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[1832-1845 A.D.] themselves in Schwyz and Valais, but they were laid aside after embittered conflicts. On the other hand, the old constitution remained in force in Uri, Unterwalden, Zug, Geneva, Glarus, the Grisons, and Appenzell. In Neuchâtel the liberal party would no longer recognise the king of Prussia as the sovereign, but was suppressed in 1831 by the energy of the Prussian general Von Pfuel; and the movement ended in a victory for the existing government.
SIEBENER KONKORDAT; DISPUTES OVER ASYLUM AND RELIGION
The party which in 1831 had secured a more liberal form of government in a majority of the cantons strove also to achieve reforms in the federal constitution. At the diet of 1832 it obtained the appointment of a commission which was to revise the federal statutes and present its conclusions to an extraordinary session of the diet of 1833. The liberal cantons, Bern, Aargau, Thurgau, St. Gall, Solothurn, Zurich, and Lucerne, concluded the agreement of the Seven (Siebener Konkordat) for the preservation and attainment of popular sovereignty. On the other hand the conservative party, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Valais, Neuchâtel, and the city of Bâle, united in the league of Sarnen (Sarner-Bund). In conjunction with the neutral party these succeeded in 1833 in balking federal revision. As a result their hopes and demands increased. Armed bands from Schwyz and the city of Bâle, July 30th, 1833, entered Outer Schwyz and rural Bâle to compel the submission of these seceding districts. The consequence was that Schwyz and Bâle city were occupied by federal troops and the league of Sarnen was declared annulled. The separation of Bâle into two independent cantons was recognised and the reunion of Schwyz was declared this, however, with complete equality of rights.
The gathering of many fugitives from Germany, Poland, and Italy, who found an asylum in republican Switzerland but who at times abused hospitality, brought on complications with foreign powers. The most active among these revolutionists was Giuseppe Mazzini of Genoa, who in spite of total lack of any promise of success was continually setting on foot new attempts at insurrection, to keep his Italian fellow countrymen in practice. "Young Italy" which he founded at that time caused an inroad of about four hundred men under General Romarino into Savoy in order from this point to revolutionise Piedmont and the rest of Italy. After the occupation of several villages the undertaking foundered because of the indifference of the people. From this time on Switzerland in the eyes of the outside world appeared as the hearth of radicalism, especially as Mazzini wished to extend his activity to the whole of Europe and for the republicanisation of this continent founded "Young Europe." Now it rained diplomatic notes. The neighbouring powers complained of the abuse of the right of asylum and held out the prospect of the most hostile measures, if Switzerland would not expel the participants of the Italian raid and keep a better watch over the rest. Louis Philippe went farthest in severity toward Switzerland and even threatened her with war if she would not expell Louis Napoleon, who had returned from America, and was living in Arenenberg as a citizen of Thurgau. The latter left Switzerland for England of his own accord.
Even more important were the consequences of the religious conflicts. The calling of Doctor Strauss from Würtemberg to the University at Zurich in 1839 roused the rural population to arms and caused the fall of the liberal government at Zurich; this did not again secure supremacy till 1845. More significant was the question of the convents. In a conference at Baden in
1834 seven cantons had determined upon the subjection of the church to the authority of the state and the employment of the convents for purposes of general usefulness. Most violent was the quarrel over this matter in the canton Aargau, whose radical government finally, in 1841, closed all the convents, among others the wealthy one of Muri, and took possession of the property for "purpose of instruction and benevolence." Among the bigoted Catholics there was great excitement over this. It led to a victory of the ultramontane party in Lucerne and Valais in 1844. This party called the Jesuits to Lucerne to take charge of the instruction of youth.
In this affair the wealthy farmer Joseph Leu and Sigwart Müller showed themselves especially active. The Jesuits had also established themselves in Fribourg and Schwyz. To expel them from Switzerland was the aim of all the liberal cantons. The expedition of the free lances (Freischaren) of 1845 under the leadership of Ochsenbein of Bern met with failure. The government of Lucerne, still more embittered by the murder of Leu, assumed a terrorising attitude, demanded the punishment of the free lances, and restoration of the convents of the Aargau; and when no attention was paid to these demands concluded with Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden, Zug, Fribourg, and Valais a separate league (Sonderbund) for mutual protection against external and internal enemies. This league within a league was not to be endured; and, since the liberal cantons were in the majority, they decided at the diet in Bern, in July, 1847, upon the dissolution of the Sonderbund, as being contrary to the Pact of Federation (Bundesvertrag) and upon the expulsion of the Jesuits. As the fanatics of Lucerne failed to obey the diet, orders were given for federal action against the cantons of the Sonderbund. The federal army was mustered in and the experienced general Dufour of Geneva was placed at its head.c
THE SONDERBUND WAR (1847 A.D.)
