The Thirteen Guilds

Starting in 1684 CE, as international trade began to enter into the early phases of industrialization, the monarchies appointed Magistrates to take charge and collect taxes from the goods traded. The position also overlook whether the trades went accordingly. The Magistrates were responsible for merchant relations on behalf of the different monarchies. It was an important position since merchants were not allowed to communicate with members of the Royal Courts of most nations directly.

Guilds were "foreigners quarters" outside the city walls of populated metropolitan areas. These were business markets, not actual guilds that were united by trade, profession, or products. The name came from the foreign agent term of "guild", who maintained offices or factories. Most citizens often referred to the factories as "Barbarian Houses"


Prior to the First Great War in 1732, the trade that was granted to the Thirteen Guilds was for silks, porcelain, spices, and most lucratively tea. It was the incredible financial deficit caused by the demand for tea that spurred the the Thirteen Guilds to begin importing narcotics in an effort to wear down the power of the Magistrates - the only commodity besides silver and gold bullion that the Magistrates would accept in bulk.

Despite Thirteen Guilds growing apprehension with the Magistrate system, the selling of narcotics appeased Guild resentment for the system, and it remained intact until the close of the First Great War in 1766, which established "treaty ports" which were ruled not by Magistrate laws but rather the laws of the members of the Thirteen Guilds that controlled each port. As a political faction, the Thirteen Guilds served as a major force in breaking up the political straglehold that the Magistrates had on political society and development

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