Guild

Guild

Overview
A guild is an association of craftsmen
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

 in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities
Confraternity
A confraternity is normally a Roman Catholic or Orthodox organization of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety, and approved by the Church hierarchy...

 of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

, a cartel
Cartel
A cartel is a formal agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry, where there is a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products...

, and a secret society
Secret society
A secret society is a club or organization whose activities and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, which hide their...

. They often depended on grants of letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 by a monarch or other authority to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls constructed and used as meeting places.

An important result of the guild framework was the emergence of universities at Bologna, Paris, and Oxford around the year 1200; they originated as guilds of students as at Bologna, or of masters as at Paris.

The economic consequences of guilds have led to heated debates among European historians.
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Encyclopedia
A guild is an association of craftsmen
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

 in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities
Confraternity
A confraternity is normally a Roman Catholic or Orthodox organization of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety, and approved by the Church hierarchy...

 of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

, a cartel
Cartel
A cartel is a formal agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry, where there is a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products...

, and a secret society
Secret society
A secret society is a club or organization whose activities and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence. The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, which hide their...

. They often depended on grants of letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 by a monarch or other authority to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls constructed and used as meeting places.

An important result of the guild framework was the emergence of universities at Bologna, Paris, and Oxford around the year 1200; they originated as guilds of students as at Bologna, or of masters as at Paris.

The economic consequences of guilds have led to heated debates among European historians. Ogilvie (2008) argues that their long apprenticeships were unnecessary to acquire skills, and their conservatism reduced the rate of innovation and made the society poorer. She says their main goal was rent seeking
Rent seeking
In economics, rent-seeking is an attempt to derive economic rent by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activities occur, rather than by adding value...

, that is, to shift money to the membership at the expense of the entire economy. Epstein and Prak's book (2008) rejects Ogilvie's conclusions. Specifically, Epstein argues that guilds were cost-sharing rather than rent-seeking institutions. They located and matched masters and likely apprentices through monitored learning. Whereas the acquisition of craft skills required experience-based learning, he argues that this process necessitated many years in apprenticeship.

Early guildlike associations


In pre-industrial cities, craftsmen
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

 tended to form associations based on their trades, confraternities of textile workers, masons, carpenters, carvers, glass workers, each of whom controlled secrets
Trade secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

 of traditionally imparted technology, the "arts" or "mysteries" of their crafts. Usually the founders were free independent master craftsmen
Master craftsman
A master craftsman or master tradesman was a member of a guild. In the European guild system, only masters were allowed to be members of the guild....

.

During the Gupta
Gupta Empire
The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire which existed approximately from 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. Founded by Maharaja Sri-Gupta, the dynasty was the model of a classical civilization. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the...

 period in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 (AD 300–600), craftmen's associations, which may have had archaic antecedents, were known as shreni
Shreni
Shreni, in the context of Ancient India, was an association of traders, merchants, and artisans. Generally, a separate shreni existed for a particular group of persons engaged in the same vocation or activity. Shrenis have sometimes been compared with the guilds...

. Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 organizations in Ptolemaic Egypt were called koinon, starting from their 3rd century BC origins of Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 collegia, spread with the extension of the Empire. The Chinese hanghui probably existed already during the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (206 BC - AD 220):, but certainly they were present in the Sui Dynasty
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 (589 - 618 AD). Roman craftsman's organizations continued to develop in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 under the name ars. In Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 they are first mentioned in the 10th century. The German name is Zunft (plural Zünfte) for guilds of craftsman and Gilde (plural Gilden) for guilds of merchants. Métiers in France and craft gilds in England emerged in the 12th century. Craft organizations (senf, sinf) stemmed from the 10th century in Iran, and were seen to spread also in Arabia and Turkish regions under the name futuwwah or fütüvvet. 900 of the carvers of Benin are said to have founded their own organization. In the neighbouring tribes of Yoruba and Nupe the organizations were given the names egbe and efakó. Specifically, within the medieval Oyo Empire of present day southwestern Nigeria and Benin, separate guilds developed for professional dancers, mask carvers, and musicians associated with egungun ancestral masquerade performances often regarded as the predecessor to the traveling Alarinjo theatre.

