Marksmen's Guilds

Medieval cities had a marksmen's guild, for at times the city might need to defend herself against an unexpected enemy. In contrast to the craftsmen's guilds, this one was not to regulate an industry. The most famous marksmen's guild, the one of Amsterdam, paid Rembrandt for painting them. Marksmen's guilds would hold an annual target shooting contest.
In the early 19th century, marksmen's guilds were founded in the cities and villages of Germany and elsewhere. Military tacticians regarded a populace trained in the use of rifles an asset, as potential reinforcements, as a militia. Membership of these guilds recruited mainly from strata of society regarded immune to the democratic, patriotic and revolutionary tendencies of the contemporary students and gymnasts, and traditionally loyal to the dynasty.
This was an interpretation which held for the moment. In 1848 many new Schützenvereine were founded. In 1861 they formed a federation, the Deutscher Schützen-Bund (German Federation of Marksmen) which opted for German unification.

ISSF Member Federations list of national shooting sport federations
Geschichte : Nationalbewegung (History : National Movement), from Deutscher Schuetzenbund, in German
Chronik, from Tiroler Landes-Schützenbund, in German
Chronik, from Salzburger Sportschützenverband, in German
Geschichte, from Steiermärkischer Landesschützenbund

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 2nd 2003, last revised on November 16th 2004

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