Municipal government in Canada
In Canada, municipal government is a type of local council authority that provides local services, facilities and infrastructure for communities. Canada has three levels of government. According to Section 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867, "In each Province the Legislature may make Laws in relation to... Municipal Institutions in the Province." There are about 3,700 municipal governments in Canada. Municipal governments are established under provincial/territorial authority. Like many Canadian political institutions, municipal government has its roots in the medieval system of government in England. Famously, the city of Winchester was given its charter in 1185, the granting of freedoms became endorsed in Magna Carta, signed in 1215; the first formal municipality in Canada was the city of Saint John in New Brunswick, which received royal approval in 1785. For municipal government, this began an 50-year hiatus of receiving approval from the government, ending in the 1830s when the issue was placed on the agenda once again.
In 1835, the British parliament passed the Municipal Corporations Act, which specified how municipalities were to function and be elected. The ideas from this law were transferred to Canada by Lord Durham, who submitted a report to then-Governor-General, Lord Sydenham. In late 1840 to early 1841 the governments of what was Canada at the time enacted various acts which established municipal government in all areas of the country. In 1849, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada approved a Canadian version of the Municipal Corporations Act referred to as the Baldwin Act in honour of its creator, Robert Baldwin, it delegated authority to the municipal governments so they could enact by-laws. It established a hierarchy of types of municipal governments, starting at the top with cities and continued down past towns and townships. Changes to the boundaries of these new governments could be made by petitioning the provincial Municipal Board or by requesting a change through the legislature.
By the early 20th century, Canada was involved in a period of municipal reform. An attempt to distinguish municipal government from the provincial legislature occurred, the municipal governments were compared with a board of directors – this form of government was not for advancing a certain political party's view, it was for sitting down and running it'like a business'; as such, the idea that a larger municipality should have more councillors was the same as having a large board of directors for a larger company. Between the 1920s and the 1960s the municipalities received increased funding from their provincial government parents; this was due to the Great Depression, but further discussion about reform reared its head in the 1970s. In many cities, the system of having a few large wards encompassing many different walks of life was replaced with one ward for every area with different demographics; the arguments over municipal government reform continue, seen in the recent City of Toronto Act 1997 dispute.
Municipal governments are subdivisions of their province. While the municipality has autonomy on most decisions, all by-laws passed by that municipal government are subject to change by the provincial government at any time. An example of a typical municipal government structure can be found in New Brunswick, which played host to the first municipal government in Canada in 1785 at Saint John. In some provinces, several municipalities in a particular area are part of an upper tier of municipal government, which provides more regionally oriented services. Depending on the province, this second tier may be called a county, regional municipality, regional district or regional county municipality. In Nova Scotia, three municipalities are designated as "regional municipalities". A regional municipality is a single municipal government covering an entire historical county including all incorporated towns and cities within the county. Within the three regional municipalities, designations such as "city" and "town" exist only as informal signifiers for chartered towns and cities that used to exist prior to the establishment of the regional municipality.
In Canada the types of municipal government vary between provinces, although they all perform the same functions. The general hierarchy was established in 1849 with the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act; the largest municipalities are called cities, their governments city councils. Smaller governments are called towns, parishes, rural municipalities, townships or hamlets; some may be directly designated as municipalities rather than as a particular type of municipality, but this term is still considered inclusive of all local governments regardless of their status. The term "borough" was used in Metropolitan Toronto, Ontario, to denote suburban municipalities; the Borough of East York was the last municipality to hold this status, relinquishing it upon becoming part of the City of Toronto on January 1, 1998. In Quebec, there is no legal distinction between cities and towns – although an informal and subjective distinction may be observed by English speakers all "cities" and "towns" in Quebec have the same status of ville.
In Quebec, the term borough is used as the English translation of arrondissement, referring to an administrative division of a municipality. Only eight municipalities in Quebec are divided into boroughs; some areas in Canada are unincorporated, meaning that they do not have a municipal government at al
Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He was one of the first management consultants. Taylor was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and his ideas, broadly conceived, were influential in the Progressive Era. Taylor summed up his efficiency techniques in his 1911 book The Principles of Scientific Management which, in 2001, Fellows of the Academy of Management voted the most influential management book of the twentieth century, his pioneering work in applying engineering principles to the work done on the factory floor was instrumental in the creation and development of the branch of engineering, now known as industrial engineering. Taylor made his name, was most proud of his work, in scientific management. Taylor was an athlete who competed nationally in tennis. Taylor was born in 1856 to a Quaker family in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Taylor's father, Franklin Taylor, a Princeton-educated lawyer, built his wealth on mortgages.
