We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 1, for upper elementary students. For sample lessons from the latest edition, please click here.

    Student Book

    Purpose of Lesson

    This lesson will help you understand why the Founders thought a republican form of government was best. You will also learn about civic virtue and the common welfare.

    The Founders Studied History

    The Founders studied the history of governments. They were very interested in what they read about the government of the Roman Republic. It was located in what is now the country of Italy. The Roman Republic existed more than 2,000 years before our nation began.

    The Founders liked what they read about the Roman Republic. They learned some important ideas from their study of the government of ancient Rome. They used some of these ideas when they created our government.

    What is a Republican Government?

    The government of Rome was called a republican government. The Founders read that republican government was one in which:

    • The power of government is held by the people.
    • The people give power to leaders they elect to represent them and serve their interests.
    • The representatives are responsible for helping all the people in the country, not just a few people.

    Vocabulary Terms

    • Representatives: people elected to act for others
    • interests: those things which are to a person’s benefit

    What are the Advantages of Republican Government?

    The Founders thought a republican government was the best kind of government they could choose for themselves. They believed that the advantages of republican government were:


    • Fairness. They believed that laws made by the representatives they elected would be fair. If their representatives did not make fair laws, they could elect others who would.
    • Common welfare. The laws would help everyone instead of one person or a few favored people.
    • Freedom and prosperity. People would have greater freedom and be able to live well.

    What is the Common Welfare?

    When a government tries to help everyone in a country, we say it is serving the common welfare. The common welfare is what is good for everyone in the country, not just a few people.


    Problem Solving

    Your Interests and the Common Welfare

    How do you decide what the common welfare is? When should you give up your own interests to do something that is good for everyone? Each person has to answer this question for himself or herself. The following exercise will help you do this.

    Work in groups of about three to five students. Each group should discuss the following questions. Be prepared to explain your group’s answers to the class.

    1. Describe a situation in which you think you should try to help others instead of just doing what you want for yourself.
    2. Explain a situation in which you think you should do something for yourself instead of trying to help others.
    3. Sometimes people disagree about what is the best thing for everyone. Describe a situation where this might happen. How do you think such disagreements should be settled?
    4. Describe some things your government does to help everyone in the country. What other things could your government do? Why?


    What is Civic Virtue?

    When you work to help others and promote the common welfare, you are showing civic virtue. The Founders thought civic virtue was important for a republican government. People with civic virtue are interested in having the government help all the people.

    The Founders thought it was necessary to teach children the importance of helping others. Young people learned about civic virtue in their homes, schools, and churches. Adults also heard about civic virtue from their religious and political leaders.

    The Founders thought a republican government would work in our country. They believed most of the people had civic virtue. They thought the people would select leaders who would work for the common welfare.

    Reviewing and Using the Lesson

    1. What is republican government?
    2. Define «common welfare. » Give examples of how your school helps the common welfare.
    3. Define «civic virtue.» Give examples of people with civic virtue in your school and community.
    4. Where was civic virtue taught in early America?
    5. Describe a situation in which your interests might conflict with the common welfare.
    6. Explain these terms: republican government, representative, interests, common welfare, civic virtue.

    All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies. The development of this text was originally funded and cosponsored by the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. The US Department of Education disclaims the responsibility for any opinion or conclusions contained herein. The Federal Government reserves a nonexclusive license to use and reproduce for governmental purposes, without payment, this material where the government deems it in its interest to do so.

    ISBN 0-89818-169-0

    The main forms of government by the state — social science

    In the lessons of social science, schoolchildren study many topics that are related to state foundations. We will consider one of them in this material: the form of government.

    Definition of the form of government

    Before we learn what forms of government are, let’s look at the basic definitions from the school social studies curriculum.

    The form of the state is a device of the political organization of society, designed to ensure its stability and normal functioning.

    The state has three dimensions that determine its essence: the form of government, the type of government and the type of political regime.

    Form of government is an element of the form of the state, which determines the system of organization of the highest bodies of state power, the procedure for their formation, terms of operation and competence, as well as the procedure for the interaction of these bodies with each other and with the population and the degree of participation of the population in their formation.

    • In a narrow sense, this is the organization of the highest bodies of state power (a way of organizing the supreme power in the state).
    • In a broad sense, this is a way of organizing and interacting with all state bodies.

