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Corporate SpiritReligion and the Rise of the Modern Corporation$
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Amanda Porterfield

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199372652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199372652.001.0001

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“The Real Nature and Spirit of Our Lives”

“The Real Nature and Spirit of Our Lives”

The Evolution of Corporate Personality, 1865–1920

Chapter:
(p.119) 6 “The Real Nature and Spirit of Our Lives”
Source:
Corporate Spirit
Author(s):

Amanda Porterfield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199372652.003.0006

Proponents of social evolution blurred boundaries between commerce and Christianity after the Civil War, championing Christian work as a means to economic growth, republican liberty, and national prosperity. Meanwhile, workers invoked Christ to condemn patronizing attitudes toward labor, and by organizing labor unions to hold capitalists accountable to Pauline ideals of social membership. Influenced by organic theories of social organization that traced modern corporations to medieval institutions, U.S. courts began recognizing corporations as natural persons protected by rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which had originally be crafted to protect the rights of African Americans.

Keywords:   spiritualism, social evolution, Knights of Labor, social Christianity, John Wanamaker, Dwight L. Moody, Andrew Carnegie, Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad, Otto Gierke

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