Taylor's mother, Emily Annette Taylor, was a coworker with Lucretia Mott. His father's ancestor, Samuel Taylor, settled in Burlington, New Jersey, in 1677, his mother's ancestor, Edward Winslow, was one of the fifteen original Mayflower Pilgrims who brought servants or children, one of eight who had the honorable distinction of Mister. Winslow served for many years as the Governor of the Plymouth colony. Educated early by his mother, Taylor studied for two years in France and Germany and traveled Europe for 18 months. In 1872, he entered Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, with the plan of going to Harvard and becoming a lawyer like his father. In 1874, Taylor passed the Harvard entrance examinations with honors. However, due to deteriorating eyesight, Taylor chose quite a different path. Instead of attending Harvard University, Taylor became an apprentice patternmaker and machinist, gaining shop-floor experience at Enterprise Hydraulic Works in Philadelphia, he left his apprenticeship for six months and represented a group of New England machine-tool manufacturers at Philadelphia's centennial exposition.
Taylor finished his four-year apprenticeship and in 1878 became a machine-shop laborer at Midvale Steel Works. At Midvale, he was promoted to time clerk, journeyman machinist, gang boss over the lathe hands, machine shop foreman, research director, chief engineer of the works. Taylor's fast promotions reflected both his talent and his family's relationship with Edward Clark, part owner of Midvale Steel. Early on at Midvale, working as a laborer and machinist, Taylor recognized that workmen were not working their machines, or themselves, nearly as hard as they could and that this resulted in high labor costs for the company; when he became a foreman he expected more output from the workmen. In order to determine how much work should properly be expected, he began to study and analyze the productivity of both the men and the machines, his focus on the human component of production Taylor labeled scientific management. While Taylor worked at Midvale, he and Clarence Clark won the first tennis doubles tournament in the 1881 US National Championships, the precursor of the US Open.
Taylor became a student of Stevens Institute of Technology, studying via correspondence and obtaining a degree in mechanical engineering in 1883. On May 3, 1884, he married Louise M. Spooner of Philadelphia. From 1890 until 1893 Taylor worked as a general manager and a consulting engineer to management for the Manufacturing Investment Company of Philadelphia, a company that operated large paper mills in Maine and Wisconsin, he was a plant manager in Maine. In 1893, Taylor opened an independent consulting practice in Philadelphia, his business card read "Consulting Engineer - Systematizing Shop Management and Manufacturing Costs a Specialty". Through these consulting experiences, Taylor perfected his management system, his first paper, A Piece Rate System, was presented to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in June 1895. In 1898 he joined Bethlehem Steel to solve an expensive machine-shop capacity problem. While at Bethlehem, he discovered the best known and most profitable of his many patents: between 1898 and 1900 Taylor and Maunsel White conducted comprehensive empirical tests, concluded that tungsten cutting-steel doubled or quadrupled cutting speeds.
S. patent was nullified. Taylor was forced to leave Bethlehem Steel in 1901 after discord with other managers. Now a wealthy man, Taylor focused the remainder of his career promoting his management and machining methods through lecturing and consulting. In 1910, owing to the Eastern Rate Case, Frederick Winslow Taylor and his Scientific Management methodologies became famous worldwide. In 1911, Taylor introduced his The Principles of Scientific Management paper to the ASME, eight years after his Shop Management paper. On October 19, 1906, Taylor was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Pennsylvania. Taylor became a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. In early spring of 1915 Ta
A city council, town council, town board, or board of aldermen is the legislative body that governs a city, municipality, or local government area. Because of the differences in legislation between the states, the exact definition of a City Council varies. However, it is only those local government areas which have been granted city status that are entitled to refer to themselves as cities; the official title is "Corporation of the City of ______" or similar. Some of the urban areas of Australia are governed by a single entity, while others may be controlled by a multitude of much smaller city councils; some significant urban areas can be under the jurisdiction of otherwise rural local governments. Periodic re-alignments of boundaries attempt to rationalize these situations and adjust the deployment of assets and resources; the 2001 Local Government Act restyled the five county boroughs of Dublin, Galway and Limerick as city councils, with the same status in law as county councils. The 2014 Local Government Act Merged Limerick City and Limerick County Council together and Waterford City and Waterford County Council together abolishing Waterford and Limerick City council, While Limerick and Waterford maintain City Status.