European history


The word guild (c.1230, yilde) the spelling later influenced by O.N. gildi is a semantic fusion of O.E. gegyld "guild" and gild, gyld "payment, tribute, compensation," from P.Gmc. *gelth- "pay" (cf. O.Fris. geld "money," O.S. geld "payment, sacrifice, reward," O.H.G. gelt "payment, tribute"). The Saxon word gilden meant "to pay".

The connecting sense is of a tribute or payment to join a protective or trade society. But some see the root in its alternative sense of "sacrifice," as if in worship, and see the word as meaning a combination for religious purposes, either Christian or pagan. The Anglo-Saxon guilds had a strong religious component; they were burial societies that paid for masses for the souls of deceased members as well as paying fines in cases of justified crime. The continental custom of guilds of merchants arrived after the Norman Conquest, with incorporated societies of merchants in each town or city holding exclusive rights of doing business there. In many cases they became the governing body of a town (for example, Guildhall
Guildhall
A guildhall, or guild hall, is a building historically used by guilds for meetings and other purposes. It is also the official or colloquial name for many of these specific buildings, now often used as town halls or museums....

  became London city hall). Trade guilds arose in the 14th century as craftsmen united to protect their common interest.

The early egalitarian communities called "guilds" (for the gold deposited in their common funds) were denounced by Catholic clergy for their "conjurations"—the binding oaths sworn among artisans to support one another in adversity and back one another in feuds or in business ventures. The occasion for the drunken banquets at which these oaths were made was December 25, the pagan feast of Jul
Yule
Yule or Yuletide is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic people as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January...

: Bishop Hincmar, in 858, sought vainly to Christianize them.

In the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

, most of the Roman craft organizations, originally formed as religious confraternities
Confraternity
A confraternity is normally a Roman Catholic or Orthodox organization of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety, and approved by the Church hierarchy...

, had disappeared, with the apparent exceptions of stonecutters and perhaps glassmakers. Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius, later adding the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather...

 tells a miraculous tale of a builder whose art and techniques suddenly left him, but were restored by an apparition of the Virgin Mary in a dream. Michel Rouche remarks that the story speaks for the importance of practically transmitted journeymanship.

In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, guilds were called corps de métiers. According to Viktor Ivanovich Rutenburg, "Within the guild itself there was very little division of labour, which tended to operate rather between the guilds. Thus, according to Étienne Boileau
Étienne Boileau
Étienne Boileau was one of the first known provosts of Paris. In 1261, he was named provost , by King Louis IX. He authored the , a collection of the statutes of the Parisian trade guilds, including the standards for gold and silver alloys...

's Book of Handicrafts, by the mid-13th century there were no less than 100 guilds in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, a figure which by the 14th century had risen to 350." The most striking example of an elaborate classification according to craft is found in the metal-workers: the farriers, knife-makers, locksmiths, chain-forgers, nail-makers, often formed separate and distinct corporations; the armourers were divided into helmet-makers, escutcheon-makers, harness-makers, harness-polishers, etc.

In England, specifically in the City of London Corporation, more than 100 guilds http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Leisure_and_culture/Local_history_and_heritage/Livery/linklist.html, referred to as livery companies
Livery Company
The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

 have been in existence for over a thousand years. They continue to exist and several still play a role today. Membership in a livery company is expected for individuals participating in the governance of The City, as the Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor is the title of the Mayor of a major city, with special recognition.-Commonwealth of Nations:* In Australia it is a political position. Australian cities with Lord Mayors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong...

 and the Remembrancer
Remembrancer
The Remembrancer was originally one of certain subordinate officers of the English Exchequer. The office itself is of great antiquity, the holder having been termed remembrancer, memorator, rememorator, registrar, keeper of the register, despatcher of business...

. A recent guild is the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
The Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers is a Livery Company of the City of London. It was started as a Guild of the City of London by some members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in 1995 and became a Company without Livery in 2000. On 18 January 2005, the Court of Aldermen granted the...

