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Chain operations would ultimately form the foundation for the franchise method of distribution.
Not surprisingly, transportation and the growing mobility of Americans were the impetus for the establishment of retail and restaurant chains and franchising in the manufacturing segments of the economy.
Following the massacre of 347 settlers by the Powhatan Indian Confederacy on March 22, 1622, the British Crown, charging mismanagement of the area by the London Company, withdrew its charter in 1624 and the Colony of Virginia came under direct British control.
Much of the colonization and exploration by the British and European powers was conducted under similar "franchise" relationships.
The railroad wanted to open depot restaurants for its passengers and provided Frederick Henry with locations and free transportation of restaurant supplies.
Some have written that it may indeed date back as far as the Roman Empire or earlier and given the necessity of large territorial controls, coupled with the lack of modern transportation and communication at the time, there is reasonable basis for this assumption.
In his book, Franchising - The How To Book, Lloyd Tarbutton places the first chain store concept as being established in 200 B. in China when a local businessman named Lo Kass began operating several retail units in China and speculates that franchising possibly started even earlier when rickshaw drivers were granted specific routes.
As it was an agrarian society, the control over the land represented an enormous power and was the foundation for the feudal system.
I have always believed that the movie Robin Hood , starring Errol Flynn, was simply the tale of a franchise relation that went bad, with King Richard as the franchisor, Prince John as the master franchisee and the Lockslie family as the franchisee.