The city councils and city halls in Malaysia are as follows. Alor Setar City Council Ipoh City Council Iskandar Puteri City Council Johor Bahru City Council Kota Kinabalu City Hall Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Terengganu City Council Kuching North City Hall Kuching South City Council Melaka City Council Miri City Council Penang Island City Council Petaling Jaya City Council Shah Alam City Council Local councils in New Zealand do vary in structure, but are overseen by the government department Local Government New Zealand. For many decades until the local government reforms of 1989, a borough with more than 20,000 people could be proclaimed a city; the boundaries of councils tended to follow the edge of the built-up area, so little distinction was made between the urban area and the local government area. New Zealand's local government structural arrangements were reformed by the Local Government Commission in 1989 when 700 councils and special purpose bodies were amalgamated to create 87 new local authorities.
As a result, the term "city" began to take on two meanings. The word "city" came to be used in a less formal sense to describe major urban areas independent of local body boundaries; this informal usage is jealously guarded. Gisborne, for example, adamantly described itself as the first city in the world to see the new millennium. Gisborne is administered by a district council, but its status as a city is not disputed. Under the current law the minimum population for a new city is 50,000. In the Republic of China, a city council represents a provincial city. Members of the councils are elected through local elections for provincial cities which are held every 4–5 years. Councils for the provincial cities in Taiwan are Chiayi City Council, Hsinchu City Council, Keelung City Council. In the UK, not all cities have city councils, the status and functions of city councils vary. A city council may be: The council of a metropolitan district, granted city status; the council of a non-metropolitan district, granted city status.
Some of these councils are some share functions with county councils. A parish council, granted city status; these councils have limited functions. The council of a London borough, granted city status, or the City of London Corporation. A city council may be: One of the three councils of principal areas that have been granted city status. One of the three community councils, with limited functions, that have been granted city status. A city council is the council of one of four council areas designated a City by the Local Government etc. Act 1994; the three cities which are not council areas have no city council. Belfast City Council is now the only city council. Since the local government reforms of 2015 the other four cities form parts of wider districts and do not have their own councils. City councils and town boards consist of several elected aldermen or councillors. In the United States, members of city councils are called council member, council man, council woman, councilman, or councilwoman, while in Canada they are called councillor.
In some cities, the mayor is a voting member of the council. In larger cities the council may elect other executive positions as well, such as a council president and speaker; the council functions as a parliamentary or congressional style legislative body, proposing bills, holding votes, passing laws to help govern the city. The role of the mayor in the council varies depending on whether or not the city uses council–manager government or mayor–council government, by the nature of the statutory authority given to it by state law, city charter, or municipal ordinance. There is a mayor pro tem councilmember. In cities where the council elects the mayor for one year at a time, the mayor pro tem is in line to become the mayor in the next year. In cities where the mayor is elected by the city's voters, the mayor pro tem serves as acting mayor in the absence of the mayor; this position is known as vice mayor. In some cities a different name for the municipal legislature is used. In San
A political machine is a political group in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses, who receive rewards for their efforts. The machine's power is based on the ability of the boss or group to get out the vote for their candidates on election day. Although these elements are common to most political parties and organizations, they are essential to political machines, which rely on hierarchy and rewards for political power enforced by a strong party whip structure. Machines sometimes have a political boss rely on patronage, the spoils system, "behind-the-scenes" control, longstanding political ties within the structure of a representative democracy. Machines are organized on a permanent basis instead of a single election or event; the term may have a pejorative sense referring to corrupt political machines. The term "political machine" dates back to the 20th century in the United States, where such organizations have existed in some municipalities and states since the 18th century.
