Business in the Middle Ages: Working in a Guild

This Business in the Middle Ages: Working in a Guild activity & project also includes:

Long before modern labor unions, guilds worked to ensure that workers had a fair wage. But, in medieval Europe, they also cooperated with the government. Using a simulation and primary source analysis, young scholars become hatters in London to consider the role the guild system played as modern economies emerged in Europe. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the simulation to have historians consider the role guilds played in Europe's growing economy
  • Extend the activity with discussion of the drawbacks and benefits of guilds, or unions, in the modern world
Classroom Considerations
  • Lesson is the 16th in a 23-part Middle School World History series from the Council for Economic Education
  • Hands-on activity engages a diverse group of learners
  • Background information and primary source analysis are ready to use in the classroom
  • Background information does not explain development of guilds within the larger historical context
Common Core