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Encyclopedia > Commonwealth

The English noun commonwealth dates from the fifteenth century. The original phrase "common wealth" or "the common weal" comes from the old meaning of "wealth" which is "well-being". The term literally meant "common well-being". Thus commonwealth originally meant a state or nation-state governed for the common good as opposed to an authoritarian state governed for the benefit of a given class of owners. The word was a calque on the Latin phrase res publica meaning "public affairs" or "the state", from which the English word republic arises. Commonwealth is a term meaning a political community. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... // In linguistics, a calque (pronounced ) or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word (Latin: verbum pro verbo) or root-for-root translation. ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Res publica is a Latin phrase, made of res + publica, literally meaning public thing or public matter. It is the origin of the word Republic. // The word publica is the feminine singular of the 1st- and 2nd-declension adjective publicus, publica, publicum, which is itself derived from an earlier form... Look up republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Today the term is more general and means a political community.

The type of community indicated by the term commonwealth varies. For instance, in different contexts it might indicate:


For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... A map displaying todays federations. ... Look up republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A constitutional monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not bound by a...

International or multinational

Commonwealth of Nations

When capitalized, "Commonwealth" normally refers to the 53 member Commonwealth of Nations—formerly the "British Commonwealth"—a loose confederation of nations formerly members of the British Empire (with one exception: Mozambique, which was a Portuguese possession). The Commonwealth's membership includes both republics and monarchies and the (appointed, not hereditary) head of the Commonwealth of Nations is Queen Elizabeth II. She also reigns as monarch directly in a number of states, known as Commonwealth Realms, notably the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Jamaica and New Zealand. The Commonwealth of Nations is sometimes referred to as the New Commonwealth in a British context. The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2007 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Appointed 24 November 2007 Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total... A confederation is an association of sovereign states or communities, usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... An anachronous map of the Portuguese Empire (1415-1999). ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... The Commonwealth Realms, shown in pink A Commonwealth Realm is any one of the sixteen sovereign states within the Commonwealth of Nations that recognise Elizabeth II as their respective monarch. ...

Commonwealth of Independent States

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a loose alliance or confederation consisting of 11 of the 15 former Soviet Republics, with the exception of Turkmenistan, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Its creation signaled the dissolution of the Soviet Union, its purpose being to "allow a civilized divorce" between the Soviet Republics. The CIS has developed as a forum by which the member-states can co-operate in economics, defense and foreign policy.  Member state  Associate member Headquarters Minsk, Belarus Working language Russian Type Commonwealth Membership 11 member states 1 associate member Leaders  -  Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev Establishment December 21, 1991 Website http://cis. ... A military alliance is an agreement between two, or more, countries; related to wartime planning, commitments, or contingencies; such agreements can be both defensive and offensive. ... Post-Soviet states in alphabetical order: 1. ... Soviet Union administrative divisions, 1989 In its final decades of its existence, the Soviet Union consisted of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (SSR), often called simply Soviet republics. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... In military science, defense (or defence) is the art of preventing an enemy from conquering territory. ... A countrys foreign policy is a set of political goals that seeks to outline how that particular country will interact with other countries of the world and, to a lesser extent, non-state actors. ...



The term also served when six Australian colonies federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act created a federal system, in which power is divided between the federal, or national, government and the States - the evolved status of the colonies. The Constitution stipulated that Australia was a constitutional monarchy, where the Head of State is the British (or, since 1973, Australian) monarch, who is represented at the federal level by a Governor-General, and at the state level by six Governors, one for each state. The Parliament of Australia was derived from the British, Canadian and American systems to form a uniquely Australian system. It is largely based on the British Westminster System, adopting many of its practices and precedents, but with a similar structure - House of Representatives, and Senate - to the US Congress. In an Australian context, the term "Commonwealth" (capitalised) thus refers to the federal government and "Commonwealth of Australia" is the official name of the country. This article is about a type of political territory. ... The federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia formed a federation. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (in full, An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia) is the primary constitutional text of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... The states and territories of Australia make up the Commonwealth of Australia under a federal system of government. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A constitutional monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not bound by a... For the comedy film of the same name, see Head of State (film). ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Representatives Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party since 16 November 2004 President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party since 14 August 2007 Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators) Political groups Liberal Party ALP National Party Country Liberal Party Greens... The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High... Type Upper house President Alan Ferguson, Liberal since 14 August 2007 Members 76 Political groups Coalition (39) ALP (28) Green (4) Democrat (4) FFP (1) Last elections 9 October 2004 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site Senate Entrance to the Senate Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State... The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy, a federation, and a parliamentary democracy. ...


