While the state stuck to the old structure in its structure and became increasingly aristocratic, groups of citizens in societies tried to promote reforms in various areas, in particular social welfare and economics. The Helvetic Society united the patriotically minded of all cantons v. a. to bridge the denominational antagonism, but could not penetrate with their reform proposals.
Helvetic Republic and mediation time
During the French Revolutionary Wars, the cantonal governments opted for the traditional policy of neutrality, but were internally very close to the counter-revolution. Internally, this led to a defense against all attempts at change and a strict regulatory policy. After Austria was eliminated by the Peace of Campoformio (1797), Switzerland was included in the imperial goals of the French Directory, as it was considered to be friendly to the Allies. In January 1798 the “Helvetic Revolution” began, which caused Switzerland to attack the French army, called by supporters of revolutionary ideas (P. Ochs, Frédéric-César de la Harpe [* 1754, † 1838]), was already weakened. After a short resistance (Bern) the cantons surrendered in March 1798. A belated resistance in the Alps (only the canton Schwyz defended itself with all its might) was broken in May. The whole country remained under military occupation.
The Helvetic Republic proclaimed on April 12th, 1798 was independent, but according to the constitution it was a French “sister republic” like the Batavian or the Cisalpine Republic. The von Ochs The drafted constitution (Helvetik) abolished the previous federal state and created a central state based on the idea of equality and aimed at modernizing reforms. The cantons (territorially in some cases greatly changed, including through the merger to form the new cantons of Säntis, Linth, Waldstätten, Oberland, Baden, Lugano and Bellinzona) were downgraded to mere administrative districts. The system of government consisted of the legislature (two chambers), the executive (board of directors) and the judiciary (supreme court). The right to vote was general, but restricted. The constitution guaranteed civil rights and political equality (abolition of all privileges). As early as the spring of 1799, Switzerland became the theater of the 2nd coalition war. By the end of 1800 it came completely back into French hands. The government – in part provided by the pre-revolutionary reformist elite – tried its hand at innovation programs, but failed. The Helvetic government disintegrated in the party quarrel between conservative (federalists) and progressive (Unitarian) groups. Various coups in the summer of 1802 finally led to civil war. That is why France attacked (Napoléon Bonaparte), who had withdrawn his occupation, and mediated a new constitution on February 19, 1803, this time supporting the more conservative forces (Mediation Act, 1803-13).
Outwardly, according to commit4fitness, Switzerland remained dependent as part of the Napoleonic system (soldiers’ troops); Internally, the Thirteen Old Places became independent again, supplemented by Graubünden and five new cantons from former subject areas (Sankt Gallen, Aargau, Thurgau, Ticino, Vaud, all six also called “mediation cantons”). The old cantons were able to re-establish their old constitutions: the rural community cantons as democratic areas without changes, the city cantons were obliged to make concessions to their former subjects. The five new cantons adopted modern constitutions. The state as a whole – henceforth the Swiss Confederation called – received a constitution with an overall authority in the form of the daily statute. Domestically, the time was calm, but one got into the war economic policy of France, which v. a. wreaked havoc on the textile industry. In 1814 and 1815, Switzerland was a marching area and a stage in the Allied attack against France.
The Congress of Vienna and the 2nd Paris Peace of 1815 recognized Switzerland as an independent state and guaranteed the continuation of neutrality as perpetual and in the interests of Europe. In addition, they guaranteed the composition by now 22 cantons (to the 19 of 1803 came those under Napoleon I. Cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel and Valais, which became French and which fell back to Switzerland through the 1st Peace of Paris in 1814). The secularized diocese of Basel was largely incorporated into the canton of Bern (as the Bernese Jura). The Swiss “federal treaty” of August 7th, 1815 was similar to the mediation act, but emphasized the independence of the cantons, which were able to restore themselves somewhat more strongly. It was dominated by the class that had been in power before 1798 (old town patrons, old rural parish patrons) and the small-town upper class in the new cantons. Between 1815 and 1830 the cantonal governments were able to develop a patriarchal regime in the calm of the “Restoration”. The “Metternich System” forced the more liberal cantons to submit to his restrictive refugee policy and to restrict the freedom of the press (1823-29). A strong national movement arose, with liberal, democratic and centralistic features, led by lawyers and entrepreneurs. It came to power in the majority of the cantons from 1830, mostly triggered by the French July Revolution. The cantonal revolutions of 1830 brought certain freedoms and should v. a. help the economy expand. The standardization of the state was a prerequisite for this. Between Austria, France and Germany, which was united in the German Customs Union, Switzerland, with its cantonal coinage, dimensions, weights and internal tariffs, was no longer competitive in terms of transport policy. Behind the national awakening was a social upheaval as a result of rampant industrialization, changed agriculture, and growing poverty (pauperism). The cantonal upheavals of 1830 led to increased unrest throughout the country, especially when the moderate liberal movement was transformed into a “radical” one, which in its struggle against clericalism v. a. turned against the Jesuit order, which was appointed to the higher education institution of Lucerne in 1844. Two groups of cantons were formed: conservative, agrarian and exclusively Catholic-clerical cantons on the one hand, which died in 1845 especially when the moderate liberal movement turned into a “radical” one which, in its struggle against clericalism v. a. turned against the Jesuit order, which was appointed to the higher education institution of Lucerne in 1844. Two groups of cantons were formed: conservative, agrarian and exclusively Catholic-clerical cantons on the one hand, which died in 1845 especially when the moderate liberal movement turned into a “radical” one which, in its struggle against clericalism v. a. turned against the Jesuit order, which was appointed to the higher education institution of Lucerne in 1844. Two groups of cantons were formed: conservative, agrarian and exclusively Catholic-clerical cantons on the one hand, which died in 1845Founded Sonderbund (five places with Freiburg in Üechtland and Valais); on the other hand the far superior group of the liberal or radical, industrialized and Protestant or free-thinking Catholic cantons. The majority victory in the Sonderbund War (November 1847) enabled the adoption of a new federal constitution (September 12, 1848) which made Switzerland a federal state and Bern a federal city.