The members and the consumers. Guilds did not
The development of guilds in the middle ages was a critical stage for artists and craftsmen. The power that these people amassed was not to just any one person but rather their readiness to join and act as a group. Within towns during the middle ages the many working people, whether it be the masons, clothing makers, artists, shoemakers, etc., joined together to gain control of the market. alone these people had little power but together, they became a powerhouse. The craftsmen were not the only guild, there were also the fighters and the prayers. These three guilds were responsible for changes in society by changing the economy, offered protection, and helped society with civic duties. There are two sides of how the economy was affected by guilds. Once guilds started, you could see a shift in the economy and activity of artists and merchants. Before the creation of guilds, the lords would heavily tax the townspeople and their trades, but with guilds, they were able to lower the tax rate, therefore made more transactions amongst the town people. However, since guilds were given the power to control price on goods, it mostly benefited the owners of the shops and not the people. Whether guilds helped or ruined the economy is a debate, but one thing is for sure, they were able to last a long time, so they must have done something right. Guilds were able to offer many different protections to everyone. As I mentioned before, guilds protected people from the excessive taxes by the lords and landowners, it banned trading between guild members, so there would not be a monopoly on the products. Regulations for workers were placed by guilds, such as working conditions and hours of work. Guilds also provided safety for their member’s goods while traveling. Guild implemented protection for both the workers, guild members and the consumers. Guilds did not just help the workers and consumers but also helped the community. They helped the poor by covering for funeral expenses, helped orphans and funded school during the middle ages. The also helped with the construction of buildings and walls, provided a militia to guard against invaders and police the town to stop criminals. Guilds were regarded as highly moral and helped the safety and education of the civilians. Guilds were an important part of life during the medieval times. There were many advantages and debate disadvantages to guilds. First being the economy. Many historians believe that since guilds went on for a long period of time, they must have been doing well economically, while others believe guilds only helped the owners of shops. Next, guilds offered protection to all people, whether it be with price regulations or work condition regulations. And lastly, guilds provided many societal benefits with a police force to the funding of schools.