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Commonwealth (U.S. state)
Commonwealth (U.S. state)
Published: 2014/08/19
Channel: Audiopedia
Difference Between Commonwealth and State
Difference Between Commonwealth and State
Published: 2016/01/28
Channel: Terry
Should Puerto Rico Become A State?
Should Puerto Rico Become A State?
Published: 2015/05/17
Channel: NowThis World
U.S. Territories: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
U.S. Territories: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: LastWeekTonight
The 55 States of America: U.S. Territories Explained
The 55 States of America: U.S. Territories Explained
Published: 2017/01/20
Channel: Morrethy
State Of The Commonwealth (Part 1)
State Of The Commonwealth (Part 1)
Published: 2017/01/25
Channel: CBS Boston
What Are The Commonwealth States?
What Are The Commonwealth States?
Published: 2017/10/02
Channel: PutPut Put
BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth Announces Plans To Make USA Part Of Her Commonwealth.
BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth Announces Plans To Make USA Part Of Her Commonwealth.
Published: 2017/02/24
Channel: MLordandGod
Why is Puerto Rico not part of the United States of America?
Why is Puerto Rico not part of the United States of America?
Published: 2017/03/31
Channel: Soliloquy
The 51st State
The 51st State
Published: 2012/11/08
Channel: vlogbrothers
American People
American People's Commonwealth: Politics
Published: 2017/09/21
Channel: KaiserX
American Imperialism: Crash Course US History #28
American Imperialism: Crash Course US History #28
Published: 2013/09/05
Channel: CrashCourse
Gov. McAuliffe gives State of the Commonwealth address
Gov. McAuliffe gives State of the Commonwealth address
Published: 2016/01/14
Channel: Washington Post
Queen could be ruler of US in shock new Commonwealth plans
Queen could be ruler of US in shock new Commonwealth plans
Published: 2017/02/26
Channel: Daily News
That Commonwealth of Old Pennsylvania - #50StatesAlbum - #Paperslide Music Video
That Commonwealth of Old Pennsylvania - #50StatesAlbum - #Paperslide Music Video
Published: 2015/01/18
Channel: Lodge McCammon
Why is Canada not part of the United States?
Why is Canada not part of the United States?
Published: 2016/07/06
Channel: Soliloquy
BRITISH COMMONWEALTH v. USA
BRITISH COMMONWEALTH v. USA
Published: 2015/07/21
Channel: British Movietone
American Empire
American Empire
Published: 2014/07/03
Channel: CGP Grey
Harrisburg is the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,  United States of America
Harrisburg is the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America
Published: 2017/04/24
Channel: Cities of the World
European Union vs The United States (EU vs USA) 2017 - Who Would Win - Army / Military Comparison
European Union vs The United States (EU vs USA) 2017 - Who Would Win - Army / Military Comparison
Published: 2017/03/07
Channel: The Infographics Show
Gov. Matt Bevin delivers State of the Commonwealth address
Gov. Matt Bevin delivers State of the Commonwealth address
Published: 2017/02/09
Channel: WLKY News Louisville
Is The USA A Member Of The Commonwealth?
Is The USA A Member Of The Commonwealth?
Published: 2017/09/09
Channel: Funny Question
State Of The Commonwealth (Part 2)
State Of The Commonwealth (Part 2)
Published: 2017/01/25
Channel: CBS Boston
What Is The Commonwealth And What Does It Do?
What Is The Commonwealth And What Does It Do?
Published: 2017/10/02
Channel: PutPut Put
When Did Puerto Rico Become A Commonwealth Of The United States?
When Did Puerto Rico Become A Commonwealth Of The United States?
Published: 2017/10/02
Channel: Put Put 1
Analysis of the State of the Commonwealth
Analysis of the State of the Commonwealth
Published: 2017/01/26
Channel: WGBH News
United States Loyalist, British Empire, Commonwealth (I vow to thee my country, God save the Queen)
United States Loyalist, British Empire, Commonwealth (I vow to thee my country, God save the Queen)
Published: 2016/09/16
Channel: Robert Barham
Virginia State of the Commonwealth 2017 (Part 1)
Virginia State of the Commonwealth 2017 (Part 1)
Published: 2017/01/12
Channel: lowkell
State of the Commonwealth Address
State of the Commonwealth Address
Published: 2016/01/14
Channel: WSLS 10
Commonwealth - The Commonwealth Difference
Commonwealth - The Commonwealth Difference
Published: 2016/09/26
Channel: Commonwealth Digital Office Solutions
As Trump Prepares To Join British Commonwealth, Pope Warns Of World War III - February 25, 2017
As Trump Prepares To Join British Commonwealth, Pope Warns Of World War III - February 25, 2017
Published: 2017/02/26
Channel: gary larrabee
The Ugly Truth About Puerto Rico Wanting U.S. Statehood
The Ugly Truth About Puerto Rico Wanting U.S. Statehood
Published: 2017/06/12
Channel: Stefan Molyneux
Kentucky State of the Commonwealth Reaction (Kentucky General Assembly)
Kentucky State of the Commonwealth Reaction (Kentucky General Assembly)
Published: 2017/02/09
Channel: LRC Capitol Connection
Boston, Massachusetts Travel Guide - Must-See Attractions
Boston, Massachusetts Travel Guide - Must-See Attractions
Published: 2013/04/26
Channel: BookingHunterTV
"Witness"- Commonwealth Pennsylvania State Mass Choir
"Witness"- Commonwealth Pennsylvania State Mass Choir
Published: 2015/11/30
Channel: Rowoches
BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth Announces Plans To Make USA Part Of Her Commonwealth - Hot news
BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth Announces Plans To Make USA Part Of Her Commonwealth - Hot news
Published: 2017/02/24
Channel: 24h News
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Economic Fiasco
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Economic Fiasco
Published: 2006/12/02
Channel: Carlos Mandril
Commonwealth - State Of Change
Commonwealth - State Of Change
Published: 2011/05/23
Channel: Brett Francis
Commonwealth-State Fiscal Arrangements
Commonwealth-State Fiscal Arrangements
Published: 2009/08/05
Channel: rachmontague
States of USA - Commonwealth of Virginia
States of USA - Commonwealth of Virginia
Published: 2008/01/04
Channel: gliango
Criminal Justice in the Commonwealth
Criminal Justice in the Commonwealth
Published: 2014/12/08
Channel: Charles Koch Institute
State and Commonwealth The Theory of the State in Early Modern England, 1549–1640
State and Commonwealth The Theory of the State in Early Modern England, 1549–1640
Published: 2017/05/09
Channel: yusian martaa
What does commonwealth mean?
What does commonwealth mean?
Published: 2015/05/24
Channel: What Does That Mean?
Coming Soon: The 51st State?
Coming Soon: The 51st State?
Published: 2013/04/12
Channel: The Young Turks
Gov. Baker delivers State of the Commonwealth
Gov. Baker delivers State of the Commonwealth
Published: 2017/01/25
Channel: WCVB Channel 5 Boston
That Commonwealth of Old Pennsylvania - Dr. Lodge McCammon
That Commonwealth of Old Pennsylvania - Dr. Lodge McCammon's #50StatesAlbum
Published: 2013/07/08
Channel: Lodge McCammon
State and Commonwealth The Theory of the State in Early Modern England, 1549–1640
State and Commonwealth The Theory of the State in Early Modern England, 1549–1640
Published: 2017/05/02
Channel: terdi ekhsan
Speech by Boris Johnson Secretary of state for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs of UK at 2nd Raisina
Speech by Boris Johnson Secretary of state for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs of UK at 2nd Raisina
Published: 2017/01/18
Channel: Ministry of External Affairs, India
About Kentucky 01.15.2010 - State of the Commonwealth
About Kentucky 01.15.2010 - State of the Commonwealth
Published: 2010/01/15
Channel: Steve Beshear
Youssef v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and another
Youssef v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and another
Published: 2016/01/27
Channel: UKSupremeCourt
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A map of the United States, showing the four states that refer to themselves as a "commonwealth" in red.