    Forms of power show:

    • how the highest authorities in the state are created,
    • their structure,
    • what principles underlie the interaction between state bodies,
    • how the relationship between the supreme power and ordinary citizens is built,
    • to what extent the organization of state bodies allows ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens.

    In the modern world, each state is distinguished by a set of specific features and characteristics that have developed in the process of its historical evolution, under the influence of natural factors, characteristics of socio-economic development, religion, etc.

    — monarchy and republic. Consider these types of government.

    Practicing child psychologist Ekaterina Murashova

    Free course for modern moms and dads from Ekaterina Murashova. Sign up and participate in the drawing of 8 lessons


    Monarchy is a form of government in which the supreme state power belongs to one person — the monarch (king, tsar, emperor, sultan, emir) and is usually inherited.

    Monarchy is one of the most ancient forms of government. The earliest form of monarchy was despotism . Under despotism, all supreme state power is concentrated in the hands of an absolute ruler or a narrow group of persons who have the right to freely decide the fate of their subjects. The classical despotisms were the states of the Ancient East: Ancient Egypt, India, China, Assyria, Babylon, Persia. Also despotic was the power in the Golden Horde, the Mughal state in India and the Ottoman Empire.

    In parallel, theocratic ideas about the nature of the monarchy were developing. AT of the theocratic tradition the ruler (monarch) was conceived as a living god or god’s viceroy. At various times, elements of the theocratic monarchy could be found in Ancient Egypt, China, ancient Greece (Alexander the Great), the Roman Empire (starting with the Augustan dynasty). A later form of theocracy is the authority of the Pope.

    Both the Byzantine autocracy and the Muscovite autocracy relied on the theocratic tradition. Autocracy arose in Russia in connection with the adoption by the Grand Duke Ivan III of the title «Sovereign of All Rus'» after his marriage to the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI, Sophia Paleolog. And with the acquisition of complete independence from the khans of the Golden Horde, Ivan III in diplomatic correspondence with the heads of other states begins to call himself a king and autocrat.

    At the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries. in Europe, there was an idea of ​​ absolute monarchy , which was understood as a form of government in which legally and in fact all the fullness of the state (legislative, executive, judicial), and sometimes spiritual (religious) power was concentrated in the hands of the monarch, who was recognized the right best to understand these issues. A classic example of the absolute monarchy of the time: France under Louis XIV (the «Sun King»).

    Next came the idea of an enlightened monarchy , or enlightened absolutism. The theory of enlightened absolutism consisted in the idea of ​​a secular state, that is, in the desire to put the central power above all else. Enlightened absolutism introduced a new understanding of the state, which imposed obligations on the state power, enjoying rights. That is, the monarch began to be understood not just as the sole ruler of the state, but as the most educated representative of his country, who must comprehensively take care of the welfare of his subjects and the prosperity of his state.

    Modern monarchies are divided into two types — absolute and constitutional.

    Absolute monarchies are distinguished by the omnipotence of the head of state, not limited by constitutional institutions. The monarch combines the functions of head of state and government, commander in chief of the armed forces and supreme judge. He also appoints the government and other authorities that are responsible only to him as the head of state, and in some cases there is no parliament at all or is only an advisory body to the ruler (king, king, etc.). In rare cases, the monarch also performs the functions of the spiritual head. Examples of modern absolute monarchies: Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), partly the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Vatican.

    In constitutional monarchies the powers of the head of state are strictly limited. The real legislative power in such a state belongs to the parliament, and the executive — to the government. According to the degree of limitation, constitutional monarchies are dualistic and parliamentary.

    Dual Monarchy is a constitutional monarchy in which the power of the monarch is limited by the constitution, but the monarch formally and effectively retains extensive power. He has the right to appoint and dismiss the cabinet of ministers, absolute or suspensive veto over parliamentary decisions, and also performs a number of representative and foreign policy functions. Examples: Jordan, Morocco, Swaziland, partly the kingdom of Bhutan, where there are also features of an absolute monarchy.

    Parliamentary Monarchy is a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch functions nominally. Under a parliamentary monarchy, the power of the monarch does not extend to the sphere of legislative activity and is significantly limited in the sphere of government. Laws are adopted by the parliament, which has the formal supremacy among other organs of the state. He appoints the government, which is responsible to him. In some cases (in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.), the monarch retains certain powers, such as the right to veto legislative acts of parliament, but in practice it has not been used anywhere for a long time. In fact, the monarch performs purely representative functions.

