"A Republic, if You Can Keep it"

The above quotation is attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention. Franklin gave this response to a query as he was leaving Independence Hall on the final day of deliberations. According to Maryland delegate James McHenry,  "A lady asked Dr. Franklin, Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy." From the Latin "res publica," a republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers, in which public offices are consequently appointed or elected rather than privately accommodated (i.e., through inheritance or divine mandate).

The birth of the Republic, 1763-89 by 1916- Edmund S. (Edmund Sears) Morgan
Leadership : in turbulent times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The great republic : a history of America by 1874-1965 Winston Churchill