.

The guild system reached a mature state in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 circa 1300 and held on in the German cities into the 19th century, with some special privileges for certain occupations remaining today. In the 15th century, Hamburg had 100 guilds, Cologne 80, and Lübeck 70. The latest guilds to develop in Western Europe were the of Spain: e.g., Barcelona (1301), Valencia (1332) and Toledo (1426).

Not all city economies were controlled by guilds; some cities were "free". Where guilds were in control, they shaped labour, production and trade; they had strong controls over instructional capital
Instructional capital
Instructional capital is a term used in educational administration after the 1960s, to reflect capital resulting from investment in producing learning materials....

, and the modern concepts of a lifetime progression of apprentice to craftsman
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

, journeyman
Journeyman
A journeyman is someone who completed an apprenticeship and was fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman had to submit a master work piece to a guild for evaluation and be admitted to the guild as a master....

, and eventually to widely-recognized master
Master craftsman
A master craftsman or master tradesman was a member of a guild. In the European guild system, only masters were allowed to be members of the guild....

 and grandmaster
Master craftsman
A master craftsman or master tradesman was a member of a guild. In the European guild system, only masters were allowed to be members of the guild....

 began to emerge. In order to become a Master, a Journeyman would have to go on a 3 year voyage called Journeyman years
Journeyman years
The journeyman years refer to the tradition of setting out on a journey for several years after completing apprenticeship as a craftsman. The tradition dates back to medieval times and is still alive in German-speaking countries...

. This was also known as the Waltz and is the origin of the Australian song Waltzing Matilda
Waltzing Matilda
"Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's most widely known bush ballad. A country folk song, the song has been referred to as "the unofficial national anthem of Australia"....

. The practice of the Journeyman years still exists in Germany.

As production became more specialized, trade guilds were divided and subdivided, eliciting the squabbles over jurisdiction that produced the paperwork by which economic historians trace their development: there were 101 trades in Paris by 1260, and earlier in the century the metalworking guilds of Nuremberg were already divided among dozens of independent trades, in the boom economy of the 13th century. In Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

 as in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 the woolen textile industry developed as a congeries of specialized guilds. The appearance of the European guilds was tied to the emergent money
Money
Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past,...

 economy, and to urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

. Before this time it was not possible to run a money-driven organization, as commodity money
Commodity money
Commodity money is money whose value comes from a commodity out of which it is made. It is objects that have value in themselves as well as for use as money....

 was the normal way of doing business.
The guild was at the center of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an handicraft organization into the 16th century. In France, a resurgence of the guilds in the second half of the 17th century is symptomatic of the monarchy's concerns to impose unity, control production and reap the benefits of transparent structure in the shape of more efficient taxation.

The guilds were identified with organizations enjoying certain privilege
Privilege
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth...

s (letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

), usually issued by the king
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 or state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 and overseen by local town business authorities (some kind of chamber of commerce
Chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community...

). These were the predecessors of the modern patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 and trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 system. The guilds also maintained funds in order to support infirm or elderly members, as well as widows and orphans of guild members, funeral benefits, and a 'tramping' allowance for those needing to travel to find work. As the guild system of the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 declined during the 17th century, the Livery Companies transformed into mutual assistance fraternities along such lines.

European guilds imposed long standardized periods of apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

, and made it difficult for those lacking the capital to set up for themselves or without the approval of their peers to gain access to materials or knowledge, or to sell into certain markets, an area that equally dominated the guilds' concerns. These are defining characteristics of mercantilism
Mercantilism
Mercantilism is the economic doctrine in which government control of foreign trade is of paramount importance for ensuring the prosperity and security of the state. In particular, it demands a positive balance of trade. Mercantilism dominated Western European economic policy and discourse from...

 in economics, which dominated most European thinking about political economy
Political economy
Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

 until the rise of classical economics
Classical economics
Classical economics is widely regarded as the first modern school of economic thought. Its major developers include Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and John Stuart Mill....

.

