Between the passage of the Bubble Act in 1720 and the sweeping reforms of the General Incorporation Act of 1844, the legal framework of business organization in England remained remarkably stagnant despite the profound economic and structural changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. This book analyzes why this discrepancy occurred, especially when other nations of that time, whose economies were far less developed, were evolving more permissive laws of business organization. Employing extensive primary source archival material, Ron Harris shows how the institutional development of major forms of business organization - the business corporation, the partnership, the trust, the unincorporated joint-stock company - evolved and how English law finally took account of these developments.

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