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to declare war and to enter into alliances, the cantons regained their full sovereignty, so that no one is now obliged to abide by any resolution of the diet to which it has not given its consent. Each canton received one vote in the diet, whilst under the act of mediation the larger cantons had two. The right of every Swiss to participate in the political rights of the citizens of any canton in which he might take up his residence, was annulled; and he was now again regarded as an alien in any canton in which he did not possess the right of burghership, either by birth or purchase. Free trade amongst the cantons ceased, and many other salutary institutions which, under the Act of Mediation, promoted national feeling and freedom, were abolished. But the fullest restoration took place in the constitutions of the separate cantons; Switzerland could now again exhibit an example of any form of government, from the purest democracy up through aristocracy and oligarchy to monarchy.
In those cantons in which the old aristocracies were reestablished, the government was in the hands of a few families. Thus, for instance, in the canton of Berne, 200 of the 299 members of which the grand council consisted were taken from the city of Berne with 18,000 inhabitants, and the remaining 99 members, from the twenty-seven country-districts with 370,000 inhabitants! But of the 18,000 inhabitants only about 3000 possessed the right of burghership entitling them to be represented in the grand council. The 3000 burghers comprised 380 families, of which the members of eighty only were regimentsfähig (capable of being chosen to a seat in the executive or to any higher public office). But again, of the eighty privileged families, thirty (the patricial) were in the possession of absolute power. The 200 representatives of the city were not elected by the burghers, but by a committee of the grand council itself in conjunction with the executive council. 150 members of the 200 representatives of the city were always taken from the eighty privileged families, and twentytwo members of the twenty-six of which the executive council consisted were always taken from the thirty families of the patricial. Moreover, to make the grand council entirely dependent on the will of the thirty families, a board called Sixteeners (Sechzehner) existed, which had the right to sus
pend or exclude any member of the grand council. Over each country-district an Oberamtman (chief magistrate) was set, who was taken from the privileged families, and was commonly a retired officer of a Bernese regiment in foreign service, who understood nothing of the duties of the office he filled and was therefore entirely in the hands of his secretary. The finances of the country were involved in darkness, and nobody, except the heads of the reigning thirty families, knew anything about them.
On the same principles as in Berne, the government of the three other purely aristocratical cantons, Lucerne, Saleure and Fryburgh, was re-established. The most heavily oppressed were the people in the canton of Lucerne. The aristocracy of Berne, distinguished by political prudence and wisdom which gained her the esteem of Frederic the Great, had at least regard for the corporal welfare of her subjects; but the petty aristocracies of the three other cantons had no sense for anything but the personal interest of their members. The three cantons of Zurich, Basil and Schafhausen had no aristocracy, but the guilds of the three cities of Basil, Zurich and Schafhausen, from which the greater number of the grand council as well as the executive, and all principal officers of the state were chosen, ruled over the country, and in these all power was likewise possessed by a certain number of families. The largest share in the government was given to the people in the canton of Zurich, but in those of Schafhausen and Basil the country-districts were oppressed by the most petty and vexatious privileges. In the latter canton no shoemaker or tailor of the country was allowed to take work for an inhabitant of the city.
The small democratical cantons, Schwytz, Uri, Unterwalden, Zug and Glaris, had restored all their old institutions. These little democracies have always been a tool in the hands of a few domineering families. In the canton of Schwytz the “inner districts” obtained with the restoration many privileges over the “ outer districts," the latter having been a subject territory to the former before 1798. But the strangest inequality of rights was restored in the canton of Glaris. Seven-eighths of its population are Protestants and only oneeighth Catholics, yet half the number of all public officers must be of the Catholic persuasion. A similar inequality was instituted in Valais, and gave rise to the commotion in which at present that canton is found. Valais was only allied to the confederation before 1798, and was incorporated with France in 1810 as the département du Simplon. It comprises two divisions, Upper Valais and Lower Valais, the inhabitants of the former being of German and those of the latter of Romanic origin. Lower Valais was conquered in 1475 from Savoy by Upper Valais, and its inhabitants were treated as serfs up to 1798. Both portions received in 1815 the old constitution of Upper Valais, resembling that of the Basque provinces in Spain. They are divided into Zehnte (tithings), each of which forms an independent little commonalty in its internal affairs. For their common interests, all the Zehnte have a general council of the country. Now the inequality of which Lower Valais complains, consists in this, that Upper Valais, with seven Zehnte but only two-fifths of the population of the whole canton, sends thirty-two deputies to the council, whilst Lower Valais, with only six Zehnte but three-fifths of the population, sends not more than twenty-four.
The new cantons of Vaud, Argovia, Thurgovia and St. Gall were unplagued with the existence of an aristocracy, and possessed free representative constitutions. Still in these cantons also a number of men, influencing the grand councils by their shrewdness and wealth, formed oligarchies, whose interests were promoted by the aristocracies of the old cantons. It was especially thus in the canton of Tessin, where the people complained of the arbitrary sway of Quadri, the president of the grand council, and of the dissipation of the public funds by his adherents. In the canton of Neufchatel, the only monarchy amongst twenty-one republics, it is not to be wondered that the people, though their condition was much better than in many of the other cantons, longed for republican institutions. The only cantons where no dissatisfaction prevailed, were those of Appenzell, the Grisons and Geneva. For centuries the people and government of Appenzell have been distinguished for their sound sense and happy disposition. The country of the Grisons, with its most peculiar and remarkable old institutions, forms a federative republic of itself, comprising three leagues, each of which is again sub
divided into certain number of nearly independent little republics called “jurisdictions."
The restoration of 1815 was received with dissatisfaction by the far larger portion of the Swiss nation. Two parties stood opposed to each other from 1815 to 1820, the conservatives and the reformers; the former being called the aristocratical, the latter the national or liberal party. The strength of the aristocrats rested on the burghers of the privileged cities, on the small democratical cantons, with the exception of Appenzell, on a great portion of the Protestant and the whole Catholic clergy, the latter forming the pivot in the struggle for consolidating aristocratic government.
The Swiss of the Protestant as well as the Catholic persuasion are deeply devoted to their religion, and the clergy possess therefore great influence over them. With the educated classes in the cities, the creed, as in Germany and France, is less strong than in the country, and religious bias may sometimes depend on party interest. But with the countrypeople religion rests on persuasion. This is particularly the case with the inhabitants of the Catholic democratical cantons of Schwytz, Uri, Unterwalden and Zug, in which the people are bigoted and superstitious, and passionately devoted to their priests. Besides a numerous secular clergy, the Catholic church has 117 monasteries, which are in no other country, with the exception of Italy, richer than in Switzerland. Even in those cantons where the greater portion of the inhabitants are of the Protestant persuasion, the monasteries are of consequence from their wealth and number. Of great importance was the resettlement of the order of the Jesuits. In 1814 they returned to the canton of Valais, where they possess a college at Brieg. In 1818 their college at Fryburgh was reorganized, and contains now more than 400 pupils from different countries of Europe. Of late they have also founded an establishment in the canton of Schwytz. With such elements a strong and compact Roman party has been organized ever since 1814, which warmly supports the cause of the aristocrats against the national party for two reasons. The victory of the national party is viewed as involving the possibility of a reform of the federal compact on a basis such
VOL. XIII.-No. xxv.
that the whole body of the Swiss nation would be represented in the diet rather than the single cantons. These under the present compact send each two representatives to the diet, without regard to the number of their inhabitants. The Catholic population being fewer in number, and small in the democratical cantons, the Protestants would certainly gain a great ascendency over the Catholics by any such reform. The other reason the Roman party has in common with such Protestant priests as adhere to the aristocrats,—they fear the triumph of liberal principles would lead to scepticism and irreligion. The Swiss Protestant church is not of the same weight in politics as the Romish church, because it is not founded on an episcopal system, which creates a more intense spiritual spirit among its members. Many Protestant clergymen belong to the liberal party, and have even been active leaders ; but on the Catholic clergy the aristocrats look as their devoted adherents and principal supporters; so much so that the aristocrats of the Protestant persuasion durst not oppose the Romish party in their late exertions to increase their power. So close was the union between the aristocrats and the Catholic clergy from 1815 to 1830, that the Protestant government of Berne always disposed in the diet of the votes of the three democratical Catholic cantons of Schwytz, Uri and Unterwalden.
The influence of the Romish party strongly manifested itself in exertions to re-establish the system of the Roman hierarchy, and to make the state dependent on the Pope in all spiritual matters, and in no other country have the efforts of the Roman party been crowned with the same success.
Ве. fore 1814 the Swiss Catholics belonged to the bishoprics of Constanz, Basel, Lausanne, Geneva, Chur, Sitten and Como. These bishops being suffragan to the foreign archbishops of Milan, Besançon, Vienne and Mayence, the Swiss cantons partook of the rights of the state (jura circa sacra) and the privileges of the crown which the German states, especially Austria and France, possessed long before the French revolution. On pretence of making the Swiss Catholic church independent of foreign influence, by creating a national Swiss diocese, the metropolitan union with those foreign countries