On May 2, 1670, Charles II signed the charter of the Hudson''s Bay Company, granting the Company 1.5 million acres of land in North America with the right to act as “the true and absolute Lordes and Proprietors of the same Territory.” By the time it reached the Pacific Coast, the HBC had its own flag, its own forts, its own ships and arms, and its own calendar based on the birth of the Company. The HBC had taken for itself all the trappings of a sovereign state, and along with its flag and arms, it had its own agenda that rivaled those of the tribes and governments that it encountered along the way. Exploring the case of the HBC forces us to question not only the accepted historical view of one of the world''s great trading companies, but also to question how we view corporate power. Using the history of the HBC and the history of corporations more generally, we begin to see that corporations are more than pieces of property or mere artificial persons. The implications of such observations have far-reaching consequences on the proper role of governments and corporations in our modern world.