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Building Early Modern EdinburghA Social History of Craftwork and Incorporation$
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Aaron Allen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474442381

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474442381.001.0001

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The Decline of Corporatism and the Rise of the Unfree

(p.201) Conclusion
Building Early Modern Edinburgh

Aaron Allen

Edinburgh University Press

The conclusion explores the long context of decline and the abolition of corporate privileges. With the transition to more liberal ideas and economic thought, we see both continuity and change for the wider building trades. Technology, professionalization, the rise of liberalism and capitalism all had an impact on both the industry and the privileged body which sought to control building work, but these changes were not felt uniformly across either the industry or the Incorporation. This brings us back to the central question about unity. As deregulation allowed the rise of the unfree, the Incorporation managed to weather the loss of privileges without the loss of property, allowing their survival and adaptation in a very different industry context. Throughout, it is the concepts of family and household which give both structure and justification to the Incorporation, whether in shoring up contested privileges, or in stewarding their corporate inheritance.

Keywords:   Trade Union, Journeymen, Liberalism, Privilege, Technology, Professionalisation, Urbanisation, Reform, Edinburgh New Town

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