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Matt Rosenberg

Commonwealth vs. State

By December 9, 2006

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I discovered a great answer to the question of why Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and Massachusetts are all officially "commonwealths" and not "states" and the U.S. government site, Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids...

What is a commonwealth vs. state? Is Virginia a state or a commonwealth? How many commonwealth states do we have in the U.S.?

There is no difference between a commonwealth and a state in the U.S. To Locke, Hobbes, and other 17th-century writers the term "commonwealth" meant an organized political community -- what we today call a "state." Officially Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and Massachusetts are all commonwealths. When Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, and Massachusetts became part of the United States, they merely took the old form of state in their title.

Today, commonwealth also means a political unit having local autonomy but voluntarily united with the U.S. These are Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.


December 11, 2006 at 11:27 am
(1) Guilden_NL says:

The worst President of the USA apparently suffers from senility. Someone needs to place a gag on Carter to prevent continuing damage from his runaway mouth.

June 18, 2011 at 4:51 am
(2) D_S_F says:

Presidents don’t get any worse than G.W. Bush. Seems as though all the retired Presidents from one particular party take up golf while those from other parties take up public interest causes. Go figure…

June 27, 2011 at 9:23 am
(3) dham says:

funny…no one bashes all of Obamas bs parties and rubbing elbows with enemy countries, yet continue to bash on GW Bush. At least Bush was a patriot and an American at heart. This self-agenda motivated president we have now is by far worse than Bush. But the question is, is he stupid, or the people who voted for him stupid? He’s ‘recruiting’ illegals and family of illegals from Puerto Rico because he’ll do anything to win (like his initial election). But that’s okay, you only care to know what you want to hear. Admit it, we havent had a good president who represents the people for a long time now.

June 29, 2011 at 8:19 am
(4) charles says:

public interets?? lol. dont you mean selfish interests. At least presidents like GW are not full of SH**

Seems in my experience that most dems are snakes in the grass, will one broken promise after another..

December 16, 2006 at 9:32 am
(5) Deb Winslow says:

There is a big difference between LIVING in a Commonwealth and a state, in my experience. I lived in Maryland for 48 years and then moved to Pennnsylvania. The Commonwealth is run is such very small political units that a great deal of tax money is totally wasted, and cooperation across even 100 miles is difficult. For example, York County has 17 school districts, each with an administrator earning say $100,000 a year, running mostly only one high school and 2 middle schools and a few more elementary schools. Enormous Prince Georges County, Md. pays just one administrative staff, albeit larger. More money goes for student needs instead of people sitting in offices. Equal educational opportunity is divided over a large area, instead of children in one district suffering intensely from lack of paper and pencils, while a few miles away kids have everything they need. It is easier for the little ‘politico’ principals and adminstrators in Pennsylvania to get away with things that would be professionally audited in a large Maryland administration. Yes, I mean like funds disappearing, as well as what is taught (Dover). It is easier for incompetent principals to work in Pennsylvania, because they are someone’s buddy. When you drive north from Maryland to Pennsylvania, you can visibly SEE the state line on the road surface in many areas.
I miss living in a STATE!

March 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm
(6) Siri says:

What about the Commonwealth of Virginia? We have been voted the most effective government in the US and always balance our budget. Our school systems are rated as some of the top in the US.

May 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm
(7) Kelly Troutman says:

Well, I here Va. has some of the highest cost of living around, with I one bedroom apartment costing around 900 a month and they tax everything. I also heard they keep uping the taxes.

June 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm
(8) Real says:

Are you kidding me? Virginia lives on archaic 19th century laws. And the education system sucks. All they care about is the SOL’s.

People focus on low property taxes. Which is true but they get thier money taxing EVERYTHING else. I owned a business. They tax (and call business personal property tax, an oxymoron of a statement in itself).

Taxed on my fax machine, my copier, my cash register, desks, computer, scale, Coffee machine, company vehicles at (5 at $700 every year) ETC ETC ETC.

You are naive….

May 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm

It is time for the Commonwealth of PA to join the 21st century.
The term “Commonwealth” means also that we still use the antiquated systems, taxation, and laws of Great Brittain.
Pennsylvania is too top heavy with all the nepitism that is enjoyed (employed?). Everybody wants to believe that they are better than the next person because of their self bestowed titles.
Pennsylvania residents need to petition to drop the Commonwealth title, nip the nepitism, shrink the House of Representatives and give it’s residents more of a say at the polls.
Personally, I can’t wait to get the hell out of Pittsburgh, PA.

May 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm
(10) Tony A says:

I’m with you on the whole thing of PA. I live in Pittsburgh too. In PA the laws are unfair and wrong. I found out that in PA a company can get away with discrimination. Our new govener made some new laws that will affect the next generation. Me myself can’t wait to get the f*** out of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

May 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm
(11) Persia48 says:

Growing up in the Commonwealth of Kentucky was better than any other ‘state’ that I’ve lived in. And, they taught us to spell Britain and nepotism correctly. I can’t blame you for wanting to get out of PA.

June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am
(12) SandraMarie says:

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, moved out 5 years ago and live in Ireland. came here to find out the town the road from me here in Macroom Ireland came the founder of Pennsylvania. William Penn.

October 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm
(13) Moses says:

Commonwealth and State are both the same thing in regards to statehood. No more and no less… Well less letters on letter head.

December 18, 2006 at 10:44 am
(14) Dan says:

This is one of those things that no one has ever been able to explain (at least to me). Today they may be treated the same but I don’t think that was the case back when our country was formed. Consider that 3 of the original 13 colonies (Kentucky joined later) choose to remain Commonwealth’s while the other 10 decided to become a state, why?

May 2, 2007 at 6:40 pm
(15) Rochelle says:

One problem I have noticed, and not liked, living in a commonwealth is the fact that Virginia does not have to comply with the National Minimum Wage requirements. The state has decided in a recent vote to keep it at $5.15. Although this doesn’t affect me personally, it still baffles me.

October 1, 2007 at 1:39 pm
(16) Lynda Romain says:

i would like to know why some states are commonwealth and some are not. Thanks.

October 11, 2007 at 12:33 pm
(17) Janice Taylor says:

I live in the Commonwealth of KY having moved here from the State of Michigan. This is the difference I see: The State government has very little jurisdiction over the 120 counties that make up the state. Liquor laws, bldg. codes, etc., are all decided by the county. I think it is very inefficient and creates widespread political corruption with no oversight from the Central Government.

And by the way, in answer to Guilden, Jimmy Carter was not the worst president, our current president by far and away is deemed such by most everyone in the world. Carter speaks his mind and doesn’t care who likes it…always did and always will. At least he speaks the truth, unlike anyone in our current administation.

November 7, 2007 at 2:27 pm
(18) Mary C. Wright says:

Thank you for the information on the difference between a Commonwealth and a State. And I strongly agree with Janice Taylor regarding our current President — if we can really call him that and Jimmy Carter. President Bush has done irreparable damage to this country.

November 30, 2007 at 2:21 pm
(19) steve says:

How is it that opinions of a president come up in a discussion of states vs. commonwealths? What is wrong with you people? Both sides, get over it and realize we’re all in this together and stop making an enemy of each other when we’ve got REAL problems out there that threaten all of us.

June 13, 2011 at 10:16 am
(20) SandraMarie says:

i have been saying what you said all along..Well said . the sooner we stop pointing fingers and realize it is not getting us nowhere the sooner we can get to USA to heal.

July 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm
(21) Gail says:

Thank you Steve!

July 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm
(22) miguel says:

Well one of our REAL problems is the mess our presidents have made out of our country, we are not making enemies out of each other, only some people think that way. the way of if you are not with me you are against me

August 24, 2011 at 8:48 am
(23) William says:

It is the way to distract us all so the super rich can get in and control the world. Presidents are just pawns.

I have lived in both states and commonwealths and there are some differences but not many to get your panties in a twist over.

December 14, 2007 at 12:45 pm
(24) Rick O says:

The REAL problem is the President!!! HE IS A LIER!!!!!!!

March 13, 2008 at 8:09 pm
(25) Jimmy says:

You don’t even know how to spell “liar”. How can you talk about someone else when you’re clearly illiterate? Viva Bush!

July 18, 2011 at 11:42 pm
(26) john t says:

Is he wrong because he misspelled a word? I’m not saying that I agree or disagree with him. I just am asking if his observation is wrong because he misspelled a word.

March 13, 2008 at 9:52 pm
(27) Todd Senft says:

Jimmy Carter cut the budgets of our 4 military units to the point that parts where hard to get.We had to salvage parts from other aircraft and trucks to keep them going. Jimmy Carter was the biggest joker to be president. The President only as good as the congress that backs him. Things would be alot different if congress would keep their noses out of sports. Also,check out your local Congressman or Senator and count up how many pork barrel projects them have their fingers in.
Bush made his share of mistakes. Why? because he’s human,and humans make mistakes.Check out all the in house fighting the dems are having now,and check out a President named Clinton who was impeached for lieing,and having a affair in the oval office.

April 22, 2008 at 7:29 am
(28) dmoney says:

I’m not a defender of Bill Clinton. He’s a liar, an adulterer, and possibly a murderer. However, he was impeached for lying about Whitewater, not for having an affair in the Oval Office.

April 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm
(29) Brian says:

Thanks to all for the comments regarding the post about commonwealth’s and states. I suggest to the others you should find another medium to express your political views. Maybe even visit the Library of Congress and do some actual research into voting records and the bills themselves. This post however is about commonwealths and states. While the last two presidents were both governors of states, references other than to that fact are out of place. Also as you are all affiliated with some commonwealth or state, both safeguard there members RIGHT to vote. I suggest using your voting power as a platform to ensure your voice is heard as a part of your state or commonwealth. Also, encourage everyone you know to do the same in his or her state or commonwealth. Unless you are in the state of Florida then you should volunteer to count the votes. You will have a much greater influence than you otherwise would have had by simply voting in that state.

June 13, 2011 at 10:22 am
(30) SandraMarie says:

How can you come in here and tell people to stick to the subject when you are just as guilty of going off the subject telling people how to vote and then count the votes?
got to love people like yourself who love to rant about something and then turn around and do the same thing. phew!

April 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm
(31) Win Barber says:

I think you must be mistaken that Virginia ignores the Federal minimum wage??? A State cannot ignore a Federal law. A State can impose a higher minimum wage (or higher vehicle fuel standard, etc.), but never a lower one.

May 7, 2008 at 6:35 am
(32) James J. says:

Many of these comments do not make a clear distinction between state and commonwealth. Even within a single comment the term “state” sometimes refers to state (as opposed to commonwealth) and state (as either state or commonwealth). Very confusing.

May 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm
(33) Susie says:

I now live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I have been here for two years having moved here from the State of Oregon. I agree with some of the other comments I read. My experience is, the officials in Pennsylvania use the commonwealth statement to their advantage. If you ask why does this or that not seem to apply? The response is always the same….We dont have to follow that Law…We make our Own…..We are a commonwealth….Okay, so where is the advantage? I see a lot of disadvantages.

May 22, 2008 at 10:36 pm
(34) Denzil Markwell says:

I am unfortunate enough to reside in Kentucky, a Commonwealth, and have to agree with the negatives. It seems there are a lot more restrictions (both personal and public). Higher court costs, not allowing ‘common sense’ laws like “alternate parking”, alcohol and drug restrictions, and on and on…Compared to other STATES, it is waaay more ‘bible-belt and a real sad place to live!! Oh well!

October 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm
(35) MENEFEE says:

If you have a problem with living in Ketucky or the “bible belt” then move somewhere else you can be proud to call your home!!!!

June 21, 2008 at 11:35 am
(36) Trish says:

If people would stop worrying the president’s personal life and more about our country and whats going to happen to our kids, we would all fair better. I don’t care if they have a million affairs, it’s no different from anybody else. I say if they can run the country then leave the dirty laundry for him and his wife….. Now about the commonwealth I have lived in Pa. before and yeah they do have Laws that could be better but these States do take care of their people when they are down and out and need the help..

June 13, 2011 at 10:33 am
(37) SandraMarie says:

Trish ,
I don’t know what type of low life environment you were brought up in . But as an American citizen when a president is in office he/she has NO private life. That is what they are in office for, on call 24. That’s what the hard earned tax dollar is going out to pay for. And this includes ALL politicians. This seems to be a playground for most of them and people like you is why the country is going down the shitter.
What do you teach your children? Don’t worry little Susie about the president (the leader) of your country what he is doing with that woman in the white house. He is doing his job.
FFS!!! Will you people wake up and learn some ethics.
And also don’t forget to teach you young ones to lie. Lord knows they can slither through life a lot easier.
God Bless America, she sure needs you.