The guild system survived the emergence of early capitalists
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, which began to divide guild members into "haves" and dependent "have-nots". The civil struggles that characterize the 14th century towns and cities were struggles in part between the greater guilds and the lesser artisanal guilds, which depended on piecework. "In Florence, they were openly distinguished: the Arti maggiori and the Arti minori—already there was a popolo grasso and a popolo magro". Fiercer struggles were those between essentially conservative guilds and the merchant
Merchant
A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

 class, which increasingly came to control the means of production and the capital that could be ventured in expansive schemes, often under the rules of guilds of their own. German social historians trace the Zunftrevolution, the urban revolution of guildmembers against a controlling urban patriciate, sometimes reading into them, however, perceived foretastes of the class struggles of the 19th century.

In the countryside, where guild rules did not operate, there was freedom for the entrepreneur with capital to organize cottage industry, a network of cottagers who spun and wove in their own premises on his account, provided with their raw materials, perhaps even their looms, by the capitalist who reaped the profits. Such a dispersed system could not so easily be controlled where there was a vigorous local market for the raw materials: wool was easily available in sheep-rearing regions, whereas silk was not.

Organization



The structures of the craftsmen's associations tended everywhere in similar directions: a governing body, assisting functionaries and the members' assembly. The governing body consisted of the leader and deputies. In Ptolemeic Egypt the presidents were known as presbyter, in Roman Egypt as proestotes, egoymenos or archonelates, in Byzantine Egypt epistates, in the Roman Empire as decurio, in Florence of the Middle Ages as consul, officialis or rector, in France as consul, recteur, baile or surposé, in Germany Zunftmeister or Kerzenmeister, in England alderman, graceman or master, in Iran as rish safid or pishavaran, in India as adhyaksha, mukhya, pamukkha or jettaka, in Tibet as dbu chen mo, in China as hangshou, hangtou or hanglao, in the West African Yoruba region as bale or baba egbe and in the Nupe region as dakodza, muku or ndakó, depending on the type of craft.

The guild was made up by experienced and confirmed experts in their field of handicraft. They were called master craftsmen
Master craftsman
A master craftsman or master tradesman was a member of a guild. In the European guild system, only masters were allowed to be members of the guild....

. Before a new employee could rise to the level of mastery, he had to go through a schooling period during which he was first called an apprentice
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

. After this period he could rise to the level of journeyman
Journeyman
A journeyman is someone who completed an apprenticeship and was fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman had to submit a master work piece to a guild for evaluation and be admitted to the guild as a master....

. Apprentices would typically not learn more than the most basic techniques until they were trusted by their peers to keep the guild's or company's secrets.

Like journey, the distance that could be travelled in a day, the title 'journeyman' derives from the French words for 'day' (jour and journée) from which came the middle English word journei. Journeymen were able to work for other masters, unlike apprentices, and generally paid by the day and were thus day labourers. After being employed by a master for several years, and after producing a qualifying piece of work, the apprentice was granted the rank of journeyman and was given documents (letters or certificates from his master and/or the guild itself) which certified him as a journeyman and entitled him to travel to other towns and countries to learn the art from other masters. These journeys could span large parts of Europe and were an unofficial way of communicating new methods and techniques, though by no means all journeymen made such travels - they were most common in Germany and Italy, and in other countries journeymen from small cities would often visit the capital.

After this journey and several years of experience, a journeyman could be received as master craftsman, though in some guilds this step could be made straight from apprentice. This would typically require the approval of all masters of a guild, a donation of money and other goods (often omitted for sons of existing members), and the production of a so-called masterpiece
Masterpiece
Masterpiece in modern usage refers to a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship....

, which would illustrate the abilities of the aspiring master craftsman; this was often retained by the guild.

The medieval guild was established by charters or letters patent or similar authority by the city or the ruler and normally held a monopoly on trade in its craft within the city in which it operated: handicraft workers were forbidden by law to run any business if they were not members of a guild, and only masters were allowed to be members of a guild. Before these privileges were legislated, these groups of handicraft workers were simply called 'handicraft associations'.

