A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a central government. The governmental or constitutional structure found in a federation is known as federalism and it can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state. Federations are often multiethnic and cover an area of territory. The initial agreements create a stability that encourages other common interests, at some time, that is recognized and a movement is organized to merge more closely. At other times, especially when common cultural factors are at such as ethnicity and language. The Old Swiss Confederacy was an example of formal non-unitary statehood. Several colonies and dominions in the New World consisted of autonomous provinces, the oldest continuous federation, and a role model for many subsequent federations, is the United States. Some of the New World federations failed, the Federal Republic of Central America broke up into independent states ten years after its founding, such as Argentina and Mexico, have shifted between federal and unitary systems, before settling into federalism.
Brazil became a federation only after the fall of the monarchy and Canada are federations. Germany is another nation-state that has switched between confederal and unitary rules, since the German Confederation was founded in 1815, the North German Confederation, the succeeding German Empire and the Weimar Republic were federations. The Russian Federation has inherited a similar system, Pakistan and Malaysia became federations on or shortly before becoming independent from the British Empire. In some recent cases, federations have been instituted as a measure to handle ethnic conflict within a state, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iraq since 2005. The component states are in some sense sovereign, insofar as certain powers are reserved to them that may not be exercised by the central government, however, a federation is more than a mere loose alliance of independent states. The component states of a federation usually possess no powers in relation to foreign policy, German Länder have that power, which is beginning to be exercised on a European level.
Some federations are called asymmetric because some states have more autonomy than others, an example of such a federation is Malaysia, in which Sarawak and Sabah agreed to form the federation on different terms and conditions from the states of Peninsular Malaysia. A federation often emerges from an agreement between a number of separate states. The purpose can be the will to solve problems and to provide for mutual defense or to create a nation state for an ethnicity spread over several states. The former was the case with the United States and Switzerland, however, as the histories of countries and nations vary, the federalist system of a state can be quite different from these models
Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
The encyclopedia is published by a foundation under the patronage of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Swiss Historical Society and is financed by national research grants. Besides a staff of 35 at the offices, the contributors include 100 academic advisors,2500 historians and 100 translators. The encyclopedia is being edited simultaneously in three languages of Switzerland, German and Italian. The first of 13 volumes was published in 2002, the last volume was published in 2014. The 36,000 headings are grouped in, Biographies Articles on families and it makes accessible, for free, all articles ready for publication in print, but no illustrations. It lists all 36,000 topics that are to be covered, lexicon Istoric Retic is a two volume version with a selection of articles published in Romansh. It includes articles not available in the other languages, the first volume was published in 2010, the second in 2012. An on-line version is available
The French invaded Switzerland and turned it into an ally known as the Helvetic Republic. The interference with localism and traditional liberties was deeply resented, although some modernizing reforms took place, resistance was strongest in the more traditional Catholic bastions, with armed uprisings breaking out in spring 1798 in the central part of Switzerland. During the French Revolutionary Wars of the 1790s, the French Republican armies expanded eastward, the French Republican armies enveloped Switzerland on the grounds of liberating the Swiss people, whose own system of government was deemed as feudal, especially for annexed territories such as Vaud. Some Swiss nationals, including Frédéric-César de La Harpe, had called for French intervention on these grounds, the invasion proceeded largely peacefully, since the Swiss people failed to respond to the calls of their politicians to take up arms. On 5 March 1798, French troops completely overran Switzerland and the Old Swiss Confederation collapsed, on 12 April 1798,121 cantonal deputies proclaimed the Helvetic Republic and Indivisible.
