By Rob McQueen
The historical past of incorporations laws and its management is in detail tied to adjustments in social ideals in recognize to the position and objective of the company. via 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 proposal of company accountability and the position of the country within the rules of commercial. In doing so, the ebook advances our knowing of the form, effectiveness and deficiencies of recent regulatory regimes.
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Additional info for A Social History of Company Law
24 A Social History of Company Law place of patient labour and moderate expectations ambitious hopes and the habit of gambling in shares14. The problems encountered by incorporators in establishing themselves in new areas of endeavour, and the attendant problems encountered in overcoming the prejudices of the time, is confirmed in the following letter written in 1825 by the Secretary of the Metropolitan Fish Company, and circulated to ‘fishermen and others’: The company are sorry to observe, that attempts have been made, and are still been made, by certain interested persons calculated to mislead the fishermen and those interested in fisheries, as to the intention of the company, and prejudice their minds, by providing false impressions, alike injurious to the company and themselves, it becomes, therefore, a duty of their part, to put them on guard against such attempts..
This was particularly the case insofar as the solution finally arrived at was not imitative of arrangements prevailing in other countries with similar needs. However, this achievement was neither inevitable nor the result of any single causal agent. Paradoxically enough it was made more possible by the restrictive English provisions relating to corporations in force throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This exposed more clearly than in other jurisdictions the fact that business organizations such as corporations largely drew their legitimacy from extra-legal rather than legal factors.
As James Taylor notes: Despite its seeming invulnerability to change, the long-standing consensus on how best to regulate joint-stock enterprise gradually collapsed from the early 1840s, and legislative interventions between 1844 and 1856 created a new legal framework transforming incorporation from a closely-guarded privilege into a freely available right. The reasons for this break with the past are unclear… Regardless of the claims of various schools of thought in economic history to have found the economic actors instrumental in its adoption, modern company law was not the result of the pressures exerted by any one social grouping (interest group theory) or the irresistible pressures of certain economic forces (Marxism).
A Social History of Company Law by Rob McQueen