Corporations have changed greatly since 1712. Centuries ago corporations had to follow very strict rules and were restricted from doing many things, such as owning other corporations. However, after a civil war a 14th amendment was made saying that that no one would be deprived of life, liberty, or property. This was regarding black people who had just been released from being slaves. However, the cunning and manipulative corporate lawyers made it so that corporations are their own people and cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property. I think that the purpose of corporations back then was to help. Building bridges for example is great help to others. And because of all the restraints of law they could not get that much money or power at that point. But afterwards with the great power and complete and utter freedom getting lots of money and power became much easier. Corporations became greedier, because they were now able to be in a situation where they have lots to gain. Therefore, I think that the purpose has changed from helping others (and profit to some extent in order to support themselves) to helping themselves (through making as much profit as possible).