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Conclusion: apprenticeship in Europe – a survey

Prak, Maarten and Wallis, Patrick ORCID: 0000-0003-1434-515X (2019) Conclusion: apprenticeship in Europe – a survey. In: Prak, Maarten and Willis, Patrick, (eds.) Apprenticeship in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 309 - 316. ISBN 9781108496926

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Identification Number: 10.1017/9781108690188.012


All European countries had apprenticeship systems, which were normally regulated and implemented locally. This involved three institutional actors: guilds providing a regulatory framework, notaries registering the contracts between individual masters and apprentices, and urban courts overseeing the practical implementation of these rules and arrangements. The guilds’ role has been often overstated, the urban authorities’ impact underestimated. Large percentages of pre-modern teenagers were educated, socially and technically, by this system. Most of them were males, who normally received their training from someone outside their immediate family circle. Apprenticeship was a mechanism for social, geographic and occupational mobility across Europe, but only a minority of apprentices could reasonably expect to become masters themselves. In the absence of a viable alternative, the pre-modern apprenticeship system continued in many countries after the abolition of the guilds, and even into the early twentieth century.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
L Education > LA History of education
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I20 - General
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2019 15:09
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 08:07

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