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Corporations and resistance in the Redwood Empire : towards a corporate history of Humboldt County (1579-1906)

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Title: Corporations and resistance in the Redwood Empire : towards a corporate history of Humboldt County (1579-1906)
Author: Emenaker, Ryan Eric
Abstract: In 1579 the first modern day corporation made contact with the area now known as Humboldt County. During the time period examined, corporations played a major role in the region’s politics, economy, and living conditions, and resistance to corporate domination quickly developed. By the 1870s this resistance was turning itself into an organized political force developing into a tradition of dissent with few equals in the nation. To better understand this dissenting tradition, the history of Humboldt County is examined from the impact of the corporation. As this case study evolves, statewide and national changes to the corporate form are analyzed. This broader corporate history places the history of corporations in Humboldt County in context with state and national changes to the corporate form that affected the region. While this is not a comprehensive history of the county, the role of corporations is a necessary component to better understanding the region. The work is broken down into four sections. The first section offers an introduction to corporations that operated in the Humboldt Bay region before the area became known as Humboldt County. The second section details the rise of corporate power in the county, while the third explores responses to this increasing corporate power. Section four offers a conclusion that explores the significance of Humboldt County’s unique experience with and responses to the corporate form as well as what lessons can be drawn from it. Research materials for this study primarily consisted of local newspapers, synthesized local histories, state of California documents and California law, as well as national and international histories of the corporate form.
Description: Project (M.A.)--Social Sciences: Environment & Community Program, Humboldt State University, 2005.
Date: 2005-12

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