    Examples: all European monarchies except Liechtenstein and the Vatican. The most famous are Great Britain, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, etc. In Asia — Bahrain, Cambodia, Kuwait, Thailand, Japan and, with some reservations, Malaysia. In Africa, Lesotho.

    Types of monarchies Main features
    Absolute (unlimited) All branches of power — judicial, legislative and executive — are in the hands of one person: the king, sultan, shah, emperor, king, etc. Power is inherited by right of blood. Most often there is a strict regulation of inheritance, in order to avoid strife between applicants. The heyday of absolute monarchies fell on the period of slavery and feudalism. Today, absolute monarchy has been preserved in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, etc.
    Constitutional The power of one person is limited by the law of the state, most often by the Constitution. This type of monarchy is divided into dualistic and parliamentary.
    Dualistic The monarch is at the head of the executive branch and can influence judicial decisions and lawmaking. In parallel with the monarchy, the state often has relatively independent judiciary and legislature. The monarch has the right to dissolve the parliament, or veto the adopted laws. Today it exists in Jordan and Morocco.
    Parliamentary The monarch is partly a formal symbol of the state, a tribute to tradition. The main power belongs to the bodies elected by the people (parliament). In states with this form of government, the principle of separation of powers is respected. Sometimes the monarch can veto or resolve certain laws, but he does not have real power. This form of government is represented today in Japan, Denmark, Great Britain.

    Main types of monarchies and their characteristics

    Reference lines Absolute (unlimited) Dualistic Limited (parliamentary, constitutional)
    Legislative power Monarch Divided between monarch and parliament Parliament
    Exercise of executive power Monarch Formally — the monarch, in fact — the government
    Appointment of the head of government Monarch Formally a monarch, but subject to parliamentary elections
    Government responsibility Before the monarch Before Parliament
    The right to dissolve Parliament — (no parliament) Monarch (unlimited) At the monarch’s (recommended by the government)
    Monarch’s right to veto decisions of Parliament Absolute veto Provided but not used
    Emergency Ordinance of the Monarch Unrestricted (the decree of the monarch has the force of law) Between sessions of parliament only Provided but not used
    Modern States Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia Jordan, Morocco, Nepal Belgium, UK, Denmark, Spain, Netherlands, Japan

    Preparing for the OGE in social studies courses at Skysmart is fun and effective!


    Republic — a form of state government in which the supreme power is exercised by elected bodies that are elected by the population (or state bodies) for a certain period.

    There are two main forms of republic: presidential and parliamentary. There are also mixed (semi-presidential) republics.

    Presidential Republic — the president is endowed with very great power: he combines the functions of head of state and head of government, forms the government. The president is elected by all citizens through direct voting (for example, the United States, Latin American countries).

    Parliamentary republic — the leading body of power is the parliament elected by the citizens. It is the parliament that forms the government, which is obliged to report to it (for example, India, Italy, Germany, Switzerland).

    Mixed republic — the power of the president is significant, but the formation of the government takes place with the participation of parliament (example — Austria, Russia, France).

    Main types of republics and their features

    Reference lines Presidential Semi-presidential (mixed) Parliamentary
    Procedure for electing the president Elected by popular vote (extra-parliamentary path). Elected in Parliament.
    Government formation procedure The President forms the government under certain parliamentary oversight. The government is formed by the president from the leaders of the party that won the parliamentary elections and must receive a vote of confidence from the parliament. The government is formed by the president from the leaders of the party that won the parliamentary elections.
    Government responsibility In front of the president. Parliament cannot express a vote of no confidence in the government. Dual responsibility — to the parliament and partly to the president. The president is not responsible for the actions of the government. A vote of no confidence in the government is not possible. In front of Parliament. The parliament can move a vote of no confidence in the government as a whole or one of its members, which entails the resignation of the government.
    President has the right to dissolve parliament Not available. The President has the right to dissolve Parliament.
    Presence of the post of prime minister Not available. There is a post of prime minister.
    Scope of powers of the president The President is not only the head of state, but also the head of the executive branch. The President is the head of state. Powers in the exercise of executive power are divided between the president and the government. Presidential powers are nominal, he performs any actions.
    Modern States USA, Latin America Austria, Russia, France India, Italy, Germany, Switzerland


    Issue 4 (18) 2012


    PhD in Law, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Constitutional and Municipal Law
    Institute of Law, Economics and Management of the Tyumen State University
    625000, Tyumen, st. Semakova, 10
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You must have JavaScript enabled to view.

