Canton Basel-Landschaft

The Canton of Basel-Landschaft (Baselbiet) was created in 1833 as a split-off from the Canton of Basel, a member of the Confederation since 1501.


The city of Basel was the dominant political power in the canton in 1501. The area beyond was an Untertanengebiet ruled by a governor.

The French invasion in 1798 and the dissolution of the prince-bishopric marked the end of the city’s dominance for a short time. The Helvetic Republic (1798-1803) abolished all cantons and their privileges and Untertanengebiete.

The Act of Mediation (1803) ended this republic, and the Canton of Basel regained its power over Baselbiet in the new Confederation (1803-1813).
The Vienna Congress (1814-1815) confirmed the situation. In addition, the district of Birseck was added to Basel. This district belonged to the principality of Basel until 1798.

However, the clock could not be turned back, and opposition to Basel’s domination and ancien régime grew in 1815-1830. Taxes were again the trigger for resistance to the city.

It led to a provisional government of villages and communes in 1831. On 17 March 1832, 46 municipalities founded the new canton-Basel-Landschaft.

The city intervened with troops, but they were defeated in August 1833. On 26 August 1833, the Tagsatzung (the representation of the cantons) agreed to the separation and created the two half-cantons, Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, each with one seat in the Ständerat instead of two per canton.

Several referendums and attempts at reunification took place in vain. The last attempt was in 2014.


The heraldry is the red bishop’s staff, but in mirror image, turned to the right.

(Source: Die Geschichte der Schweiz, Basel, 2014).