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of some years without the Confederation being able to hinder it. Shortly after the revolution of Zurich another took place in the canton of Tessin, but in the opposite direction. Revolution has followed revolution even to the very moment when we write ; and there seems no possibility of counting for five years together upon internal peace and concord in any canton. The impotence of the federal authority appears completely in the affairs of Valais. Lower Valais demands equal rights with Upper Valais, and a representation in the country council, founded on the population ; but Upper Valais refuses to give up her privilege, and the diet has neither the strength to force Upper Valais to cede to the demands of the lower province and to submit to the new constitution which has been drawn up, nor to force Lower Valais to abide by the principles of the old constitution. The confederation could not impede the division of Basel into two independent cantons; it would, in the same way, be unable to prevent any other partition, or even the separation of any canton, or a portion of any, from the confederacy. The federal authority is despised by the cantonal governments, by all parties, aristocrats as well as liberals, and by the whole nation; and we go not too far in saying, that the proceedings of the diet are the object of contempt and indifference among all classes of Swiss.
In 1830, the question was much discussed by the leaders of the national party, whether they should not avail themselves of the enthusiasm of the people to direct the mouvement rather against the federal government than against those of the single cantons, or should at least accompany the destruction of the aristocratical sway in the cantons, by the overthrow of the rotten federal system. But the opinion prevailed, that a liberal government was first to be established and consolidated in most of the cantons, and that the reform of the federal union would then follow of itself. Yet, since the mouvement subsided, and the enthusiasm of the people for reforms abated, all exertions for a new federal compact have been frustrated. When the diet assembled in July 1832, Casimir Pfyffer, of Lucerne, who was then a member, called on that supreme council to take the reform of the federal compact into consideration. The diet appointed a committee to draw up the project of a new federal compact; but there was no real anxiety among the members of the confederation to succeed in carrying any such national measure. The seven cantons of Zurich, Berne, Lucerne, Soleure, Argovia, Thurgovia and St. Gall, preferred to seek a guarantee for their new constitutions in a separate union under the name of the Siebener Concordat (the concordat of the seven cantons), which step provoked, in 1832, the league of Sarnen by the cantons of Basel, Neufchatel, Valais, Schwytz, Uri and Unterwalden. Switzerland had now two diets for more than a year, till in August 1833, the league of Sarnen dissolved, in consequence of the attack of Basel-town on Basel-country being repulsed, and the victory gained by the latter in the action near the village of Prattelu. Under such circumstances, a project for another compact was put forward by the committee, but satisfied no party. The extreme radicals of the cantons of Argovia and Lucerne united with the aristocrats and the clergy against the new compact, which was out-voted in the elective assemblies of the people. Since 1834, a new motion for a reform of the compact has been made every year in the diet, but without success. The elements of which the confederation is composed are too discordant, the interests of the different cantons too hostile, to admit the possibility of a better organization of the federal power in the peaceable way of reform. The French cantons will never entertain an earnest wish for a better federal union, by which they would become dependent on the will of the German cantons comprising the greater population and territory. The same is the case with the Italian canton of Tessin. Neufchatel will always be anxious to keep up the present state of affairs, on account of the Prussian authority in that canton being endangered by the concentration of republican strength. The small Catholic cantons are opposed to reform, because the larger cantons would gain an ascendency over them. The Grisons and Upper Valais have no other object in view but to preserve their ancient institutions. A reform of the present union would cause a civil war, which would lead to foreign intervention. All Swiss who are able to form a proper view
of the condition of their country, and look with impartiality on the state of its affairs, agree in the necessity of a federal reformı; but the number of those who believe the possibility of carrying it is probably very small. Among the great bulk of the people, a tendency towards separation and partition, rather than concentration, seems to gain ground. So it is well known of the French districts of the canton of Berne, that they long to be reunited with France, to which they belonged before 1815. Upper Valais is said to have applied to Sardinia and France to be allowed to separate from the confederation, in case the new constitution, which is asked for by Lower Valais, should be forced upon them. The northern districts of the canton of Zurich, it was likewise said, after the revolution of September, entertained a desire to become independent. Similar rumours have been afloat of other districts. Such reports even, though partly unfounded, nevertheless manifest a strong spirit of dissatisfaction with the present state of federal affairs on the one side, and of hopelessness and want of sympathy for the welfare of the confederation on the other.
