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The definition of Commonwealth

Updated on May 22, 2010

The Definition of The Commonwealth

- From the Merriam Webster Dictionary by G.&C. paperback copyright 1974

1.A body of people politically organized into a state.

2.A loose association or federation of Autonomous states

From Websters New Collegate Dictionary by G.&C. Hardcopy copyright 1979

1. A nation,state or other political unit

2. A nation, state, or other political unit :as

A. One founded on law and united by compact or (tacit) - expressed without words or speech-

implied or indicated,but not acually expressed)- agreement of the people for the common good

Any tacit agreement is something to be wary of ,as it can be used to enslave a people

B. One in which supreme authority is vested in the people


An example of such a commonwealth is Puerto Rico which is a Commonwealth or territorry of the united states Commonwealth of states.


4. A state of the U.S.- used officially of Kentucky ,Masschusetts,Pennsylvania,and Virginnia

5.CAP: a federal union of contituant states ---used officially of Austrailia.

6. CAP: a federal union of association of selfgoverning autonomous states more or less loosely associated in a common allegence (as to the British crown)

7. often cap:a political unit having local autonomy but voluntarily united with the U.S. --used officially of Puerto Rico.

A territory is defined as

1. a geographical area belonging to and under the juristdiction of a governmental authority

2. A part of the U.S. not included in any state but organized with a seperate legislature.


4. an assigned area.- ( such as the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA within the u.s..) and Puerto Rico

Often Capitalized

Obviously from the definitions found in the above Merriam Webster Dictionaries the definition of Commonwealth can be either a body of people organized into a state.or a loose association or federation of autonomous states .

How loose an association is revealed by the fact that Puerto Rico is not a state within the united states and yet in the last definition above the government of Puerto Rico voluntarily associates itself offically with the united states. (But do the people of Puerto Rico ?)

From what I understand ,most of the people in Puerto Rico do want their region to become the next state of the union of the united states. But what about the District of Columbia ? The District of Columbia was created by the founding fathers of the united states in order to limit the power of the federal government over the states that created it.Because they knew well that power would corrupt those given that power and they did not desire for the federal government to have power over the sovergnty of the individual states of the union. The district of Columbia was a ten square mile area or region that was not given power over anything that happened within each state,Only commerce between the states ,or the states and other countries.Interstate or International commerce.

It,is only now that we see how well this system works.Today we have so much interstate commerce that the line is becoming blurred as to where state and interstate commerce begins and ends.We as a people think of the states as inextricably connected to the united states ,or federal government to the point that we don't much give a second thought about each states individual sovergnty and when we do,there is always someone in the federal government willing to call those who would say anything against the federal government subversive.Which simply means they are voicing their own opinion about what the federal government is doing that is interfering with state sovergnty. Of,course violence is no excuse on either side unless it's done as a last resort in order for the states to defend their rights.Or,in the case of the federal government to defend the rights of the other states to defend themselves from violence from truely subversive states that use violence not to defend themselves ,but to physically attack another state without reasonable cause.

In the end Commonwealth also means the wealth created by the people as a whole working together for the common good.That's what governments are supposed to do provide for the general welfare of all the people,by the people and for the people?

We cannot tolerate those who are able to do their fair share of work and will not because of laziness or selfishness.To those whom much is given much is expected.Those who do more than is expected deserve more.

Those who will not do their fair share even though they are capable of doing so should be taught a lesson in order for them to understand that those who are unwilling to do their fair share will suffer indignation as people who deserve such treatment for the good of all the people themselves included.Everyone should be treated humanly,even those who are lazy and selfish.It's just that they need to learn a harder lesson than the rest of the people.They should have to live with others like them in order to see the errors of their ways.They should be given the means where by they can sustain themselves if they are willing to work together.Only in this way can they understand the importance of co-operation.Unless they are willing to cooperate with others ,they cannot get what they desire. Of course they should be given all of the knowledge and raw materials for them to do what is expected of them .Is the only human thing to do





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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for your interest. In Puerto Rico this has been an issue for years now. The Independent Political Party has always been against the statehood and the people are afraid to vote for them. We shall see if someday we can resolve this issue of being a Commenwealth. But the people do enjoy the best of the two worlds.

    • Springboard profile image


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Puerto Rico has always been an interesting one because it's not a state, it's a territory obviously, but being that it is a part of the United States, even in a sort of disconnected way, Puerto Ricans enjoy the benefits of America without having to deny their being Puerto Rican. Kind of an odd situation, and its no wonder they don't want to give up this strange relationship they have. In their eyes they have the best of both worlds.

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you very interesting - we have the Commonwealth games coming up this year in New Delhi - which is the British Commonwealth.

    • someonewhoknows profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      I forgot to mention that the two dictionaries quoted above were published in the phillipines as well as Sidney.I think you might have guessed that going by the two statements in the definitions above as seen below.

      - used officially of Puerto Rico.

      - used officially of Austrailia

    • VAMPGYRL420 profile image

      Windy Grace Mason 

      8 years ago from Belle Haven, VA

      Life is work! Very nice Hub, someonewhoknows! I'd just like to add...I detest the Commonwealth of Virginia. They nickel and dime us to death over here...The harder we work, the more we must pay. This, in itself, is inhumane. In the meantime, we're having more and more of our rights and privileges taken away. Our government is very greedy and presses their political thumbs too hard upon us. Eventually something is going to break :(

    • msorensson profile image


      8 years ago

      We need to cooperate with each other yes. However free will and the institution allow people to live on welfare for generations. We simply have to believe in the basic goodness of man.

      I remember this very well. The 83 year old head of a very well endowed Zen Monastery with hundreds of monks sweeps the court yards every morning, rain or snow or shine. His followers told him he did not have to do that. There were so many who could do it in half the time. He answers "No work, no eat". That is dignity. We are all endowed with it.


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