Commonwealth vs Protectorate
Commonwealth and protectorate are terms that are used to describe the status of nations or territories (lying sometimes inside a nation) in terms of their sovereignty. While commonwealth is applied to a group of nations that prefer to have an alliance for the common good of the all members, protectorate is a term that applies to a nation or an autonomous region that is protected by a stronger nation both diplomatically and militarily. In exchange for protection, the protectorate accepts some obligations that depend upon the nature of relationship with the stronger nation. However, some protectorates remain as independent nations. It is only when it comes to direct dealing with other nations of the world that the protector nation comes into picture.
It is a group of nations or territories inside a nation that form an alliance as they share many things in common such as history, culture, or even religious beliefs. British Commonwealth is the largest such grouping in the world with countries poles apart being its members such as Australia and India. Having more than 50 member nations, the British Commonwealth has a major standing on the world stage and it consists of members that were once part of the British Empire as it existed in the 20th century.
An example of a commonwealth inside a country is the alliance between the states of Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. These 4 states defied the British Empire and declared their independence from the British Empire. This commonwealth now lacks any significance but has been retained by the US as a remembrance of the rebellion showed by these 4 states against the British Empire. There are some other territories inside US that are considered as commonwealths. One such example is Puerto Rico which does not have all the rights of a state but has a special relationship with the US. It takes part in Olympics as a separate nation.
This term is applied in a situation when a large country takes responsibility of a weak and small nation in all aspects of the word. The protectorate conducts its external relations with other countries of the world through the stronger nation which protects it diplomatically, politically and militarily. Despite this special relationship, the protectorate maintains its sovereignty and is considered as a separate nation among member countries of the world.
• Commonwealth is a group of nations that form an alliance for common good of the members whereas protectorate is a territory or a nation that accepts another, stronger nation as its protector.
• Despite being in a commonwealth or being a protectorate, such nations are considered as a separate nation in the world.