July 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm
(38) j j says:

the people in a commonwealth dont have as many rights compared to a state for instance (in a state if you say you have been assulted and make a complaint on a person it is investigated before they arrest the other person in a commonwealth all you have to do is make a complaint on a person they will arrest that person put them in jail they will have to see a judge before they get bail set and that person dont even really know what he is being arrested for if he never did it)

this is just on another persons word

July 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm
(39) d says:

I am curious about the difference between a commonwealth and a state, and after reading the post I am even more confused. I moved from NJ to PA which is a commonwealth, and I noticed a difference between practices such as the court systems, and department of transportation, (which is horrible compared to NJ), but I think this is merely a difference between the states.

July 18, 2008 at 12:12 am
(40) Larry says:

I Have read everyones comments, I lived in PA my entire life of 36yrs. I can honestly say, all your info has enlighten me quite a bit. I never lived outside of it, and this very day I still wonder what i’m missing out on, not having lived elsewhere. What I know for certain is, is that Nj is a sandpit of high car insurance and FORMER corruption in cherry hill, NJ uses the beach to make its money in way of ones doing beach trips on weekends. Delaware is ok, but taxes on residents is way high. tax free shopping is nice tho’. MD IS great hiking territory nice scenery, but rural, chesapeake bay is good. DON’T WANT TO LIVE THERE. NO WORK FOUND
virgina and tennese, is bible belt direct tv satelites hardcore disablity loafers lots of bail bondsmen and gun shops. beer can be bought in convience stores there with the hillbilly pickups parked out front..no whaddimean…no place for me there. SO….WHERE IS GREAT NON COMMONWEALTH place for guy to live out happy peaceful working single life???

June 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm
(41) Noreen says:

To Larry, Not missing much. I’ve lived in Indiana, Louisana and now in Kentucky. For me Ind. was by far the best,but, I was in my 20′s, so, not sure if that qualifies me to say , seeing as how 20-something’s aren’t really plugged in ( if you know what I mean).

June 21, 2011 at 9:07 am
(42) Ryan says:

Tennessee is a Wonderful place. I suggest Nashville.

July 20, 2008 at 10:46 am
(43) susan says:

there must be a difference.
there seems to be no help in KY for women trying to leave an emotionally abusive relationship.

July 26, 2008 at 12:53 am
(44) Brian from PA says:

For those of you seeking a better grasp on the law, I suggest listening to We The People Radio Network (WTPRN.com), specifically Tuesday nights from 9-11pm EST(Bridging the Gap) and Mondays/Thursdays 9-11pm EST and Fridays 9pm-1am EST for “The Rule of Law” .. You can also retrieve archives on that site..

Some of what I see being mentioned has a lot to do with the tragedy of the 14th Amendment wherein corporations of capital U capital S citizens were created.

Something also to be noted is that the Constitution (supreme law of the land) regardless of State or Commonwealth simply places RESTRICTIONS on Government and thereby protects our innumerable rights bestowed upon us by our creator!

& to touch on the off topic ranters :) G’dubya is definitely now our worst prez after a longstanding shameful worst held by FDR.

…& if I didnt raise any eyebrows there…

!God Bless our Constitutional Republic, Death to the new world order cult and their inverted pentagram toting republican elephant icon!..

Please wake up

July 28, 2008 at 7:36 pm
(45) Chris says:

I live and work in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I can tell you that Virginia DOES comply with the federal mandated minimum wage. When congress recently raised the minimum wage, I saw the notices go up at the workplace.

August 2, 2008 at 7:54 pm
(46) Kurt says:

Here is the official explanation from the Kentucky website it also states this on the PA website but I can only cut and paste so much info here. Although I agree with the differences you state here they are not different for this reason just differences between states. I once was told there was a minute difference in legal control from federal gov back then which is why some states decided to be commonwealth instead of states but after researching this today I see no difference then or now.

When Kentucky joined the Union, the terms “commonwealth” and “state” were recognized by the U.S. government as being synonymous. There are four states in the United States that are titled commonwealths: Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The designation is an elected title deemed by the states’ legislatures. To be a commonwealth rather than a state grants no differences legally or economically.

P.S GW is the worst Pres ever

August 12, 2008 at 10:32 am
(47) Sean says:

Here some info that I got from Dictionary.com

com·mon·wealth Audio Help /ˈkɒmənˌwɛlθ/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[kom-uhn-welth] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. (initial capital letter) a group of sovereign states and their dependencies associated by their own choice and linked with common objectives and interests: the British Commonwealth.
2. the Commonwealth. Commonwealth of Nations.
3. (initial capital letter) a federation of states: the Commonwealth of Australia.
4. (initial capital letter) a self-governing territory associated with the U.S.: official designation of Puerto Rico.
5. (initial capital letter) English History. the English government from the abolition of the monarchy in 1649 until the establishment of the Protectorate in 1653, sometimes extended to include the restoration of Charles II in 1660.
6. (initial capital letter) the official designation (rather than “State”) of four states of the U.S.: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
7. any group of persons united by some common interest.
8. the whole body of people of a nation or state; the body politic.
9. a state in which the supreme power is held by the people; a republican or democratic state.

Before I start I want to say that I have bad grammar so if you can’t understand this then I apologize but just bear with me.

Since I live in Norfolk, virginia the complaints I have is that the way our tax money being used , the way the can do whatever they want, and how they can let certain people get away with soo many things. For example, The main dominant real estate company here in Norfolk is Judy Boone Reality. I’m serious no matter I turn I see her sign everywhere. Plus she been buying land left and right and replacing homes with expensive homes.
My other problem that virginia does is the way the city look at people records when they apply for food stamp, welfare, Section 8 Etc. I mean when it comes to Criminal charges that one thing but even if the charge was soo long ago. They still look at you and be like “oh you didn’t qualified b/c of this charge you got 30 years ago that why ” and then you ask like them like is the other place I can get help they like sorry not my problem. I can keep going on forever but yall eye are probably watery from this.
P.S. Bush Sucks

August 24, 2011 at 8:57 am
(48) Bill says:

I also dont like the fact we have a lame duck Governor with every election. For those who dont understand for Virginia the gov is elected and stays in office for two years then thats it he cant run again until the next election.

August 26, 2008 at 10:03 am
(49) Beenthere says:

I grew up in PA but as an adult have lived in several states. I currently live in TX which is by far the worst I’ve experienced. However, what I have found is that every state does things a little differently. The court systems are given different names (an appellate court in one place is a superior court in another); tasks like transfering your car title can happen at a notary one place and the tax assessor’s office in another. And there’s been scandal and waste in every state I’ve lived in. Spend a little time doing research. Find out that in TX $300 is the most an adult on medicaid can make a month but that in places like PA and DE it is well into middle class income. And someone mentioned “alternate parking”. What is that and what does it have to do with this discussion?

August 26, 2008 at 10:11 am
(50) beenthere says:

Oh, and to Sean, if you are a convicted felon you made a bad decision at some point in your life. The consequence is you cannot vote, sit on a jury, collect most forms of welfare or social security. Regardless of whether you live in a state or commonwealth.

August 26, 2008 at 6:39 pm
(51) tom says:

Hey Beenthere……..

Better do some more homewrok, cause I too am a convicted felon, and I collect permanent diability and food stamps. I have medicaid. Just because one make a mistake, does not mean they are a bad person! Or for that matter ignorant. Your arrogance repulses me, and your simplistic attituse towards felons is rather narrowminded and one sided, if you please, keep those kind of personal comments to yourself! Thank you.

August 29, 2008 at 11:31 am
(52) Joe says:

There are two simple answers:

Historically speaking, it’s all semantics. The state founders wanted to differentiate themselves from the “states” established by the king of Britain so they formed new bodies established by colonials for the “common-wealth” of those who reside there.

Practically speaking, today the difference is all in governance and state v. local power structures. I am a NY native and county gov’t budgets and controls (i.e. taxation) are enormous compared to Massachusetts where I lived for some time. In MA, counties are barely recognized and have very little control over laws and enforcement. In MA cities and towns have more power over counties and run the show.

Which bureaucratic structure is better or worse depends on who you want to hang or who’s doing the hanging! They’re all bloated, redundant, inefficient, and wasteful from my experience trying to work with them – at ALL levels including feds – as a contractor and employee. Thanks to the civil service unions and the overly litigious society we all live in. (that ought to distract you from the presidents for a bit!! ;) )

September 4, 2008 at 11:57 pm
(53) Ferris says:

In response to the “lier” guy and the viva guy after him…can bush even spell liar????

September 28, 2008 at 9:12 pm
(54) jonny airtime says:

we are under martial law and have been for over 58 years and they just told us on C-span…. America has never been the home of the brave BUT COWARDS that bow to the federal government the CFR and NWO rules over you so who is yr daddy

October 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm
(55) Fred says:

So. To recap.uuuuuuuuuuhmmm
Seems like there is no clear answer defining the diff. between Comm. and a State.If anyone finds a real answer please Email me fredussloan@yahoo.com


October 23, 2008 at 5:48 pm
(56) Jimmy says:

I moved from Maryland to Virginia in Dec. 07 and I found it was the worst mistake I ever made. I started a auto towing company in Va. and I found more hoops, red tape and BS then anyone should have to go thru. Now I know why companies are flocking from Virginia to Tenn.
Tenn. is the best state to start your own company because of little red tape and the best tax set-up I have ever seen. There is no Income tax in Tenn. only sale tax and low propty tax on land that you own. In Virginia you pay tax every year on everything you own cars, truck, boats, trailer, everything and you have to get it re inspected every year. Now I know why Virginia calls it the Commonist Wealth

October 27, 2008 at 2:51 am
(57) Justin says:

Because I live in Kentucky, a commonwealth my employer is not exempt from placing gender biased regulations on hair length, allowing our female staff to have hair of anylength and male staff to wear their hair 2 in. above their collar.

October 29, 2008 at 10:32 am
(58) carl says:

what does hair got to do with commonwealth or not. don’t people understand states can set there own local laws regardless, and emplyers can do the same, biggiest thing i notice states with more wealfar or higher unemplyment have higher prop. taxs, sales tax either way middle class workers pays for most it seems like, get tired of paying for other people to set on there assets.

October 29, 2008 at 1:34 pm
(59) jennifer says:

I like the rest of you have been searching for the meaning of commonwealth vs. state. Since i have had the pleasure of living in the state of Illinois for 32 yrs. and for the last 2yrs. have been here in the commonwealth of Ky. unfortunately. I have seen a very big difference mostly with the way that here in the commonwealth there is a very big wedge between middle to low income families are treated and those of wealthy or upper-class. I have come to believe that most of the problems come from to many county elections, laws that differ from county to county, and usless appointments of people in positions. Here in the commonwealth I have seen more wasteful spending and appointment of funds than living in Chicago. That’s the truth!! I don’t believe that it is we have less rights here, as it is that the commonwealth has a complete disregard for the rights that we do have. J.J had a comment on here about being able to make complaints on someone and being arrested and having to see a judge before any investigating is done. I know that to be true have gone through that and witnessing it for myself firsthand on numerous ocassions. You are issued a court fee for everything. I don’t mind that as much as the amount of the court fee which is highway robbery. A commonwealth is not a common interest of the people as it should be. Rather it is the common interest or good of the State Government. I would much rather live in a state than in the clutches of a commonwealth. One more thing I pay twice as much for full coverage car insurance on one vehicle here in Ky., than I was paying living in Chicago for full coverage on two vehicles what is the reason for that???

November 8, 2008 at 8:58 pm
(60) s. tenuta says:

I couldn’t figure it out either. I’m VA born but CA bred for 31yrs. I find this place atrocious. There are taxes for taxes and then more taxes on those taxes. I find all levels of the city, county and state offices to be the BEST at inefficiency and incompetency. Get this: In CA you go to DMV, pay for your title, registration, tags, taxes, etc., in one office, one bill, sent to you yearly which by the way can be paid by mail. In VA we took our selves to DMV in one county cause it’s faster, they only process titles and plates. O.K. We’re good, so we thought. Two weeks later we get a tax bill from the treasurers office for another $379. After the $17 inspection fee and another $28 fee for some damn crab sticker that we don’t get anymore (hell, I want my sticker now). Oh yeah, what was the $400 for at DMV? Hell, it’s not even a new car. Tell me, could we have done this all at one time? Even with the pain in the butt smog laws in CA and the Kazillion people there things ran smoother and more efficiently. I’m so home sick. P.S. In CA Food is not taxed. If it’s for human consumption, no tax. It comes from cigs and booze mostly. I get $637 p/mo. disability and can account for nearly every penny, how does one loose millions? The only thing Commonwealth about VA is that it is down right COMMON!

