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This paper will first look at the definition of a republic and some historical perspectives. We will then look at some reasonswhy this issue is intensifying at this time, consider both the pro-monarchy and pro-republican arguments and where the majorpolitical parties stand. Finally we will look at the processes and problems involved with change or reform. A republic, unlike a monarchy or aristocracy, is a polity in which governmental power devolves by popular election, and not by heredity. In 'Monarchy to Republic' Winterton (1986 p2) defines "It's older meaning as simply a state or polity, or astate including a monarchial one with a ' mixed government' or 'balanced constitution." But after 1649 'republic' was often used to describe a state without a king, or a state in which power was derived from the people, it was often treated assynonymous with ' democracy' or ' commonwealth'. The sense of the word, since about 1787 has included TheOxford English Dictionary definition as; 'A state in which supreme power rests in the people and their elected representatives or officers, as opposed to one governed by a king or similar ruler; a commonwealth' As the meaning of republic evolved there was confusion. The older 'classical' idea of a ' republic' was a state in which the government was a ' mixture' or a ' balance' of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, representing the three orders of society, that is king, nobles and the people. It was not uncommon to hear this classical concept used well into the nineteenth century especially after the House of Commons, which was supposed to represent the people, became the politically dominant House. It was described occasionally as a 'disguised republic' , a 'parliamentary republic' and a monarchial' or 'aristocratic' republic. Elements of this classical notion still survive today.
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