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Why Were Corporations Illegal Before 1819?

While many here believe that Corporations are part of a healthy Free Market, it should be noted that our founders fought the British Corporations AS WELL AS the British Government.

So when you think it's "libertarian" to defend corporations like Monsanto, think again.

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When American colonists declared independence from England in 1776, they also freed themselves from control by English corporations that extracted their wealth and dominated trade. After fighting a revolution to end this exploitation, our country's founders retained a healthy fear of corporate power and wisely limited corporations exclusively to a business role. Corporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society.

Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Enabling shareholders to profit was seen as a means to that end.

The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused) like these:

* Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.

* Corporations were often terminated if they caused public harm.

* Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.

* Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

http://www.reclaimdemocra...
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But aren't corporations just part of the free market? Isn't that what capitalism is all about - corporate interests driving the economy?

Actually, no. Corporate libertarians would have you believe that somehow corporate dominance is entirely consistent with the values and vision of the Founding Fathers, but this is pure myth. The framers believed in limited government and free markets, but corporations were almost non-existent in the early days of the Republic. Unlike today, one could not form a corporation simply by filing a few papers with a government office; instead, permission from the government was needed (usually via an act of the Legislature)

http://www.psychologytoda...
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UPDATE:

Watch "The Corporation" documentary Free,

http://youtu.be/Y888wVY5hzw

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Corporations Acting as Governments have been Foreclosed...

...by the One People's Public Trust (OPPT). These are filed (and non-rebutted) notices to the (private) Corporations acting as governments that "ownership" has been returned to the One People. These documents are going madly viral and legal templates are now available and starting to be tested in the system. At some point this legal "testing" will not be necessary but individuals with pressing debt due to foreclosure, student loans, etc. are using them now. (Also, see long list of corporations acting as government in this thread on page 1 under heading "Governments are Corporations and vice versa")

The original documents filed and made public to put TPW (Powers that Were) on notice
http://www.peoplestrust1776.org

Best OOPT sites:
http://oppttheunfoldingstory.wordpress.com
http://oppt-in.com
http://removingtheshackles.net/forum/

Blogs that write about this (with many more coming on)
www.removingtheshackles.blogspot.ca
www.american kabuki.blogspot.com
http://jhaines6.wordpress.com

while corporate libertarians

"while corporate libertarians are quick to point out that the framers and other intellectuals of the founding era were wary of excessive governmental power, they conveniently neglect to mention that concentrated corporate power was also viewed skeptically. In fact, Adam Smith, whose "Wealth of Nations" is often cited by corporate apologists as validating "free markets," warned against unrestrained, concentrated corporate power and instead encouraged small-scale, local economic activity. Published in 1776, "Wealth of Nations" predates the rise of corporate power, and suggestions by corporate libertarians that the book somehow supports the notion of corporate dominance are either mistaken or outright dishonest.

It's worth noting that libertarians have no right to claim that a laissez-faire environment would allow unregulated corporate power. Since corporations themselves are a fictitious creation of government, a true libertarian environment (with minimal government) would find them unnecessary and somewhat repugnant. Thus, ironically, at their essence corporations are a creation of government meddling."

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/2...