Commonwealth  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The English noun 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. The word was a calque on the Latin phrase res publica meaning "public affairs" or "the state", from which the English word republic arises.

Today the term is more general and means a political community.

The type of community indicated by the term commonwealth varies. For instance, in different contexts it might indicate:

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Commonwealth" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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