On 14 April 1798, an assembly was called in the canton of Zürich. The new régime abolished cantonal sovereignty and feudal rights, the occupying forces established a centralised state based on the ideas of the French Revolution. Many Swiss citizens resisted these ideas, particularly in the central areas of the country. Some of the controversial aspects of the new regime limited freedom of worship. In response, the Cantons of Uri and Nidwalden raised an army of about 10,000 men led by Alois von Reding to fight the French and this army was deployed along the defensive line from Napf to Rapperswil. Reding besieged French-controlled Lucerne and marched across the Brünig pass into the Berner Oberland to support the armies of Bern, at the same time, the French General Balthasar Alexis Henri Antoine of Schauenburg marched out of occupied Zürich to attack Zug and the Sattel pass. Even though Redings army won victories at Rothenthurm and Morgarten, Schauenburgs victory near Sattel allowed him to threaten the town of Schwyz, on 4 May 1798, the town council of Schwyz surrendered.
On 13 May and Schauenburg agreed to a cease-fire, no general agreement existed about the future of Switzerland. Leading groups split into the Unitaires, who wanted a republic, and the Federalists. Coup-attempts became frequent, and the new régime had to rely on the French to survive, the occupying forces insisted that the accommodation and feeding of the soldiers be paid for by the local populace, which drained the economy. The treaty of alliance with France broke the tradition of neutrality established by the Confederation, all this made it difficult to establish a new working state. Instability in the Republic reached its peak in 1802–1803, which included the Bourla-papey uprising, by then, it was 12 million francs in debt having started with a treasury of 6 million francs. This together with local resistance caused the Helvetic Republic to collapse, at that time, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France, summoned representatives of both sides to Paris in order to negotiate a solution
Basel is a city in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Basel is Switzerlands third-most-populous city with about 175,000 inhabitants, located where the Swiss and German borders meet, Basel has suburbs in France and Germany. In 2014, the Basel agglomeration was the third largest in Switzerland with a population of 537,100 in 74 municipalities in Switzerland, the official language of Basel is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect. Basel has been the seat of a Prince-Bishopric since the 11th century, the city has been a commercial hub and important cultural centre since the Renaissance, and has emerged as a centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the 20th century. It hosts the oldest university of the Swiss Confederation, There are settlement traces on the Rhine knee from the early La Tène period. The unfortified settlement was abandoned in the 1st century BC in favour of an Oppidum on the site of Basel Minster, probably in reaction to the Roman invasion of Gaul.
In Roman Gaul, Augusta Raurica was established some 20 km from Basel as the administrative centre. The city of Basel eventually grew around the castle, the name of Basel is derived from the Roman-era toponym Basilia, first recorded in the 3rd century. It is presumably derived from the personal name Basilius, the Old French form Basle was adopted into English, and developed into the modern French Bâle. The Icelandic name Buslaraborg goes back to the 12th century Leiðarvísir og borgarskipan, Basel was incorporated into Germania Superior in AD83. Roman control over the area deteriorated in 3rd century, and Basel became an outpost of the Provincia Maxima Sequanorum formed by Diocletian, the Alamanni attempted to cross the Rhine several times in the 4th century, but were repelled. In a great invasion of AD406, the Alemanni appear to have crossed the Rhine river a final time and settling what is today Alsace, from this time, Basel has been an Alemannic settlement. The Duchy of Alemannia fell under Frankish rule in the 6th century, and by the 7th century, based on the evidence of a third solidus with the inscription Basilia fit, Basel seems to have minted its own coins in the 7th century.
