Chartered Companies DefinitionDefinition of Chartered Companies
The Chartered Society, the kind of society that developed in Europe in the early days of our time. The State was entitled to certain prerogatives and benefits and was subject to certain commitments arising from a privilege accorded to it by the State' s competent authorities, which defined and limited those prerogatives, prerogatives and commitments and the places where they were to be carried out.
Normally, the Charta granted the undertaking a commercial monopoly in a given geographical area or for a given kind of merchandise. Early British charters were the merchandise adventurers (see below) and the merchandise stackers. These early enterprises were regulatory enterprises that derived the principals of their organisation from the mediaeval commercial guilds. At the time, they were the only ones in the world to be governed by the law.
It was a body of traders, each acting on their own behalf, but subject to a strict body of shared regulations that strictly limited their business activity. There was a sharp rise in the number and activity of companies promoted in the second half of the sixteenth centuries, when the English, French and Netherlands government was prepared to support commerce and promote research abroad.
There were also changes in the organisation of the charter companies. Controlled business, which was very well suited to trade with stability jurisdictions, was not so suited to operations in more remote areas where the risk, both commercially and politically, was greater. In order to satisfy the demands of the new trade terms, the joint-stock corporation, in which the share was provided by stockholders who then shared in the profit of the common corporation, was further developed.
Sometimes companies switched between one type and the other. All documents contain regulations to ensure the "good government" of the enterprise. Two of the first and most important foreign companies in England were the Muscovy Corporation (see 1555) and the Turkey Corporation (1583).
It had a major impact on global affairs as it retained British influences and covered the cost of sending embassies to these states. During this time, other British companies were founded for similar commercial companies: the Spaniard Company (1577, regulated), the Eastland Company for Baltic Sea Commerce (1579, regulated) and the French Company (1611, regulated).
In 1585 the first society for trading in Africa was created, others received a certificate in 1588, 1618 and 1631. However, it was the charter companies that were set up at that time for trading with India and the New World that had the greatest impact. East India Corporation (see above) was incorporated in 1600 as a public limited liability corporation with a sole right to trading with and from East India.
Much of the British Empire's past has been marked by its policy accomplishments, and its economy has been tremendous, contributed significantly to the nation's fortunes and made it the focus of most of the seventeenth centuries' business controversy. The English charter companies in North America had both a colonising and a commercial function.
Though the Hudson's Bay Company (see below) was dedicated almost exclusively to trading, most companies - such as the London Company, the Plymouth Company and the Massachusetts Bay Company - were directly engaged in settling settlers. On the other hand, chartered British companies were founded for the purpose of developing the new business, e.g. the short-lived Canary Company in 1665, the Royal African Company in 1672 and the South Sea Company in 1711.
Hectic speculations about the South Sea Company's share price led to a serious blow for the corporation. A Bubble Act of 1720 should make it much more challenging to obtain a chart. Also in France and the Netherlands, the French government used the airlines for similar activities.
More than 70 such companies were set up in France between 1599 and 1789. J.B. Colbert established the Frenchs East India Company (1664), and the kolonial and indic commerce was placed in the capable hands of charter companies in which the kings themselves had great interest. However, to a large extent the companies in France were devastated by John Law's "Mississippi Programme", which included commercial companies such as Senegalese and East India companies in a sovereign takeover programme.
In 1720, the finance crisis shattered popular trust, and although there was a new Indian charter until 1769, the charter was practically toast. The Dutch East Indies and West Indies were the foundation of the Dutch economic and marine dominance in the Netherlands in the seventeenth centuary.
As a result of the East Indian companies' prosperity, the Ostend Society was founded, in which the Holy Roman Kaiser Charles VI tried without succeeding to purchase the business of England and the Netherlands. However, the evolution of the contemporary private Limited Companies through consecutive corporate laws resulted in the loss of importance of charter companies.
However, some of the older ones still remain, among them the Hudson's Bay Company.