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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 ?
The Commonwealth is also helping with the recruitment and training of diplomats, local elections and human resources development.
The heroes of CommonWealth are Saul Alinsky and his followers at the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in Chicago.
COVITS (the Commonwealth of Virginia's Innovative Technology Symposium) annually brings together senior-level executives and technology decision makers from the state and local government, business, and education to propose and discuss solutions to Virginia's critical technology issues.
The largest member of the Commonwealth is Canada, at nearly 10 million square kilometers.
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.
Other commonwealth transportation bonds also have access to the transportation trust fund including the Route 28 project and federal highway reimbursement anticipation notes.
discussed preparations and potential outcomes of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
CTE's primary operating segments are: Commonwealth Telephone Company ("CT"), the nation's seventh largest publicly held independent local exchange carrier, which has been operating in various rural Pennsylvania markets since 1897; and, CTSI, LLC ("CTSI"), a local exchange carrier operating in competitive markets outside CT's territory, that formally commenced operations in 1997.
This material is not a substitute for the prospectus/proxy statement Citizens Communications Company and Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises, Inc.
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 between Eagle and the Butler-controlled Commonwealth Hotels strongly binds the two companies together by generally giving Commonwealth the right of first refusal to operate any hotels that Eagle acquires.
OTCBB:CFNA) the parent company for Commonwealth National Bank (Commonwealth), announced increased pre-tax earnings of $251,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2006.

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