Zwischen Zunft und Fabrik
Zur regionalen Gewerbegeschichte von 1763 bis 1799
After the end of the Seven Years’ War, the economic decision-makers in the Electorate of Saxony transformed Saxony from a devastated and financially ruined state into a leading German economic centre within a matter of a few years. This period, known as the rétablissement, gave rise to a diverse economic landscape, in which towards the end of the century the foundations were laid for the transition to industrial capitalism: The medieval instrument of craftsmen’s guilds – reformed and adapted to meet new demands by the market – saw a renaissance.
Private entrepreneurship gained in importance and international financial capital and know-how poured into the Chemnitz regional economy. Decentralised and centralised manufacturing enterprises, particularly in the region’s textile trade, became important milestones along the path to establishing the first factories. Culture and education supported this development. Profound change occurred in the cityscape and the societal mindset. The city and the region alike entered the modern era.
The exhibition reflects the coexistence of the various developmental processes underway at that time: It focuses on guild objects and the first pieces of machinery, as well as illustrations depicting the city and the changing structures of work, everyday life and the economy.