Europe had followed with an attentive eye the events we have just related. Peoples were preoccupied with them, courts saw in them a source of serious anxiety. All, taking the Vienna congress as their point of view, desired a federative, neutral, and peaceable Switzerland. From this point of view the cause of the Sonderbund seemed to them to have justice on its side. But everywhere, owing to diversified interests, the language differed. "A fine country and a good people," said King Louis Philippe, "but it is in a bad way. Let us keep from interfering. To hinder others so doing is to render them a great service." Guizot nevertheless proposed to occupy himself in Swiss affairs in a conference to be held at Paris or in London, but he was unsuccessful. Once Austrian troops on the one hand, French on the other, drew near Switzerland, but they were speedily recalled to their cantonments. Metternich would willingly have taken the lead, had he not known that France could not leave Austria to interfere alone. Thenceforth, of the two powers, one contented itself with secretly aiding the Sonderbund by relays of arms and money, the other with lavishing encouragements on the seven cantons through its ambassador.
Prussia hesitated, recommending Neuchâtel prudence. Czar Nicholas could not understand an intervention unless the powers had sixty thousand men behind them. Great Britain would not interfere at all. Under the ministry of Lord Palmerston, a young statesman named Peel, son of the illustrious minister of that name, joined the Bear Club at Bern where radicals met. At Rome, the French ambassador, Rossi, an ancient deputy of the
[1847 A.D.] Geneva diet, was charged to solicit Pius IX to recall the Jesuits from Lucerne. It was thought both in London and Paris that the best means of restoring peace to Switzerland was to take from the radicals their principal grievance and their flag. The holy father contented himself with letting the Swiss know that he would remain passive in the strife (passive se habere decrevit).
Switzerland, under these circumstances, was persuaded that the moment had come frankly to declare to Europe her intention of being sole interpreter of her Pact of Alliance; to have done with the questions that agitated her; and to constitute herself on the basis of an enlarged and equitable democracy, which would soon see her the first on the road towards which all European peoples were proceeding. She knew the states which lavished advice on her to be torn by a revolutionary spirit and incapable of uniting against her in a common resolution. It was under the influence of this thought that Ochsenbein opened the confederation diet on the 5th of July, 1847.
Although only the son of a hotel keeper, without instruction in the classics, but gifted with prompt and pleasing intelligence, he presented himself unembarrassed before an assembly wherein the heads of the two parties dividing Switzerland were sitting, and at which the majority of ministers from foreign powers assisted. Frankness characterised his discourse. Foreseeing a European crisis-"Our modern world," said he, "rests on worm-eaten columns, on institutions that have for support only the powers of habit and interests, a construction that the slightest storm will make a ruin. Well, this storm approaches; the colossus is quite aware of it. He sleeps a dangerous sleep." Descending from these heights to questions of the moment, the president of the diet proclaimed the right of the majority, whom Switzerland had always recognised. When this majority had been declared, he courteously invited all the cantons to join with it. Callame, a Neuchâtel deputy, exposed in language firm and untouched by passion the gravity of events that had given place to a separate alliance, and demanded that they should leave those who had concluded it the time to convince themselves that it was no longer necessary.
In reality, the vote of the majority meant a declaration of war. The diet adjourned so as to give the parties time either to unite or to finish their preparations for hostilities. It reassembled on the 18th of October. Two delegates, envoys of peace, were sent from each of the Sonderbund cantons, but they met with scant welcome: one-half wanted war.
Colonel Dufour is Made Commander of the Army
On the 29th of October the deputies from the seven cantons left Bern, and on the 4th of November it was decided that the decree ordering the dissolution of their alliance should be executed by arms. The diet put on foot fifty thousand men, and entrusted the command, with the rank of general, to Colonel Dufour, of Geneva. No name in the army was more respected, none had more weight. Dufour did not belong to either side. In sympathy he was conservative, but was none the less a man of progress. He had been in the wars and published writings on military science, fruits of a long and wide experience. No chief knew as he did the canton militia, over whose manouvres he had for a number of years presided in the camp at Thun, as chief instructor of the engineering corps. To these warlike qualities he united the virtues of a man of peace. He was occupied in the elaboration, on a plan he had conceived, of the fine map of Switzerland which bears his name, when he was called to quit the pursuits of the student for the field of battle. He
comprehended the danger to his country. He clearly perceived his duty, and he thought only of accomplishing it.
In accepting the first command he made what he considered necessary stipulations, demanding a sufficient number of troops and absolute power. All this he obtained, though not without some resistance. He was given 100,000 men and 260 field pieces. This army he distributed into seven divisions. In the choice of superior officers, he exacted that he alone should judge of their capacity without any regard to political opinion; this was the way both to get excellent officers and to prepare for what he considered to be his duty — the quieting of hatreds after the struggle. In a short time there was no longer question of politics in the army. Addressing once his heads of divisions, "I shall never depart," he said, "from the laws of moderation and humanity. A stranger to political agitation and faithful to my military duties, I shall try to establish order and discipline in the federal troops, to make public and private property respected, to protect the Catholic religion in her ministers, her temples, and her religious establishments in a word, to do everything to soften the inevitable evils of war. If violence be used, let it not come from us. After fighting, spare the vanquished; however strong one may be, relieve the despair of the enemy. then we can congratulate ourselves after the fight on never having forgotten that it was between confederates."
