A Visit to the Museum of Negotiable Instruments Law
This chapter examines the actual origins of a variety of rules that are set out in Article 3. Large parts of Article 3 are statutory resolutions of issues that ceased to have any relevance centuries ago, such as disputes about agency and alteration of instruments. Oddly enough, the Stamp Act turns out to be a major factor in determining the way that Article 3 treats various issues. In the eighteenth century, bills and notes were one of the forms of legal documents for which stamps were required as a way of generating revenue for the government. Not surprisingly, people sought ways of evading the stamp tax. Some of the rules still found in Article 3 were nothing more than responses to such tax evasion efforts. The stamp tax was repealed long ago, but the rules remain in Article 3.
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