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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

Chapter:
(p.495) 8 The Law of Corporations
Source:
A History of American Law
Author(s):

Lawrence M. Friedman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190070885.003.0017

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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