The small Caribbean republic of Dominica has used the official style Commonwealth of Dominica since 1970 West Indies redirects here. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Countries that formerly used the style Commonwealth

Great Britain

The Commonwealth of England was the official name of the political unit (de facto military rule in the name of parliamentary supremacy) that replaced the kingdoms of Scotland and England (after the English Civil War) under the rule of Oliver Cromwell and his son and successor Richard from 1649 to 1660. It formed the first republic in the English-speaking world, though this quickly evolved into a de facto monarchy. The Cromwellian Commonwealth is sometimes referred to as the Old Commonwealth in a British context. Motto: PAX QUÆRITUR BELLO (English: Peace is sought through war) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Language(s) English Government Republic Lord Protector  - 1649-1658 Oliver Cromwell Legislature Rump Parliament Barebones Parliament History  - Declaration of Commonwealth May 19, 1649  - Declaration of Breda April 4, 1660 Area 130,395... Motto Latin: Nemo me impune lacessit (English: No one provokes me with impunity) (Scots: Wha daur meddle wi me) Capital Edinburgh¹ Language(s) Gaelic, Scots Government Monarchy King/Queen  - 843-860 Kenneth I  - 1587–1625 James VI  - 1702-1714 Anne Legislature Parliament of Scotland History  - United 843  - Union of the... Motto Dieu et mon droit(French) God and my right Territory of the Kingdom of England Capital Winchester; London from 11th century Language(s) Old English (de facto, until 1066) Anglo-Norman language (de jure, 1066 - 15th century) English (de facto, gradually replaced French from late 13th century) Government Monarchy... For other uses, see English Civil War (disambiguation). ... Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 – 3 September 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for his involvement in making England into a republican Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. ... Richard Cromwell (4 October 1626 – 12 July 1712) was the third son of Oliver Cromwell, and the second Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, for little over eight months, from 3 September 1658 until 25 May 1659. ... // Events January 30 - King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland is beheaded. ... // Events January 1 - Colonel George Monck with his regiment crosses from Scotland to England at the village of Coldstream and begins advance towards London in support of English Restoration. ... Look up republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Definitions of the Anglosphere vary: Countries in which English is the first language of a large fraction of the population are shown in blue. ...

Former Labour MP Tony Benn introduced a Commonwealth of Britain Bill several times which would abolish the monarchy and establish a British republic. It has never reached a second reading. Anthony Tony Neil Wedgwood Benn (born 3 April 1925), formerly 2nd Viscount Stansgate, is a British socialist politician. ... The Commonwealth of Britain Bill was introduced by Tony Benn, who was then a Labour MP in the House of Commons, first in 1991. ...


The Icelandic Commonwealth or the Icelandic Free State (Icelandic: Þjóðveldið) was the state existing in Iceland between the establishment of the Althing in 930 and the pledge of fealty to the Norwegian king in 1262. It was initially established by a public consisting largely of recent immigrants from Norway who had fled the unification of that country under King Harald Fairhair. The Icelandic Commonwealth or the Icelandic Free State (Icelandic: Þjóðveldisöld) was the state existing in Iceland between the establishment of the Althing in 930 and the pledge of fealty to the Norwegian king in 1262. ... The Icelandic Commonwealth refers to the state existing in Iceland between 930 (the establishment of the Althing) and 1262 (the pledge of fealty to the Norwegian king). ... The Alþing, commonly Anglicized as Althing (Modern Icelandic Alþingi; Old Norse Alþing) is the national parliament: literally, the all-thing of Iceland. ... This article is a list of rulers of Norway up until the present, including: The Norwegian kingdom (with the Faroe Islands) The Union with Iceland and Greenland (1262-1814) The Norwegian kingdom (with Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands 1262-1814) The Union of Sweden and Norway (1319-1343) The... Events Strasbourg becomes a Free City of the Holy Roman Empire First Visconti become the lord of Iceland swear fealty to the king of Norway, bringing an end to the Icelandic Commonwealth Births Ladislaus IV of Hungary Deaths Monarchs/Presidents Aragon - James I King of Aragon and count of Barcelona... Look up king in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Harald I (b. ...

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Commonwealth of Poland

Main article: Rzeczpospolita

Republic is still an alternative translation of the traditional name of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Wincenty Kadłubek (Vincent Kadlubo, 1160-1223) used for the first time the original Latin term res publica in the context of Poland in his "Chronicles of the Kings and Princes of Poland". The name was used officially for the confederal country formed by Poland and Lithuania 1569-1795. Rzeczpospolita (pronounced: ) is a Polish word for republic or commonwealth, a calque translation of the Latin expression res publica (public affair). The word rzeczpospolita has been used in Poland since at least 16th century, originally a generic term to denote any democratic state. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wincenty KadÅ‚ubek, also known as Vincent Kadlubek, Vincent Kadlubo, Vincent Kadlubko, Vincent of Cracow. ...