    The article deals with the issue of the mutual influence of the form of the state as an external component, on the one hand, and the content of the state as an internal component, on the other. The author, exploring their characteristic features and elements, emphasizes their inextricable compatibility and harmony. Analyzing certain essential features of the types of the form of the state, he reveals their features and predicts the further evolution of the form of the state and its influence on the development of the state itself. The conclusion is made about the need to correlate the form and content of the state in accordance with each other.

    Key words: form of the state; maintenance of the state; form of government; political regime; democracy; politic system; public authorities

    As is known, the form of the state-territorial structure, the political regime and the form of government are ways of organizing public power, reveal the features of its distribution on the territory of the state, its structuring and the relationship between individual elements of the state mechanism, show the degree of participation of the people in the political management, as well as determine the methods and methods used in this. The elements of the form of the state influence, complement and depend on each other, which predetermines their consideration in an inseparable unity.

    Without belittling the importance of the territorial organization of public authority, we believe that it is the political regime and form of government that are decisive in organizing the power of any state. After all, the form of government, by general definition, reveals, firstly, what method is used in the formation of the highest bodies of state power. Secondly, the supreme power is exercised collectively or individually. Thirdly, what is the structure of the highest organs of state power. Fourthly, how is the competence delineated between the highest bodies of state power. Fifth, what is the procedure for the participation of the population in the formation of the highest public authorities. Sixth, what is the degree of responsibility of the subject, endowed with supreme power, to the population.

    In turn, the political regime characterizes the means and methods used in the organization of power.

    It is the form of government and the political regime that make it possible to clearly determine the concentration of power, the degree of their centralization both horizontally and vertically. The concentration of power in one or another body (bodies) leaves a certain imprint on the form of the political and territorial structure of the state.

    However, there is no rigid binding of one element of the state form to the other two. So, the form of government is not connected with the form of the state-territorial structure and the political regime. In turn, the political regime is not associated with the form of state-territorial structure. For example, a traditionally democratic regime is associated with a republican form of government. However, no one will challenge the democratic way of political life in Spain, Great Britain, Japan, Sweden, etc.

    We believe that for a full-fledged state development, the elements of the form of the state must not only be combined with each other, but also be in harmony with the content of the state. After all, it is the combination of the form and content of the state that leads to a dynamic, evolutionary modernization of state-legal institutions. On the contrary, the discrepancy between the form of the state and the content negatively affects the further development of the state itself. Therefore, it is the harmonious combination of the three elements of the form of the state that should also be combined with the content of the state itself, based on its essence, thereby formalizing its legal nature.

    The state is constantly in the process of development and improvement. Accordingly, together with the state, there is a transformation (transformation and improvement) not only of its content, but also of its form. According to the correct remark of D.A. Kerimov, «the transformation of the essence and the change in the content of its activities (of the state. — D.A. ) usually entail a corresponding change in its form» [5, p. 588].

    It should be borne in mind that not all elements of the form of the state are confirmed by permanent changes. The form of government most often subject to change. So, even in ancient Rome, the republic alternated with the monarchy. Forms of government, “like the content and even the essence of states, are changeable, less stable, more intense in their modifications” [5, p. 588–589].

    However, one should not forget that in the course of correlating the form of government, one should take into account both its compatibility with other elements of the form of the state, and its harmony with the content of the latter. We believe that it is precisely the discrepancy between the form of the state, in particular the form of government, and the content that negatively affects the further development of the state itself. Thus, we believe that the use of mutually exclusive methods in public administration is incompatible — centralization and self-government or democratization of methods of administration and formalism in their implementation.

    On the one hand, indeed, the content of the state determines the form of state government. In particular, many researchers of the form of government reasonably believe that it is the internal component of the state that largely determines the external (the form of the state). In particular, according to B.A. Osipyan, “the basis of various types and forms of the state and their varieties are certain religious and ideological worldviews of certain peoples at specific times, in specific spaces and life circumstances …. Therefore, traditional religion as a supraconscious internal constitution of each people can play in actually plays a rather significant role in the establishment of one form or another of his state government” [10, p. 33]. So, «all legitimate and illegal types of state can be conditionally divided into monarchies and parliamentary republics, which, in turn, are divided into their respective varieties» [10, p. 25].

