The Origins of Corporations

The Mills of Toulouse in the Middle Ages

Germain Sicard; Translated by Matthew Landry; Edited by William N. Goetzmann; with an Introduction by David Le Bris, William N. Goetzmann, and Sébastien Pouget

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August 11, 2015
520 pages, 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
9 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300156485
Cloth

Fully modern corporations appeared in fourteenth-century Toulouse, much earlier than previously believed

Germain Sicard proves that Europe’s first corporations were fourteenth-century mill companies operating in Toulouse, rather than seventeenth-century English and Dutch trading companies as commonly believed. He shows that the corporate form derives from a unique ownership contract from Medieval Europe called pariage, and a culture of strong property rights and municipal self-governance. Based on archival research, Sicard’s 1952 thesis has been translated into English with an introduction that places the work in the context of new institutional economics and legal theory. It is an important contribution to research on the history and legal origins of the corporation.

Germain Sicard is a jurist and legal historian who served as Officer of General Affairs, Center for Historical Research, School of Practical Studies in France.
The Great Mirror of Folly

Finance, Culture, and the Crash of 1720

Edited by William N. Goetzmann, Catherine Labio, K.

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