Similar machines have been described in Latin America, where the system has been called clientelism or political clientelism in rural areas, in some African states and other emerging democracies, like postcommunist Eastern European countries. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party is cited as another political machine, maintaining power in suburban and rural areas through its control of farm bureaus and road construction agencies. In Japan, the word jiban is the word used for political machines; the Encyclopædia Britannica defines "political machine" as, "in U. S. politics, a party organization, headed by a single boss or small autocratic group, that commands enough votes to maintain political and administrative control of a city, county, or state". William Safire, in his Safire's Political Dictionary, defines "machine politics" as "the election of officials and the passage of legislation through the power of an organization created for political action", he notes that the term is considered pejorative implying corruption.
Hierarchy and discipline are hallmarks of political machines. "It means strict organization", according to Safire. Quoting Edward Flynn, a Bronx County Democratic leader who ran the borough from 1922 until his death in 1953, he wrote " the so-called'independent' voter is foolish to assume that a political machine is run on good will, or patronage. For it is not only a machine, and in any organization as in any army, there must be discipline."Political patronage, while associated with political machines, is not essential to the definition for either Safire or Britannica. A political machine is a party organization that recruits its members by the use of tangible incentives—money, political jobs—and, characterized by a high degree of leadership control over member activity. Political machines started as grass roots organizations to gain the patronage needed to win the modern election. Having strong patronage, these "clubs" were the main driving force in gaining and getting out the "straight party vote" in the election districts.
In the late 19th century, large cities in the United States—Boston, Cleveland, Kansas City, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis—were accused of using political machines. During this time "cities experienced rapid growth under inefficient government"; each city's machine lived under a hierarchical system with a "boss" who held the allegiance of local business leaders, elected officials and their appointees, who knew the proverbial buttons to push to get things done. Benefits and problems both resulted from the rule of political machines; this system of political control—known as "bossism"—emerged in the Gilded Age. A single powerful figure was at the center and was bound together to a complex organization of lesser figures by reciprocity in promoting financial and social self-interest. One of the most infamous of these political machines was Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party machine that played a major role in controlling New York City and New York politics and helping immigrants, most notably the Irish, rise up in American politics from the 1790s to the 1960s.
From 1872, Tammany had an Irish "boss". However, Tammany Hall served as an engine for graft and political corruption most notoriously under William M. "Boss" Tweed in the mid-19th century. Other historians note that Tammany Hall, although known, was not the most wicked, instead referring to the Republican party machine in Philadelphia. Lord Bryce describes these political bosses saying: An army led by a council conquers: It must have a commander-in-chief, who settles disputes, decides in emergencies, inspires fear or attachment; the head of the Ring is such a commander. He dispenses places, rewards the loyal, punishes the mutinous, concocts schemes, negotiates treaties, he avoids publicity, preferring the substance to the pomp of power, is all the more dangerous because he sits, like a spider, hidden in the midst of his web. He is a Boss; when asked if he was a boss, James Pendergast said I've been called a boss. All there is to it is having friends, doing things for people, later on they'll do things for you...
You can't coerce people into doing things for you—you can't make them vote for you. I never coerced anybody in my life. Wherever you see a man bulldozing anybody he don't last long. Theodore Roosevelt, before he became president in 1901, was involved in New York City politics, he explains how the machine worked: The organization of a party in our city is much like
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is the center of the Greater Richmond Region. Richmond was incorporated in 1742 and has been an independent city since 1871; as of the 2010 census, the city's population was 204,214. The Richmond Metropolitan Area has a population of 1,260,029, the third-most populous metro in the state. Richmond is located at the fall line of the James River, 44 miles west of Williamsburg, 66 miles east of Charlottesville, 100 miles east of Lynchburg and 90 miles south of Washington, D. C. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, encircled by Interstate 295, Virginia State Route 150 and Virginia State Route 288. Major suburbs include Midlothian to the southwest, Chesterfield to the south, Varina to the southeast, Sandston to the east, Glen Allen to the north and west, Short Pump to the west and Mechanicsville to the northeast; the site of Richmond had been an important village of the Powhatan Confederacy, was settled by English colonists from Jamestown in 1609, in 1610–1611.
The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became Dominion of Virginia in 1780, replacing Williamsburg. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom written by Thomas Jefferson. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the second and permanent capital of the Confederate States of America; the city entered the 20th century with one of the world's first successful electric streetcar systems. The Jackson Ward neighborhood is a national hub of African-American culture. Richmond's economy is driven by law and government, with federal and local governmental agencies, as well as notable legal and banking firms, located in the downtown area; the city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks.
Dominion Energy and WestRock, Fortune 500 companies, are headquartered in the city, with others in the metropolitan area. After the first permanent English-speaking settlement was established in April 1607, at Jamestown, Captain Christopher Newport led explorers northwest up the James River, to an area, inhabited by Powhatan Native Americans; the earliest European settlement in the Central Virginia area was in 1611 at Henricus, where the Falling Creek empties into the James River. In 1619, early Virginia Company settlers struggling to establish viable moneymaking industries established the Falling Creek Ironworks. After decades of territorial conflicts with native tribes, the Falls of the James became more to white settlement in the late 1600s and early 1700s. In 1737, planter William Byrd II commissioned Major William Mayo to lay out the original town grid. Byrd named the city "Richmond" after the English town of Richmond near London, because the view of the James River was strikingly similar to the view of the River Thames from Richmond Hill in England, where he had spent time during his youth.
The settlement was laid out in April 1737, was incorporated as a town in 1742. In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech in St. John's Church in Richmond, crucial for deciding Virginia's participation in the First Continental Congress and setting the course for revolution and independence. On April 18, 1780, the state capital was moved from the colonial capital of Williamsburg to Richmond, to provide a more centralized location for Virginia's increasing westerly population, as well as to isolate the capital from British attack; the latter motive proved to be in vain, in 1781, under the command of Benedict Arnold, Richmond was burned by British troops, causing Governor Thomas Jefferson to flee as the Virginia militia, led by Sampson Mathews, defended the city. Richmond recovered from the war, by 1782 was once again a thriving city. In 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was passed at the temporary capitol in Richmond, providing the basis for the separation of church and state, a key element in the development of the freedom of religion in the United States.
A permanent home for the new government, the Greek Revival style of the Virginia State Capitol building, was designed by Thomas Jefferson with the assistance of Charles-Louis Clérisseau, was completed in 1788. After the American Revolutionary War, Richmond emerged as an important industrial center. To facilitate the transfer of cargo from the flat-bottomed James River bateaux above the fall line to the ocean-faring ships below, an enterprising George Washington helped design the James River and Kanawha Canal from Westham east to Richmond, in the 18th century to bypass Richmond's rapids on the upper James River with the intent of providing a water route across the Appalachian Mountains to the Kanawha River flowing westward into the Ohio eventually to the Mississippi River; the legacy of the canal boatmen is represented by the figure in the center of the city flag. As a result of this and ample access to hydropower due to the falls, Richmond became home to some of the largest manufacturing facilities in the country, including iron works and flour mills, the largest facilities of their kind in The South.
The resistance to the s
Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is the fifth most populous city in the United States, the most populous American state capital, the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents. Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is part of the Salt River Valley; the metropolitan area is the 11th largest by population in the United States, with 4.73 million people as of 2017. Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County and the largest city in the state at 517.9 square miles, more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States. Phoenix was settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers and was incorporated as a city in 1881, it became the capital of Arizona Territory in 1889. It has a hot desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community with the original settler's crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton and hay.
Cotton, citrus and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" anchoring Phoenix's economy. These remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable; the city averaged a four percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the state of Arizona; the Hohokam people occupied the Phoenix area for 2,000 years. They created 135 miles of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable, paths of these canals were used for the Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct, they carried out extensive trade with the nearby Ancient Puebloans and Sinagua, as well as with the more distant Mesoamerican civilizations. It is believed that periods of drought and severe floods between 1300 and 1450 led to the Hohokam civilization's abandonment of the area.
After the departure of the Hohokam, groups of Akimel O'odham, Tohono O'odham, Maricopa tribes began to use the area, as well as segments of the Yavapai and Apache. The O'odham were offshoots of the Sobaipuri tribe, who in turn were thought to be the descendants of the Hohokam; the Akimel O'odham were the major group in the area and lived in small villages, with well-defined irrigation systems that spread over the entire Gila River Valley, from Florence in the east to the Estrellas in the west. Their crops included corn and squash for food, while cotton and tobacco were cultivated, they banded together with the Maricopa for protection against incursions by the Yuma and Apache tribes. The Maricopa are part of the larger Yuma people; the Tohono O'odham lived in the region, as well, but their main concentration was to the south and stretched all the way to the Mexican border. The O'odham lived in small settlements as seasonal farmers who took advantage of the rains, rather than the large-scale irrigation of the Akimel.