The town authorities might be represented in the guild meetings and thus had a means of controlling the handicraft activities. This was important since towns very often depended on a good reputation for export of a narrow range of products, on which not only the guild's, but the town's, reputation depended. Controls on the association of physical locations to well-known exported products, e.g. wine from the Champagne
Champagne, France
Champagne is a historic province in the northeast of France, now best known for the sparkling white wine that bears its name.Formerly ruled by the counts of Champagne, its western edge is about 100 miles east of Paris. The cities of Troyes, Reims, and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area...

 and Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

 regions of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, tin-glazed earthenwares from certain cities in Holland, lace
Lace
Lace is an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand. The holes can be formed via removal of threads or cloth from a previously woven fabric, but more often open spaces are created as part of the lace fabric. Lace-making is an ancient craft. True lace was...

 from Chantilly
Chantilly, Oise
Chantilly is a small city in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune in the department of Oise.It is in the metropolitan area of Paris 38.4 km...

, etc., helped to establish a town's place in global commerce — this led to modern trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

s.

In many German and Italian cities, the more powerful guilds often had considerable political influence, and sometimes attempted to control the city authorities. In the 14th century, this led to numerous bloody uprisings, during which the guilds dissolved town councils and detained patricians
Patricianship
Patricianship, the quality of belonging to a patriciate, began in the ancient world, where cities such as Ancient Rome had a class of patrician families whose members were the only people allowed to exercise many political functions...

 in an attempt to increase their influence. In the early 14th century, some guilds in the cities of North-East Germany introduced statutes, under which persons of Wend
Wends
Wends is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used...

ish, i.e. Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

, origin were forbidden from joining the guild. According to Wilhelm Raabe, "down into the eighteenth century no German guild accepted a Wend."

Fall of the guilds



As Ogilvie (2004) argues, the guilds negatively affected quality, skills, and innovation. Through what economists now call "rent-seeking" they imposed deadweight losses on the economy. Ogilvie says they generated no demonstrable positive externalities and notes that industry began to flourish only after the guilds faded away. Guilds persisted over the centuries because they redistributed resources to politically powerful merchants. On the other hand, Ogilvie agrees, guilds created "social capital" of shared norms, common information, mutual sanctions, and collective political action. This social capital benefited guild members, even as they hurt outsiders.

The guild system became a target of much criticism towards the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. They were believed to oppose free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

 and hinder technological innovation, technology transfer
Technology transfer
Technology Transfer, also called Transfer of Technology and Technology Commercialisation, is the process of skill transferring, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that...

 and business development
Business development
A subset of the field of commerce, business development comprises a number of techniques and responsibilities which aim at:1. Researching new types of business/products/services with an emphasis on identifying gaps in the mitigation of needs of potential clients .2. Attracting new customers3...

. According to several accounts of this time, guilds became increasingly involved in simple territorial struggles against each other and against free practitioners of their arts.

Two of the most outspoken critics of the guild system were Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

 and Adam Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

, and all over Europe a tendency to oppose government control over trades in favour of laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 systems was growing rapidly and making its way into the political and legal system. The Le Chapelier Law
Le Chapelier Law
The Le Chapelier Law was a piece of legislation passed by the National Assembly during the first phase of the French Revolution , banning guilds as the early version of trade unions, as well as compagnonnage and the right to strike, and proclaiming free enterprise as the norm...

 of 1791 abolished the guilds in France, which it called corporations, according to Fernand Braudel. Smith wrotes in The Wealth of Nations
The Wealth of Nations
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations, is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith...

(Book I, Chapter X, paragraph 72):
It is to prevent this reduction of price, and consequently of wages and profit, by restraining that free competition which would most certainly occasion it, that all corporations, and the greater part of corporation laws, have been established. (...) and when any particular class of artificers or traders thought proper to act as a corporation without a charter, such adulterine guilds, as they were called, were not always disfranchised upon that account, but obliged to fine annually to the king for permission to exercise their usurped privileges.


Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 in his Communist Manifesto also criticized the guild system for its rigid gradation of social rank and the relation of oppressor/oppressed entailed by this system. From this time comes the low regard in which some people hold the guilds to this day. In part due to their own inability to control unruly corporate
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 behavior, the tide turned against the guilds.

Because of industrialization and modernization of the trade and industry, and the rise of powerful nation-states that could directly issue patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 and copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 protections — often revealing the trade secret
Trade secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

s — the guilds' power faded. After the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 they fell in most European nations through the 19th century, as the guild system was disbanded and replaced by free trade laws. By that time, many former handicraft workers had been forced to seek employment in the emerging manufacturing industries, using not closely guarded techniques but standardized methods controlled by corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s.

Influence of guilds



Guilds are sometimes said to be the precursors of modern trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

s, and also, paradoxically, of some aspects of the modern corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

. Guilds, however, were groups of self-employed skilled craftsmen with ownership and control over the materials and tools they needed to produce their goods. Guilds were, in other words, small business associations and thus had very little in common with trade unions. Guilds were more like cartels than they were like trade unions (Olson 1982). However, the journeymen organizations, which were at the time illegal, may have been influential.

The exclusive privilege of a guild to produce certain goods or provide certain services was similar in spirit and character with the original patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 systems that surfaced in England in 1624. These systems played a role in ending the guilds' dominance, as trade secret
Trade secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

 methods were superseded by modern firms directly revealing their techniques, and counting on the state to enforce their legal monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

.

Some guild traditions still remain in a few handicrafts, in Europe especially among shoemakers and barber
Barber
A barber is someone whose occupation is to cut any type of hair, and to shave or trim the beards of men. The place of work of a barber is generally called a barbershop....

s. Some of the ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

 traditions of the guilds were conserved in order organizations such as the Freemasons
Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

, alleging deriving from the Masons Guild. These are, however, not very important economically except as reminders of the responsibilities of some trades toward the public.

Modern antitrust
Antitrust
The United States antitrust law is a body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behavior and unfair business practices. Antitrust laws are intended to encourage competition in the marketplace. These competition laws make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both,...

 law could be said to derive in some ways from the original statutes by which the guilds were abolished in Europe.

Modern guilds


Modern guilds exist in different forms around the world. In many European countries guilds have had a revival as local organizations for craftsmen, primarily in traditional skills. They may function as forums for developing competence and are often the local units of a national employer's organization.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 guilds exist in several fields. The Screen Actors Guild
Screen Actors Guild
The Screen Actors Guild is an American labor union representing over 200,000 film and television principal performers and background performers worldwide...

, Writers Guild of America, East
Writers Guild of America, East
Writers Guild of America, East is a labor union representing writers of television and film and employees of television and radio news. The 2006 membership of the guild was 3,770....

 and the Writers Guild of America, West
Writers Guild of America, west
Writers Guild of America, West is a labor union representing film, television, radio, and new media writers. The Guild was formed in 1954 from five organizations representing writers, which include the Screen Writers Guild...

 are capable of exercising very strong control in Hollywood because a very strong and rigid system of intellectual property
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 rights exists. These guilds exclude other actors and writers who do not abide by the strict rules for competing within the film and television industry in America. The Newspaper Guild is a labor union for journalists and other newspaper workers, with over 30,000 members in North America.

Real estate brokerage is an example of a modern American guild. Signs of guild behavior in real estate brokerage include: standard pricing (6% of the home price), strong affiliation among all practitioners, self-regulation (see National Association of Realtors
National Association of Realtors
The National Association of Realtors , whose members are known as Realtors, is North America's largest trade association. representing over 1.2 million members , including NAR's institutes, societies, and councils, involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries...

), strong cultural identity (see Realtor), little price variation with quality differences, and traditional methods in use by all practitioners. In September 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors challenging NAR practices that, DOJ asserts, prevent competition from practitioners who use different methods. The DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission in 2005 advocated against state laws, supported by NAR, that disadvantage new kinds of brokers. U.S. v. National Assoc. of Realtors, Civil Action No. 05C-5140 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 7, 2005).

