The Economic History Review

Craft guilds in the pre‐modern economy: a discussion

Volume 61 Issue 1
Home > The Economic History Review > Craft guilds in the pre‐modern economy: a discussion
Pages: 155-174Authors: S. R. EPSTEIN
Published online: January 2, 2008DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2007.00411.x

Log in to access the full article.

This article challenges the view, voiced especially by S. Ogilvie, that the ‘revisionist’ interpretation of the history of craft guilds is wide of the mark. The paper suggests that Ogilvie oversimplifies the revisionist position; ignores significant new work on European crafts; as a result underestimates the role of the guilds in England and the Low Countries; and incorrectly presents her own case study of the Wurttemberg worsted industry as typical of European industry in general. Rather than a return to what amounts to a generalized eighteenth-century debunking of the guilds, the paper pleads for more quantitative and regionally specified investigations of the economic contributions of craft guilds.