    Hegel believed that “the state structure is a product, a manifestation of the own spirit of a given people and the stages of development of its spirit, this development will necessarily require a progressive movement in which not a single step can be missed, one cannot be ahead of time, time is always present”[3 , With. 469]. As the German philosopher believed, “the people must feel that their state structure corresponds to their right and their condition, otherwise it may, however, be outwardly present, but will have neither meaning nor value” [3, p. 274].

    According to the Russian thinker I.A. Ilyin, the form of government in the state is determined primarily by the monarchical or republican legal consciousness of the people. “Every nation and every country,” wrote I.A. Ilyin, “there is a living individuality with its own special data, with its own unique history, soul and nature”, which is why “every nation is entitled to its own, special, individual state form and constitution, corresponding to it and only to it” [4, p. 31].

    On the other hand, a change in the form of government has an impact not only on the development (change) of certain institutions of the state, but also on its content. A change in the form of state government due to the impact of economic, political, social, ideological and other factors entails a radical transformation of the essence of the state. In this case, the form of government acquires some new features and features [5, p. 589]. Thus, the constitutional consolidation of a republican form of government instead of a monarchical one in 1946 determined the further development of Italy. In Nepal, the 2008 Constitutional Assembly elections ended 240 years of monarchy in the Himalayan kingdom.

    Thus, the transformation of the form of the state, contributes to a change in its content, and vice versa — a change in the content characteristics of the state, leads to a change in the forms of the state, in particular the form of government. In turn, subject to the constant influence and influence of certain factors, the form of government continues to evolve, which leads to the emergence of new varieties of republican and monarchical forms of government (in particular, such as elective monarchy, monocratic and super-presidential republics, etc.). Therefore, the «classical» types of forms of monarchical and republican government evolve under the influence of various factors [11, p. 180].

    In our opinion, in political and legal issues related to the organization of public power in the state, form and content act not just as an internal and external component of the political organization of society, but as two substances that have a direct (permanent) influence and influence on each other . At the same time, it is impossible to say with a certain degree of certainty which of them is the root cause of the variability of the legal nature of the state. The form of the state and its content (essence) influence each other equally. This is the inseparable connection between the form and content of the state.

    The 1993 Constitution establishes that the Russian Federation is a legal democratic federal state with a republican form of government. These characteristics served as the basis for the further development of domestic legislation, which, in turn, should contribute to the formation of civil society in the country and the construction of a rule of law state.

    The democratic nature of legislation is based on the system of values ​​proclaimed in the state, the principles of organization of public authority, as well as the political freedom of the people to participate in the management of state affairs. The democracy of the state is determined by the degree (possibility) of the people (the electoral corps) to participate in managing the affairs of the state. More N.M. Korkunov and G.F. Shershenevich, depending on the degree of direct participation of the people in the implementation of the functions of state power, singled out pure (direct) and representative republics. Direct republics include those where the people have the right to participate directly in the exercise of the legislative function. In representative republics, direct control is exercised by institutions authorized by the people. And the people themselves have only the right to elect their representatives [6, p. 271].

    It follows from the foregoing that, in our opinion, of paramount importance is the influence on the content and form of the state of such a phenomenon as the political and legal ideas of the people about the social and state structure and the ability of the people themselves to influence the development of the state and its structures. Related to this is such a Russian phenomenon as paternalism — a type of leadership in which leaders ensure the satisfaction of the needs of subordinates in return for their loyalty and obedience; patronage, “paternal power” of an individual over another, considered a weak individual or group, is carried out [9, With. 22]. This type of management, in our opinion, finds its expression in the formation of public authorities, the distribution of powers between them, their relationship with each other, legal irresponsibility to the Russian people.

    As a result of the analysis of these features of Russian statehood, in particular, the Eurasians came to the conclusion about the special role of the subjective factor in the evolution of Russian statehood, insisted that «Russia cannot be governed except with the help of: an organized and cohesive ruling stratum» [1, p. 167]. Thus, according to the Eurasianists, in the conditions of a split in society, a vast territory, the Russian state can be controlled only if there is a strong vertical of power, with the centralization of power, which is the case in modern reality.

    In the course of the administrative reform, there was a centralization of power and control (introduction of the institution of presidential plenipotentiaries in the federal districts, a change in the procedure for replacing the heads of the subjects of the Federation, an imbalance in the delimitation of powers between the Russian Federation and its subjects in favor of the center, changes in the electoral legislation, etc.). The dominance of the head of state, who is not included in the structure of executive power, but is endowed with a wide range of powers characteristic of it, testifies to the continuity of the enduring tradition of strong monarchical power in the history of Russia [7, p. 345–346].

