Liberties and Litigation

James E. Shaw

in The Justice of Venice

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263778
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734823 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

Liberties and Litigation

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The guilds were essential allies in the operation of the regulatory system, which can be considered an early-modern example of a public/private partnership. Not only were the guilds the chief ‘customers’ of the court, providing much of the funding for public officials, they also had the authority to enforce market rules in their own sector. The price paid for their cooperation was the confirmation of their privileges and the division of the economy into separate sectors. This chapter emphasizes the functional role of guild litigation as opposed to the rhetoric that has surrounded it. From the point of view of a ‘command economy’, guild litigation served no useful purpose. The government considered it to be a waste of money, ‘petty disputes’ of no real significance.

Keywords: civil litigation; guild liberties; guild administration; financial administration; public/private partnership; guild litigation; command economy

Chapter.  14674 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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