A representative form of government whose definition has been distilled over the centuries. It is reasonable to assert that it represents a government whose mission is to serve those who instituted its founding. James Madison in particular was careful to use the term Republic because of its inherent system of checks and balances. Under our long lost Republic form of government servants of the people served their State, continued their affairs when not in service, and sacrificed to serve; they were called Statesmen and neither expected nor received gain from their service. Voters were productive citizens: land owners, businessmen, soldiers, tradesmen, craftsmen, the clergy and academics among others. In 18th century America it was essential that a voter understand the principles of the Declaration and Constitution and be conversant in all its ramifications, which understood a reasonable ability to read. Excluded from voting were all those who had no direct capital in the enterprise. In a republic, all men are equal under the law, and it is respect for the law and law abidingness that preserves the system. It is absolutely essential that citizens of a Republic, particularly leadership, possess virtue. In once Christian America, that was the case until 1860, and by 1865, the Republic ceased to exist.