The practice of law in the United States is also an example of modern guilds at work. Every state maintains its own bar association
Bar association
A bar association is a professional body of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both...

, supervised by that state's highest court. The court decides the criteria for entering and staying in the legal profession. In most states, every attorney must be a member of that state's bar association in order to practice law. State laws forbid any person from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and practicing attorneys are subject to rules of professional conduct that are enforced by the state's high court.

Medical associations that might be compared to guilds are the American Medical Association
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association , founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association of medical doctors and medical students in the United States.-Scope and operations:...

, and the American Dental Association
American Dental Association
The American Dental Association is an American professional association established in 1859 which has more than 155,000 members. Based in Chicago, the ADA is the world's largest and oldest national dental association and promotes good oral health to the public while representing the dental...

.

Scholars from the history of ideas
History of ideas
The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. The history of ideas is a sister-discipline to, or a particular approach within, intellectual history...

 have noticed that consultant
Consultant
A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area such as management, accountancy, the environment, entertainment, technology, law , human resources, marketing, emergency management, food production, medicine, finance, life management, economics, public...

s play a part similar to that of the journeymen of the guild systems: they often travel a lot, work at many different companies and spread new practices and knowledge between companies and corporations.

Many professional organizations similarly resemble the guild structure. Professions such as architecture, engineering, geology, and land surveying require varying lengths of apprenticeships before one can be granted a 'professional' certification. These certifications hold great legal weight and are required in most states as a prerequisite to doing business there.

Thomas W. Malone
Thomas W. Malone
Thomas W. Malone is the Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also the founder and director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and was one of the two founding co-directors of the MIT Initiative on "Inventing the Organizations of the...

 of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 champions a modern variant of the guild structure for modern "e-lancers", professionals who do mostly telework for multiple employers. Insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 including any professional liability
Legal liability
Legal liability is the legal bound obligation to pay debts.* In law a person is said to be legally liable when they are financially and legally responsible for something. Legal liability concerns both civil law and criminal law. See Strict liability. Under English law, with the passing of the Theft...

, intellectual capital
Intellectual capital
The value of an enterprise is made of physical assets, various financial assets and, finally, intangible assets, i.e., intellectual capital . The term intellectual capital conventionally refers to the difference in value between tangible assets and market value. ....

 protections, an ethical code
Ethical code
An ethical code is adopted by an organization in an attempt to assist those in the organization called upon to make a decision understand the difference between 'right' and 'wrong' and to apply this understanding to their decision...

 perhaps enforced by peer pressure and software, and other benefits of a strong association of producers of knowledge, benefit from economies of scale
Economies of scale
Economies of scale, in microeconomics, refers to the cost advantages that an enterprise obtains due to expansion. There are factors that cause a producer’s average cost per unit to fall as the scale of output is increased. "Economies of scale" is a long run concept and refers to reductions in unit...

, and may prevent cut-throat competition that leads to inferior services undercutting prices. And, as with historical guilds, resist foreign competition.
The free software community
Free software community
The free-software community is an informal term that refers to the users and developers of free software as well as supporters of the free-software movement. The movement is sometimes referred to as the open-source software community or a subset thereof...

 has from time to time explored a guild-like structure to unite against competition from Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

, e.g. Advogato
Advogato
Advogato is an online community and social networking site dedicated to free software development, and was created by Raph Levien. It describes itself as "the free software developer's advocate." Advogato was an early pioneer of blogs, formerly known as "online diaries", and one of the earliest...

 assigns journeyer and master ranks to those committing to work only or mostly on free software.

In the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, the ancient guilds survive as Livery Companies
Livery Company
The Livery Companies are 108 trade associations in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling,...