Under bishop Haito, the first cathedral was built on the site of the Roman castle, at the partition of the Carolingian Empire, Basel was first given to West Francia, but passed to East Francia with the treaty of Meerssen of 870. The city was plundered and destroyed by a Magyar invasion of 917, the rebuilt city became part of Upper Burgundy, and as such was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire in 1032. Since the donation by Rudolph III of Burgundy of the Moutier-Grandval Abbey and all its possessions to Bishop Adalbero II in 999 till the Reformation, in 1019, the construction of the cathedral of Basel began under German Emperor Heinrich II. In 1225–1226, the Bridge over the Rhine was constructed by Bishop Heinrich von Thun, the bridge was largely funded by Basels Jewish community which had settled there a century earlier. For many centuries to come Basel possessed the only permanent bridge over the river between Lake Constance and the sea, the Bishop allowed the furriers to found a guild in 1226
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the Swiss Confederation. The nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the form of the first three confederate allies used to be referred to as the Waldstätte, with the Napoleonic period of the Helvetic Republic the term canton/cantone/Kanton was fully established. From 1833, there were 25 cantons, which became 26 after the secession of the canton of Jura from Bern in 1979. The term canton, now used as English term for administrative subdivisions of other countries, originates in French usage in the late 15th century, from a word for edge. After 1490, canton was increasingly used in French and Italian documents to refer to the members of the Swiss Confederacy, English use of canton in reference to the Swiss Confederacy dates to the early 17th century. It was increasingly replaced by Stand after 1550, the French term canton was not adopted into German usage prior to 1648, and after that only in occasional use. The prominent usage of Ort and Stand only gradually disappeared in German-speaking Switzerland with the Helvetic Republic, only with the Act of Mediation of 1803 did German Kanton become an official designation, retained in the Swiss Constitution of 1848.
The term Stand remains in usage and is reflected in the name of the upper chamber of the Swiss Parliament. Republic Some cantonal constitutions provide for a formal name of the state. Most of Romandys cantons and Ticino call themselves république/Repubblica officially, at least within their constitutions, for example, the canton of Geneva refers to itself formally as the République et canton de Genève. Though they were part of the Holy Roman Empire, they had become de facto independent when the Swiss defeated Emperor Maximillian in 1499 in Dornach. The old system was abandoned with the formation of the Helvetic Republic following the French invasion of Switzerland in 1798, the cantons of the Helvetic Republic had merely the status of an administrative subdivision with no sovereignty. The Helvetic Republic collapsed within five years, and cantonal sovereignty was restored with the Act of Mediation of 1803, the status of Switzerland as a federation of states was restored, at the time including 19 cantons.
Three additional western cantons, Neuchâtel and Geneva, acceded in 1815, the process of Restoration, completed by 1830, returned most of the former feudal rights to the cantonal patriciates, leading to rebellions among the rural population. The Liberal Radical Party embodied these democratic forces calling for a new federal constitution and this tension, paired with religious issues escalated into armed conflict in the 1840s, with the brief Sonderbund War. The victory of the party resulted in the formation of Switzerland as a federal state in 1848. The cantons retained far-reaching sovereignty, but were no longer allowed to maintain standing armies or international relations. Each canton has its own constitution, legislature and courts, most of the cantons legislatures are unicameral parliaments, their size varying between 58 and 200 seats
Congress of Vienna
The objective of the Congress was to provide a long-term peace plan for Europe by settling critical issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. The goal was not simply to restore old boundaries but to resize the main powers so they could balance each other off, the leaders were conservatives with little use for republicanism or revolution, both of which threatened to upset the status quo in Europe. France lost all its recent conquests, while Prussia and Russia made major territorial gains, Prussia added smaller German states in the west, Swedish Pomerania and 60% of the Kingdom of Saxony, Austria gained Venice and much of northern Italy. The new Kingdom of the Netherlands had been created just months before, the immediate background was Napoleonic Frances defeat and surrender in May 1814, which brought an end to twenty-five years of nearly continuous war. Negotiations continued despite the outbreak of fighting triggered by Napoleons dramatic return from exile, the Congresss Final Act was signed nine days before his final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815.
