In Corpora, to put in a body as the Romans might say, and we give that body rights.
But how did we let corporations become so powerful?
When the United States was born, corporations beared little resemblance to the powerful trans-national companies we are familiar with today.
Corporations were chartered by the states for specific purposes to be accomplished within specific time frames; they could not conduct business or acquire assets that did not directly relate to their charter; their charters could be revoked if they broke the law or caused harm to the public good; and the personal assets of shareholders were not immune to the consequences of corporate behavior.
The goal of these limitations was to prevent corporations from holding tyrannic control over the American economy as the East India Company had done during colonial times. This goal failed miserably.