Slade's case was a milestone in the formation of the modern common law of contract, since it allowed plaintiffs to sue parties who had reneged on their contracts on the basis of "assumpsit" and not only on the basis of the writ of debt
. The writ of debt
implied a wager of law, involving oath-taking, but at a time of commercial expansion that witnessed the depersonalization of markets, personal honor and religious fear became less reliable than the commitment by the political authorities to legally enforce contracts to guarantee well-functioning markets.
If I were to express any reservation about Bailey's thesis, it would be in relation to a certain lack of clarity with respect to her claims about the decision in Slade's Case (1602), whereby action on the case for nonfeasance replaced the old writ of debt
as a remedy for parole agreements.