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The Legitimacy of the Business Corporation in the Law of the United States, 1780-1970

James Willard Hurst
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The History of Corporate Law by the Foremost Legal Historian, James Willard Hurst This study, which is based on a series of lectures delivered at the University of Virginia Law School, explores the development of corporate law from the 1780s, a time when the special charter was the only form of incorporation, to the 1960s, a time when corporations were established exclusively through general incorporation statutes. More than a chronicle, Hurst emphasizes how legal institutions actively shaped the central traits of American capitalism.