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.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 362
Weight: 530 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
Review of the hardback: 'This is undoubtedly an important collection of essays that brings the vibrancy of the early modern industry to the fore.' The Historical Association