Guilds against the construction of the free market. The textile industry in Segovia at the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century


  • José Damián González Arce Universidad de Murcia



Textile Industry, Guilds, Verlagssytem, Free Market


In the mid-fifteenth century, Segovia saw the rise of businessmen who organized wholesale textile production according to formulas approaching verlagssystem and manufacturing. Local guilds were opposed to this, and were unwilling to implement a concentrated manufacturing system that would deprive them of control over labor and productive markets. Out of this arose, at the end of the century, clashes between the two sides in the form of lawsuits and appeals to the monarchy to change the legal framework. The result was a partial victory of industrial capital against the guilds in which concentrated production was maintained while allowing the guilds to keep privileges wich delayed progress towards a free market. This could have been a cause of the lesser development of Spanish industry in the context of preindustrial Europe, above all from the end of the 16th century.