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Money in the Western Legal TraditionMiddle Ages to Bretton Woods$
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David Fox and Wolfgang Ernst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704744.001.0001

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German Law Faculties and Benches of Jurymen (Schöffenstühle) on Loans and Inflation

German Law Faculties and Benches of Jurymen (Schöffenstühle) on Loans and Inflation

Legal Doctrine and Seventeenth-Century Legal Practice

(p.284) 15 German Law Faculties and Benches of Jurymen (Schöffenstühle) on Loans and Inflation
Money in the Western Legal Tradition

Clausdieter Schott

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the views of German law faculties and Schöffenstühle (juries) with regard to loans and inflation in the Holy Roman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During this time, Germany experienced high inflation rates as a result of the reduced precious metal content of coins due to bullion scarcity. The decrease in the intrinsic value of the lower denomination coins, combined with the increase in the number of coins in circulation, led to deterioration in the exchange rate between the higher and lower denomination coins. These developments impacted on money loans, and debtors and creditors alike tried to promote their respective interests with the aid of legal opinion given by law faculties and juries. The chapter looks into how they regarded debt under a loan as a pecuniary obligation calculated by reference to the value of a coin.

Keywords:   law faculties, Schöffenstühle, juries, loans, inflation, Holy Roman Empire, inflation rates, debtors, creditors, Friedrich Martini

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