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Charter of the Craftsmen of the Slavonian-Srem Border

Charter of the Craftsmen of the Slavonian-Srem Border

  • Место: Zemun
  • Date: 1769
  • Material: paper, black ink
  • Technique: written by hand
  • Dimensions: 28 х 44 cm
  • Inventory number: ZI 3825

Zemun acquired wealth and prestige as the main emporium in south-eastern Srem, but the number of its merchants was considerably smaller than the number of its inhabitants engaged in various crafts.

On 1 September 1768, Empress Maria Theresa granted, at the suggestion of Field Marshal Wolfersdorfer, a Charter to the craftsmen of the Slavonic-Srem Military Frontier and of the towns Petrovaradin, Zemun, Karlovci, Mitrovica and some other places. The Charter consisted of 20 articles and regulated all the relations within that occupational group. A provision of Article 2 guaranteed Orthodox craftsmen the right to form separate guilds. That was to become a bone of contention, particularly in Zemun, where the number of Orthodox inhabitants was several times greater than the number of Roman Catholics (in 1776 the ratio was more than four to one). Petrovaradin became the centre of the guild district, and the original of the Charter and the guild regulations were kept there. In Zemun, the Charter was translated into Serbian in 1769. In November 1770, the General Command confirmed the arrangement whereby twelve guild suborganizations were formed in Zemun: three Serbian, three German, and six Serbian-German. The organization of guilds prescribed by the Charter lasted nearly a century, until 1869, when free associations-cooperatives of craftsmen began to be set up in pursuance of a high order.

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