A Guild is an association of craftspeople. They come from Europe and were born in the XI century. Several people in the same craft or trade got together and formed a guild. That way it was easier for them to stand up for their interests, for example in politics. They maybe watched other people who did the same job to make sure that they did not cheat any customers. The earliest guilds were probably formed in India around 3800 BC. Being a member of a guild was a privilege, which had to be gained.
Guilds were common place in the cities of the Middle Ages. After that, around 1700 to 1800 their influence lessened. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith were very very much opposed to the idea of guilds. They believed that guilds hindered economic development and free trade.
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