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On Folk Custom and Credit to Ensure Execution of Traditional Contracts

LIU Dao-sheng;School of History and Society,Anhui Normal University;  
There is a long history of civil contracting practice in China like"laws and decrees to be followed officially,private promises and civil agreements to be followed unofficially",and there are many factors to ensure the credit of civil contracts.The power to ensure execution of civil contracts largely depended on folk customs besides national laws and clan laws.In Huizhou of the Ming and Qing dynasties,the rich assurance,evidences by go-betweens,civil penalties,swears or oaths,are effective ones to ensure execution of contracting and avoid violation through public occasions,public opinions,and some subtle psychological mechanism.
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