However, others praise it for having created relatively long-term stable, the Congress of Vienna settlement, despite changes, formed the framework for European international politics until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. The Treaty of Chaumont in 1814 had reaffirmed decisions that had made already. The Treaty of Chaumont became the cornerstone of the European Alliance which formed the balance of power for decades, other partial settlements had already occurred at the Treaty of Paris between France and the Sixth Coalition, and the Treaty of Kiel which covered issues raised regarding Scandinavia. The Treaty of Paris had determined that a general congress should be held in Vienna, the opening was scheduled for July 1814. The Four Great Powers had previously formed the core of the Sixth Coalition, as the Congresss sessions were in Vienna, Emperor Francis was kept closely informed. Great Britain was represented first by its Foreign Secretary, Viscount Castlereagh, by the Duke of Wellington, in the last weeks it was headed by the Earl of Clancarty, after Wellington left to face Napoleon during the Hundred Days.
Tsar Alexander I controlled the Russian delegation which was led by the foreign minister. The tsar had two goals, to gain control of Poland and to promote the peaceful coexistence of European nations. He succeeded in forming the Holy Alliance, based on monarchism and anti-secularism, Prussia was represented by Prince Karl August von Hardenberg, the Chancellor, and the diplomat and scholar Wilhelm von Humboldt. King Frederick William III of Prussia was in Vienna, playing his role behind the scenes, the fifth power, was represented by its foreign minister, Talleyrand as well as the Minister Plenipotentiary the Duke of Dalberg. Talleyrand had already negotiated the Treaty of Paris for Louis XVIII of France, Sweden – Count Carl Löwenhielm Denmark – Count Niels Rosenkrantz, foreign minister. King Frederick VI was present in Vienna, the Netherlands – Earl of Clancarty, the British Ambassador at the Dutch court, and Baron Hans von Gagern Switzerland – Every canton had its own delegation. Charles Pictet de Rochemont from Geneva played a prominent role, mecklenburg-Schwerin – Leopold von Plessen Virtually every state in Europe had a delegation in Vienna – more than 200 states and princely houses were represented at the Congress
Switzerland in the Napoleonic era
During the French Revolutionary Wars, the revolutionary armies marched eastward, enveloping Switzerland in their battles against Austria. In 1798, Switzerland was completely overrun by the French and was renamed the Helvetic Republic, the Helvetic Republic encountered severe economic and political problems. In 1798 the country became a battlefield of the Revolutionary Wars, Gallen and Ticino became cantons with equal rights. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 fully re-established Swiss independence and the European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality, at this time, the territory of Switzerland was increased for the last time, by the new cantons of Valais, Neuchâtel and Geneva. During the last years of the Ancien Régime the growing conflicts throughout the Confederation had weakened and distracted the Diet, during the next eight years revolts sprang up across the Confederation and unlike earlier many were successful. In 1790 the Lower Valais rose against the upper districts, in 1791 Porrentruy rebelled against the Bishop of Basel and became the Rauracian republic in November 1792 and in 1793 the French department of the Mont Terrible.
In 1795 St Gallen successfully revolted against the prince-abbot and these revolts were supported or encouraged by France, but the French army didnt directly attack the Confederation. In 1797 the districts of Chiavenna and Bormio, dependencies of the Three Leagues and they were quickly invaded and annexed to the Cisalpine Republic on 10 October 1797. In December of the year the Bishopric of Basel was occupied and annexed. On 9 December 1797 Frédéric-César de La Harpe, a member of the Helvetian Club from Vaud, seeing a chance to remove a feudal neighbor and gain Berns wealth, France agreed. By February 1798 French troops occupied Mulhouse and Biel/Bienne, another army entered Vaud, when the Lemanic republic was proclaimed, and the Diet broke up in dismay without taking any steps to avert the coming storm. On 5 March troops entered Bern, deserted by her allies, with Bern, the stronghold of the aristocratic party, in revolutionary hands, the old Confederation collapsed. Within a month, the Confederation was under French control and all the members of the Confederation were gone.
