Guild members, taxpayers and the business fabric. Trade Guilds in Braga and Guimarães, 1944-1955

  • Jorge Mano Torres Instituto de História Contemporânea, FCSH/NOVA


The guilds, corporative employers' organizations, emerged within the framework of corporatism and its organization, instituted by the Estado Novo, as a political and economic-social response to a crisis situation and with dangers lurking (crisis of 1929 and World War II), in an economy with structural vulnerabilities. The regime established was based on a logic of economic and social organization, giving priority to the general interest, through a harmony between the various market players, which the State itself controlled. It is in this
political-ideological context that the corporations and the federations, that would control the national economic decisions, emerge, constituting the guilds (along with the national trade unions, houses of the people and houses of fishermen) the basis of the corporate organization, having as main functions the professional representation and the defence of economic category. Braga and Guimarães commercial guilds
were officially established in June and April 1940, respectively, resulting from the transformation of previous trade associations, which were threatened with dissolution if they chose not to adhere to the corporate policy established by Estado Novo, coming to disappear after the Revolution of April 25, 1974, and the consequent dismantling of the corporate structure. With the use of the archives of both organizations, in possession of the trade associations of Braga and Guimarães, respectively, the objective is to analyse the commercial
fabric created by both organisms, in their dimensions, diversity and economic weight.

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Author Biography

Jorge Mano Torres, Instituto de História Contemporânea, FCSH/NOVA

Jorge Mano Torres, Bolseiro de investigação do Instituto de História Contemporânea – Av. Berna, 26 C, 1069-061 LISBOA; Tel.: (00351) 21 7908300 ext.: 1545; Fax.: (00351) 21 7908308; Email:

 Mestre em História pela Universidade do Minho com a dissertação Os comerciantes e o Grémio do Comércio de Guimarães. Dinâmicas associativas, corporativas e comerciais (1939-1969); doutorando no Curso de Doutoramento em História – Especialidade em História Contemporânea, na Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

How to Cite
TORRES, Jorge Mano. Guild members, taxpayers and the business fabric. Trade Guilds in Braga and Guimarães, 1944-1955. Estudos do Século XX, [S.l.], n. 18, p. 75-95, mar. 2018. ISSN 1647-8622. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 july 2019.