These instructions being made known, the general resolved to trust nothing to chance, and to make no offensive movement unless sure of the superiority of his forces; this he recognised as the surest way towards a speedy ending with the least bloodshed. Soon the confidence he inspired began to show itself. The city of Bâle, long undecided, sent him excellent artillery. Neuchâtel and Appenzell alone continued to take no part in the war. The promptitude with which the army got under arms, well ordered, well clothed, and well equipped, astonished foreigners. The redivision of troops was necessitated by the situation. The country occupied by the Sonderbund formed three distinct masses Fribourg, the original cantons, and Valais. Dufour proposed to attack them separately, and to begin with Fribourg.
Preparations of the Sonderbund
The powers held exaggerated ideas of the Sonderbund forces. It could hardly put on foot more than thirty thousand regular troops. The Landsturm, it is true, meant a more considerable number of men, but not having received sufficient organisation could not be compared to the excellent reserves of the large cantons, and did not give the help expected of them. Far from one another, the separatist states could only with difficulty lend one another aid. The original cantons tried nevertheless to keep their ways open by means of boldness in offensive actions. Even before the diet began its campaign, the men of Uri seized the St. Gotthard passes (November 3rd); threw themselves across the Levantina, surprised three thousand Ticinese encamped at Airolo, and drove them as far as the Moesa bridge. But arrived at this point, they found themselves face to face with Grisons and Ticino militia, superior to them in number, who stopped their progress. The expedition had no other result than that of holding back two thousand excellent soldiers from the places where decisive blows were to be struck. Another attempt, made from Lucerne, to penetrate into Catholic Aargau and to free Fribourg, by means of a diversion, had no better success.
The Capitulations of Fribourg and Lucerne End the Sonderbund Without taking much account of these movements, Dufour occupied himself only in concentrating his forces so as to surround the Sonderbund states, on all their accessible frontiers. His provisions were assured, his hospital organised. Immediately upon the rupture being announced, Colonel Ochsenbein, who presided over the diet, left office to put himself entirely at the disposition of the general-in-chief. The general placed him at the head of the Bernese reserves, which composed his seventh division and which he assimilated with the active troops. He stationed them first on the Lucerne frontier, and when he arranged to draw near Fribourg, he called Ochsenbein to advance towards that capital, in order to make the enemy think he would attack from the eastern side. However, twenty thousand men and fifty-four artillery pieces, under colonels Rilliet, Burkhard, and Donatz, advanced from the north and west by different routes, and kept their movements secret that they might arrive on the same day at the gate of Fribourg. On the 13th the town was surrounded. An experienced leader, Colonel Maillardoz, had raised defences all round, and they had prepared to attack these exteriors forts when the Fribourg government, recognising the impossibility of resistance, gave up the town, dismissed the troops, and renounced the Sonderbund. The taking of Fribourg would not have cost the federal army a single man if through a mistake a Vaudois troop had not rushed under fire from the Bertigny redoubt, which resulted in seven killed and a large number wounded.
As soon as Fribourg had capitulated the general confided to Colonel Rilliet the care of occupying the military cantonments and watching the entrance of Valais. He himself hastened to Aarau, to prepare for the investment of Lucerne. Two rivers, the Emme and the Reuss, protected this town. The bridges on these rivers had been broken or fortified. The ground on which it was foreseen that the most serious engagements would be delivered was the labyrinth which stretches from the Reuss to the Lake of Zug; bristling with wooded hills, where passage had been stopped by barricades and mines had been laid in the defiles. It was necessary to attack these strong positions, because they served as a link between Schwyz and Lucerne, and success on this point was decisive, whilst elsewhere it was not so. The leader whom the five cantons had put in charge of their militia, Ulrich de Salis-Soglio, understood this, and went to these places. The forces he could dispose of were some twenty thousand regulars and a similar body of the Landsturm. Salis had learned warfare in fighting Napoleon. A sincere Protestant, he had nevertheless devoted himself to a cause which had his political sympathies, but of which he despaired.
A resolution being taken to force his entrenchments, Dufour set five divisions of his army on the march from the various points they occupied, giving them Lucerne as object. Ochsenbein's reserves went down the Emme valley, overcoming a lively resistance. The Burkhard and Donatz divisions approached the Emme and the Reuss between the bridges of Wolhusen and Gislikon, at the same time that colonels Ziegler and Gmur at the head of some odd thousands of men attacked Salis in his intrenched camps. Ziegler mastered the Gislikon bridge and the Honau defiles. Gmur, after having received on his march the submission of Zug, scaled the heights of Meyers Kappel. Everything made for success. Victory was hotly disputed, but the Schwyzers were in the end thrown back towards Immensee, whence they fell back on Art and Goldau. Troops from the other cantons turned