Surviving the end of the guilds: Apprenticeship in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France

Clare Haru Crowston, Claire Lemercier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Apprenticeship was available in France within the context of guilds, but was also offered by individuals and institutions outside that context. Whether guilds were involved or not, French apprenticeships were always arranged under notarial contracts. This created a double structure of oversight: corporate and legal. All apprenticeship arrangements in France, however, took their cues from the guild framework. This explains why, after the abolition of the guilds during the French Revolution, the apprenticeship model in France continued more or less as it had done in the eighteenth century, despite the absence of the former institutional effect or certification. Girls, however, gained new training opportunities in the nineteenth century. For boys, the number of incomplete apprenticeships, already high before 1800, further increased after that date. Throughout the period, social skills were as important in the apprentice’s education as economic skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApprenticeship in Early Modern Europe
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781108690188
ISBN (Print)9781108496926
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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