Legally, Massachusetts is a commonwealth because the term is contained in the Constitution. In the era leading up to 1780, a popular term to refer to an entire body of people who made up a nation or a state (also known as the political body) was the word Commonwealth. This term was the preferred use of some political writers. In addition to Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the United States has two other communities, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, but they are of a different type.
They are not states and have only one non-voting representative in Congress. While residents of these islands have U.S. citizenship, they don't pay federal income taxes, although they do pay other types of federal taxes. Commonwealth is a term used by four of the 50 states of the United States in their full official names.
Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded by the common good. The four states (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia) are all in the eastern United States and, prior to the formation of the United States in 1776, were British colonial possessions (although Kentucky did not exist as an independent system of government under British rule, but was part of Virginia). As such, they share a strong influence of English common law in some of their laws and institutions. Adams would use state and commonwealth interchangeably when talking about Massachusetts, but it seems that when he used the word commonwealth it was for more elegant things.
All commissions shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by the Governor and witnessed by the Secretary or his deputy, and shall bear the great seal of the Commonwealth attached to them. I solemnly swear that I will have true faith and loyalty to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and I will support its constitution. The name State of Massachusetts Bay was used in all laws and is resolved until 1780 and in the first draft of the constitution. The individuals, who inhabit the territory formerly called the Province of the Bay of Massachusetts, solemnly and mutually agree with each other, to become a free, sovereign and independent political body or state under the name of THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.
States such as Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia are also integral parts of the rich tapestry of American history. All laws that have so far been adopted, used, and passed in the province, colony, or Bay State of Massachusetts, and that generally apply in the courts of law, will remain and remain in full force, until amended or repealed by the legislature; only those parts that are repugnant of rights are excepted. and freedoms contained in this constitution. By the time Massachusetts was considered a commonwealth, both Pennsylvania and Virginia had already assumed the designation.
In Massachusetts, the name can be traced to the founding father and resident of Massachusetts, John Adams, who wrote the Massachusetts constitution, drafted in 1780. According to an commonwealth website (Massachusetts, where Merriam-Webster is headquartered), several political writers preferred the term commonwealth in the years prior to 1780, when the Massachusetts constitution officially designated the state as such; the preference is that it is believed that it existed perhaps because there was some anti-monarchic sentiment when using the word commonwealth. This is evident in the names of the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts State House, and Bridgewater State Hospital. Sometimes there can be some confusion about what this means and how the name differentiates Massachusetts from other states.
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, drafted by none other than John Adams, came into force in 1780. .