POLLY asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

What is a European merchant guild?

What is a European merchant guild? Can you explain it in the simplest form?

2 Answers

  • Jay
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Guilds were associations of merchants who operated in a particular sector of the medieval economy - eg drapers.

    They would set standards for their work and apprentices would have to go through a lengthy indenture period at the end of which if they could prove that they had enough skill and knowledge they would qualify as full members of that guild. This allowed them to use the signs meaning that anyone doing business with that person could do so in the knowledge that they had achieved a level of experience and expertise. In an era where little was written down and people had to trust each other this offered some guarantees regarding the quality of the merchandise.

    In time the guild members developed into a middle class and generally the guilds supplied the mayors and aldermen of cities and towns and regulated trade.

  • Bill P
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It was a group of merchants getting together to form an alliance. The guild represented the merchants who all paid a fee to the guild, The guild worked with the local lord. The guild paid the lord for the right to operate and generally this kept outside merchants away. You could ar5gue that it is like a small business association or trade union.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.