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Seven Letters on the Recent Politics of Switzerland
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 38 Letter II. Sept. 11, 1847. The Federal Pact under which the Swiss Cantons now live has become unpopular not merely from its own intrinsic defects and...
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 38 Letter II. Sept. 11, 1847. The Federal Pact under which the Swiss Cantons now live has become unpopular not merely from its own intrinsic defects and ambiguities, but also from the time and circumstances of its origin. It was framed in 1815, in place of the constitution called the Act of Mediation; which, having been introduced and guaranteed by Napoleon, had fallen with the extinction of his power. It was the product of a time when the Patrician families in politics and Ultramontane influences in religion were in a state of triumphant reaction against the restraints imposed upon them from 1798 downward: both of them seconded by the Allied Powers at the Congress of Vienna; who, however, to their credit be it spoken, mitigated on several points the exorbitant pretensions of the revived native oligarchies. Since 1830, almost all the Cantonal Governments have undergone a capital change, and have become thoroughly popular: so that the Federal Pact remains as the only unaltered relic of an odious time. In 1832, the majority of the Diet recognised the necessity of modifying it, and named a Committee for the purpose, of which M. Rossi of Geneva was the reporter. Their scheme of Federal reform—maintaining intact the Cantonal sovereignty and equal representation in the Diet, but remodelling the Federal authority, and introducing in every way valuable improvements—was signed by the Deputies of fourteen Cantons, (including the three directing Cantons of Berne, Zurich, and Lucerne,) and recommended by them earnestly to the acceptance of Switzerland. Unhappily for the country, it was rejected; chiefly from the resolute opposition of the primitive and Conservative Cantons, who would endure no change at all—partly from the indifference, rather than the opposition, of extreme polit...
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