Guilds, Innovation and the European Economy, 1400–1800

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S. R. Epstein, Maarten Prak
Cambridge University Press, Mar 31, 2008 - History
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For a long time guilds have been condemned as a major obstacle to economic progress in the pre-industrial era. This re-examination of the role of guilds in the early modern European economy challenges that view by taking into account fresh research on innovation, technological change and entrepreneurship. Leading economic historians argue that industry before the Industrial Revolution was much more innovative than previous studies have allowed for and explore the different products and production techniques that were launched and developed in this period. Much of this innovation was fostered by the craft guilds that formed the backbone of industrial production before the rise of the steam engine. The book traces the manifold ways in which guilds in a variety of industries in Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Britain helped to create an institutional environment conducive to technological and marketing innovations.
 

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nice collection.

Contents

1 Craft Guilds the Theory of the Firm and
25
2 Craft Guilds Apprenticeship
52
3 Subcontracting in Guildbased Export
81
4 Circulation of Skilled Labour in Late
114
5 Painters Guilds and the Art Market during
143
crafts created a Pandt in 1460 and their Bruges peers
167
7 Guilds Technology and Economic Change
199
beech and alder were the only types of firing wood
224
Silk Fabrics
232
9
264
London
288
incorporated in 1623 with a national monopoly and powers of
307
11 Guilds in Decline? London Livery
316

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