A republic is a type of government where the citizens choose the leaders of their country and the people (or at least a portion of its people) have an impact on its government. In the United States, James Madison defined republic in terms of representative democracy as opposed to direct democracy. The difference between a republic and a democracy lies in the ultimate source of official power. In the case of a republic, it lies with a charter; in a democracy, power lies with the rule of the majority.