Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Calculating PromisesThe Emergence of Modern American Contract Doctrine$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Roy Kreitner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804753982

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804753982.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 24 June 2021

The Revolution in Consideration Doctrine

The Revolution in Consideration Doctrine

(p.15) One The Revolution in Consideration Doctrine
Calculating Promises
Stanford University Press

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, the requirement of consideration became entrenched as one of the most distinctive features of the common law, especially when compared with the contract law of continental Europe. Consideration was revolutionized based on two objectives. The first was purification and unification, whereby extraneous functions of consideration doctrine were eliminated or submerged and replaced with the question of which promises should be enforced by the law. The second objective was to make the enforceable promises (or, simply, the doctrine of consideration) the basis of contract law. This two-pronged strategy worked to submerge the question of the stakes in distinguishing between gifts and contracts, between gratuitous undertakings and those supported by consideration. Prior to the classical theoretical revolution in consideration doctrine, consideration was involved in determining four central issues, none of which addressed the question of whether a promise was enforceable: the duty of care in an undertaking, the extent of liability, privity of contract, and whether an obligation could be implied.

Keywords:   doctrine of consideration, contract law, common law, promises, gifts, contracts, duty of care, liability, obligation, privity

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.