Inserted into the constitution without extensive debate the contract clause was clearly prompted by the sour experience with state debtrelief laws enacted during the post revolutionary era it was grounded on the premise that honoring contractual commitments served the public interest by encouraging commerce. The contract clause a constitutional history by james w. One of the most litigated convoluted provisions of the constitution the contract clause has played an outsized roll in american history here james ely 59 shows how the clause that was first introduced after the revolution has morphed over the years in ways that demonstrate the impacts of wars economic distress and political currents. Elys volume is without a doubt the most exhaustive and authoritative modern treatment of the contract clause ever presented a book that constitutional scholars and historians will want to consult whenever they find themselves needing to know nearly anything about the provision
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