Apprenticeship in Early Modern Europe

Maarten Prak, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands, Patrick Wallis, London School of Economics and Political Science, Editores

This is the first comparative and comprehensive account of occupational training before the Industrial Revolution. Apprenticeship was a critical part of human capital formation, and, because of this, it has a central role to play in understanding economic growth in the past. At the same time, it was a key stage in the lives of many people, whose access to skills and experience of learning were shaped by the guilds that trained them. The local and national studies contained in this volume bring together the latest research into how skills training worked across Europe in an era before the emergence of national school systems. These essays, written to a common agenda and drawing on major new datasets, systematically outline the features of what amounted to a European-wide system of skills education, and provide essential insights into a key institution of economic and social history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: apprenticeship in early modern Europe Maarten Prak and Patrick Wallis
1. The economics of apprenticeship Joel Mokyr
2. Apprenticeship in early modern Madrid Victoria López Barahona and José Nieto Sanchez
3. A large ‘umbrella’: patterns of apprenticeship in eighteenth-century Turin Beatrice Zucca Micheletto
4. Apprenticeship in early modern Venice Anna Bellavitis, Riccardo Cella and Giovanni Colavizza
5. Actors and practices of German apprenticeship, fifteenth-nineteenth centuries Georg Stöger and Reinhold Reith
6. Rural artisans’ apprenticeship practices in early modern Finland (1700–1850) Merja Uotila
7. Apprenticeships with and without guilds: the Northern Netherlands Ruben Schalk
8. Apprenticeship in the Southern Netherlands, c.1400–c.1800 Bert De Munck, Raoul De Kerf and Annelies De Bie
9. Apprenticeship in England Patrick Wallis
10. Surviving the end of the guilds: apprenticeship in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France Clare Crowston and Claire Lemercier
Conclusion: European apprenticeship Maarten Prak and Patrick Wallis.


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