History of Switzerland
The early history of the region is tied to that of Alpine culture. Switzerland was inhabited by Gauls and Raetians, and it came under Roman rule in the 1st century BC, gallo-Roman culture was amalgamated with Germanic influence during Late Antiquity, with the eastern part of Switzerland becoming Alemannic territory. The area of Switzerland was incorporated into the Frankish Empire in the 6th century, in the high medieval period, the eastern part became part of the Duchy of Swabia within the Holy Roman Empire while the western part was part of Burgundy. The Swiss Reformation divided the Confederacy and resulted in a history of internal strife between the Thirteen Cantons in the Early Modern period. In the wake of the French Revolution, Switzerland fell to a French invasion in 1798 and was reformed into the Helvetic Republic, the history of Switzerland since 1848 has been largely one of success and prosperity. Archeological evidence suggests that hunter-gatherers were already settled in the north of the Alps in the Middle Paleolithic period 150,000 years ago.
By the Neolithic period, the area was densely populated. Remains of Bronze Age pile dwellings from as early as 3800 BC have been found in the areas of many lakes. Around 1500 BC, Celtic tribes settled in the area, the Raetians lived in the eastern regions, while the west was occupied by the Helvetii. In 58 BC, the Helvetii tried to evade migratory pressure from Germanic tribes by moving into Gaul, the alpine region became integrated into the Roman Empire and was extensively romanized in the course of the following centuries. The center of Roman administration was at Aventicum, in 259, Alamanni tribes overran the Limes, putting the settlements on Swiss territory on the frontier of the Roman Empire. The first Christian bishoprics were founded in the fourth century, with the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Germanic tribes entered the area. Burgundians settled in the west, while in the north, Alamanni settlers slowly forced the earlier Celto-Roman population to retreat into the mountains, Burgundy became a part of the kingdom of the Franks in 534, two years later, the dukedom of the Alamans followed suit.
In the Alaman-controlled region, only isolated Christian communities continued to exist, under the Carolingian kings, the feudal system proliferated, and monasteries and bishoprics were important bases for maintaining the rule. The Treaty of Verdun of 843 assigned Upper Burgundy to Lotharingia, in the 10th century, as the rule of the Carolingians waned, Magyars destroyed Basel in 917 and St. Gallen in 926. Only after the victory of King Otto I over the Magyars in 955 in the Battle of Lechfeld, were the Swiss territories reintegrated into the empire. In the 12th century, the dukes of Zähringen were given authority over part of the Burgundy territories which covered the part of modern Switzerland. They founded many cities, including Fribourg in 1157, and Bern in 1191, under the Hohenstaufen rule, the alpine passes in Raetia and the St Gotthard Pass gained importance
The Landsgemeinde or Cantonal assembly is a public, non-secret ballot voting system operating by majority rule, which constitutes one of the oldest forms of direct democracy. Still at use – in a few places – at the political level in Switzerland. For practical reasons, the Landsgemeinde has been abolished at the Cantonal level in all, the Landsgemeinde is being convened in some districts of Appenzell Inner Rhodes and Schwyz to vote on local questions. The German term Landsgemeinde itself is attested from at least the 16th century and it is a compound from Land land, rural Canton and Gemeinde community, commune. Eligible citizens of the Canton or district meet on a day in the open air to decide on a specific issues. Voting is accomplished by those in favor of a motion raising their hands, similar assemblies in dependent territories were known under terms such as Talgemeinde, Parlamento, but as Landsgemeinde in Toggenburg and in parts of Grisons. At the Landsgemeinde, citizens of a district or Canton assemble annually in a space under open sky to vote on a series of ballot questions.
Depending on the Canton, they raise their hand or voter identification card to either accept or reject the motion, which constitutes a non-secret ballot. Decision is taken by majority rule, and in case of incertitude, the duration of the Landsgemeinde varies significantly between the two Cantons that still convene it. In Appenzell Inner Rhodes on the hand, deliberation is limited. Symptomatic of the federalist system of Switzerland, the Landsgemeinde differs in the scope of its usage from Canton to Canton, the legislative power is concerned both in Appenzell Inner Rhodes and Glarus, where the Landsgemeinde can be used to implement laws or modify the Cantonal constitution. In none of the two Cantons is the Landsgemeinde used to elect the parliament, the Landsgemeinde assembly is a tradition with continuity back to the Middle Ages, first recorded in the context of the formation of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The first Landsgemeinde proper is attested for Uri in 1231, however, in the Old Swiss Confederacy, the existence of a Landsgemeinde was the defining feature of the rural Cantons.
These Cantons were, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Appenzell, Zug took an intermediate position, as it was a city-Canton which due to the existence of a Landsgemeinde was counted under the rural Cantons. With the formation of Switzerland as a state, the formerly sovereign Cantonal assemblies became subject to federal law. The usage of the Landsgemeinde was progressively abandoned at the Cantonal level through the 19th and 20th century, Appenzell Inner Rhodes, which rejected in 1991 by Landsgemeinde the abolition of this institution, and Glarus are the only remaining Cantons to use this form of direct democracy. Moreover, turnout rates remained constant in the last 50 years both in Appenzell Inner Rhodes and in Glarus, in the latter Canton a participation record of 50% was even recorded in 2001. The Canton of Glarus recently introduced measures to encourage participation at the Landsgemeinde, in 2007, participation was extended to citizens aged 16 and older, which constitutes an exception in Switzerland
The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the upper Rhine river. In 496, the Alemanni were conquered by Frankish leader Clovis, mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni were gradually Christianized during the 7th century. The Pactus Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period, until the 8th century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was mostly nominal. But after an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility, during the and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire the Alemannic counts became almost independent, and a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance. According to Asinius Quadratus their name means all men and it indicates that they were a conglomeration drawn from various Germanic tribes. Other sources say the name derives from alahmannen which means men of sanctuary and not all men. The Romans and the Greeks called them as such mentioned and this etymology has remained the standard derivation of the term.
Walafrid Strabo, a monk of the Abbey of St, the name of Germany and the German language in several languages is derived from the name of this early Germanic tribal alliance. For details, see Names of Germany, the Alemanni were first mentioned by Cassius Dio describing the campaign of Caracalla in 213. At that time they dwelt in the basin of the Main. Cassius Dio portrays the Alemanni as victims of this treacherous emperor and they had asked for his help, says Dio, but instead he colonized their country, changed their place names and executed their warriors under a pretext of coming to their aid. When he became ill, the Alemanni claimed to have put a hex on him, Caracalla, it was claimed, tried to counter this influence by invoking his ancestral spirits. In retribution Caracalla led the Legio II Traiana Fortis against the Alemanni, the legion was as a result honored with the name Germanica. Not on good terms with Caracalla, Geta had been invited to a reconciliation, at which time he was ambushed by centurions in Caracallas army.
True or not, pursued by devils of his own, Caracalla left for the frontier, where for the rest of his short reign he was known for his unpredictable and arbitrary operations launched by surprise after a pretext of peace negotiations. If he had any reasons of state for such actions they remained unknown to his contemporaries, whether or not the Alemanni had been previously neutral, they were certainly further influenced by Caracalla to become thereafter notoriously implacable enemies of Rome. This mutually antagonistic relationship is perhaps the reason why the Roman writers persisted in calling the Alemanni barbari, most of the Alemanni were probably at the time in fact resident in or close to the borders of Germania Superior. At that time the frontier was being fortified for the first time
Rudolf I of Germany
Rudolf I, known as Rudolf of Habsburg,1 May 1218 –15 July 1291, was Count of Habsburg from about 1240 and the elected King of the Romans from 1273 until his death. Rudolfs election marked the end of the Great Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire after the death of the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1250, the territories remained under Habsburg rule for more than 600 years, forming the core of the Habsburg Monarchy and the present-day country of Austria. Rudolf was the first king of the Romans of the Habsburg dynasty, Rudolf was born on 1 May 1218 at Limburgh Castle near Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl in the Breisgau region of present-day southwestern Germany. He was the son of Count Albert IV of Habsburg and of Hedwig, around 1232, he was given as a squire to his uncle, Rudolf I, Count of Laufenburg, to train in knightly pursuits. At his fathers death in 1239, he inherited estates from him around the ancestral seat of Habsburg Castle in the Aargau region of present-day Switzerland as well as in Alsace.
In 1242, Hugh of Tuffenstein provoked Count Rudolf through contumelious expressions, in turn, the Count of Habsburg had invaded his domains, yet failed to take his seat of power. As the day passed on, Count Rudolf bribed the sentinels of the city and gained entry, in 1244, to help control Lake Lucerne and restrict the neighboring forest communities of Uri and Unterwalden, Rudolf built near its shores Neuhabsburg Castle. In 1245 Rudolf married Gertrude, daughter of Count Burkhard III of Hohenberg and he received as her dowry the castles of Oettingen, the valley of Weile, and other places in Alsace, and he became an important vassal in Swabia, the former Alemannic German stem duchy. That same year, Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV at the Council of Lyon, Rudolf sided against the Emperor, while the forest communities sided with Frederick. This gave them a pretext to attack and damage Neuhabsburg, Rudolf successfully defended it and drove them off. As a result, Rudolf, by siding with the Pope, gained more power, in 1254, he engaged with other nobles of the Staufen party against Bertold II, Bishop of Basle.
