Confréries de métier et corporations à Paris (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles)

Translated title of the contribution: Professional Brotherhoods and Guilds in Paris (17th-18th centuries)

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In the 17th century, craft communities and their brotherhoods are generally inseparable. They often have a common administration, the elections take place on the feast day of the patron saint, and the funds of the corporation pay the expenses of religious services. Funerals and celebration of religious holidays are part of community life and corporate identity. This inseparability comes from an "enchanted" conception of the world, where secular life is hardly distinguishable from the spiritual. This article examines the process of secularization of corporations and seeks to explain the end of confraternities in Paris. The action of the monarchy - in spite of its religious foundations - is at the heart of the process. In order to extract the maximum income from corporations, the king imposed in the 18th century a financial separation of brotherhoods and corporations, and limited expenditure. It introduces a new distinction between religious functions and other trades activities, which has the effect of secularizing corporations. His intention is not to attack religion. On the contrary, its action is part of a new conception of the world, characteristic of the Catholic Reformation, which seeks to protect the sacred by separating it from the profane. In the eyes of the royal commissioners, work belongs to the secular world. Trade confraternities have no place. Subject to increasing criticism and disaffection on the part of a number of their members, they will not survive the reform of corporations in 1776.
Translated title of the contributionProfessional Brotherhoods and Guilds in Paris (17th-18th centuries)
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)95-117
Number of pages23
JournalRevue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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