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The Law and Role of Contracts in The Muscovite Tsardom

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Muscovite law, which was advanced and well-articulated in many areas, developed no coherent theory of contracts. Even the Law Code of 1649 contains few provisions on contracts and virtually none on the sale of goods or free (non-serf, non-slave) labor. The Muscovite tsardom did, however, adopt some simple provisions that served to reduce the possibility of disputes about whether there was a contract and what its terms were, such as requiring all important contracts to be in writing. Muscovite law also made it clear that consent to a contract had to be freely given, without duress or fraud. The article attempts to explain the lack of any law regulating the sale of goods and free labor.


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