Costs of No Codes
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It is well known that the United States does not have a national civil code. This article shows what is less well known about the lack of codes in American law: it is not because Americans did not want codes. Throughout much of the nineteenth century they expected that they would have them. They made many attempts to adopt civil codes at the state level. Only when their attempts failed, did Americans turn to the well-known alternatives of uniform state laws and restatements of the law. These alternatives have proven disappointing. The United States is drowning in sea of uncoordinated laws. It pays a heavy price for the lack of a national civil code.