The Fortune 500 of 1812


Lots of economic activity has migrated from the home to the stock market since 1812.

Are there any time series of the share of the financial sector of GDP dating back from before the Civil War? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Well, dah, in 1812 corporations in the US had to be specifically chartered by the state, and corporate chartering was primarily limited to banks.

It wasn't until the 1820's, and really the 1850's and after, that we had corporations that were not specifically chartered--where you could go to the Secretary of State and file for a corporation without going through a legislative enactment to be created..

And, by the way, the "personhood" of a corporation--a person created by the state--can have its rights determined, and thereby limited, by the state as well.

So strange that we have Citizens United.

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