|Joint Stock Companies|
|Requires||Division of Labour|
|Building Needed||Classic University|
|Leads To||Wealth of Nations|
A company owned by a group of individuals known as shareholders who can sell their stake in the company for profit.
Joint stock companies are developed by financiers who, as part of their ownership, become shareholders. They are then given stocks that they can sell at any time, perferably for a profit. Coffee houses are popular haunts for men looking to trade in stocks. Many coffee house owners even keep a record of the prices of stocks and commodities, encouraging these new financiers to conduct their affairs within the establishment - all the while indulging in expensive and fashionable coffee drinking!
Historically, the South Sea Company was one of the more notorious joint stock companies. Robert Harley, the British Treasurer, set it up but, although the company appeared to be interested in trade, its chief purpose was to fund government debt incurred during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701- 1714). Rampant speculation pushed share prices to insane levels and, in the inevitable crash, many lost their entire fortunes.
One of the later enlightenment technologies, Joint Stock Companies unlocks building options for furthering trade income as well as generating additional wealth for all regions.