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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 meant in the 20th cent. 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.


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
References in periodicals archive ?
First Commonwealth is a bank holding company with total assets of $6.
It committed the Commonwealth Secretariat to providing training and assistance in a range of constitutional, electoral, judicial and parliamentary practices to countries seeking to achieve democracy.
The bonds are limited obligations of the commonwealth and its transportation board, secured by and payable from general assembly appropriations or transportation board allocations from general assembly appropriations.
O'Dell noted, "First Commonwealth certainly appreciates John's many sacrifices during his career of building the organization that we are proud of today and for his friendship.
CO: Reliable Financial Corporation; First Commonwealth Financial
This material is not a substitute for the prospectus/proxy statement Citizens Communications Company and Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises, Inc.
Trimarchi stated that the shareholders of United National Bancorporation should hold their share certificates until they receive instructions from First Commonwealth for exchanging their United National Bancorporation certificates for First Commonwealth share certificates.
In April 2006, the commonwealth passed a health care reform initiative focused on expanding health care coverage to all residents of the commonwealth; the budget includes funding for this program.
The alliance with Commonwealth flies in the face of trends in the lodging REIT sector, in which leading hotel REITs are becoming more independent of hotel operators that they have historically partnered with.
Commonwealth Supermarket Banks will be open seven days, and a minimum of 60 hours per week.
We continue to grow and achieve success by offering a community-based banking option for Central Massachusetts," said Commonwealth President and CEO Charles Valade.

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