This is a classic question that the majority of the modern population does not know the outcome. A republic or a democracy was debated in North America for decades of the eighteenth century. The Founding Fathers that crafted our Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were starkly divided on this subject. They were for the most part drawn to ancient Greece and their advances in democracy. Ancient Grecians were political voters and would place a stone into a vase to cast their ballot on a case or subject. A white stone meant yea, a black stone meant nay. A vote similar to this were cast for a new Greek navy to battle against the Persians for the Battle of Thermopylae in 490 B.C.
Democracy is a difficult subject as Greece figured out. For example, if the voting bloc decided all blondes must be put to death, and the blonds are in the minority, then it becomes law.
A republic, is much similar and much different. In a republic, we choose representatives to go to the seat of our government and make laws in our behalf. This was a revolutionary theory. At the Constitutional Convention, sides were drawn into Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Both sides were good guys and ardent patriots, the debate would be held predominantly in the newspapers. The Federalists, who were on board for a republic, would write editorials in the paper under the pen name: Publius. These are now known and numbered as the Federalist Papers. Federalist # 10 warns its readers of the dangers of factions. This should be required reading for historians and poly sci majors.
The anti-federalist patriots were just as passionate to create a new nation. the anti-feds also wrote in the editorial pages of the newspaper using the pen name Farmer. They are not convinced to throw out the republican ideal, however, they wanted to limit the powers of the executive branch.
At the Constitutional Convention, they managed to scrap the Articles of Confederation and adopt the Constitution of the United States
Chris Nawrocki, MA