| Guild Hall Entrance | Development of Craft Guilds | Early Regulations |

| Apprenticeships | Journeymen | Women in the Guilds | Social Services |

| Great Weakness of the Guild System |

As time went on however, there was a natural inclination on the part of the masters who were the members of the guild to keep their numbers down, have more workmen under them, and thus increase their profits and keep the competition down. This resulted in apprentices having to work for a certain number of years past their initial training period as a journeyman or hired day laborer. This allows the masters to have fairly large shops in which apprentices and journeymen work for them.

The masters prefer to take on more apprentices rather than promote journeymen into master status in order to keep their numbers down and therefore secure their share of the available market. Eventually it has become almost impossible to become a master unless you are the son of a master or married a master's daughter. This leaves the majority of men working in the craft without hope of rising beyond journeyman status.

Unfortunately, the journeymen are almost completely at the mercy of the masters who run the guild. The guild does guarantee every journeyman work. In Paris the journeymen of a guild gather each morning at a certain place where the masters come and chose the men they want. If any journeymen are left over, the guild officers assign them to masters. Through the guild, the masters set the journeyman's wages and regulate the hours and conditions of his work. In some towns, those journeymen brave enough, have tried to form organizations of their own in order to fight the masters rule. However the masters always have the support of the town government and the journeymen are rarely successful.


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Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Authors: Bonnie Panagakis, Chris Marszalek, Linda Mazanek
School: Twin Groves Junior High School, Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089
Created: November 25, 1997 - Updated: