“A state is a sovereign entity.”
“According to my dictionary a commonwealth is a state with self government, in other words a democracy or republic.
Those who see no difference between a commonwealth and a state are deluding themselves.”
“However, if you’re asking about Virginia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, or Pennsylvania (the four “states” in the US that call themselves a commonwealth), in a commonwealth landowners do not possess mineral or oil rights to their land. They don’t actually own their land but own its use.
When I was very young growing up in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts my dad taught me that living in a Commonwealth meant that sovereignty was with the people by definition, not by grant of the federal government. Such sovereignty of the people may de facto be true with other states, but those who call themselves states have not by definition recognized that sovereignty of the people is in their very identity as have commonwealths.
For all other states, such sovereignty is only voluntarily chosen (though guaranteed by the US Constitution.
Unlike states, commonwealths do not need to resort to the federal governmnet to guarantee the peoples’ sovereignty. States must resort to the federal government for such guarantees.”
Many places assert there is no real difference between a State and a commonwealth.
I am sorry, they are utterly different animals, people may pretend they are not but you cannot get more communist than individuals not actually owning land!
The correct answer to how many states are there in the US is actually 46, and four commonwealths. The US has different forms of government and interestingly, the commonwealth is the ideal.
In Britain, I would argue we have done a typical trick of not finishing the matter. We invented regicide, and had something called a commonwealth, but lost the plot with a bloke who banned xmas and did some atrocities in Ireland.
We now go on mumbling about the state. private ownership and the third sector, but we the people has been lost.
It is however the only real source of political legitimacy – the state is only a tool to carry out the will of the people.
Big Society is the wrong way to think about matters. We already know how to do this – it is called commonwealth.