The long nineteenth century 1815-1918 News

A beneficial Democracy

Constitution 1874 (Referendum). National Museum Zurich. Photo/Foto: TES.

The Constitution of 1848 is still the political fundament of modern Switzerland. The Constitution, partly based on the American model, establishes the confederal status of the country, the cantons and communes, and the role played by the citizens. The last major revision of the Constitution took place in 1999. One of the most striking provisions … Read more » “A beneficial Democracy”

The Europeanization of Switzerland

Rütlischwur, Bundeshaus Bern. Photo TES.

Europe is a name given by the Greeks to a region or continent that stretches from the Ural in the east to Ireland (or Iceland) in the west, and from Scandinavia in the north to Italy in the south. The societies, cultures, and languages of the continent have always been highly diverse. Greeks and Romans … Read more » “The Europeanization of Switzerland”

William Tell and the Congress of Vienna

The hat of Bailiff Gessler, replica. Photo: TES, Swiss National Museum Prangins.

When the Habsburg rulers of areas in central Switzerland failed to maintain peace and protect the roads, three rural communities acted and concluded a peace alliance in 1291. These alliances were rather common in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and they reflected the interest of local elites, whether rural, urban or nobility. The alliance covered … Read more » “William Tell and the Congress of Vienna”