Those constructors usually are protected and never public. Actually, that's something that the FxCop tool (www.gotdotnet.com/team/fxcop/) will enforce in your assemblies - if you are not using that tool, you should consider it right away. It enforces best practices across your code.
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So, the constructor serves the purpose of initializing whatever is needed on the base abstract class, whenever a descendant class is created. Note that if the abstract class offers only a single version of the constructor – say, receiving a parameter, or not receiving a parameter – it HAS to be called by the descendant class. In the case of a 'parameterless' constructor, this happens automatically whenever the derived class is constructed.
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