What Is a Corporation American History?

A corporation is a legal entity that is created to conduct business. It’s a type of company that has its own legal existence separate from its owners. In this article, we will discuss the history of corporations in America.

Early History of Corporations in America

The idea of corporations was not new when it came to America. However, the first corporations in America were created during the colonial period. The Virginia Company and Massachusetts Bay Company were among the first corporations to be established in America.

These early corporations were created to finance and manage colonies in America. They were also used to promote trade and commerce between England and its American colonies.

The Rise of Industrialization

The 19th century saw the rise of industrialization which brought about many changes in American society. With this came the need for large-scale organizations that could manage these changes. This led to the growth of corporations as we know them today.

The railroad industry was one of the first industries to take advantage of corporate structures. Companies like Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad were created as corporations, which allowed them to raise large amounts of capital through stock offerings.

The Rise of Trusts

As corporations grew larger, they began to merge with other companies or buy them out entirely. This led to the creation of trusts, which were formed by combining multiple companies into a single entity.

One famous example is John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company, which controlled over 90% of the oil refineries in America at one point. It was eventually broken up by antitrust laws passed by Congress.

Modern Corporations

Today, corporations are an integral part of American society and economy. They range from small businesses with a few employees to multinational conglomerates with thousands of workers across multiple countries.

Corporations are governed by a board of directors who are elected by shareholders. They are required by law to act in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.

The Controversy Surrounding Corporations

Despite their importance, corporations have been the subject of controversy over the years. Some people believe that they have too much power and influence over society and politics. Others argue that they are necessary for economic growth and job creation.

Regardless of your opinion on corporations, it’s clear that they have played a significant role in American history. From financing colonies to driving industrialization, corporations have been a driving force behind many of America’s most significant achievements.