New PDF release: A Social History of Company Law

By Rob McQueen

The heritage of incorporations laws and its management is in detail tied to adjustments in social ideals in appreciate to the function and objective of the company. by means of learning the evolution of the company shape in Britain and a couple of its colonial possessions, the booklet illuminates debates on key thoughts together with the meanings of laissez faire, freedom of trade, the inspiration of company accountability and the function of the kingdom within the rules of industrial. In doing so, the e-book advances our figuring out of the form, effectiveness and deficiencies of recent regulatory regimes.

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Questions of company law and organization now concerned the rights of ... working people17. Attitudes to Incorporation at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century Attitudes to the corporate form up to the 1840s were composed of a mixture of hostility and cautious acceptance. It was widely recognized that many of the largest undertakings of the time, such as the development of canals and the building of railways, would not have occurred without a corporate structure within which to marshal investment.

Windsor (1835) 8 Sim 601. 38 Hurst, J W (1970) The Legitimacy of the Business Corporation in the Law of the United States, (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia), 6. Social Attitudes to Company Law: 1720–1855 35 practice. If those in commerce treated an association as if it were a ‘corporation’, it was such. Conversely, if those in business did not regard an enterprise as a legitimately constituted corporation then it would not be treated as such. The importance of commercial attitudes in the acceptance and legitimacy of an enterprise as a corporation has also been remarked upon by Ireland and his collaborators.

Nevertheless the lack of regulatory controls on corporations and the abuses perpetrated on the unsuspecting investing public by unscrupulous promoters and directors led to a widespread suspicion of ‘the corporation’ as an organizational framework within which to marshal capital and conduct undertakings. Many persons still believed, along with Adam Smith, that the corporate form was only suitable to particular types of enterprise, whilst others viewed corporate undertakings as a threat to their monopolistic control over particular industries18.

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