Origin Of The "Corporation"

The first legal reference to corporations was in 2083 B.C. It was under the code of Hammerabbi, which was the law in the Mesopotamian part of Asia Minor. Roman Civil law brought about the development of various corporations. They were 1) Religious Soldalitas, 2) Governmental Municipants, and 3) Societies.

During the time of the Roman Empire, the concept arose that a corporation could only come into existence by the creative touch of the sovereign. But with approval of the sovereign comes a certain amount of control. There were two offshoots of Roman Civil law - 1) Canon Law, and 2) modern civil law.

Canon law deals with church property. This branch gave rise to two types of corporations - 1) Corporation Sole - composed of one person like a Bishop and 2) Corporation Aggregate - composed of many people.

In the early 13th century, Pope Innocent IV developed the concept of a corporation as a “persona ficta”. This means a fictitious person or an artificial person, created and controlled by papal authority. This also led to the legal separation of the corporation (an artificial person), from a man. The word “corp” means “body”. This also leads to the fact that you cannot use everyday English language when you are talking about something that is “legal”. A word in “legal” terms means something different than the same word means in normal language”. The word “legal” itself means “fiction”. Murder, the act of killing is unlawful, however, the government can give you a legal license to kill. In every day language, you, and I are persons. That is not the case in “law”. A legal dictionary says that a “person” is a “corporation”, a “partnership”, i.e. an artificial, legal public entity.”

“A corporation derives its existence and all of its powers from the State and, therefore, has only such powers as the State has conferred upon it. Power is used here to mean the legal capacity to execute and fulfill the objects and purposes for which the corporation was created, and the source of this power is the charter and the statute under which the corporation was organized.” Len Young Smith and G. Gale Roberson, Smith and Roberson's Business Law. West Publishing Company, 1966.

“Corporate existence is a privilege granted by the sovereign upon compliance with specified conditions.” Len Young Smith and G. Gale Roberson, Smith and Roberson's Business Law, West Publishing Company, 1966.

legal = fiction + corp = body + oration = talk
> imaginary body that talks
> an illusion

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