In early spring 1477, Willem Moreel emerged as the spokesman of a coalition of Bruges merchants and the craft guilds
who wanted to obtain privileges from the court.
To Ashbee's profound dismay, Morris dismissed the project with derision, sweeping aside the idea that a small experiment such as a craft guild
could help the suffering of the unemployed.
For some 500 years, craft guilds
played a significant role in shaping the societies of which they were a part.
Ingram notes, the evidence suggests that Coventry's individual craft guilds
accomplished 'much revising and rewriting' of play-books, and, within the framework of the Corpus Christi Play, the city's guilds 'manipulated their pageants relatively freely'.
Andre Raymond treats the numerous groups known as tawaif in pre-nineteenth-century Cairo, showing that they functioned as flexible nongovernmental administrative structures, which represented craft guilds
, ethnic and religious communities, and residential quarters for the state.
Driven by the sharp increase in agricultural productivity and in population, as well as the explosive spread of water- and wind-powered machinery, craft guilds
began to dominate in the 12th century.
More familiar, perhaps, are the craft guilds
of Europein the Middle Ages; these alliances of highly skilled workers became indispensable threads in the tapestry of medieval society.
Later, these fraternities became Singschulen ("song schools"), organized like craft guilds
. Their main activity became the holding of singing competitions.
The more medievally inclined among the Roman Restorationists view Novak's warm feelings for technocracy, innovation, and trickle-down as still too modern and too materialistic for proponents of the "true church," who long instead for the days of feudal rule, papal largesse, and a society of trade and craft guilds
. In short, Catholic fascism.
The clue to these diverse outcomes is the varying patterns of alliance between merchants, craft guilds
, landowners, and the state.
This theoretical frame lends itself to an analysis of the peculiarities of the craft guilds
and the developments that caused their decline and replacement by formal organizations.
Most towns in England had at least a few presentations by their own craft guilds
or parish clerks or by visiting players; about a dozen of the large towns developed large cycles of mystery plays after 1311, when the Corpus Christi day festival was confirmed, and the plays were given annually as commercial pageants under civic control.
During the past seven years, the Freemen's eight craft guilds
, whose own historic trade and commercial links are believed to stretch back nearly seven centuries, have donated PS80,000 to a range of good causes.
During the next two centuries other tradesmen and craftsmen also joined together in trade or craft guilds
such as bakers and brewers, butchers, coopers and goldsmiths.
The craft guilds
would have used them as shock troops by making some concessions to them such as a partial political participation in the city council and the sale of cheap grain.