- Associations of merchants or craftsmen who obtained from the city authorities a monopoly in the trade or production of a cer tain branch of manufacturing or crafts (e.g., linen making, brewing, or goldsmithing). This medieval system of monopoly and coopera tion persisted well into modern times. Although the guilds at first had political influence by representation in the city councils, their power was curtailed in the 16th and 17th centuries, sometimes, as in Groningen during the 1660s, only after violent riots. It was not until the Batavian Revolution in 1798 that the new constitution abol ished the guild system in favor of free enterprise and trade.See also Hansa.
Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. EdwART. 2012.
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