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2 Harv. L. Rev. 105 (1888-1889)
History of the Law of Business Corporations before 1800

handle is hein.journals/hlr2 and id is 123 raw text is: HARVARD
VOL. II.            OCTOBER 15, 1888.                 NO. 3
HISTORY      OF   THE    LAW     OF   BUSINESS      COR-
T HE most striking peculiarity found on first examination of
the history of the law of business corporations is the fact
that different kinds of corporations are treated without distinction,
and, with few exceptions, as if the same rules were applicable to
all alike. Subdivisions into special kinds are indeed made, but
the classification is based on differences of fact rather than on
differences in legal treatment. . Thus, corporations are divided
into sole and aggregate. Again, they are divided into ecclesiastical
and lay, and lay corporations are again divided into eleemosynary
and civil. But the division having been made, the older authors '
proceed to treat them all together, now and then recording some
minor peculiarity of a corporation sole or of an ecclesiastical cor-
poration with one member capable.
Municipal and business corporations, so unlike according to
modern ideas, are classed together as civil corporations, and
treated together along with the rest. Yet the East India Com-
pany was chartered in i6oo, and other trading companies had
been chartered even earlier, and between i6oo and i8oo numer-
1 E.g., Coke, in Sutton's Hospital Case, io Rep. r, The Law of Corporations,
x Blacks. Corn. ch. xviii., Kyd on Corporations.

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