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form of administration signifying government by the common consent of the people. To Locke and Hobbes and other 17th-century writers the term meant an organized political community similar to what is now meant by the word state. Certain states of the United States are known as commonwealths (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky), and the federated states of Australia are known collectively as the Commonwealth of Australia. In the same collective sense, the now independent components of the former British Empire and Britain's remaining dependencies are described as the Commonwealth of NationsCommonwealth of Nations,
voluntary association of Great Britain and its dependencies, certain former British dependencies that are now sovereign states and their dependencies, and the associated states (states with full internal government but whose external relations are
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. The Commonwealth in English history was the government set up by the victorious army power following the English civil war and the execution (1649) of King Charles I. The Commonwealth was dominated from the outset by Oliver CromwellCromwell, Oliver
, 1599–1658, lord protector of England. Parliamentary General

The son of a gentry family, he entered Cambridge in 1616 but probably left the next year.
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, who by the Instrument of Government (1653) was made lord protector of the Commonwealth. The subsequent government is usually known as the ProtectorateProtectorate,
in English history, name given to the English government from 1653 to 1659. Following the English civil war and the execution of Charles I, England was declared (1649) a commonwealth under the rule of the Rump Parliament.
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, though the Commonwealth formally continued until Restoration in 1660.
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1. the people of a state or nation viewed politically; body politic
2. a state or nation in which the people possess sovereignty; republic
3. the body politic organized for the general good


1. an association of sovereign states, almost all of which were at some time dependencies of the UK. All member states recognize the reigning British sovereign as Head of the Commonwealth
a. the republic that existed in Britain from 1649 to 1660
b. the part of this period up to 1653, when Cromwell became Protector
3. the official designation of Australia, four states of the US (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia), and Puerto Rico
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the international repercussions, he said, Fiji is likely to be suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations and disqualified from participating in U.N.
Both English and French are official languages in Canada, a country that also belongs to the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the international organization of French-speaking states and other international bodies.
Today, many former British colonies belong to the Commonwealth of Nations, which includes about 50 independent countries that once lived under British rule.
During February, Zimbabwe was dropped from the Commonwealth of Nations and the EU announced that it had cancelled US$110 million in aid as well.
In terms of the Commonwealth of Nations, the developing countries are likely to be the most severely affected by climate change, while the developed members are expected to suffer less.
The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of governments and people of 54 independent countries around the world.
Secondly, the ICJ does not acquire compulsory jurisdiction pursuant to India's Article 36 declaration since it features a reservation that bars ICJ jurisdiction over any dispute with a Member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Since Pakistan is a Commonwealth Member, the ICJ is bound to apply the reservation, whatever may have been its motivation at the time.
The Commonwealth of Nations, formed in 1931 out of the remnants of the British Empire, is now merely an out-of-date club for third-ranking foreign states.
Throughout 14 years' painstaking efforts, Sanjiu has developed into a national-famed integrated enterprise group, which presently is the controlling shareholder of companies (SANJIU MEDICAL & PHARMACEUTIAL Co., Ltd.) and other 20 GMP standard pharmaceutical companies, many of which have been granted the TGA certificate of the Commonwealth of Nations. Featured by the core business domain of health industry and with the capability of manufacturing over 1, 000 sorts of herbal and chemical medicines in wide varieties of preparations, such as capsule, granule, oral liquid, injections powders, etc.Sanjiu made a turnover of RMB 8.6 billion yuan in 2004.
The Commonwealth of Nations is an inter-governmental organisation of countries Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe committed to cooperation and good governance and governed by mutual respect.