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A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade.

The earliest guilds were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society. They often depended on grants of letters patent by an authority or monarch to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls constructed and used as meeting places. The modern patent system was set up to break the power of the guilds.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Guild" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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