Franchise, Enfranchise, Disfranchise

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Franchise, Enfranchise, Disfranchise

Post by notmartha » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:40 am

KJV References


Webster’s Dictionary, 1828
FRAN'CHISE, noun fran'chiz. [See Frank.] Properly, liberty, freedom. Hence,

1. A particular privilege or right granted by a prince or sovereign to an individual or to a number of persons; as the right to be a body corporate with perpetual succession; the right to hold a court leet or other court; to have waifs, wrecks, treasure-treve, or forfeitures. So the right to vote for governor, senators and representatives, is a franchise belonging to citizens, and not enjoyed by aliens. The right to establish a bank, is a franchise

2. Exemption from a burden or duty to which others are subject.

3. The district or jurisdiction to which a particular privilege extends; the limits of an immunity.

4. An asylum or sanctuary, where persons are secure from arrest.
Churches and monasteries in Spain are franchises for criminals.

FRAN'CHISE, verb transitive To make free; but enfranchise is more generally used.

ENFRAN'CHISEMENT, noun Release from slavery or custody.

1. The admission of persons to the freedom of a corporation or state; investiture with the privileges of free citizens; the incorporating of a person into any society or body politic.
Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1856
TO ENFRANCHISE. To make free to incorporate a man in a society or body politic. Cunn. L. D. h. t. Vide Disfranchise.


1. The act of depriving a member of a corporation of his right as such, by expulsion. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 192.

2. It differs from amotion, (q. v.) which is applicable to the removal of an officer from office, leaving him his rights as a member. Willc. on Corp. n. 708; Ang. & Ames on Corp. 237; and see Expulsion.


1. This word has several significations: 1. It is a right reserved to the people by the constitution; hence we say, the elective franchise, to designate the right of the people to elect their officers. 2. It is a certain privilege, conferred by grant from the government, and Vested in individuals.

2. Corporations, or bodies politic, are the most usual franchises known to our law. They have been classed among incorporeal hereditaments, perhaps improperly, as they have no inheritable quality.

3. In England, franchises are very numerous; they, are said to be royal privileges in the hands of a subject. Vide 3 Kent, Com. 366; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1686; Cruise,' Dig. tit. 27; 2 Bl. Com. 37; 15 Serg. & Rawle, 130; Finch, 164.
Black's Law Dictionary, 1st Edition, 1891
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Anderson’s Law Dictionary (1893)
“A franchise is property and nothing more; it is in-corporeal property. As such it is liable for debts and subject to the right of eminent domain.
The Century Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, 1895


1. To set free; liberate, as from slavery ; hence, to free or release from custody, bad habits, or any restraint.

2. To make free of a state, city, or corporation; admit to the privileges of a freeman or citizen;
admit to citizenship.

3. To confer the electoral franchise upon; admit to the right of voting or taking part in public elections: as, to enfranchise a class of people; to enfranchise (in Great Britain) a borough or a university.

4. To endenizen ; naturalize.

1. The act of setting free ; release from slavery or from custody ; enlargement.

2. The admission of a person or persons to the freedom of a state or corporation ; investiture with the privileges of free citizens ; the incorporating of a person into any society or body politie ; now, specifically, bestowment of the electoral franchise or the right of voting.


1. liberty; freedom from constraint or subjection; independence ; enfranchisement..

2. A privilege arising from the grant of a sovereign or government or from prescription, which presupposes a grant; a privilege of a public nature conferred on individuals by grant from government; as a corporate franchise (the right to be and act as a corporation).

3. Specifically, the privilege of voting at public elections; the right of suffrage: distinctively Called the elective franchise;

4. The district or jurisdiction to which a particular individual or corporate privilege extends; the limits of an immunity.

5. An asylum or sanctuary where persons are secure from arrest.

6. Nobility of spirit: generosity; highmindednoss; magnanimity; liberality.


To make free; enfranchise.

Franchisement n.

Release from burden or restriction ; enfranchisement.

A person having a franchise.
Black's Law Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1910
A special privilege conferred by the government upon an individual or corporation, and which does not belong to the citizens of the country generally, of common right. It is essential to the character of a franchise that it should be a grant from the sovereign authority, and in this country no franchise can be held which is not derived from a law of the state. In England, a franchise is defined to be a royal privilege in the hands of a subject. In this country, it is a privilege of a public nature, which cannot be exercised without a legislative grant.

Elective Franchise. The right of suffrage; the privilege of voting in public elections. The right of voting at public elections; the privilege of qualified voters to cast their ballots for the candidates they favor at elections authorized by law.

Franchise Tax. A tax on the franchise of a corporation, that is on the right and privilege of carrying on business in the character of a corporation, for the purpose for which it was created, and in the conditions which surround it. Though the value of the franchise, for purposes of taxation, may be measured by the amount of business done, or the amount of earnings or dividends, or by the total value of the capital stock of the corporation in excess of tangible assets, a franchise tax is not a tax on either property, capital, stock, earnings, or dividends.
Black's Law Dictionary, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions. (1910)(1933)(1968)
The act of making free; giving a franchise or freedom to; investiture with privileges or capacities of freedom, or municipal or political liberty. Admission to the freedom of a city; admission to political rights, and particularly the right of suffrage. Anciently, the acquisition of freedom by a villein from his lord.

The word is now used principally either of the manumission of slaves, (q.v.,) of giving to a borough or other constituency a right to return a member or members to parliament, or the conversion of copyhold into freehold.
Misc. Court Cases

Bank of Augusta v. Earle (1839)
“A special privilege conferred by government upon individuals, and which does not belong to citizens of the country generally, of common right. “A generic term covering all rights granted to a corporation by the legislature. Whence ‘corporate franchises.’
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819), Society for Savings v. Colte (1867)
“A corporate franchise is a legal estate vested in the corporation as soon as it is in esse. Not a mere naked power, but a power coupled with an interest.”
Woods v. Lawrence County (1861)
“A privilege conferred by the immediate or antecedent legislation of an act of incorporation, with conditions expressed or necessarily inferential from its language, as to the manner of its exercise and for its enjoyment”
State of the Union Address, Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 11, 1944
Several alleged reasons have prevented the enactment of legislation which would preserve for our soldiers and sailors and marines the fundamental prerogative of citizenship--the right to vote. No amount of legalistic argument can becloud this issue in the eyes of these ten million American citizens. Surely the signers of the Constitution did not intend a document which, even in wartime, would be construed to take away the franchise of any of those who are fighting to preserve the Constitution itself.
WEX Legal Dictionary

1. A relationship wherein a business organization, called a franchiser, in exchange for a fee and with the franchisor's guidance, allows another business, called the franchisee, to operate under the franchiser's trade name and offer the franchiser's products or services.

2. A right conferred by the government to operate as a legal business entity or provide some service of a public nature in a certain geographic region.


An individual or entity that is granted a franchise.


An individual or entity that grants a franchise; also spelled franchisor.
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