Thursday, May 3, 2012

The meaning of the term commonwealth

From: Steve R.
Sent: May 3, 2012
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: The meaning of the term commonwealth
You asked for crazy email......

Being from VA I found this interesting.

Regards, Steve

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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

Four states in the United States officially designate themselves "commonwealths":

Kentucky is designated a Commonwealth by the Kentucky Constitution and is known as the "Commonwealth of Kentucky".

Massachusetts is a Commonwealth, declaring itself as 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.

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