This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Breach of contract may be made in either of two ways: (1) One party to the contract may by word or act indicate that the contract is no longer binding upon him, and the adversary party may elect to treat this as breach. The chief classes of breach of this sort are as follows: (a) One party to the contract may renounce the obligation of the contract and treat it as no longer binding upon him. In some jurisdictions or in certain classes of cases this will give the adversary party the right to treat such conduct as breach where it occurs before performance is due.1 In all classes of contracts such renunciation when performance is due gives the adversary party the right at his election to treat the contract as discharged ;2 and in certain classes of cases in which any other course would result in increasing damages he is required to accept it as a discharge, leaving him his right of action for damages, (b) One party to a contract may make performance impossible, either on his own part or on the part of the adversary party. This may due.3
10 North American Dredging Go. v. Outer Harbor Dock & Wharf Co., 178 Cal. 406, 173 Pac. 756; Howard County v. Pesha, - Neb. - , 172 N. W. 55; Bradley v. Nevada-California-Oregon Ry., - Nev. - , 178 Pac. 906.
See also, Wm. B. Hughes Produce Co. v. Pulley, 47 Utah 544, L. R. A. 1916D, 728, 155 Pac. 337.
11 See Sec. 2960.
12 See Sec. 2969 et seq. 13 See Sec. 2960.
14 See Sec. 2976.
1 See Sec. 2881 et seq.
2 See Sec. 2908 et seq.
3 See Sec. 2912 et seq.
(2) The other way in which breach may occur is where one party, without in any way repudiating his obligation under the contract, either does not perform or tenders defective performance which is not even substantial performance and which is not accepted by the adversary party as performance in place of that required by the terms of the contract.4