When night fell, he penetrated the suburbs of Basle and burnt down the local nunnery, Pope Innocent IV excommunicated him and all parties involved. As penance, he took up the cross and joined Ottokar II, whilst there, he oversaw the founding of the city of Königsberg, which was named in memory of King Ottokar. The disorder in Germany during the interregnum after the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty afforded an opportunity for Count Rudolf to increase his possessions. His wife was a Hohenberg heiress, and on the death of his childless maternal uncle Count Hartmann IV of Kyburg in 1264, he seized his valuable estates. Successful feuds with the Bishops of Strasbourg and Basel further augmented his wealth and reputation, including rights over various tracts of land that he purchased from abbots and these various sources of wealth and influence rendered Rudolf the most powerful prince and noble in southwestern Germany. In the autumn of 1273, the prince-electors met to choose a king after Richard of Cornwall had died in England in April 1272.
Rudolfs election in Frankfurt on 1 October 1273, when he was 55 years old, was due to the efforts of his brother-in-law
Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, the imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was eventually assassinated.
The senate appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors, the empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus, Commodus assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine adopted Christianity which became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos.
The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural and military forces in the world of its time. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperor
The Celtic nations are territories in western Europe where Celtic languages or cultural traits have survived. The term nation is used in its original sense to mean a people who share a common identity, the six territories widely considered Celtic nations are Brittany, Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man, commonly referred to as the Celtic fringe. In each of the six nations a Celtic language is spoken, before the expansions of Ancient Rome and the Germanic and Slavic tribes, a significant part of Europe was dominated by Celts, leaving behind a legacy of Celtic cultural traits. Unlike the others, however, no Celtic language has been there in modern times. Each of the six nations has its own Celtic language, in the latter two regions, language revitalization movements have led to the adoption of these languages by adults and produced a number of native speakers. Generally these communities are in the west of their countries and in isolated upland or island areas. The term Gàidhealtachd historically distinguished the Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland from the Lowland Scots areas, more recently, this term has been adopted as the Gaelic name of the Highland council area, which includes non-Gaelic speaking areas.
Hence, more terms such as sgìre Ghàidhlig are now used. In Wales, the Welsh language is a curriculum subject. Additionally, 20% of school children in Wales go to Welsh medium schools, parts of the northern Iberian Peninsula, namely Galicia, Cantabria and Northern Portugal, lay claim to this heritage. Notably, the music features extensive use of bagpipes, an instrument common in Celtic music. Musicians from Galicia and Asturias have participated in Celtic music festivals, such as the Breton Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Northern Portugal, part of ancient Gallaecia, has traditions quite similar to Galicia. However, no Celtic language has been spoken in northern Iberia since probably the Early Middle Ages, Irish was once widely spoken on the island of Newfoundland before largely disappearing there by the early 20th century. Vestiges remain in some words found in Newfoundland English, such as scrob for scratch, knowledge seems to be largely restricted to memorized passages, such as traditional tales and songs.
Canadian Gaelic dialects of Scottish Gaelic are still spoken by Gaels in other parts of Atlantic Canada, primarily on Cape Breton Island and adjacent areas of Nova Scotia. In 2011, there were 1,275 Gaelic speakers in Nova Scotia, patagonian Welsh is spoken principally in Y Wladfa in the Chubut Province of Patagonia with sporadic speakers throughout Argentina by Welsh Argentines. Estimates of the number of Welsh speakers range from 1,500 to 5,000, the chart below shows the population of each Celtic nation and the number of people in each nation who can speak Celtic languages. The total number of residing in the Celtic nations is 19,596,000 people and, of these
Blenio is a municipality of the district of Blenio, in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland. Blenio was created on 22 October 2006 when it incorporated the formerly autonomous municipalities of Aquila, Campo Blenio, Olivone, a legal challenge to the merger was raised by Aquila, but was rejected by the Federal Court on 18 April 2006. Aquila is first mentioned in 1196 as Aquili, Ghirone is first mentioned in 1200 as Agairono. Olivone is first mentioned in 1193 as Alivoni, in 1205 it was mentioned as Orivono, in Romansh it was known as Luorscha. Around 1200, the settlement of Ghirone belonged Aquila, the present borders were established in 1853 with the final separation of the two municipalities. The parish church of San Vittore was built in 1213, one important source of income for the village came from money sent back by emigrants from the village to other European countries. Starting in 1914 many of the inhabitants of Aquila worked in the chocolate factory Cima-Norma in Torre Arbeit, in addition the residents often farmed land and raised livestock.
The closure of the factory in 1968 led to a population decline. In 1990, about 39% of the worked in manufacturing. About 60% of the worker commuted out of the village, in 1334, Disentis Abbey acquired rights over all the land in Ghirone. The village was part of the community of Aquila, and in 1803 it merged with the municipality of Ghirone, then, in 1836, Buttino and Ghirone separated from Aquila and together founded their own community. Buttino was inhabited until the late 19th Century and was a village as far back as the 13th Century. The two municipalities rejoined Aquila in 1842 and 1846 and finally separated in 1853, the Citizens Community, which still bears the name of Ghirone-Buttino was founded in 1914. The Church of SS Martino e Giorgio was first mentioned in 1215 and was rebuilt around 1700, the parish separated from Aquila in 1758 and became independent. As with the municipalities of the Blenio Valley, much of the population emigrated to other European countries. While this was a source of revenue, it led to a steady population decline.
In the late 1950s the Luzzone Dam was built between the municipalities of Ghirone and Aquila, the dam is used to generate hydroelectric power. The large-scale construction of the dam and the new tunnel at Toira in 1958
Classical liberalism was first called that in the early 19th century, but was built on ideas of the previous century. It was a response to urbanization, and to the Industrial Revolution in Europe, notable individuals whose ideas contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo. It drew on the economics of Adam Smith and on a belief in natural law, the term classical liberalism was applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from the newer social liberalism. These beliefs were complemented by a belief that labourers could be best motivated by financial incentive and they opposed any income or wealth redistribution, which they believed would be dissipated by the lowest orders. Drawing on ideas of Adam Smith, classical liberals believed that it is in the common interest that all individuals be able to secure their own economic self-interest and they were critical of what would come to be the ideas of the welfare state as interfering in a free market. A landlord, a farmer, a manufacturer, a merchant, though they did not employ a single workman.
Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, in the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate. The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible, in a free market, both labour and capital would receive the greatest possible reward, while production would be organised efficiently to meet consumer demand. For society to guarantee positive rights requires taxation over and above the minimum needed to enforce negative rights. in the late 19th century, classical liberalism developed into neo-classical liberalism, which argued for government to be as small as possible to allow the exercise of individual freedom. In its most extreme form, neo-classical liberalism advocated Social Darwinism, right-libertarianism is a modern form of neo-classical liberalism. Friedrich Hayek identified two different traditions within classical liberalism, the British tradition and the French tradition, the French tradition included Rousseau, the Encyclopedists and the Physiocrats.
This tradition believed in rationalism and sometimes showed hostility to tradition and religion, Hayek rejected the label laissez faire as originating from the French tradition and alien to the beliefs of Hume and Smith. Classical liberalism in Britain developed from Whiggery and radicalism, and was heavily influenced by French physiocracy. Whiggery had become a dominant ideology following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the origins of rights were seen as being in an ancient constitution, which had existed from time immemorial. These rights, which some Whigs considered to include freedom of the press and they believed that the power of the executive had to be constrained. While they supported limited suffrage, they saw voting as a privilege, British radicals, from the 1790s to the 1820s, concentrated on parliamentary and electoral reform, emphasising natural rights and popular sovereignty. Richard Price and Joseph Priestley adapted the language of Locke to the ideology of radicalism, the radicals saw parliamentary reform as a first step toward dealing with their many grievances, including the treatment of Protestant Dissenters, the slave trade, high prices and high taxes.
There was greater unity to classical liberalism ideology than there had been with Whiggery, classical liberals were committed to individualism and equal rights
An abbey is a complex of buildings used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. It provides a place for activities and housing of Christian monks. The concept of the abbey has developed over centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic, an abbey may be the home of an enclosed religious order or may be open to visitors. The layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey often follows a set plan determined by the religious order. Abbeys are often self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, some abbeys offer accommodation to people who are seeking spiritual retreat. There are many famous abbeys across Europe, the earliest known Christian monasteries were groups of huts built near the residence of a famous ascetic or other holy person. Disciples wished to be close to their man or woman in order to study their doctrine or imitate their way of life.
In the earliest times of Christian monasticism, ascetics would live in social isolation and they would subsist whilst donating any excess produce to the poor. However, increasing religious fervor about the ways and or persecution of them would drive them further away from their community. For instance, the cells and huts of anchorites have been found in the deserts of Egypt, in 312 AD, Anthony the Great retired to the Thebaid region of Egypt to escape the persecution of the Emperor Maximian. Anthony was the best known of the anchorites of his due to his degree of austerity, sanctity. The deeper he withdrew into the wilderness, the more numerous his disciples became and they refused to be separated from him and built their cells close to him. This became a first true monastic community, according to Johann August Wilhelm Neander, inadvertently became the founder of a new mode of living in common, Coenobitism. At Tabennae on the Nile, in Upper Egypt, Saint Pachomius laid the foundations for the life by arranging everything in an organized manner.
He built several monasteries, each with about 1,600 separate cells laid out in lines and these cells formed an encampment where the monks slept and performed some of their manual tasks. There were nearby large halls such as the church, kitchen, infirmary, an enclosure protecting all these buildings gave the settlement the appearance of a walled village. This layout, known as the laurae, became popular throughout Palestine, as well as the laurae, communities known as caenobia developed
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