Switzerland exhibits now again nearly the same state of unceasing discord and commotion as from 1798 to 1803, but there is no mediator for her like Napoleon !
1. Handloom-Weavers. Report of the Commissioners, pre
sented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her
Majesty. 1841. 2. Report on Education in Europe to the Trustees of the Gi
rard College for Orphans. By ALEXANDER DALLAS BACHE, LL.D., President of the College, Philadelphia,
1839. We should be at a loss if we were called upon to point out two works calculated to awaken more serious reflections than these. The Handloom-Weavers' Report may be termed an inquiry into the abuses which afflict the social system of an
old nation, a community of long standing, and which threaten its decay. The Report on Education in Europe may with equal propriety be called a search after the basis upon which the future power, prosperity and happiness of a young and rising nation may be securely founded. The HandloomWeavers' Report we are not afraid to designate as one of the most instructive of the many volumes which have been submitted to Parliament on subjects of national interest, and as a model of that description of composition. We may add with regard to both, that notwithstanding an unusual degree of skill displayed in each in the selection of the prominent features from a great mass of materials, yet we have derived the greatest pleasure from the tone of fearless candour and simplicity which pervades them, and which shows that the reporters were fully conscious of the responsibility attaching to their investigations, while they were animated by a sincere desire to forward the welfare of the communities to which they belong..
It would not be doing justice either to the HandloomWeavers' Report or to our readers, if we attempted from extracts to give a fair notion of a work which portrays many of the leading features of the social fabric in our islands, and which leaves nothing to regret but its brevity. Our readers will not easily find so much information sifted and arranged, such sound views of political economy, and such bold treatment of deeply rooted prejudices condensed within the small compass of 150 pages, as in this little volume ; and as all classes will find in it matter of the highest importance for their respective pursuits, we feel sure of the gratitude of any whom the perusal of these pages may induce to give it a place both on their shelves and in their memories. Our peculiar task will be rather to endeavour to cast some light upon the important subject of ameliorating the social position of the industrious classes by experience gleaned from lands which, from the nature of the Commission, lay beyond its reach. A comparison of this kind between the positions of the various classes of society in different countries, and of the feelings which the relative preponderance of different elements engender in different places, comes clearly within the especial province of a British and Foreign Review. , Nor will any one
who has traced the phases in history, so many of which can be satisfactorily accounted for only by recurring disorganizations of the social system, be inclined to set less value upon the symptoms of social progress or decay in other lands, than upon the indications of political or commercial influence, which absorb the attention of the multitude.
The handloom-weaver is the representative of a class of citizens, whose value in an age of combination and mechanical inventions is but too likely to be underrated. The Report pictures him as clinging to his occupation in spite of evident and discouraging disadvantages, because it leaves him the command of his time, does not scatter his family, but, on the contrary, unites its members by the bond of mutual assistance, and thus, however imperfectly, flatters him with the prospect of individual independence and domestic enjoyments. Many witnesses testified to the higher wages obtained in other kinds of work, and to the privations to which the weavers willingly submitted, rather than give up this apparently independent position. We say apparently, because, when their earnings do not suffice to keep them out of debt and to free them from the trammels of combinations, the independence is of course nothing but a dangerous delusion. Still we cannot refuse our sympathy to men who practically evince their faith in the sufficiency of individual exertion to afford a maintenance; and after all allowances for the utility of factory organization, when we compare it with the spirit which is abroad for extending the principle to social arrangements, we must confess we are glad to receive evidence of the kind here presented, to prove that a large proportion of the industrial classes is of that opinion.
One object of the Assistant-Commissioners has evidently been to picture in striking colours the misery arising from an abuse of this desire of independence, and there has been no want of materials to work upon. The absence of any stimulus to regular hours of work and to the unrelaxed observance of a strict routine in life, the acquirement of which (notwithstanding all its attendant inconveniences) is an invaluable source of happiness to the English workman, is shown to lead not unfrequently to negligence and a reliance upon
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