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The First Amendment and the Business Corporation$
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Ronald J. Colombo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199335671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199335671.001.0001

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The Modern Business Corporation

The Modern Business Corporation

(p.29) Chapter 2 The Modern Business Corporation
The First Amendment and the Business Corporation

Ronald J. Colombo

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 considers whether the business corporation can fairly be considered an association. It recounts the history of the corporation, from its ancient predecessors to its modern manifestations. It shows how the corporation evolved to meet the needs of its particular era. Although the corporation has long been viewed as an “artificial person,” what this phrase means has also evolved over time. Concession theory gave way to real entity/natural entity theory, which gave way to aggregation theory, private property theory, and, ultimately, the nexus of contracts/contractarian conceptualization of the corporation. The chapter closes with an articulation of the chief characteristics of the modern corporation, concluding that these characteristics do not generally comport with those of an association—especially in light of the shareholder primacy norm.

Keywords:   artificial person, concession theory, real entity theory, natural entity theory, aggregation theory, nexus of contracts, contractarianism, modern corporation, shareholder primacy

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