On 12 April 1798121 cantonal deputies proclaimed the Helvetic Republic, the new régime abolished cantonal sovereignty and feudal rights. The occupying forces established a state based on the ideas of the French Revolution. Before the Helvetic Republic, each canton had exercised complete sovereignty over its own territory or territories. Little central authority had existed, with matters concerning the country as a whole confined mainly to the Diet, the constitution of the Helvetic Republic came mainly from the design of Peter Ochs, a magistrate from Basel. It established a central two-chamber legislature which included the Grand Council, the executive, known as the Directory, comprised 5 members
The Diet was a meeting of delegates from the individual cantons. Though it was the most wide-reaching political institution of the Old Swiss Confederacy, its power was very limited, organised as a Diet since 1500, the seat of the Swiss legislature was called the Federal Diet. This was not the source of authority in the loosely joined country. Though a representative body, it differed from modern constitutional assemblies as its member were drawn almost exclusively from the picked interest of the landed, the presiding canton of the Federal Diet was known as the Vorort and was usually the canton which had called the Diet. The Diet was held in varying locations, with Zurich becoming increasingly important following the 16th century, the last three presiding cantons before the French invasion were Bern, and Zürich. Following the invasion and victory of the French Republican forces, the Old Swiss Confederation was disbanded and replaced by the Helvetic Republic and this was a more centralized form of government than the previous and it was widely opposed as revoking the traditional liberties of local powers.
Opposition was particularly fierce among the Catholic population, for whom the French imposed government was associated with the radical anti-clericalism of the French Revolution and this opposition eventually lead to the Stecklikrieg, which pitted a Swiss rebellion against the forces of the Helvetic Republic. The opposition was successful in forcing the Helvetic Republic to accepting the French negotiated Acts of Mediation in 1803 and these acts secured the federal, decentralized nature of Switzerland. Switzerland was organized according to the terms of the Acts of Mediation under the defeat of the French Empire in 1815. The Long Diet had been in session for over a year until 1815, the Swiss government maintained it federal structure, though no longer under the forms of the Acts of Mediation and coordinated by a re-named Federal Assembly. This is the system which would govern the Swiss for over three decades, seeing the addition of new, French-speaking cantons, the system showed its weaknesses in 1845, when a league of Catholic cantons joined together in opposition to Federal authority and formed the Sonderbund League in 1845.
This was the beginnings of a war, which lasted through 1848. Following their victory, a new constitution was adopted and the Federal Assembly of Switzerland was created in its modern form, Bern was chosen as the federal city, or Bundesstadt, in a deliberate avoidance of the term capital city, or Hauptstadt. In its modern form, the Federal Assembly is a representative body which elects its members according to the votes of the citizens of each canton. List of Presidents of the Swiss Diet Landammann Landsgemeinde Tagsatzung in German, Vorort in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
Solothurn is a town, a municipality, and the capital of the canton of Solothurn in Switzerland. It is located in the north-west of Switzerland on the banks of the Aare, the town is the only municipality of the district of the same name. The town got its name from Salodurum, a Roman-era settlement, from 1530 to 1792 it was the seat of the French ambassador to Switzerland. The pedestrian-free old town was built between 1530 and 1792 and shows an impressive array of Baroque architecture, combining Italian Grandezza, French style, the town has 18 structures listed as heritage sites. Agricultural, once the dominant sector of employment, has become almost non-existent, most people today are employed in manufacturing and education. The official language of Solothurn is German, but the spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect. The oldest finds from Solothurn probably date from the Paleolithic era, the remains of a Mesolithic camp were discovered in 1986 during renovations of the former Kino Elite building.
From the Neolithic and Iron Age, only a few scattered items have been discovered, the Roman settlement at Solothurn was probably built around AD 15-25 as a road station and bridge head on the road from Aventicum to Augusta Raurica or Vindonissa. A small vicus or settlement quickly developed around the castrum, Solothurn is first mentioned in 219 as vico salod on the so-called Eponastein. The name may indicate either that a Celtic settlement existed on the site before or just be a testimony to the mixed Gallo-Roman culture in the north-west provinces of the Roman Empire and it came to be known as Salodurum. Its strategical importance lay in the position at the approach to the Rhine from southeast, in the 2nd-3rd Century AD, the vicus expanded rapidly to fill almost all of what is now the old town of Solothurn, including a portion of todays suburb south of the Aare. The Roman bridge was probably somewhat above the current Wengibrücke, the Roman era river bed was 40–80 meters north of the present Aare.
The main street of the Vicus was well below the present main street, in addition to the normal government of the settlement, there were two mayors, and a six-member college, which was entrusted with supporting the imperial cult. Salodurum was home to a detachment of the XXII Legion. According to inscriptions, there was a temple of Jupiter, a temple of Apollo Augustus and an altar to the goddess of horses Epona, the locations of those three temples is not known. There was bath house on the street and a pottery district in the northwest of the town which have been documented archaeologically. A cemetery with urns and cremation burials on the end of the Vicus was discovered in 1762-63 during the demolition of the old church of St. Ursus. In addition, two Roman tombs were discovered in the same area, around 325-350, the unfortified settlement along the road was transformed into a fortified camp or castrum, which covered only half of the former settlement area
The Simplon Pass is a high mountain pass between the Pennine Alps and the Lepontine Alps in Switzerland. It connects Brig in the canton of Valais with Domodossola in Piedmont, the pass itself and the villages on each side of it, such as Gondo, are in Switzerland. The Simplon Tunnel was built beneath the vicinity of the pass in the early 20th century to carry traffic between the two countries. Rotelsee is a located near the pass at an elevation of 2,028 m. There are several peaks around that can be climbed directly from the pass. These include Wasenhorn, Hubschhorn and Monte Leone, there had been a locally used passage through the mountains here for several centuries, but the pass acquired international significance during the Napoleonic occupation. Since then, the pass has been usable by post carriages, in October 1970, a party of journalists was invited to inspect the improvements and it was announced that the necessary improvements had been implemented on 37 km of the 42. The former Simplon département was named after the pass
Fribourg or Freiburg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district La Sarine. Its Old City, one of the best maintained in Switzerland, the region around Fribourg has been settled since the Neolithic period, although few remains have been found. These include some flint tools found near Bourguillon, as well as a stone hatchet, a river crossing was located in the area during the Roman Era. The main activity in the Swiss plateau bypassed the area to the north, therefore, only a few remains from the Roman era have been found in Fribourg. These include the traces of a foundation on the plains near Pérolles. The town was founded in 1157 by Berchtold IV von Zähringen and its name is derived from German frei and Burg. Its most ancient part is located on a former peninsula of the river Sarine. The easily defended city helped the Dukes of Zähringen to strengthen, beginning at the time of its inception, Fribourg built a city-state, the land it controlled lay some distance away. When the dukes of Zähringen died out in 1218, the city was transferred to the related Kybourg family and they granted the city its former privileges and wrote the municipal laws in the so-called Handfeste in 1249, in which the legal and economic organizations were established.
Several treaties with neighbouring city-states, including Avenches, the city was sold to the Habsburgs in 1277. Trade and industry began as early as the mid-13th century, in the early period, Fribourg consisted of four distinct inner city districts, Burg, Au, La Neuveveville, and Spital. These expansions reflect the economic boom in Fribourg, the 14th century was dominated by trade, and cloth and leather production, which brought the city renown in Central Europe by 1370. In 1339, Fribourg participated alongside the Habsburgs and the County of Burgundy in the Battle of Laupen against Bern, the treaty with Bern was renewed in 1403. The leaders of the city began an acquisition, in which they gradually brought more nearby land under their control. This laid the ground-work for the Canton of Fribourg, by 1442 the city had control of all the land within about 20 kilometres, on both sides of the Saane. It was therefore controlled by the city leaders, not by any intermediate administration. The mid-15th century was shaped by military conflicts.
First, considerable losses in a war against Savoy had to be made good, the Savoyard influence on the city grew, and the Habsburgs ceded it to them in 1452