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35 Am. L. Rev. 27 (1901)
Distinction between Principal and Agent, and Master and Servant

handle is hein.journals/amlr35 and id is 33 raw text is: DISTINCTION: PRINCIPAL AND AGENT: MASTER AND SERVANT. 27

Much learning and historical research have been employed in
tr'acing distinctions between the relation of master and servant,
and that of principal and agent. It cannot be said that any
clear boundary line has been defined by amy of the writers.1
To the writer the difficulty appears to lie in the assumption of
a clearly defined line of cleavage. By some, the distinction is
said to be that the relation of master and servant is a status,
while that of principal and agent rests upon contract.' This
distinction is, however, of greater historical interest than of
present legal value, even assuming the truth of the theory in its
entirety. It is certain that the rights and duties of a factor are
not more firmly founded on contract than are those of a domes-
tic or house-servant at the present time.
Undoubtedly, in earlier and more primitive times the servants
whose duties were for the most part confined to the house or
domain of the master, but slightly overtopped in the social and
economic scale the serfs from whose ranks they had but recently
sprung, and by whom      they were still surrounded.' It was
through the labors of such servants, as slavery gradually came
into disuse that the lords or masters performed those acts which
of necessity or convenience they did not perform personally.
As therefore in those primitive and comparatively non-commer-
cial times the delegata poteslas was intrusted to a class partak-
L The boundary line h tween  teresting as showing forth the-gradual
master and servant and principal and  evolution of contractual relations be-
agent is uncertain and capricious.y tween the master and the servants.
Browne Dom. Rel., page 123 (2 ed.). Gnrth, after hismanumission, though
2 Hammond's notes to Blackstone's no longer a slave, was far from being
Commentaries, Vol. 1, p. 719 et .seq.  a free man in the modern sense of the
3 The stu(ly of Cedric's Household, term.
as- depicted in Scott'slvanhoe, is in-

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