November 18, 2008 at 8:50 am
(61) Clarence says:

I was born in commonwealth of PA and lived there for 32 years, lived in MD for 7 years, now just moved to commonwealth of VA. The taxes are lower in PA and VA than in MD. I also noticed that government is more centralized in MD. Several comments above mention this as a positive since it is more “efficient”. I believe in limited government and power should be distributed to the lowest level of government possible. In PA if you don’t like the school district policy that affects YOUR kids, you can do something about it by getting elected to the school board or voting for your favorite school board rep. Try doing that in MD with county wide elections. GOOD LUCK!!! I like more power in my hands and less in officials at county, state, and national levels.

November 24, 2008 at 11:35 pm
(62) Devil Dog says:

George W. Rules!!!

December 8, 2008 at 5:56 pm

George Bush Rules!!!

December 31, 2008 at 4:50 am
(64) Jess says:

Reading these horrible stories about commonwealths makes me glad to live in a state..Tennessee to be exact. If I ever move away which I doubt, I’ma make sure I move to a state and not a commonwealth.

P.S. Bush sucks beyond suckability!! (if thats even a word lol)

January 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm
(65) Right Winger says:

The basic difference between a Commonwealth and a State when referring to the four states in the US is the ownership of land. A commonwealth does not allow the actual ownership of the land, only the use of the land. Although I am not sure, I also think that mineral rights may belong to the state rather than the “owner of the right to use the land”.

January 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm
(66) Zack says:

Where I live…

The Commonwealth of Virginia is not concerned with the common needs of the common man but rather with the wealth of the state.

P.S. George Bush should be in prison!

August 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm
(67) alex says:

Why should GWB be in prison?

January 8, 2009 at 6:07 pm
(68) ultra conservative says:

right winger has answered correctly! DING DING DING….it is the right to Own land (as in a State)as opposed to (as in a Commonweath) the right to own the use of land without oil or mineral or blue sky rights….. I am amazed at all of the silly and mean spirited political comments on this site…shame on all of you for promoting such hostility. When Mr. Obama screws up too (just like every single other president) will you be disrespectful to him as well…All presidents regardless of their bafooary, deserve respect for the OFFICE. As Americans we all need to keep this in mind….peace out

January 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm
(69) PA Conservative says:

I have lived in Illinois for the last year now after living in PA for 23 years, and have to say I am surprised by how many comments are negative toward PA. From my transition I can tell you this: taxes are way higher here in Illinois, social services seem underfunded (Which seems counterintuitive to the high taxes), car insurance doubled (I kept the same carrier and have an accident free history, was told it was simply because of the location change), the Illinois DMV is way better than in PA (maybe that’s where all the tax money goes). As for schools, people complain as much here about primary/secondary education as they did back in PA. The one difference, it is easier for people to do something about it back in PA as far as I can tell. My one friend was disgusted with our high school back in PA and ran for the school board his senior year and was elected. He has since been reelected several times. Oh, then there is the whole corruption thing. I have never liked the current PA Governor due to corruption stories from other elected officials I have spoken with during campaign seasons. However, Illinois definitely takes the cake for corruption. Go Blagojevich; sink to a new low…
As for Bush, he’s just a simple scapegoat for a bad decade. I’m no fan of Bush’s policies, but did he cause the housing bubble or Americans that love to spend more than they can afford. “Sure I’ll buy this over priced house, fill it with a few plasma screen TVs, and then ignore the whole mortgage contract. Now please bail me out.” It is too easy to blame one person for all our troubles.

January 15, 2009 at 6:14 am
(70) Toes in the sand in Hawaii. says:

Yes, I live in Hawaii. If you are freezing on the mainland, well, how unfortunate. Do you have an imaginary friend? Like God? How,… unfortunate. You people are funny to me. George Bush will be seen as one of the best presidents that the U.S. has ever had. Why? He removed Hitler in Iraq. We should have done it in Europe too before Pearl Harbor was bombed. That’s right, my home.


Toes in the Warm Sand.

January 25, 2009 at 11:35 pm
(71) Janice H says:

I lived in Commonwealth of PA for 50 years and moved to TN. One thing I can say is that my property taxes were way higher in PA for way less land. Here in TN I own a home, a small piece of land and pay just under $200 a year for property tax. I have the rights to the land for as deep as I can dig, vs Pa. where I never truly owned the land, only the rights to USE the land. Here in TN. you get one stop shopping at the county court house. Need your drivers lic. renewed, as well as your car tag and then want to pay your taxes and vote-you do it all at the county court house. We can vote for 6 weeks prior to the actual date of the national election. I have superior schools and no local zoning codes-(I live out in the county as opposed to living in a town). The down side is that I have no trash pickup and emergency services will take 20 minutes to get here should I ever need them. If you move to a rural area, learn to dress your own wounds and broken bones, and learn to shot straight, because if you count on the cops to get there in time, you’ll be dead or very hurting.

February 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm
(72) traynette says:

coming from alabama to virginia, i realize that it’s not a big diff. their just as racist here as they are there commonwealth or not. oh, and by the way bush was the worst!!

February 24, 2009 at 7:55 am
(73) DuBoisian says:

Tidbit: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania controls the sale of liquor in its “State Stores”.

Why didn’t they call liquor stores commonwealth stores?

March 5, 2009 at 3:36 pm
(74) CGomez says:

The guide gives the right answer and yet people continue to insist there is a difference.

It’s just a title.

Now, you may not like how the state was run, but it has nothing to do with it being a “commonwealth”. It has more to do with the traditions of the state. All the state has to do is change the laws and it can be run any way it wants.

It’s just a title that these few states are proud of keeping as a form of tradition.

March 19, 2009 at 11:51 pm
(75) readfan says:

ps. STATES also control liquor stores. For example the State of Washington. What is up with animosity toward j. carter?
p.s. Bush is gone, thank you imaginary friend!

April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm
(76) lee says:

i would like to know.whats a state and a commonwealth had to do in a justicial matter?

April 14, 2009 at 12:27 pm
(77) just out of jail says:

I was arrested in VA but I don’t live there. My laywer said that if I was in another county in VA I would have gotten a different sentence or none at all. Different counties have different ways of governing. I was in Henrico county which is probably where they used to burn witches. I met girls in jail serving time for minor offensives (in my opinion). A 19 yr old girl serving 30 days for underage drinking….A 20 yr old girl for serving 15 days for visiting a friend on a property where she had been evicted from for non-payment of rent. The penalites DO NOT fit the crimes. And the jails are disgusting. If you serve 30 days, you wear the same pair of underwear for all 30 days. We slept on the floor, we not given toilet paper for 2 days, we ate food that made us sick, and were denied medical attention! If you need emergency medical, you have to pay for it. I dont think jail should be a 5 star resort but we should have been treated like humans. Besides, WE SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. But in a commonwealth, the government is not for the people…they concerned with their own needs. The court fees were over $500! You think that would have been enough to buy toilet paper. I am not defending acts of crime….just want to be treated fairly. Don’t expect any justice in a commonwealth.

April 19, 2009 at 11:35 am
(78) Mark says:

Bush was a disappointment
Clinton was immoral
Reagan was great
Carter is and was a failure

April 24, 2009 at 6:34 pm
(79) JIM MARTIN says:


May 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm
(80) Persia48 says:

Look up ‘Eminent Domain’; my ex-husband (in KY) is married to a woman whose state job was to offer you a few dollars (not what the property was worth) for your land when the road department decided to build through it. You didn’t want to sell? Too damned bad! She would turn around and submit paperwork to condemn the property and take it by ‘eminent domain’. However, eminent domain is not limited to Commonwealth states.

April 28, 2009 at 10:23 am
(81) ChefRT says:

Hey Toes in the Sand…more like head in the sand…Europe did not bomb Pearl Harbor, Japan did.

August 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm
(82) Alex says:

Uuuummm….Toes In The Sand never said that Europe bombed Pearl Harbor.
What Toes In The Sand meant was that we should have gotten involved in the war in Europe before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
I do not understand how you could not get that.
I hate it when people pick on anothers spelling on a forum,this is a discussion,not a spelling/Grammar test,but,reading comprehension is a must.

April 28, 2009 at 10:45 am
(83) Outta DC says:

George W. Bush did rule….unfortunately he was suppose to govern.

May 5, 2009 at 11:30 am
(84) jerry says:

I’ve lived in both a commonwealth (Ky) and a state (Fl), and I really don’t see what the argument about the diffenrence is. Other than more power at a local level in a commonwealth (counties have more say over local rules) there is absolutely no difference other than the definition in the dictionary. Different states have diffent rules voted on by the people in that state, as with counties. So why wouldn’t they differ from place to place?

A commonwealth must follow all the minimum wage and discrimination laws as anyone else. Until recently, the same job in Ky actually paid more than in Fl. That was until Ky went to being a right to work state, ie, right to screw you state. Now it all pays the same, unless you work for minimum wage which be the same in July, even though the cost of living in Fl is much higher.

Fl does not track their sexual predators nearly as well, Fl is probably the worse state in the union for such a thing. If you love your kids, don’t move down there.

I’ve been in traffic court in both Ky and Fl. Ky was far cheaper and more forgiving. Also, the only time I’ve been in jail is because of a clerical screwup in Fl. If anything, the system down there is more inefficent then in Ky.

Ky invites high paying industries, for better or worse. Fl tries to chase out anyone under 65 who isn’t just visiting and spending money.

Fl is far more racist. I hear the N word about once a month in Ky, compared to multiple times a day in Fl. In Ky, and I wish I’d taken a picture, I’ve actually seen rednecks flying the Confederate flag playing basketball with black guys. Whereas that’s a recipe for a shootout in Fl.

As a final note: GW can burn in hell, if there’s such a place.

April 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm
(85) Freddie says:

Man your post was so on point; you had confirmed what I and many Floridians think about this God forsaken state. Florida is a commonwealth in disguise, and I love the statement that you made. ” Fl tries to chase out anyone under 65 who isn’t just visiting and spending money. Man I am poor, a felon and just want to make things right–I ready to be treated like a human… but I don’t think it will ever happen hear? I wish that I could leave, but the fear is that I would be homeless; see unlike many of the other people, I don’t want to argue over the two evil’s you and I both know that hell’s kitchen is located in Florida. Simply put, what should a righteous brother do?

May 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm
(86) Linda says:

I used to live in MD and now live in VA. All I can tell you is I am happy with that decision. I pay almost $2400 less a year in taxes, and that money goes to my kids college fund. Personally, I like living in Northern VA better than MD, and I like the lower taxes.

May 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(87) N. Patrick says:

This is too funny. Most if not all of these posts deal with simple differences in the choices folks have made for their State and have nothing to do with the Commonwealth vs. State distinction. Best I can see, the difference between a Commonwealth and a State is the same as the difference between an “Automobile” and a “Car”…….there isn’t one beyond the name.

May 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm
(88) Chris says:

A “Commonwealth” is a free, sovereign, entity, a republic. A “State” is an engaged arm of the District of Columbia and under federal jurisdiction although NOT a federal territory but doing business/trade with.
A “Commonwealth” is foreign to “State” and is not subject to federal jurisdiction. These days, it is not so much as a physical place but where you consider yourself to inhabit. (Not “domicile” or “reside”). “States” and “Commonwealths” are incorrectly interchanged.

May 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm
(89) Chris says:

By the way, after reading more of your confusions; You are under “state” control are NOT protected by the Bill of Rights or the Constitution but submit to the laws provided by the “state” and federal government. In a “Commonwealth” you are subject to the rights and laws up-held by the Constitution. e.g; the Supreme Court has ruled that speed limits set by the federal government are un-constitutional however, if you are a “citizen” of a “state” and posses a license, you are ruled by those laws set by them. ergo- not protected by the constitution.
Before you go speeding, there is far more to it than just that but in extremely simplified example, that’s you answer. They are not the same.

