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The Guilds: Beneficial or Detrimental to the Development of European Society - Essay Example

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The writer of this study "The Guilds: Beneficial or Detrimental to the Development of European Society" attempts to answer the question whether the guild system was beneficial to the development of European society or did it hinder development…
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The Guilds: Beneficial or Detrimental to the Development of European Society
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The Guilds: Beneficial or Detrimental to the Development of European Society

Download file to see previous pages... The power of the guild system which gained strength during the eleventh century created a set of criteria for the operation of any business and for the behavior of guild members. There were many guild groupings for regulating everything from commerce to art. The two main guild groups were the merchant guilds and craft guilds. These guilds helped maintain economic and social stability for their kings. Guild members adhered to strict set of rules created by guild associations that protected members from unfair practices and from the king or church, who were dependent on the taxes paid by merchants. The guilds also practiced an early form of consumer satisfaction by ensuring that products were of a certain standard. Guilds, for example, set standards for the production of goods which had to be examined and approved by a board of the guild before being sold. Price cutting was also prohibited, as was advertising. Modern antitrust laws are said to have some basis in the old guild regulations. Guilds also took responsibility for their members. For example, if a member reneged on his responsibilities, the guild he belonged took on the responsibility and later collected from the guild member with interest. This kind of regimented control allowed guilds to create a unified monopoly in their individual realms. Anyone wishing to open a business had to gain guild approval before being allowed to operate a business. Merchant guilds grew in prominence with the opening of trade and the revival of long distance commerce. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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