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A History of American Law$
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Lawrence M. Friedman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190070885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190070885.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

The Law of Corporations

The Law of Corporations

(p.495) 8 The Law of Corporations
A History of American Law

Lawrence M. Friedman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the development of corporate law in the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1800, corporation law was a torpid backwater of law, mostly a matter of municipalities, charities, and churches. Only a bridge or two, a handful of manufacturing enterprises, a few banks, a few insurance companies, disturbed its quiet. The nineteenth century, however, was the age of the business corporation. By 1870, corporations had a commanding position in the economy. Private practice and legislation made the law of corporations. The courts played a minor role. No constitutional convention met, between 1860 and 1900, without considering the problem of the corporation. This was a nineteenth-century constant; it changed form, format, and its cast of characters, but there was a numbing sameness of theme.

Keywords:   corporate law, manufacturing, charities, churches, corporations, corporation law

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