May 14, 2009 at 7:27 pm
(90) alex says:

I live in Virginia, my drives license is revoked here, if i go to a not comonwealth state and pretend i never had a drivers license, would i be able to get one? will they find out that i had one and it’s revoked? people tell me they don’t because VA is comonwealth! does anyone know? thank you.

May 15, 2009 at 10:06 am
(91) chris says:

No, not if you are a US citizen or resident. Again, there is far more to it than that simplicity. YOu will need to change your status EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING to a Constitutional State resident. You would be considered a Non-resident alien, NON-individual, national. Unless you reside in the DoC or any federal territory. Any association with a Social Security #, which by the way, is NOT your number but the government’s. you are only trustee of it, is acceptance to those laws, statutes and codes that govern it.
Each “state” has two personalities; the constitutional one and the “state” one. You cannot pick and choose which one you want to be a part of as it suits you. Don’t believe me? Look into the IRC for each of the definitions of the words at the beginning of this comment and see if they apply to you; “US citizen”, “resident” etc. Don’t be fooled however, there are NO loop holes that you can take advantage of. The fact that you applied for a license to begin with was the contract that you agreed to adhere to. Technically, and constitutionally (if it applies to you) you have the right to freedom of travel. By asking a state for that right by applying for a license, you effectively surrender that right. Please don’t think that means you can drive with out a license constitutionally. You need to know if you are protected by that document or not. I cannot answer that for you and, it is not that easy to just decide one day that that is who you are. It is highly probably (almost certain) that you are engaged in contracts that will keep you from that protection. You need to discover the laws yourself. I have not the time to detail that.

May 15, 2009 at 10:09 am
(92) chris says:

Sorry, my bad, your answer is “yes”. Yes, they will find out. My first word to the last comment was “no”. It was out of the intended context.
Most states reciprocate.

May 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm
(93) Chucka Wucka says:

This post has been going on for nearly three years! Is that really necessary? Too bad most of the posts have nothing to do with states vs. commonwealths. Instead, it has been turned into a playground for political hacks. American politics, as usual, has been going on since the beginning of this country. Since Washington and Adams, Adams and Jefferson, Jackson and Henry Clay. The slander, blacklisting, fear-mongering has all been going on from day one! I wish all of these people would stay home and ‘arm-chair quarterback’ football (Hollywood types, included) instead of pretending to know anything about the politics of The United States of America!

June 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm
(94) Charlie D says:

Commonwealths are “Confederations” of Counties that have (all of them) a State Government such as we are all used to. BUT! The actual “laws of operations” and the actual operation of the “State” is performed at the COUNTY level, and NOT by the “State” Government. The State can say “We must have a Medicaid law”. And the counties’ representatives to the State Legislature, owing to the autonomy that each Commonwealth brought with it into the Union back when they signed the Constitution as a Signatory Political Body, has the right to legislate a different way of disbursing funds than the prevailing Federal Medicaid Guidelines. The Commonwealths all reserved certain rights such as these (basically minor rights) to themselves when they joined the Union. But the real focus of the Commonwealth is actually how the Counties have always been the political bodies that carry out the mandates and laws of the State (per se). The Courts, at a local level, can be a little different in various countys, but in the end, all are still liable to the General laws of the ‘State’, and the Federal Government, which are supreme over all local and State Laws. Everyones’ Rights never vary, but the employment of them CAN vary, county by county. It makes for less “interference” by the ‘State’ over the county. The differences between the Northern Marianas and Puerto Rico are more marked since they have not accepted Statehood, as have all four of our domestic commonwealths.

July 6, 2009 at 6:18 am
(95) Politux says:

I have lived in NC, PA, ME, and MA. PA and MA are both Commonwealths and I can tell you they are polar opposites in terms of state government. Here in Mass you can get free health care from the state if your income is low enough. PA had that special type of government known as “none.” I have to agree with the previous comments that the differences described here (eg: PA vs NJ) are not about state vs. commonwealth but just differences between states.

July 10, 2009 at 6:22 am
(96) wow says:

There’s no difference.

July 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm
(97) Adamminneapolis says:

Are you people kidding. You’re just ‘dyed in the wool’ democrats. Obama, the shoe shine boy, is a traitor and need to prove his citizenship. He pissed away a $trillion and the unemployment rate went further south. Isn’t it funny how low class and poor democrats that become president think money solves all problems, find out it doesn’t and then wants credit for trying after they destroy our economy and then leave office a millionaire? Go to hell! You want liar? Obama and Clinton you disgusting pigs!!!

July 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm
(98) Linda says:

adamminneapolis is right on the money with Obama and his Chicago buddies and the rest of the crooks in his admin.

July 19, 2009 at 2:15 am
(99) A proud Chicagoan says:

First, I lived in Virginia for about five (5) years, and had to finally move. Virginia is the most racist state in the union. I am from the north and the racism in Virginia cannot be compared. All communist-wealthy states normally are. As far as the ignorant comments about Obama, by Adamminneapolis and Linda, and the rest of you are probably bigger racist than anyone in Virginia.

July 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm
(100) Yvette says:

I’m confused because all of our Presidents have done things that they shouldn’t have. All of them have been adulters they use to have sex with their slaves and they were married. They got some of their slaves pregnante and they never paid child support. They use to smoke weed and drink like hell. If their slaves can away they would sometimes kill them. So stop calling names and get back to theissue at hand.

August 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm
(101) LGC says:

And we wonder why this country has gone to hell in a handbasket………a simple state ve commonwealth thread has turned into a hate filled, I’m right and your wrong boxing match. If you do not like living in a democratic society then move to Cuba. Other wise get over it.
I live in a commonwealth and there is absolutely no difference in state and federal laws nor in the way they are applied. The biggest difference I have noticed is the “good ol boy” network on the local level still has the most influence. We own our land and all mineral rights if acquired with the land. Ky is an at will state not right to work. We have more of a say in local statues and generally speaking in my part of Kentucky, we like having county government to turn to instead of all the red tape involved with the federal government.
It is a sad day when the people who make the USA what it is are willing to put their ignorance, hatred and rascism on the internet for the rest of the world to read. You can bet we are the laughing stock, but not because of Obama or the color of his skin….”A country divided cannot stand”….We are most definitely divided, now how long before our enemies will use that against us?

August 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm
(102) Bill, VA RE attorney says:

As an attorney in VA engaged in real estate law, I’m absolutely flabbergasted at the gross stupidity of the comments posted here. Those who recognized that there is no difference between a State and a Commonwealth have it correct. All other comments, including those concerning mineral rights, school boards, local taxes, traffic tickets, local courts and fines, enforcement of criminal laws, are mere equine effluvium. Real estate in VA passes “in fee simple”, transferring all rights to property, above and below the boundaries of one’s land. Mineral rights may be severed and transferred by the owner, and sold or leased to another 3rd party.
As for Commonwealth vs. States …this Blogs originator had it correct …there’s no difference. All the other comments that people have allegedly witnessed between States and Commonwealths can be chalked up to the differences in each State and their rights to set their own forms of government, as long as what they choose do not violate the US Constitution (you know, that thing our Congress has apparently forgotten exists …).

August 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm
(103) earl says:

i thought there were more than 4 commonwealth states… and i thought va calling itself a commonwealth state had more 2 it then this web page said… but i live in virginia and i don’t wanna live in a commonwealth state anymore

September 27, 2009 at 11:59 am
(104) capitoloftheconfederacy says:

First there are no bigger rascists than in VA! VA is proud to be “Capitol of the Confederacy”. Confederate flags are everywhere! For last 10 yrs protestors wave Confederate flag outside of Philip Morris on Thursdays (ongoing). When I arrived in VA in 1999 schools were closed for Confederate History Day but open for Martin Luther King Birthday! It appears that Commonwealth distinction does exempt from the observation of some Federal holidays! I have lived in NY, NJ, TN and Va. Car insurance is highest in NJ (state) gasoline in much higher in NJ! Va (commonwealth) has a car use tax. The Va car use tax + insurance is still less than NJ car insurance alone. True example same car: NJ $1479 insurance for 6 month full coverage in NJ,$325 for 6 mos. in VA. Car tax was $119 a year! Roads are better in Va than NJ but best in TN. The Commonwealth of Va controls alcohol consumption (no liquor stores only state stores) and choices of liquor items. Many wines from other states not allowed in VA and you can not have those wines shipped from those wineries to your home. So the person who sells you wine is a state employee! In TN, NY, and NJ the liqour stores sell what the customers want. Overall I have felt a decided lack of freedom of choice in VA.

There does seem to be a fear of state government in the “commonwealth”. Government is viewed more as your protector in the “states”.

October 26, 2009 at 10:37 pm
(105) MGooden says:

I am originally from the commonwealth of Virginia and am now living in Tx. The biggest difference I have seen is in taxing. Va taxed their citizens heavily, and because of that we had higher pay, better roads, better schools, and an all around better system. Texas is dirt poor, can barely afford basic roadways and has a pathetic educational system. I prefer my commonwealth. As far as racism in virginia goes, I belive that is more of a reflection on who one surrounds themselves with than where one is. Most southern states consider virgina to be “yankee” in origen, and in our last 2 presidential elections we were a democratic state.

November 3, 2009 at 5:52 pm
(106) JMJ says:

I now live in Richmond, Virginia.I moved to Richmond, VA in 2005 from NEW YORK. What a culture shock. I can honestly say there is a BIG difference between Commonwealth and State.Believe it or not NY is more Lenient towrds society as a whole. I am not a disabled, or welfare person with a criminal recordetc.. but I am the workign class w/o children and yet I still can get more opportunities in NY inmore ways than one. In VA, OMG! their laws and rules. they have seperate laws for traffic for people who have a VA lic or License plate, no Caps on Apts. they can go as high or as low as they want depending on when leases start/end, there is no ‘I’m goign to call my state l;egislator or senator abotu this conversation: HA! that does not exist.you have to be from Old Money or involved with a family that has money or history here. You have to spend 90% of your time tryign to upgrade degrees to get in a company that may pay you 15.00 with a Masters degree. schoold suck, architecture is a hot mess,transportation is a joke, Hospital are even worse and you get chaged for EVERYTHING!they saw the south is affordable. I do not know what part b/c by the time you pay for Property tax, water,trash,etc.. it is as high and the north. You can’t debate anything and they do not work with you out here and their hospitality is CRAP! the most stuck up, unfriendly,people I have even met. an Uneducated man has a better chance for jobs than an educated woman. Don’t make me pull the race card. it is like IN YOUR FACE.the air here reeks of nepotism, predujice, unfair justice etc…commonwealth is really for the common wealthy. because say what you want and feel but you will pay your bills and fines here!

November 5, 2009 at 7:58 pm
(107) dugan says:

Commonwealth’s suck.. They make thier own rules and if you get arrested in a commonwealth you will surely get more time than if you lived in a state…

November 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm
(108) john t says:

There are a lot of little differences between a state and a commonwealth that deal with a commonwealth’s power to adopt or reject Federally modeled laws. One that i can think of is the right to speedy trial. Federal Mandate is 30 days. that is how long they have to indite you and have an arrianment. in Ky it is 60 days that is a long time you can be incarserated and in a state you get your conviction withheld where as in a commonwealth you are convicted then at the end of your time it is dismissed. the problem is in 1998 clinton backed a law that allows your conviction to stay on your consummer report (name for background report) forever. so there are differences in a state and a commonwealth suttle but different.

December 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm
(109) VA is for hipocrits says:

I recently was convicted of my first DUI offense in the “common wealthy” state of VA. I know I broke the law and I am willing to pay my debt for it but come on. First offense and I passed the sobriety tests and I can’t tell you the thousands of dollars they have taken from me and are still gonna get from me. I am court ordered to not drink alcohol for one year PERIOD! You mean this state can tell me I can’t drink a beer (which I thought was legal) in my own home? Yes I am an alcoholic so what. So are millions of people, that doesn’t make me a bad person! It’s all about the money in this “state” and that’s that. I can’t wait to leave this place.

December 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm
(110) Palomine says:

Like isnt Canada a commonwealth?

December 28, 2009 at 10:43 am
(111) RazorSharp215 says:

There is no difference between a “Commonwealth” and a “State” as it relates to within America. I’ve lived in a “State” (Rhode Island) and now a “Commonwealth” Pennsylvania. Although, I preferred living in RI over PA, I blame this on mere politics versus the classification of “Commonwealth” versus “State.” Massachusetts is also a “Commonwealth.” I just think it is merely a name and nothing more.

