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The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

P. S. Atiyah

Published in print November 1985 | ISBN: 9780198255277
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255277.001.0001
The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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This book is an attempt to trace the history of one of the great intellectual movements of modern times. The major part concentrates on England between 1770 and 1970, but the origins of freedom of contract are searched for in earlier centuries. Throughout the 19th century, freedom of contract was an ideology whose influence extended into politics, economics, and morality, as well as the law. While this book is written from the standpoint of a lawyer, a serious attempt is made to probe these additional dimensions, and in particular to study the inter-relations between them. It is suggested that, in the early 19th century, lawyers and judges were particularly receptive to influences from outside the law — especially political economy — but that by the middle of the century the lawyers had cut themselves off from these external influences. The book takes full account of the work in Parliament, as well as of the judges, and adds a contribution to recent historical research, suggesting that Parliament constantly departed from laissez-faire policies, particularly after 1830.

Keywords: freedom of contract; morality; lawyers; judges; law; political economy; Parliament; laissez-faire

Book.  804 pages. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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The Condition of England in 1770 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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The Intellectual Background in 1770–1 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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The Intellectual Background in 1770–11 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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The Legal Background in 1770 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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Contract Law and Theory in 1770–1 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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Contract Law and Theory in 1770–11 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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The Condition of England, 1770–1870 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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The Role of Government, 1770–1870 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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The Role of the Individual, 1770–1870 in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

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