There were three Royal charters issued to the Virginia Company of London, organized for profit by >merchants, manufacturers, statesmen and artists who bound themselves in a joint stock enterprise. The company provided an agency for assembling adventure capital and supplying able management. The attraction was an opportunity for industrious persons to participate in the growing wealth and expanding power of the English middle class. Shareholders met in quarterly courts to discuss the business of the Company and participate in its management. These courts were the counterpart to our present corporate stockholders' meetings.
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