Commonwealth is a designation used by four of the 50 states of the United States in their full official state names: the Commonwealth of Kentucky[1] (the law creating Kentucky names it the "State of Kentucky,"[2] but it was originally part of the land grant of the Colony of Virginia), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,[3] the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,[4] and the Commonwealth of Virginia.[5] Each was, prior to 1776, a British colony, or parts thereof, and share a strong influence of English common law in some of their laws and institutions.[6][7]

The term "Commonwealth" does not describe or provide for any specific political status or legal relationship when used by a state.[8] Those that do use it are equal to those that do not. A traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good, it is used symbolically to emphasize that these states have a "government based on the common consent of the people"[9] as opposed to one legitimized through their earlier colonial status that was derived from the British crown. It refers to the common "wealth", or welfare, of the public[10] and is derived from a loose translation of the Latin term res publica.[a]

Criminal charges in these four states are brought in the name of the "Commonwealth".[b]

Besides the four aforementioned states, other states have also, on occasion, used the term "commonwealth" to refer to themselves:

Two U.S. territories are also designated as commonwealths: Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. When used in connection with areas under U.S. sovereignty that are not states, the term broadly describes an area that is self-governing under a constitution of its own adoption and whose right of self-government will not be unilaterally withdrawn by the United States Congress.[8]

Commonwealth of Kentucky[edit]

On September 28, 1786, the residents of Kentucky County began petitioning the Virginia legislature for permission to become a "free and independent state, to be known by the name of the Commonwealth of Kentucky".[citation needed] On June 1, 1792, Kentucky County officially became a state. As in Virginia, the official title of the elected local prosecutor in each of Kentucky's political subdivisions is the "Commonwealth's Attorney," as opposed to State's Attorney in other States or the more standard District Attorney. Kentucky is the only state outside of the first 13 that uses commonwealth in its name.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts[edit]

Massachusetts is officially named "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts" by its constitution. The name "State of Massachusetts Bay" was used in all acts and resolves up to 1780 and the first draft of the constitution. The current name can be traced to the second draft of the state constitution, which was written by John Adams and ratified in 1780.[13]

In Massachusetts, the term State is occasionally used in an official manner, but usually in a compound structure rather than as a stand-alone noun. This is evident in the name of the agency "Massachusetts State Police," the Massachusetts State House and in "Bridgewater State Hospital".

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania[edit]

The Seal of Pennsylvania does not use the term, but legal processes are in the name of the Commonwealth and it is a traditional official designation used in referring to the state. In 1776, Pennsylvania's first state constitution referred to it as both "Commonwealth" and "State", a pattern of usage that was perpetuated in the constitutions of 1790, 1838, 1874, and 1958.[14][c] One of Pennsylvania's two intermediate appellate courts is called the "Commonwealth Court".

Commonwealth of Virginia[edit]

The name "Commonwealth of Virginia" dates back to its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Virginia's first constitution (adopted on June 29, 1776) directed that "Commissions and Grants shall run, In the Name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear test by the Governor with the Seal of the Commonwealth annexed." The Secretary of the Commonwealth still issues commissions in this manner.

Among other references, the constitution furthermore dictated that criminal indictments were to conclude "against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth". Additionally, the official title of the elected local prosecutor in each of Virginia's political subdivisions is the "Commonwealth's Attorney", as opposed to State's Attorney in other States or the more standard District Attorney.

In Virginia, the term State is sometimes used in an official manner, but usually in a compound structure rather than as a stand-alone noun. This is evident in the name of the agency "Virginia State Corporation Commission" and in "Virginia State Police", and as in the name of "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University". The state university in Richmond is known as "Virginia Commonwealth University"; there is also a "Virginia State University", located in Ettrick.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ cf. the 17th-century Commonwealth of England.
  2. ^ Note that In California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and New York, criminal charges are brought in the name of the "People". In all the other states, they are brought in the name of the "State". Regardless of state, federal criminal charges are always brought in the name of the "United States of America".
  3. ^ A detailed history describing the origins of Pennsylvania's government, including its designation as a commonwealth from colonial times, is available from the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Third Constitution of Kentucky (1850), Article 2, Section 1 ff. Other portions of the same Constitution refer to the "State of Kentucky".
  2. ^ United States Congress. "Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America". Statutes at Large: 1st Congress. p. 189. Retrieved June 4, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts". Preamble of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Massachusetts General Court. Retrieved 27 October 2016. ,
  4. ^ Constitution of Pennsylvania, Preamble,
  5. ^ The Hornbook of Virginia History, 4th ed., page 88.
  6. ^ Paul Reinsch. English Common Law in the Early American colonies. Ph.D. thesis. Un. of Wisconsin. 1898.
  7. ^ William E. Nelson. The Common Law in Colonial America. Vol. I. Oxford University Press. 2008.
  8. ^ a b "7 fam 1120 Acquisition of U.S. Nationality in U.S. Territories and Possessions" (PDF). U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7- Consular Affairs. U.S. Department of State. January 3, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ See "Commonwealth", The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001–07.
  10. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000.
  11. ^ The Constitution of the State of Vermont, Chapter II, §§ 1, 8, and 71.
  12. ^ Constitution of Delaware (1776), Art. 23.
  13. ^ CIS: State Symbols
  14. ^ PHMC: Pennsylvania History Archived April 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "History of DOS" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-04. 

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