How Corporations Got So Powerful - The Seminal :: Independent Media and Politics: "1807-1814 The embargo of France and Britian and the War of 1812 shuts down most US trade with Britian. The first private American companies are created for the purpose of building factories and creating private wealth.
1819 Dartmouth College v. Woodward. A corporate charter is ruled to be a contract and can’t be altered by the government, a major shift of power from government to private business. This is one of a series of pro-business rulings made by the Marshall Court.
1844 Britian introduces the concept of limited liability, which protects personal shareholders from the consequences of corporate behavior, a radical shift which is soon imitated in the United States and which sets the stage for the modern private investment system.
1880-1890’s The Supreme Court denies numerous efforts by the growing Labor Movement to establish standards for workers’ rights and collective bargaining protection, confirming the fact that government and large corporations are working hand-in-hand.
1886 Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. One of the most significant court cases in American history, even though the case itself does not pertain to the matter of corporate personhood. A statement made by the justices before the case begins, however, reveales the court"