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The Roots Of The American Revolution* Go Back To 1636


Massachusetts: Deep within the roots of the American revolution is a little-known fact  — the colonists could not charter or incorporate a business without the approval of the crown which was the King of England.  The significance of this fact has eluded many historians and students of history.  At the time of the American revolution, the need to create new businesses was pent up --  there was a backlog -- so people found ways to subvert that application for a charter, now called Articles of Incorporation.

The prequel, the very first act of in independence, actually occurred in 1636.
A group of learned colonists wrote their own charter to start Harvard University. Fourteen years later, on June 9, 1650, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts actually approved that charter submitted by Harvard's first president, Henry Dunster. Called "The Harvard Corporation," it is the first and the oldest corporation in North America.  Dunster and his gang turned their backs on King Charles I.  And, after Charles was beheaded, the leaders of the Bay Colony made it formal, turning their backs on Oliver Cromwell and the English Parliament.
Oscar Handlin  (1915-2011), Pulitzer historian and Harvard University Professor reveals within 10 pages that starting a business runs deep in this country's history.  See: The Corporation: A Theological Inquiry,  Novak/Cooper (new window)

1775: The need for corporations was a key part of the "shot that heard 'round the world."* King George III (1738-1820) lost the colonies in America because he did not understand their need to create businesses. Handlin writes: "In 1800 the United States was only beginning its history as an independent nation. It was an under-developed country, primarily agricultural, with a population of perhaps 4 or 5 million along the Atlantic coast. Already, however, the United States had more corporations, and more explicitly business corporations, than all of Europe put together..."   More...

The Revolution Continues:  Watch videos from 50+ seasons on PBS stations throughout the USA and on the Voice of America-TV 'round the worldMore

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*Catching fire in April 1775, fifteen miles away; read: Emerson's "Concord Hymn" (1837)

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