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These three essays deal with public policy with respect to the business corporation in the United States from 1780 into the 1960's. They trace the development of the business corporation from the time it was treated as a matter of special privilege to the end of the nineteenth century when corporation became available to all qualified applicants under general legislative and simple administrative procedures. After public and legislative acceptance of the corporation, the twentieth century was faced with the task of adjusting the corporation to the general demands of public policy. This study develops in great detail the tenet that the corporation must be legitimate, that is, that it must be both useful and responsible. To this end, specialized bodies of regulatory law have been created outside the law of corporate structure. These essays reflect almost two hundred years of public policy concentrated on making the corporation a ""legitimate instrument of business energy and ambition."" They include full documentation with detailed references to all relevant legal materials. Their examination of the legitimacy of privately organized power is the most complete study of this important force available.