Between 1820 and 1860, the economy of New York was transformed by the growth of venture capitalism in transportation, manufacturing, and banking. Central to this transformation was an increasing resort to the corporate form. Because banks were the principal mechanism for pooling capital for investment in these corporations, they became the focus of state attention during the first half of the nineteenth century. This article regulates the chartering of corporations, generally barring special acts that grant exclusive privileges to particular organizations, and...
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