, most of which play a ceremonial role. Guilds also survive in the UK in Preston, Lancashire as the Preston Guild Merchant where among other celebrations descendants of Burgesses are still admitted into membership. In 1878 the London Livery companies established the City and Guilds of London Institute
City and Guilds of London Institute
The City and Guilds of London Institute is a leading United Kingdom vocational education organisation. City & Guilds offers more than 500 qualifications over the whole range of industry sectors through 8500 colleges and training providers in 81 countries worldwide...

 the forerunner of the engineering school (still called City and Guilds college) at Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

. The aim of the City and Guilds of London Institute was the Advancement of Technical Education. Today City and Guilds is an examining and accreditation body for vocational, managerial and engineering qualifications from entry level craft and trade skills up to post doctoral achievement.

In Australia, there exists the Guild of Commercial Filmmakers, a collection of commercial, short film and feature filmmakers.

In some online computer games
MMORPG
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

, players can form groups called player guilds, wherein people can socialize and organize various in-game activities.

See also



  • Guild of Saint Luke
    Guild of Saint Luke
    The Guild of Saint Luke was the most common name for a city guild for painters and other artists in early modern Europe, especially in the Low Countries. They were named in honor of the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, who was identified by John of Damascus as having painted the...

     - Painter's Guilds
  • Hanseatic League
    Hanseatic League
    The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

  • Jāti
    Jati
    Jāti is the term used to denote clans, tribes, communities and sub-communities in India. It is a term used across religions. In Indian society each jāti typically has an association with a traditional job function or tribe, although religious beliefs Jāti (in Devanagari: जाति Tamil:சாதி) (the...

     -guilds (of mediaeval origin) in India
  • Trade union
    Trade union
    A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

  • Timpani Guilds
  • Guild socialism
    Guild socialism
    Guild socialism is a political movement advocating workers' control of industry through the medium of trade-related guilds. It originated in the United Kingdom and was at its most influential in the first quarter of the 20th century. It was strongly associated with G. D. H...

  • Catholic Police Guild
    Catholic Police Guild
    The Catholic Police Guild of England & Wales was founded in 1914 as the Metropolitan and City Catholic Police Guild. This was an association for Catholic Police men and women, and approved by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster, in response to representations made by Catholics serving in...

  • Guild of St. Bernulphus
    Guild of St. Bernulphus
    The St. Bernulphusgilde or Guild of St. Bernulphus was a Dutch secret society / trade union Catholic association established on December 1, 1869. Its intention initially was to protect national traditions of old craftmanship in religious art and church architecture...


Further reading

  • Gordon Emery, Curious Chester (1999) ISBN 1-872265-94-4
  • Liza Picard, Elizabeth's London (2003) ISBN 0-297-60729-4
  • Lujo Brentano. On the History and Development of Gilds and the Origin of Trade-Unions Burt Frankin: Research & Source Works Series. New York: Burt Franklin, 1969.
  • Steven Epstein, Wage Labor & Guilds In Medieval Europe (1991) ISBN 0-8078-4498-5
  • Mancur Olson
    Mancur Olson
    Mancur Lloyd Olson, Jr. was a leading American economist and social scientist who, at the time of his death, worked at the University of Maryland, College Park...

    , The rise and decline of nations: economic growth, staglaction, and social rigidities (New Haven & London 1982).
  • St. Eloy's Hospice
    St. Eloy's Hospice
    St. Eloy's Hospice is a Guild House in Utrecht in the Netherlands.Between the Dom tower and the Mariaplaats in Utrecht in The Netherlands there is a unique house that bears the name: St. Eloyen Gasthuis . The house has been occupied by the Smedengilde since 1440. According to documents preserved...

    , the last Guild House
    House
    A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

     in Utrecht
    Utrecht (city)
    Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

    , Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

  • The Spacing Guild
    Spacing Guild
    The Spacing Guild is an organization in Frank Herbert's science fiction Dune universe. With its monopoly on interstellar travel and banking, the Guild is a balance of power against the Padishah Emperor and the assembled noble Houses of the Landsraad...

     from the Dune
    Dune
    In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...

     series, created by Frank Herbert
    Frank Herbert
    Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr. was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. Although a short story author, he is best known for his novels, most notably Dune and its five sequels...

    .

External links



  • Medieval guilds
  • St. Eloy's Hospice The last Guild House
    House
    A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

     in Utrecht
    Utrecht (city)
    Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

    , Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...