They grew crops such as sweet corn, tapery beans, lentils, sugar cane, melons, as well as taking advantage of native plants such as saguaro fruits, cholla buds, mesquite tree beans, mesquite candy. They hunted local game such as deer and javelina for meat; the Mexican–American War ended in 1848, Mexico ceded its northern zone to the United States, residents of that region became U. S. citizens. The Phoenix area became part of the New Mexico Territory. In 1863, the mining town of Wickenburg was the first to be established in Maricopa County, to the northwest of Phoenix. Maricopa County had not yet been incorporated; the Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to forestall Indian uprisings. The fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866, the first settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. Other nearby settlements merged to become the city of Tempe; the history of the city of Phoenix begins with Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.
He saw a potential for farming. He formed a small community that same year about four miles east of the city. Lord Darrell Duppa was one of the original settlers in Swilling's party, he suggested the name "Phoenix", as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization; the Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County recognized the new town on May 4, 1868, the first post office was established the following month with Swilling as the postmaster. On February 12, 1871, the territorial legislature created Maricopa County by dividing Yavapai County; the first election for county office was held in 1871. He ran unopposed; the town grew during the 1870s, President Ulysses S. Grant issued a land patent for the site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. By 1875, the town had a telegraph office
A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are traded on a stock exchange or in over the counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be unlisted. Public companies are formed within the legal systems of particular nations, therefore have national associations and formal designations which are distinct and separate. For example one of the main public company forms in the United States is called a limited liability company, in France is called a "society of limited responsibility", in Britain a public limited company, in Germany a company with limited liability. While the general idea of a public company may be similar, differences are meaningful, are at the core of international law disputes with regard to industry and trade. In the early modern period, the Dutch developed several financial instruments and helped lay the foundations of modern financial system.
The Dutch East India Company became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public. In other words, the VOC was the first publicly traded company, because it was the first company to be actually listed on an official stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fledged capital market: corporate shareholders; as Edward Stringham notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed." The securities of a publicly traded company are owned by many investors while the shares of a held company are owned by few shareholders. A company with many shareholders is not a publicly traded company. In the United States, in some instances, companies with over 500 shareholders may be required to report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Public companies possess some advantages over held businesses.
Publicly traded companies are able to raise funds and capital through the sale of shares of stock. This is the reason publicly traded corporations are important; the profit on stock is gained in form of capital gain to the holders. The financial media and the public are able to access additional information about the business, since the business is legally bound, motivated, to publicly disseminate information regarding the financial status and future of the company to its many shareholders and the government; because many people have a vested interest in the company's success, the company may be more popular or recognizable than a private company. The initial shareholders of the company are able to share risk by selling shares to the public. If one were to hold a 100% share of the company, he or she would have to pay all of the business's debt; this increases asset liquidity and the company does not need to depend on funding from a bank. For example, in 2013 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg owned 29.3% of the company's class A shares, which gave him enough voting power to control the business, while allowing Facebook to raise capital from, distribute risk to, the remaining shareholders.
Facebook was a held company prior to its initial public offering in 2012. If some shares are given to managers or other employees, potential conflicts of interest between employees and shareholders will be remitted; as an example, in many tech companies, entry-level software engineers are given stock in the company upon being hired. Therefore, the engineers have a vested interest in the company succeeding financially, are incentivized to work harder and more diligently to ensure that success. Many stock exchanges require that publicly traded companies have their accounts audited by outside auditors, publish the accounts to their shareholders. Besides the cost, this may make useful information available to competitors. Various other annual and quarterly reports are required by law. In the United States, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act imposes additional requirements; the requirement for audited books is not imposed by the exchange known as OTC Pink. The shares may be maliciously held by outside shareholders and the original founders or owners may lose benefits and control.
The principal-agent problem, or the agency problem is a key weakness of public companies. The separation of a company's ownership and control is prevalent in such countries as U. K and U. S. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission requires that firms whose stock is traded publicly report their major shareholders each year; the reports identify all institutional shareholders, all company officials who own shares in their firm, any individual or institution owning more than 5% of the firm's stock. For many years, newly created companies were held but held initial