    In this sense, one cannot but agree with I.A. Ilyin, who argued that “it is absurd to introduce a state form in the country without taking into account the level and skills of the people’s sense of justice” [4, p. 31].

    Domestic pre-revolutionary scientists have repeatedly emphasized the complexity, some inconsistency, originality of the Russian mentality and legal consciousness based on it, which have a direct impact on the domestic form of government, and that, in turn, on the form of state-territorial structure. We believe that any reforms of the political and state structure should proceed from the specifics of the mentality and legal consciousness of citizens, which in their totality will determine the conformity of the form of the state with its content. As the experience of state building in Russia shows, public authorities have been and remain omnipotent and legally irresponsible for their actions (inaction), which makes it difficult for civil society to develop. The citizen does not feel the interest of the authorities in creating full and effective conditions for his self-realization. For some reason, we pursue democratic ideals, sometimes not understanding their true meaning and purpose, borrowing foreign legal experience, without thinking about its consequences.

    The mentality and legal consciousness based on it are of key importance in the development of statehood, they perform the function of an evolutionary vector in the formation of state-legal institutions. Ultimately, the mentality and legal consciousness of the people determine the specificity of each state separately, its form of government, its socio-social constitution. In this sense, the statement of I.A. Ilyin that «every nation and every country is a living individuality with its own special data, with its own unique history, soul and nature.» That is why “each nation is entitled to its own, special, individual state form and constitution, corresponding to it and only to it… Blind borrowing and imitation is absurd, dangerous and can become disastrous” [4, p. thirty].

    However, this does not mean that one should “turn away” from foreign experience or, conversely, unconsciously adopt it. According to the correct remark of O.Yu. Vinnichenko, «borrowing the European experience of state building, state ideology, we lose our originality, potential opportunities for further development» [2, p. 63].

    The centuries-old tradition of the personalist regime [8] and the monarchical legal consciousness of Russians that have developed over the centuries have an impact on the modern form of the state. The current level of Russian legal consciousness can be characterized as “monarchical republicanism”, expressed in the unwillingness of public authorities to bear responsibility for their actions, in entrusting tasks to others, in the passivity of citizens, the ability to obey a strong authoritarian government, etc.

    Thus, the form of the state is influenced by many factors (national composition of the population, historical development, natural and climatic conditions, geographical location, level of development of political relations, etc.). Of decisive importance is the mentality and legal consciousness of the people. So, in particular, A. Solzhenitsyn noted that “in such an immense country as ours, prosperity will never be achieved without a combination of actions of centralized power and social forces. If we do not learn to take into our own hands and actively provide for our close, vital needs, we will not see prosperity with any gold and foreign exchange reserves.

    When determining the form of the state, it is necessary to take into account the determining nature of the above factors. Only in this case can we talk about the harmonious compatibility of both the elements of the form of the state — the form of government, the political regime and the form of the state-territorial structure among themselves, and about their combination with the content of the state.


    1. Alekseev N.N. . Russian people and state. M., 2003.

    2. Vinnichenko O.Yu. Russian statehood in the context of civilizational development: textbook. allowance. 2nd ed. Tyumen: Tyumen Publishing House. state un-ta, 2008.

    3. Hegel G. Political works. M., 1978.

    4. Ilyin I.A. Why we believe in Russia: essays. M.: Eksmo, 2006.

    5. Kerimov D.A. Problems of the general theory of law and state: textbook. allowance. 2nd ed. Tyumen: Tyumen Publishing House. state un-ta, 2005.

    6. Korkunov N.M. Lectures on the general theory of law. SPb., 1894.

    7. Kravets I.A. Constitutionalism and Russian statehood at the beginning of the 20th century: textbook. allowance. M., 2000.

    8. Krasnov M.A. Personalist regime in Russia: an experience of institutional analysis. Moscow: Liberal Mission Foundation, 2006.

    9. Milov L.V. Natural-climatic factor and the mentality of the Russian peasantry // Mentality and agrarian development of Russia (XIX-XX centuries): materials of the international. conf. M., 1996. S. 22.

    10. Osipyan B.A. Reasons for the diversity of forms of government and structure // Modern.

    Добавить комментарий

    Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *