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.