The term republic originated from the writers of the Renaissance as a descriptive term for states that were not monarchies. These writers, such as Machiavelli, also wrote important prescriptive works describing how such governments should function. These ideas of how a government and society should be structured is the basis for an ideology known asclassical republicanism or civic humanism.
This ideology is based on the Roman Republic and the city states of Ancient Greece and focuses on ideals such as civic virtue, rule of law, and mixed government.
Republicanism is the ideology of governing a nation as a republic, where the head of state is appointed by means other than heredity, often through elections. The exact meaning of republicanism varies depending on the cultural and historical context. Several definitions are covered in this article.
Some political scientists[who?] use the term "republic" to indicate rule by many people and by law, as opposed to monarchy, or arbitrary rule by one person. By this definition,dictatorial states are not republics, while according to some, such as Kant, constitutional monarchies may be. Kant also supports republicanism over pure democracy on the grounds that the latter is the unrestricted rule of the majority unrestrained by law.