What's the difference between a Democracy and a Constitutional Republic?  Which is the United States?

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jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A true democracy would be a state which is actually governed by its citizens.  Ancient Athens was a democracy because major issues were decided in council by all of the eligible voters in the city.  True Democracy is unworkable except in a very small state.  The closest thing in America is the Town Meeting some of which are still held in small towns across our country. A Constitutional Republic is a  single state in which the officials of the state are elected by the people.  In truth the United States is really neither.  We are a Federal Republic which is a state which consists of a federal (or central) government with established self governing sub-units (we call them states) where  the officials of both are elected by the people.