Functions of the guilds
Knowledge, wisdom, solidarity, mastery and, above all, secrecy, were at the origin of all the craft associations that in the late Middle Ages in Europe (11th-15th centuries, approximately) became guilds to monopolize the production and trade of their creations in the Old Continent.
In Indian villages, artisan work was part of daily life and time was divided between the production of food and crafts, the final products of which were taken to the markets. For example, in the region of what is now Michoacán, the Purépechas achieved uncommon skills in artisan work. There, Vasco de Quiroga, taking advantage of these virtues, multiplied the work and promoted the formation of villages specialized in products of great beauty, such as polychrome pottery.
Slowly, very slowly, the guilds were weakened in the 19th century. The commitment to solve personal problems as a body and to help each other in adversities, allowed this organization, which in the light of nineteenth-century liberalism was seen as an obstacle to development, to remain alive for almost half a century after the fall of the viceroyalty, since they survived the War of Independence and the first legislations of the nascent Mexico, until they were definitively suppressed in 1856.
Guild is a group of people who have the same trade or profession. In human history, guilds have existed almost from its beginnings and more especially since the first origins of civilization, when people began to specialize in certain social tasks: shepherds, weavers, potters, farmers, priests, doctors, etc..
Currently, professional associations and unions with compulsory membership are organized as guild corporations, as in the case of closed shop unions, as in the United States. Sometimes the word “guild” is used to refer to a “guild”.
Sometimes the word “guild” is used as a synonym for “union”, but strictly speaking “guild” is a broader term than “union”, since it covers all the persons working in that professional field, while the union is an association that covers only the persons who voluntarily decide to join it, even though it generally represents the guild as a whole.  The expression “trade union activity” refers to the actions and services for the benefit of the trade union, employers’ chambers, professional associations, mutual organizations and other trade associations. The term “trade union activity” refers to the actions and services performed by trade unions, employers’ chambers, professional associations, mutual organizations and other trade associations for the benefit of the trade union.
The craft guilds of Andalusia have been partially investigated, but there is still much to be known about them. In the case of Seville and its kingdom they have the research carried out by A.-M. Bernal, A. Collantes de Terán and A. García-Baquero. In the capital of Seville, the presence of guilds of artisans can be seen from the times immediately after the Christian conquest. In the reign of Alfonso X the guild of weavers was organized, which also had a brotherhood, that of San Lorenzo. In the reign of Alfonso XI the guild of silversmiths received ordinances. The guild organization of Sevillian artisans underwent an important development in the 15th century and continued with various alternatives throughout the modern centuries. In the ordinances of the city of Seville, published in 1527 and republished in 1632, 57 regulations of mechanical trades were collected, regulating a total of 75 different activities. The survey carried out by the aforementioned authors in the Sevillian municipal collections yielded a total of 141 guild ordinances, distributed by centuries as follows: 1 in the 14th century, 50 in the 15th, 26 in the 16th, 18 in the 17th, 29 in the 18th, 5 in the 19th and 2 undated.
Estructura de los gremios
Se analiza el origen y la evolución del término gremio, así como su aplicación en ecología, considerando las múltiples connotaciones que se le han dado y la confusión que se ha generado al utilizarlo inadecuadamente. Asimismo, se discute la importancia de homogeneizar los términos y definir claramente los gremios, para tener un lenguaje que permita entender el alcance del término sin ambigüedades. El uso del término, así como su persistencia en los estudios ecológicos, sugiere que tiene una relevancia considerable según la forma y el modo en que se utilice. El uso inadecuado o derivado de este término es arriesgado y peligroso, ya que tiende a reducir el término a una palabra vacía con múltiples significados. Además, esta trivialización constituye una amenaza para el uso adecuado del concepto de gremio en la ecología y su significado en su conjunto.
La palabra “gremio” tiene origen en la latinización medieval (gremium) del término neerlandés gilde (corporación de artesanos), que deriva del francés antiguo gelde (tropa), que a su vez se proviene del dialecto “fráncico” del pueblo Franco de origen germánico (el cual invadió Francia y algunas regiones del Oeste de Europa al final del período romano). El término fue ampliamente usado en la Edad Media para designar agrupaciones, conjuntos o asociaciones de oficios como por ejemplo, gremios de artesanos, de obreros, de artistas o comerciantes. Los componentes de los diferentes gremios generalmente controlaban el conocimiento y los secretos de sus oficios, y ese “arte” era entonces transmitido tradicionalmente de los maestros a los aprendices (Jovinelly y Netelkos, 2006). En términos de organización, los gremios pueden ser comparados con los sindicatos, las asociaciones de profesionistas, los cárteles (Olson, 1982) o incluso, con las mismas sociedades secretas de nuestros días.