Chapter

Introduction

P. S. Atiyah

in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

Published in print November 1985 | ISBN: 9780198255277
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255277.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book, which is about the rise and fall of the freedom of contract in England during the period from 1770 to 1970. This book describes the intellectual and legal background of the freedom of contract in 1770, discusses the provisions of the contract law and theory, and evaluates the role of the individual and government in the freedom of contract. It explores the perception of the freedom of contract in the courts and in parliament, analyses the changing legal and intellectual condition in 1870, and identifies the factors that contributed to the decline of the freedom of contract from 1870 to 1970. It concludes that the nature of contractual and promissory liability have been largely misunderstood by lawyers, philosophers, and policy-makers.

Keywords: freedom of contract; England; contract law; contractual liability; promissory liability

Chapter.  3214 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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