To the rest of the world outside of America (Particularly the English speaking world). We are ALL states… including these so-called “Commonwealths” like PA and MA. To most of the world the word “Commonwealth” means a nation that is a member of the British Commonwealth and uses Queen Elizabeth as their head of state. Canada, Barbados, Australia, and New Zealand are examples of Commonwealth Nations.

January 20, 2010 at 11:54 am
(112) JudyK says:

Commonwealth is another name for corruption.

January 22, 2010 at 11:54 pm
(113) John says:

I live in the ” Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” and don’t see much difference except that we used to have more power over local decisions such as building codes. as far as the citizens not having mineral rights or ownership of their property, that is dead wrong. The gas well people who are tearing up the landscape and also the windmill people did not make deals with the Commonwealth but rather with the individual landowners who OWN the mineral rights and some are getting ( not Me ) very wealthy from royalty checks. I think it is fair to call us a state. Here’s a monkey wrench for you There are many boroughs and citys in PA but only one real town and that is Bloomsburg PA. There are some differences politically there. Check it out Jack

January 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm
(114) Beezer says:

Truth be told, moving and attempting to make a comfortable living in a Commonwealth is by far the worst situation you can put yourself into unless you’re a Republican politician and better yet have family members with history within the commonwealth state, ie…Good Ole Boys. I’ve lived in numerous states up and down the eastern seaboard, from Bangor Maine to Keywest Florida, Denver Colorado, Santa Fe New Mexico, Corpus Christi & Austin Texas, New Orleans & Metairie Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, quite a few more. After experiencing the examples of differences between Commonwealth and Statehoods I’d take a State over anything a Commonwealth could attempt to muster as a reason to become a member of their community. Commonwealth is nothing short of living in a communistic state. Nothing you own is your own. You pay more taxes out over the long haul, every day you feel the hands of the Commonwealth in your pockets be it State or local coffers. You have no individual rights to speak of other than easy access to getting yourself a gun. What boggles me is when you say the word “government” it seems to me that Commonwealth States don’t have a firm grip on the deffinition, as in: Government…the act or process of governing; specifically : authoritative direction or control, being responsible for the direction and supervision of public affairs. NOT being in the business of running a business…Cases in note: Alcholic Beverage Control (ABC), Divison of Motor Vehicles…etc. Once laws are inacted, the only purpose of the Government is to make sure that the laws are followed by the populus and taxes are collected, etc. Allow the free markets to run the businesses within the guidlines of those laws, NOT THE GOVERNMENT RUNNING THOSE BUSINESSES. But…this is not the only crap I’ve seen living in a Commonwealth. Its reaching immplication goes from the Governor Mansions all the way down to the local Magistrates and City Councels. I’m currently living in Virginia but by spring, I’ll be moving out of this Commonwealth for greener pastures. A state that allows self-governing. Not a Good ole boy Commonwealth.

March 3, 2010 at 10:29 am
(115) miranda says:

I have lived in Oh for 25 years and also in Mass. for 30 years. The main difference (I feel) is that the commonwealth of Mass takes care of its people. The government there really does care about it’s people, and in return, the people in Mass look out for each other as well. Whereas in Oh……it is everyman for himself. It is funny – walking down a street in Oh. people will smile at strangers and say hello but not give a crap about you. In Mass., no one really looks at you but they care deeply. Oh how I miss my Massachusetts!

May 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm
(116) Brady says:

I think one difference in a Commonwealth is when a person commits a crime and the victim drops all charges, the Commonwealth steps in and convicts anyway. I think states don’t persuse the crime if all charges are dropped. I wonder if this is true or something I overheard???

June 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm
(117) Chauncey says:

Some of the posters are nuts. The article is exactly right and there is NO DIFFERENCE between a “Commonwealth” or a “State” other than semantics. The school districting in PA versus MD, the VA minimum wage law, the relative authority of local agencies in KY versus MI… none of that has anything at all to do with being a Commonwealth or a State. My goodness.

June 10, 2010 at 9:48 am
(118) Tamere says:

To a proud Chicagoan. While VA may have many racists it is not accurate to say most commonwealths normally are. In fact my grandmother fled segregation in North Carolina for Philadelphia, which by the way is in a commonwealth. From my experience growing up in Philadelphia I can say that while racism may exist everywhere it is less marked in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania than my experiences from living in both Florida and Louisiana. Furthermore as far as mineral rights in commonwealths I will say this, my family receives royalties from the sale of oil which is drilled on our land, so clearly the commonwealth of pennsylvania has not usurped our mineral rights.

June 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm
(119) Jennifer says:

I live in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and this is a ‘Good Old Boy State’. The courts are not fair, it is who yiou know and whose back you scratch. If your not white baptist, you’re screwed!

July 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm
(120) Steven says:

I moved from West Virginia to Virginia a year ago. Growin up we were taught not to go to Virginia and party or raise hell, they will put you away. I was real hesitate about moving here, but the quality of life is better. At the same time, stuff I did in West Virginia was overlooked, down here they will do what they want and make you pay out the ass, especially if your out of state. West Virginia is Almost Heaven, Closer to Hell. Virginia isn’t for Lovers, its for Communists.

August 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm
(121) Lynn says:

Ah, Chauncey… the one ray of intelligence and common sense in this whole thread! Thank you

October 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm
(122) michael says:

George Bush is strangely quiet these days.

November 3, 2010 at 7:47 pm
(123) Gweneta says:

I’ve lived in PA for 16 years–moved from New York–and have been curious ever since to know what commonwealth means. After reading all of these comments I still don’t know. But I do agree with most of the comments such as Deb Winslow’s and Zack’s. In addition to all the comments about PA, you can add bad road. Maryland have great roads then Virginia. Maryland have great schools. Massachusetts is the best of all the commonwealth states simply because it is good to its citizens–just look at their healthcare.
Now, on the comments about our presidents: It is down right un-American to criticise your leader. You all should be thankful that you live in this country running your mouths–some other country would throw you in prison or chop off your heads. Would you like that?

November 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(124) HELEN says:

I know exactly what most of you are talking about. VA is one of the worst places on the face of the earth to live, visit or drive through. I was there 11/03/2010, from Mi. went to court with a family member and the judge is giving out life sentencing for plain burgery. Keep in mind, no one is killed. One 21 yr. got 65 yrs. with a jury trial. They think he may have been the lookout man. They don’t have to prove anything, just lock up people because they can. Please don’t have a trial. The jury is all with the system. It is wrong for anyone to violate another’s rights, but the crime never fit the punishment. They lock these young men’s up for the rest of their lives. They deserve a second chance like the other one’s. Why anyone would live in a place like that is beyond me. GOD IS GOING TO FIX IT ALL ONE DAY. IT WILL BE HARD FOR THEM TO RECEIVE IT.

October 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(125) cas says:

Amen, I have a loved one in the common wealth state has been arrested once for mistaken identity served one year with no appology and they did not take it off his record. the second time there was no evidence he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and now he has life with out parole, the common wealth state is government making up their own minds without evidence all they want is money May God Have Mercy on their souls

November 19, 2010 at 9:27 am
(126) Big M says:

The worst President of the USA apparently suffers from senility. Someone needs to place a gag on Carter to prevent continuing damage from his runaway mouth.

I didn’t realize Bill Clinton was senile yet.

December 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm
(127) Joshua says:

Commonwealths—though little known, are still & forever shall be “in perpetuity” holdings of the British Crown,France, or Rome(Vatican/Pope/Catholic church)This is why one finds these form of governments in many such territories such as commonwealths–that is, wards,parishes,and townships are commonly found within them. Wards are off shoots of the old colonies orgnaized as european labor camps(prisons without bars,)whereby via indirect taxation such zones have most of their wealth extorted by the IMF,World Bank, and various other euro-anglo banking comglomerates. I encourage all to read the Treaty of Paris 1783 closely and to do outside co-related research in regards to this treaty because it explains precisely what happened and why america never started out as a sovereign nation and has always been in eternal debt to its european bankers in a virtual pepetural state of ongoing bankruptcy.

January 6, 2011 at 8:42 am
(128) Just_Sayin says:

Your a bunch of “poor me babies”, no one is forcing you to live here!, you like P.G. County Md. so much then go back there and you and your children can grow up in a corrupt state. The Peoples Republic of Md, crime, and gang ridden, and a high drop out rate is just the atmosphere you need for you and your children! You deserve better but if you don`t want a better life, then go! and don`t let the door hit your ass on the way back there!!!

January 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm
(129) Wow says:

Wow. Quite a collection of lunatics posting here through the years. I can only guess that all the idiots of the world are wondering what the difference is between a state and a commonwealth,

January 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm
(130) peckerwood says:

i moved from az. to ky. 3 years ago. i like it here a whole lot better. everythings cheaper here. i bought a place 3 bdrm 2 bath with 2 acres here for twenty five thousand and its only 1/4 mile from kentucky lake. this place in az. would easily go for 200,000. taxes are only 120 a year. got my own well so all i gotta do is pay taxes and electric. so far commonwealth of kentucky beats the hell outta arizona state or any other state ive lived in. oh yeah, the county i live in is a dry county, but i make my own beer and wine which is legal. also i can shoot deer with out a tag any time of year as long as they’re on my property. yeah ky. beats the crap outta lotta places i lived, except montana.

January 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm
(131) Brian says:

Very Simple….Commonwealth is taken from the “Common Good”. PA has Local Government for Borough’s, Townships and Cities, oh and one area offiically categorized as a town, which is Bloomsburg. I am not sure about Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia, but the residents of PA have the unique ability to get involved in their local level government and govern themsleves for….here it….”the Common Good”. Some people look at this as a curse, but the natives will tell you it is a bleesing because you don’t want some clown from 100 miles away telling youhow to run your little “burb”. The other 46 states have “local” governtment at the “County” level. Although PA does have County govenrment, it does very little, because it is limited that way. County gorvenment provides guidance to local government, but not enforcement nor regulation. It is almost entirely advisory.

Go to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Plannig Code to get an idea of what local level government is permitted to do in the form of local laws and ordinances.


For Boroughs too


June 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm
(132) I Paid Attention In History and Civics says:

The other 46 states have “local” governtment at the “County” level.

Nope. The way local government is defined and operated varies from state to state (or commonwealth). Just as all the other laws cited by folks here who believe there is a difference between the terms “state” and “commonwealth” vary from state to state (or commonwealth). Much as the terms “state” and “commonwealth” were chosen when constitutions were drafted for each member of the union.

No, really. It’s true. What matters is the laws of the state (or commonwealth), not what an individual member of the union is designated as in its constitution. Differences in state (or commonwealth) law are simply the differences that come from different governments making different choices. Honestly.

Is it really that difficult to understand, people? Are so many folks actually being willfully (and woefully) ignorant, or are most making tongue-in-cheek comments? Or are they perhaps even just writing nonsense in hopes of getting a reaction from others?

I hate to think studies saying American schools are failing their students are accurate, but this thread indicates that they might be right.

January 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm
(133) WMMFNEWS says:

The differences were greater in the past when it came to such things as Federal Senator replacements, for example, when many US Senators were appointed rather than by statewide ballot. There is also the question of a “For Profit” business operated by the state.
The PA Turnpike ‘profit’ must be reinvested in the system and not used to fill Comonwealth coffers. Its fees must be sufficient to keep it running. In nearby states, turnpike fees bolster revenues. 0n the local level, similarly, PGW which is owned by the city while management is by contract, provides gas to the city residsents at lower rate than to suburbs that also use it. The suburbs that use it prefer to pay a slightly higher rate than to spend a huge amount for a small gross need and the investment in storage facilities & related structures and the land area also required.
here are probably some other things that you will find by reading the constitutions of the 50. Perhaps W.VA was able to split more easily from VA since it was a Commonwealth.

March 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm
(134) Kyle says:

I am suprised that this thread has been going on for the better part of 5 years… Wow…

March 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm
(135) DAVID B. says:

The difference between a state and a commonwealth is that in a state when there is a bill for a change in the political system it is put on a ballot and the people of that state vote on that referendum. In a commonwealth state when there is a bill for a change in the political system the elected politicians vote on that bill which takes away the voice of the people and give the power to the elected officials and their lobbyists who fund their political agenda.

April 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm
(136) william conner says:

I live in virginia i have travel all over this great nation in va roads are maintained well and our state is not drowning in debt say like california new york mostly because of corruption and the dems over spenting fact is fact and i would rather live where there is common good for the people and the people have a vote and by the way the differents between carter and obama carter try to give the us away and obama is trying to appease other countrys like its our fault we have the best system running well we did until you how people trying to change it change we don’t believe or agree with

June 29, 2011 at 9:08 am
(137) jw says:

Just so everyone knows, Virginia blows!!!!! As I’ll state anywhere I can. The state leaches from the people.

July 29, 2011 at 7:13 pm
(138) billyzeke says:

OK i lve in PA a commonwealth the difernce is YOU do not govt approval to move to another state ! Except of course parolees ! However IF you can spare 1 minute of time per week all our economic problems and millions of NEW jobs will be created plus get our jobs back lost oversees and stop putting the USA in debt to China and mexico and stop our dependance on foreign OIL !

GO see MY blog CLICK HERE copy and paste the letter i made using link to E mail YOUR state’s governors and reps and congressman & thewhitehouse website ! I figure if just 1 million people do this WE will have 4 to 5 TRILLION a year in surplus money forever and keep us out of DEBT from China and Mexico ; and better education systems health care more money for student grants etc. etc. etc.

IF YOU dont do this the USA will be gone in 10 years just the same way the roman Empire fell apart by allowing all they conquered to become romans

soon enough thier was only a few percent of Real romans left and POOF* GONE !
DONT belive Me ? look around YOU how many illegal aliens are working jobs at lower pay ? Howmany possible terriost are YOUR neighbors ! THE US Govt has been lying to YOU for centuries YOU have no idea why thery never will cure cancer or AIDS now why do we have wars / Because THE GOVT dosent want to Pay millions of people on retirement for 20 – 30 years more !

They want YOU dead as fast as possible ! When thier isnt enough jobs around they send off 100’000′s to War to decrease the population !

WE havent gone more than 20 years without some type of war !

YES i lost family to War 3 people i never MET

Fortunately in 1970 my draft number was way high at 333 and i was soul survior son so i’d be last to be drafted !

That was the vietnam years !

September 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(139) Ruxj says:

You have been misinformed. There are and always have been a difference between commonwealth and regular states. All states joined the union voluntarily and have the right to leave it when they want. Texas votes every year on whether or not to stay in the union.
Read in detail the 14th amendment and you will find out how evil it is. We have all been lied to about what it means.
There is a clause for perpetual debt. That is why we do not ever get out of debt, we are not supposed to and are not liable for the debt.
Read the Red Amendment book.

December 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm
(140) Isaac A. F. says:

Wow! I’m going through and reading this, and the Pennsylvanians seem incapable of spelling or forming sentences correctly. Makes me embarrassed to call myself one. I’m no English major, but at least i can form a coherent sentence. PA, wake up and review what you’ve typed before you send it. One lady made a sentence that was completely incoherent. I can typically figure out what people meant to say, but not on that one.

December 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm
(141) jblues says:

I live in PA and it seems like more of a police state, opinion only. Court costs here are ridiculous, and police seem to be involved in EVERYTHING, there is no private sector. Seems they use stomping on people to support the overabundant, unneeded government. The police are great at general harassment of unimportant issues, such as why are you walking on the sidewalk, where are you going, fines for anything and everything, however if you should have a true problem, they are invisible. I’ve witnessed a family receiving a fine for their young daughter throwing a pizza crust, along with community service, as my children were served SUBPOENAS to testify. My home was robbed and I had to beg the police to show up, then was told “we’ll file a report.” Seems a little outta balance.

December 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm
(142) kentuckiana says:

I own houses in both Ky and Indiana. I pay 2100 a year in Ky vs 200 a year in Indiana. The local big boy society in Louisville is HUGE and its the rich who run the county.
Fines on crimes are expensive and the law is bent for whom knows whom. If you want a divorce, Ky will side with the one with the most money and both attorneys can be bought. The difference in the Commonwealth of KY and the State of Indiana is that unfortunately most Southern Indiana residents work in Louisville KY. I do appreciate a better way of life in Indiana, friendlier people, they seem more intelligent and helpful than in the good old boys club KY.and even though this doesn’t define the difference, hopefully it does illustrate some differences. Indiana is also so much better budgeted than KY. Hoosiers all the way!

December 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm
(143) Erwin says:

They are not officially true commonwealths like Puero Rico. They are STATES recognized by the US government and abide by all federal laws and responsibilities thereof. I love when people try to argue this over the tradition these STATES hold. How does the US have 50 states? Because they’re states. Ding ding ding

December 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm
(144) real says:

Obama doesn’t have a selfish agenda, he just looks out for the people white america choose to ignore. PEOPLE WHO AREN”T WHITE, why does he do that because he’s BLACK. Not half white Black all his life he been treated like a Black man in America not a half white man. Also Obama is trying to fix the problems the George Bush started after Bill Clinton gave him a clean sheet. Its crazy how people are starting to say the economy been down since 08 when really it all started in 06 when Bush and all his buddies was becoming Billionaires. Then Obama has to do all this by hisself with no support from congress Republicans who don’t vote based on the countrys best interest, instead choosing to try and stop the Black guy from fixing the country to make him look bad.
OBAMA 2012

December 25, 2011 at 11:14 am
(145) fbaez says:

To dham look and learn the history and go to school all over again the people from puertorico we are not ilegal in this country we are citizen FOR OVER 100 YEARS we are american citizen and we serve all the armed forces like any other american citizenwe abide the law of the federal goverment , and local and the contitution check the history ,we have the rigth to came over here when we whant ,in puertorico live people from diferent part of the world like any other state read the history puertorico is a melting pot of irish, german, english, french and spain, and midleeast, italythat live there for over 80 years.

December 31, 2011 at 11:16 am
(146) joey blow says:

We gotta stick together and work it out. If it werent for dems and the damn finger pointing. The only good demacrat is a former democrat. NOBAMA 2012 WE CAN’T WAIT. WHAT DO YOU GET IF YOU CROSS OUR NO BIRTH CERTIFACATE HAVIN PRES WITH A PIG(NOT HIS WIFE ALTHOUGH SHE DOES QUALIFY)? YOU GET NOTHING THERE ARE SOME THINGS EVEN A PIG WON’T DO.

January 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm
(147) K. L. Morris says:

I have worked in the “Great Commonwealth of KY” for 9 years and lived here a bit over two. Before I lived here, I felt like there was something strange about this place, but I just chalked it up as being a “Stranger in a Strange Land.” When I moved here though, I suddenly realized it IS different, vastly different than in Indiana. If half of the things that I have heard about (then seen whitewashed in the local papers) happened in Indiana, someone would be in jail, out of office, shamed out of town, or in some other way dealt with by measures emanating from the state. If KY current govenor found a sudden treasure trove of 300 million dollars, I guarantee residents wouldn’t know about it until after it was spent and he was in jail (or forced to resign). The political corruption here reminds me of the Communist Party in China or organized crime, If you belong to it and work for it, you hope to get a piece of the action in some way: an appointment for which you are unqualified, a liquor license, the ability to purchase property from a town that paid $500,000 for $50,000. There may be twists in the political party in Indiana which is outside my awareness, but I have lived here two years and am VERY aware, as is everyone else, and the consensus is, because it is a “commonwealth” there is nothing an individual can do about it.

January 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm
(148) Pinkie says:

Obama’s not stupid. He’s cunning. He’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing your mother always told you to watch out for. It’s the American people who are so poorly educated by our public school system that are stupid. Most lack any semblance of a “real” education and don’t know how to think for themselves. They’ve been brainwashed and that plays right into Barack Obama’s hand. He and all the other dems like their constituents stupid that way they’ll believe whatever they’re told. As for me and my house, we shall think for ourselves.

January 21, 2012 at 1:45 am
(149) Breakitdown says:

I moved from Wisconsin to VA in 2005 worst mistake ever! Wisconsin laws are not as stricted as Virginia, although both states enforce laws in different ways. States allow their people to advance, they don’t burden them with high taxes on everything as opposed to commonwealth states. Commonwealth lives and survive off the people, meaning they will tax the hell out of the people. They collect and steal getting rich and will only pay the bare minimum. Go compare other states wages, laws, etc.. to the commonwealth states and you will see the difference. I was also pulled over in VA driving 80 in a 65 going down hill toward Allgehany VA. The officer lied in court and said I was doing 100mph. I had a valid Wisconsin license with CDL endorsements. I was charged with reckless driving, did 1 day in jail and had my license suspended plus $1000.00 in fees and fines to reinstate my license. Commonwealth states are broke states meaning they don’t generate any cash flow. Virginia has some of the lowest wages I have ever seen and they are constantly cutting and reducing budgets and closing schools. States are growing and thriving because they allow their residence and visitors to see and experience independence. Commonwealth basiclly means We are they big guys we’re rich, and your the little guy so you stay poor. Commonwealth states are ran by Republicans who keep the people poor. Many states bounce back from economic downfalls on their own, not by increasing taxes on it’s people and residence like the commonwealth.

January 22, 2012 at 12:53 am
(150) David C says:

Bull! I’ve lived in both commonwealth and non-commonwealth states. Commonwealth residents have “privileges” not “rights”. i.e “privilege to drive, privilege to work etc.
You owe money to a court in Pa. , can’t pay..there goes your drivers license and way to work..nice huh? you want to “work” , over a hundred bucks out of your first check to pay for the “privilege” also nice, huh?

January 31, 2012 at 2:02 pm
(151) ker says:

hmmm. some of you need to get out more.

i am from PA, have lived in MD (twice), VA, SC, KY, OH, and FL. so i’ve hit 3 commonwealths and 4 states.

can’t say that there is much of a difference commonwealth vs. state. state to state laws differ greatly. someone here complains about moving from MD to PA. well, they are historically very different, has nothing at all to do with state vs. commonwealth.

truth be told, i can find you just as much corruption in each of your states as there is in any other.

most states have a “right to employment,” including D.C.

as for felons voting – you are handed a sentence. at the end of that sentence, you are a free person. why a free person cannot vote is beyond me – that is downright unconstitutional. all free citizens should be allowed to vote, period. punishing people beyond their sentences should be disgusting to any american, especially people who go around saying that jesus christ is their savior but they can’t find it in them to turn the other cheek, love their neighbors as they do themselves, or treat others as they want to be treated. revenge, hatred, and insensitivity is not part of jesus’ message, it’s pretty much the opposite.

i’m so sick of the hatred in this country – reading a lot of these comments, i wonder how people in this country keep from killing each other in blood baths every day, except maybe you all just say this stuff on the internet and when you are with your friends and segregating yourselves away from anyone who isn’t like you so you don’t have to learn that everyone else is just a human, just like you. and i don’t know what any of that has to do with the difference between a commonwealth and a state.

January 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm
(152) JacksonWyatt says:

dham is an idiot. People from Puerto Rico are not illegals

February 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm
(153) junion says:

This is in response to dham who says Obama is recruiting illegals from Puerto Rico, dham sir your an imbecile !! Puerto Rico is a common wealth of the United States making the residents their citizens. Your idiotic claims shows your intelligence that being you have none. Obama is doing the best he can with the mess that was left him by the idiot republicans. In closing think before you speak as to hide the fact that you are a MORON!!!

February 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm
(154) disgusted says:

It simply amazes me how stupid haters are. Are you people so fearful of one man’s accomplishments that you are willing to go down the wrong path and destroy this great country, you so strongly profess to love just because a few people with ulterior motives want to make the president a one-term president? You are not true Americans. The word traitor comes to mind when I hear all the hatred that is being thrown around. Presiden Obama deserves much more respect than he gets. What short memories you have. GW Bush and that low life Cheney put this country at risk, started a war that depleted our surplus which was handed over to them from President Clinton and destroyed our reputable name and standing around the world.Let’s not leave out Karl Rove, the snake that should crawl back under a rock. . It really annoys me to know that so many of you are just plain racist. If you think the republicans you are listening to have your back, think twice. They could care less about the needs of the middle class. In fact, they can’t begin to relate to you. Not one of them has ever had to go a day without a safe place to sleep or starve to death. have more compassion for your brother. We are all children of God.

February 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm
(155) kenneth miller says:

The last good president we had was Ronald R.

March 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm
(156) MeganLynell says:

I think that many of you are confused and are blaming the fact that one territory is called a “commonwealth” instead of a “state” as the reason for your poor living conditions or unhappiness with your location. I have lived in PA for 20+ years now, but I live extraordinarily close to the MD line and have family and friends whom live there. I visit quite often. And, just to put a personal spin on all of this, I would not willingly CHOOSE to live in MD if my life depended on it.

A state and commonwealth have no difference but their name. Just as all states have a right to govern themselves individually, so do commonwealths. Commonwealths do not have any special rights or priveleges and cannot refuse to enforce a federally mandated law (i.e. minimum wage, the drinking age (now), etc.) The difference between the two is the ideaology that drives them to put in place the laws, rules, stipulations, and processes that they do concerning school districts, employment, disability, and unemployment.

It’s simple to see where the disparity lies in this conversation – those from the city see things differently from those who live in more suburban or rural areas. That is not something that will change because of your choice of location being commonwealth or state. However, it does change your view on where you live. Most democrats hate Pennsylvania because it is a republican dominated state (although the Electoral College would make voters think otherwise.) So if you’re disapproval of your state and/or commonwealth lies in it’s laws and rules and stipulations and taxes, do not blame that on what the territory chose to “title” itself as during the beginning of our country.

And – for the record – Obama is a horrible President. He has definitely lived up to his party’s monacle: JACKASS.

March 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm
(157) Donna McCee says:

I believe the worst President in American History is our current one. PERIOD.
I am a Democrat and did not vote for him the first time and will not vote for him in 2012, the sooner he leaves The Office the better the Country will be, with all due respect. Enough said. The current President and his wife have divided this great country in a very bad way, hope we can get it back to some sense of normal again real soon.

March 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm
(158) joe says:

Dham you are about as dumb as they come.. Puerto Ricans are born u.s. citizens, therefore they cannot be illegals. Bush is seen as a terrible president here ( one unecessary war and an economic collapse that was clintons fault), he is seen as the best u.s. president in Africa for all the money he donated to stop the spread of aids.

March 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm
(159) 42 yr. female says:

R. Reagan was the last great pres. Obama was dealt a difficult state of affairs but cannot be commended on his actions as president. He’s not the hero that he claimed to be during his campaign. He was elected becuase he was black. The population wanted to be proud that we could elect a black president and therefore call ourselves “politically correct.”
I origionally read this subject because I wanted to know what the difference between a state and commonwealth was but am facinated by opinions of ignorant voters.

April 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm
(160) 25/m/ky says:

I live in KY and the difference I can see is that my friends were in a fight and neither of them pressed charges, however the commonwealth picked it up and both recieved assault charges. I dont know if they can do this on a “state” level..?

April 29, 2012 at 12:39 am
(161) Berg says:

Yeah, Commonwealth…but they have STATE Police. Hahaha :D

May 3, 2012 at 5:11 am
(162) slyguy says:

I live in PA and it is very much full of old politics and nepotism. PA is proud of having the most police departments in the nation (albeit most are very small departments tbat rely on state police coverage on nights, weekends and holidays). Now is that something to be proud of? I think not. They should have county or regional departments…save on money for uniforms, cars, training etc.local police also do not use radar…but use stop watches. How corny…..what about schools?????to many school districts too…too much money spent….the list goes on and on…..

May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm
(163) jgriot says:

Such diverse opinions. PA sucks

June 4, 2012 at 10:30 am
(164) Young joe says:

You all bitch about Pennsylvania but you love coming to Lancaster County!!!!!!!

June 11, 2012 at 7:04 am
(165) Obama is the best says:

I don’t understand how people can praise George bush when he is the reason the country is in a recession. Everyone wants to blame Obama for everything…..did we forget Obama had to go in and clean up the mess bush made.

June 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm
(166) g/real says:

Ok getting tired of ppl defending the “hands down ” worst president of all times GW bush just because your a obvious f**k don’t make it right. I worked with several ppl from irac who claimed that their country as well as them selves where fine with sadaam but GW followed a grudge from his dad and raged war on a innocence country..I think Obama is doing the right thing by “rubbing elbows with the enemy” because a countries greatest asset is its allies which GW f**k up… Think about out

June 15, 2012 at 4:00 am
(167) China Starr says:

I Live in Brooklyn… and I believe that we all need to get over this president, that president, and focus on fixing the problems, no matter who caused them! Because One that Just Focuses on the problem.. instead of using that same time and energy to have an end result to the problem.. will just be going back & forth and round & round.. until your so dizzy! That you just fall in your opponents face & Kiss Make up! lmmfao! Let’s have sue more comments after this statement on how we are going to get every one on the same page! and make this a better country for all of us! cause face it! There’s no telling what next state you’ll be living in, or Country for that matter! MOVING ON! ;~)

June 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm
(168) jonathan herndon says:

The last good president was Reagan

June 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm
(169) DOM says:

How is it possible to be as blatantly stupid as these right wing posters appear to be….the only patriotism here that should be questioned is that of the racist traitors that pose as Americans. The idiocy here is obvious …point one? There are no illegals that live in or immigrate from Porto Rico. It’s a legitimate part of the American commonwealth.

July 1, 2012 at 11:20 am
(170) taffkapp says:

I see the uneducated half-wits, bashing Obama, BTW Puerto Rico is us soil and so is Hawaii, get it right. I am an American and a Veteran.
I am a patriot and I served to protect all, even your right to have an opinion, albeit an uneducated one.

July 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm
(171) golfguy34653 says:

Anyone who doesen’t get that Regan was the ,by far, best, just must not have worked for a living during those years

July 15, 2012 at 9:29 am
(172) Turknsteed says:

I don’t understand why the PG county commentator is tooting their horn when it has the highest murder rate in the nation, surpassing good old Baltimore and D.C.

Also, the haters on Commonwealth of VA can hate. Northern Virginia has the richest counties in the nation, and the gentrification of certain parts in D.C. didnt cause our murder rates to skyrocket because of the high cost of living. Yeah- it’s taxed high, and probably has an inefficient administration but so do most public sectors. There are a lot of laws to know but once youre educated you can protect yourself.

There are plenty of states that I do like- all with pros and cons. A con in VA is that there are so many regulations on scientific research since it still has some red and our governor scared me a moment. Back to the science research- MD is ballin on housing biotech companies. VA is considered East Coast Silicon Valley. Also- this commonwealth thrives on federal money either directly or indirectly. So the whole commonwealth title is antiquated, just traditional/historical sentimental hooplah.

July 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm
(173) Andrea says:

I am a little confused. I live near Harrisburg Pa, and the city is trying to pass a law that you can not swear. That is clearly unconstitutional. How is it that Pa could possibly do that if there is no difference between a common wealth and a state?

July 23, 2012 at 1:07 am
(174) The MASShole is here with the final word says:




What’s the diffrence between a “WHORE” and a “PROSTITUTE”?


No two “states” (or “commonwealths”) are the same!!!

Massachussetts (the “commonwealth” i live in) is diffrent than New York (a “state”) because they are two seperate and independent Governments. Each with its own pro’s and con’s. The only that is the same is their relationship to the Federal Government of the Union.

Massachussetts and Virginia (two “commonwealths”) are diffrent because they are two seperate and independent Governments. Each with its own pro’s and con’s. The only thing that is the same is their relationship to the Federal Government of the Union.

New York and Maryland (two “states”) are diffrent because they are two seperate and independent Governments. Each with its own pro’s and con’s. The only thing that is the same is their relationship to the Federal Government of the Union.

Do you get it yet?!?!?

In Massachussetts we call our state a “commonwealth.”

In Ohio they call their commonwealth a “state.”

In Kentucky they call their state a “commonwealth.”

In Georgia they call thier commonwealth a “state.”




If you don’t get it yet, just give up. You never will!!

July 26, 2012 at 2:25 am
(175) ed says:

Puertoricans are not illegal. They all are us citizes. Dumb!

July 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm
(176) tromba says:

My goodness, stupidity abounds. The words “state” and “commonwealth” are about as perfectly synonymous as is functionally possible, yet all of this meaning crap continues. Amazing.

August 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm
(177) McFern says:

Wow, this is hilarious! Here is a multiple argument about the same thing in two different subjects at the same time! Each of the 50 STATES are different in many ways but the absolute same in one; that is they are all run by politicians in governments. Why do Republican politicians stand for Right to Life? There are voters who vote for that. Why do Democatic politicians stand for Right to Choose? There are voters that vote for that. A used car salesman is not trying to help you by selling you a car, he is trying to sell you a car. He has a personal agenda, he wants to eat and have a house to live in. Politicians, likewise, wish to eat and have a house to live in. Either of the above mentioned politicians will choose his actions from the above choices based on what seems right to them given their present personal circumstances. And if your feeling a bit holier than thou, so would you. No one is going to go to their job each day, work hard for the company, give back all the money or give it all to charity, and live outside in the rain and eat foraged herbs. You have an agenda too. We vote for foxes, give them the key to the chicken house, and then complain when we have no more chickens. Why? Lazy. It takes time to be responsable for the politicians we elect just like it takes time to raise our own children rather than expecting public schools to do it. Best/worst president-best/worst party is tantamount to the “best ever marble shooter”; at best it doesn’t matter-at worst it doesn’t change anything.

August 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm
(178) Arthur Dent says:

While citizens of Puerto Rico cannot vote for the President or a member of Congress they are not “illegals.” In fact they have been citizens of the United States since 1917.

August 23, 2012 at 9:37 am
(179) stephy says:

Mcfern & several other intelligent/educated people that posted on this (unreal) 6yr thread: kudos. I’m glad to read that behind the self important, racist, illiterate individuals, there are at least a few people that can articulate their message, and can spell it correctly. I see not much difference between the state & commonwealth. If you do not like where you live, the answer is simple, move. If you do not agree with your leaders actions, the answer is again simple, exercise your rights. And to MASSHOLE: you are sadly mistaken. There is a major difference between “whores” & “prostitutes”. Whores engage in uninhibited, reckless sexual behavior without regard for the consequences for FREE. Prostitutes by definition are business people that “sell their own body”, thus earning them (usually a 6figure) income. This definition could then include any person selling any part of their body. This would include singers, mimes, hairdressers & and anyone who sells their image to make a living. Don’t confuse a businessperson with a whore, they are simply not on the same level. Sorry to correct you, but I consider it doing a community service, helping to further educate the American public.

November 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm
(180) Liz H says:

Dear dham
Don’t be stupid, Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States and not illegals, they are citizens of this country. And Bush was a puppet that was too stupid to be president. He was the Republican’s fall guy. I didn’t see him come out and campaign for Romney. He sanctioned 2 wars that destroyed our economy and did very little for the average wage earner. This country was spare a greedy, bigoted, disconnected puppet for the Republican Party. With all the money he accepted from the the Kote brothers, Carl Rove, and Donald Trump, he would have been their president not the United States of America’s. If you can’t say anything intelligent, shut the hell up.

November 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm
(181) Kevin says:

To summarize, if you prefer protections as an individual, living in a rural setting, a commonwealth may be what you prefer.
If you are a city dweller you may want to live in a non commonwealth state to access public assistance programs more readily.

I envision a commonwealth being problematic in a city environment, the problem being government corruption.

November 23, 2012 at 11:09 am
(182) Jennifer says:

Amazing… a simple search to find out what I was missing between the difference between a commonwealth and a state, admittedly so I could attempt to sound somewhat intelligent when my 12 year old asks me to help with her social studies, returns a million comments on past, present and possible future presidents. Let’s see, I was raised in New Jersey, lived in NC and currently live in VA. I’ve noticed minor differences in all 3. I live in the Va Beach area and am very disappointed in our school systems. As far as presidents go.. I didn’t want Obama.. oh, in a polyanna world, I liked his ideas but he didn’t deliver, whether it was a huge lie to get votes or just something he couldn’t pull off, I don’t know.. I do know that with a worse record than the ever condemned George W Bush, I didn’t want him back in office.. but, heck, I didn’t want Romney either. I constantly complained that out of all the politicians, we got stuck with this choice. Has nothing to do with skin color, either.. couldn’t care less about it one way or the other..(and was damn tired of being called a racist because I didn’t want obama for a second term) wish the gop had picked Condeleeza Rice to run for them and no not because she is black. (maybe a bit because she is a woman, though.) That is a hell of an intelligent woman. I’m sure many would disagree and that’s what’s still wonderful about of country, they CAN disagree with me.. we should all agree to disagree about our choices and “I wishes” for President.. and show kids that we can be a strong nation because we are allowed and respect that freedom of choice.

December 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm
(183) daymond says:

The president doesnt run the country.

December 9, 2012 at 8:51 am
(184) E.C.Dunham says:

Wow! I did the same thing as last person to comment. Wanted to find an adequate answer to the question of difference between Commonwealth and state,. Some of you explained it pretty well and for that I thank you. Seems as if Commonwealths have more hands on with local issues and laws. I don’t think one is an advantage over the other although I have have lived in Mass. and NJ and now in live in VA. I am very blessed to have a really good high school for my daughter. I was amazed at the standards and i don’t believe it was just about SOLs. The admins really care about the students and work closely with parents to help their children achieve good grades and skills. I have also spoken with our representative for our district in the state government. He has ‘town meetings’, every now and again and I like that. If this is a benefit as a commonwealth, I’ll take it. I do not know if our taxes are reflective of commonwealth policy or not but it was somewhat of a culture shock to have to pay taxes on vehicles. I still don’t really understand what that is about. As for presidents, I still feel sad when I see clips of JFK giving his inauguration speech, I was only 7 at the time but he gave us all hope. He wasn’t perfect by a long shot, but I am glad I didn’t hear about all his affairs. Our heads of state do have responsibilities to keep high standards but even the best of them did not in private. Why people act all shocked about it is beyond me. We are all corrupt in our own ways and would do better to focus on the planks in our own eyes rather than griping about the specks and planks in others’ eyes. And that is all she wrote. LOL

December 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(185) ophelia says:

Gonna break this up into several posts since this system limits me to 200 words per post.

What a great thread! Kind of like finding an internet twinkie. I was researching the difference between commonwealth and statehood (if any) and feel no better informed, but feel as if I’ve just relived the last election.

By the way, regardless of what state you live in, you don’t own your land. the Feds can take it any time they want. They have to compensate you for it, but they can take it. Welcome the the Republic of America.

Carter is the only president who told the truth. People didn’t like it. They blamed him for a recession he didn’t start and wasn’t able to end, much like Obama, although I can’t credit Obama for the same level of honesty. I personally think Carter was the greatest president ever. He has campaigned tirelessly for world peace, and had just about brokered peace in the mideast when Sadat was sadly assassinated. Kinda makes me wonder.

December 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm
(186) ophelia says:

I was born and raised in the commonwealth of MA, moved to FL for 20 years (with my family, I was a teenager at the time) and moved back to MA in 2000, lived there another 12 years. Now I’m in AZ. All I can say is MA is the most corrupt, inefficient, nepotic, intrusive, racist state on the planet. I don’t think this has anything to do with it being democratic. I think it’s because it’s a very old state and kind of conglomerated in an uneven way. I got a great education there in the 70′s, but Romney gutted the state schools to balance the economy there so I expect they are not such a high standard anymore. Florida is great for living in as an adult, but moving there as a high school student from a highly taxed state, I was college level compared to my peers.

December 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm
(187) ophelia says:

Massachusetts has disgusting high taxes, horrible waste, and an incredibly controlling government. They have a despotic police force. They have the best social services I’ve seen anywhere for poor and retired alike, and having worked in that system can say that the state funds are incredibly inefficiently spent. I worked my butt off and lived in a shack due to the cost of living while the indigent people I served treated me with contempt and enjoyed beautiful free apartments with flat screen TVs. I *observed* this, I am not simply expressing an opinion other than my use of relative terms. If you are not very rich or very poor, stay out of Massachusetts is my advice.

I like that they legalized pot, more or less, not that I condone its use, because generally I don’t. I like that they legalized gay marriage. Personally I think government should stay out of such things completely, kick it out of the tax system, and let marriage be a religious concern, or a secular one, but either way certainly not determinate of either benefits or taxes.

December 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm
(188) ophelia says:

With all that said, and I will add I had to laugh at the riposte about whores vs. prostitutes, I believe GW Bush was the biggest jerk and the worst president support by the most evil administration this country has ever seen. However, sadly, I have to say at this point our government is simply broken. We are diverted by “party” lines and battles when the truth seems to be BOTH parties and EVERYONE on capital hill is dipping out of the same pool and playing us all for fools. The passing of the Patriot Act was the death blow to our way of of life. Now, if we can get a bill passed to stop recognizing corporations as persons, that will be a step in the right direction. The Patriot Act needs to be repealed in every way shape and form. Police need to be as accountable for their actions as everyone else. I recognize that they have a very difficult job and have to make judgement calls that anyone might second-guess in retrospect and that needs to be considered, but to make it illegal to film police actions is pure terrorism.

December 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm
(189) ophelia says:

oh, I probably should have said *decriminalized* pot, more or less. Possession of over a certain amount is a finable offense. I think this is good because I think it is hypocritical to legalize alchohol, which does far more harm, and imprison people for pot, which use is as widespread. They both do harm, but in different ways to different degrees to different people. However I have yet to see a stoned person get violent, although I’ve seen some basically drop out of life. I’ve seen a lot of drunk fights and a few murder attempts before I got out of the game. And there’s them that can take either or leave it and have very functional lives, and more power to’m. I am not one.

December 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm
(190) ophelia says:

and, finally, my last words:

I think immigration should be returned to the way it used to be — we allow the same number in as leave each year. Period. We complain about illegal immigration, but the reality is it is allowed to persist because it is a form of slave labor. The Civil War didn’t get rid of slavery, it created it when it created the Federal Government. Yep, all this from a radical pro-gun pro-abortion leftist.

Let the trolling begin!

January 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm
(191) jdf says:

Wow, I looked up commonwealth vs state & got political debates. I got news for everyone. Democrat, Republican, left, or right…it makes no difference. The global elites want to divide us. Divide & conquer. There are not as many differences between Bush & Obama than you think. They both stink so get over it. They’re both ponds. And according to our forefathers, a true patriot recognizes that our own government is are greatest threat (which btw is the rational of the 2nd amendment being so talked about since the Sandy tragedy). I just hope this country can unite without bloodshed. We are a monetary collapse away from civil unrest. This is the real threat to America. If we continue printing money will be there. Also, if people had more backbone we wouldn’t be complaining about Dem vs Rep. You know there were other candidates to vote for. If everyone just voted for who they wanted, and didn’t listen to the damn media about wasting your vote

January 30, 2013 at 2:44 am
(192) bryan says:

All of you are idiots. I live in Massachusetts, it is a commonwealth, also aka a state. There is NO difference. We abide by the same federal laws as every other state, and the fact that Virginia’s min. wage is $5.15 is absurd, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that it is also a commonwealth.

February 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm
(193) Justice Scalia says:

D_S_F said:

“Presidents don’t get any worse than G.W. Bush. Seems as though all the retired Presidents from one particular party take up golf while those from other parties take up public interest causes. Go figure…”

Really? It appears that the current occupant of the White House has decided to take up golf while actually in office, playing over 100 times in four years. While a conservatively estimated 8% of Americans are out of work, there are wars on and soldiers killed daily in the middle east, and the deficit and debt are so far gone who knows how we will recover. As long as he gets his 18 holes in every two weeks or so, without, of course, ever having a meeting with his jobs council.

Don’t be a hypocrite.

February 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm
(194) tommie says:

This is an amazing thread…So many have answered it correctly and yet no reads the answers..The correct answer is–there is no difference between commonwealth and state.
So, what I want to REALLY comment on is about politics. Did anyone not want to go after those who attacked our nation??? Our gov’t reacted with the best intel they had–US Reps and Senators, and the Executive branches of our nation, and, of course, that costs money. Did any of you know that GWB warned our legislators several times that the housing market was going to go down. (thank you, Frank/Dodd who wrote the legislation–Dems, by the way)Did any of you know that for the last two years of GWB admin., the Dems held the House AND the Senate? They were the ones voting to spend money. Did you know that for the first two years of Obamas term, the Dems still held the majority?(still spending our money) Did you know that under Obamas admin, the blacks of this nation are earning and working less than in many, many years? If you cut Obama, he does not bleed America, he bleeds anticolonialism.

February 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm
(195) SomethingDotDotDot says:

bryan wrote:

“…and the fact that Virginia’s min. wage is $5.15 is absurd…”

Virginia’s minimum wage is $7.25, the federal minimum.

February 9, 2013 at 9:23 am
(196) Virginian says:

I am a born and raised Virginian. Virginia over the years has drastically changed to the point where it is standing out more as a commonwealth. One can say all day long that there is no difference between a state and a commonwealth. Yes, commonwealths are states, but there are differences in the court of law and legislation. If you have evidence that can be help to clear you or if you’re trying to get justice things are not always presented.
I’m looking forward to the day I move out of this state, but until then I have to stay and take care of elderly family members. Virginia is the worst. High taxes and greedy ass delegates.

February 10, 2013 at 1:58 am
(197) Commenter says:

I love how this pointless and empty argument all stated with commonwealths versus states because people have to push their beliefs on everyone else.

February 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm
(198) fro661 says:

I have throughly enjoyed reading the coments about Commonwealth vs State and I thank everyone for their input. I researched the differences before I got to this site. In common usuage Commonwealth is associated with countries who may or may not be affiliated with other countries, in some cases Republics. This question is unresolved in the US because no one has asked this question in Court and when someone or city, or county does bring it to court, we will get a decision. Until then enjoy your debate. Words are split everyday in courts across this nation and those who think a Word doesn’t matter often get burnt ie; “Throw the switch”

March 11, 2013 at 9:49 am
(199) marc says:


March 12, 2013 at 12:45 am
(200) Russell says:

As far as commonwealth law there are some differences. For instance in a commonwealth a magistrate is always available no matter the time of day concerning legal matters or bond assessment. As far as educational differences the secondary schools in VA. are second to none. The educational pace is much faster and more demanding than most states. UVA is consistenly ranked the #1 public University in the entire country every year. The University of Richmond is one of the top law schools in the nation as well. John F. Kennedy and many other famous policy makers received there law degrees from UofR. VPI or VA. Tech has an excellent engineering school with a large presence in NASCAR, DARPA,the DOD, and DOE. Virginia Military Institute has educated some of the greatest military minds in the history of the country from Stonewall Jackson to George C. Marshall and George S. Patton. George Mason, Mary Washington, Washington and Lee University, VCU,ODU,James Madison U. Liberty U. Regent U. and Randolph Macon are all excellent public and private Institutions as well.

March 19, 2013 at 11:25 am
(201) Mary says:

This response is for the 3rd person who commented back in 2011. I was searching for the answer to commonwealth vs state and stumbled upon these comments. Let’s start by saying: I am not interested in politics and do not vote and am not affiliated with any groups – nor do I have any agenda. However, to correct the 3rd commentor (dham): Puerto Ricans are NOT illegals. They are US Citizens who happen to live in an autonomous state/country, in other words, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. How do I know that? Besides going to school and learning basic history, I am a 2nd generation Puerto Rican American. Thanks all.

March 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm
(202) Ryan says:

I’m military living in VA but originally from TX. Honestly I don’t see any difference between living here or back home. I’ve never been involved in the court system here so I can not compare that aspect, which, from what I’ve read is the only difference between a state and commonwealth (I worked for CPS back home and have a little bit of knowlege of TX law.) Drivers are just as bad here as they are back home, and I can’t speak of taxes either and I can’t compare gas prices although prices in VA seem to be cheaper than anywhere else.
I was interested in what the difference was because I keep hearing people say the “Commonwealth of Virginia” but the state troopers all have “State” on them. I guess you can’t call us the Uniteds 46 States plus 4 Commonwealths of America”.

April 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm
(203) z rogers says:

To the man saying illegals from Puerto Rico…you are proof of the ignorance in the rightwing. Puerto Rico is a US territory aka non naturalized citizens of the USA

April 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm
(204) Michael says:

Oh my goodness! I just came into this forum, to see why Ohio is called, “The State of Ohio;” while Kentucky is called, “The Great Commonwealth of Kentucky.” Obviously, it has been shown and cited, that there is no current difference. The “U.S. State’s title” was decided in a time of philosophically, different, ideals.

People in this forum are using limited, naive examples of negatives and positives, to the two titles. However, these could be simple correlative differences; not causative. Also, one’s limited experience with a commonwealth and a state (possibly a few); can not be extrapolated, to summarize differences among the government’s of 50 U.S. States.

Get a grip people! You sound like a bunch of lunatics who won’t eat at Burger King, because one time, your fries were cold.


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