It is also often referred as "Nobles' Commonwealth" (1505-1795, i.e. before the union). In contemporary political doctrine of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, "our state is a Republic (Commonwealth) under presidency of the King". The commonwealth introduced a doctrine of religious tolerance (see Warsaw Confederation), had its own parliament Sejm (although elections were restricted to the gentry or szlachta) and elected kings, who were bound to certain contracts Pacta conventa from the beginning of the reign. The foundation stones of the Commonwealth (also called the Golden Freedoms) used to be Main article: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth The Nihil novi act adopted by the Polish Diet in 1505 transferred all legislative power from the king to the Diet. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Warsaw Confederation (January 28, 1573) was an important event in the history of Poland, and is considered as the beginning of religious freedom in Poland The religious tolerance in Poland had much longer tradition and was de facto policy during the reign of the recently deceased king Sigismund II... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ... Stanisław Antoni Szczuka, a Polish nobleman Szlachta ( ) was the noble class in Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the two countries that later jointly formed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... The first pacta conventa, acceded to by Henryk Walezy (Henri de Valois), 1573. ...

  • free election of the king
  • Pacta conventa, a binding pledge agreed to by the King on his election
  • rokosz, the right of rebellion against kings who did not rule in accordance with their pledge
  • liberum veto (a later development), the right for a single representative to veto the entire proceedings of the Sejm
  • confœderatio (confederation), a military organisation of the citizens for the attainment of common political aims.

"A commonwealth of good counsaile" was the title of the 1607 English translation of the work of Wawrzyniec Grzymała Goślicki "De optimo senatore" that presented to English readers many of the ideas present in the political system of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by a monarch who is elected by a group. ... A rokosz (ROH-kosh), originally, was a gathering of all the Polish szlachta (nobility), not merely of deputies, for a sejm. ... Liberum veto (Latin: free veto) was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that allowed any deputy to a Sejm to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify all legislation already passed at it. ... A konfederacja (Polish for confederation) was an ad hoc association formed by Polish nobility (szlachta), clergy or cities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for the attainment of stated aims. ... A confederation is an association of sovereign states or communities, usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution. ... Wawrzyniec GrzymaÅ‚a GoÅ›licki, (Latin: Laurentius Grimaldius Gosliscius), 1530-1607, was Polish bishop, political thinker and philosopher most known from the book De optimo senatore, 1568 (The Accomplished senator, English translation 1598). ...

United States

This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers, and should be edited to rectify this. ...

US states

Four states in the United States officially designate themselves "commonwealths": Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of...

  • Massachusetts is a Commonwealth, declaring itself such in its constitution, which states that "The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good."
  • Pennsylvania uses the term "Commonwealth" loosely. The "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" is its official title.
  • Virginia has been known as the "Commonwealth of Virginia" since before joining the United States.

Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... The Constitution of Kentucky is the document that governs the Commonwealth of Kentucky, United States. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ...

US insular areas

"Commonwealth" is also used in the U.S. to describe the political relationship between the United States and the overseas unincorporated territories: In the terminology of the United States insular areas, a Commonwealth is an organized territory or colony that has established with the Federal Government a more highly developed relationship, which may be embodied in a written mutual agreement. ... An incorporated territory of the United States is a specific area under the jurisdiction of the United States, over which the United States Congress has determined that the United States Constitution is to be applied to the territorys local government and inhabitants in its entirety (e. ...

Anthem Lupang Hinirang Location of the Philippines in Asia Capital Manila ¹ Language(s) Pilipino, English, Spanish Government Republic President  - 1935-1944 Manuel L. Quezon  - 1944-1946 Sergio Osmeña  - 1946 Manuel Roxas Vice President  - 1935-1944 Sergio Osmeña  - 1946 Elpidio Quirino Historical era American colonization  - Philippine Independence Act March...

See also

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was a Canadian political party founded in 1932 in Calgary, Alberta, by a number of socialist, farm, co-operative and labour groups, and the League for Social Reconstruction. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A confederation is an association of sovereign states or communities, usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution. ... A map displaying todays federations. ...

External links

Look up Commonwealth, commonwealth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized...

  Results from FactBites:
Commonwealth Press Union (967 words)
The Commonwealth Press Union is an association whose members are newspaper groups (some with several hundred newspapers), newspapers and news agencies in 49 countries of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Press Union condemns the coup in Fiji and urges the leaders not to interfere with the functioning of the press.
The Communications and Public Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat is seeking a young journalist from the following Asian countries; Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka, to undertake an attachment with the Secretariat in London from July to December 2006.
CBC News Indepth: The Commonwealth (812 words)
The Commonwealth is a collection of 54 countries drawn largely from the former British Empire.
The Commonwealth had suspended the African country after President Robert Mugabe was accused of rigging his re-election.
There are many other Commonwealth foundations and associations run under the aegis of the secretariat including the Commonwealth Business Network, the Commonwealth Foundation (arts), the Commonwealth Science Foundation, the Commonwealth of Learning, and the Commonwealth Business Council.
  More results at FactBites »



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