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Going the DistanceEurasian Trade and the Rise of the Business Corporation, 1400-1700$
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Ron Harris

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150772

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150772.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The English East India Company

The English East India Company

(p.291) 11 The English East India Company
Going the Distance

Ron Harris

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the English East India Company (EIC). In September 1599, a group of London merchants held a number of meetings that turned out to be the founding meetings of the EIC. It describes two parallel tracks—one for obtaining a royal charter that would incorporate the promoters as a corporate entity and permit them to enter trade with new territories, and the other for raising equity capital for voyages to the East Indies from a large number of passive investors. By employing this dual track, the promoters of the EIC coupled the familiar legal structure of the corporation with the less familiar element of joint stock. In contemporary constitutional terms, incorporation was considered an essential component of the monarch's exclusive and voluntary prerogative to create and grant dignities, jurisdictions, liberties, exemptions, and franchises. The chapter covers how EIC was incorporated in its first charter for a period of fifteen years, ending on December 31, 1614.

Keywords:   English East India Company, EIC, London merchants, corporate entity, passive investors, joint stock, incorporation

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