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equalize the representation and prepare a constitution on the base of the popular rights and sovereignty. Friburg, after a while, had come to form the head-quarters of the emigrant clergy from France; and its governors endeavored, by acting in concert with that of Berne, to defeat the wishes of the people. The inhabitants of the country, finding that such was the fact, flocked to the city in great numbers, and there, acting in harmony with the untitled bourgeois, they made such a demonstration of their power, that the Council yielded the point, and almost unanimously decreed a revision of the constitution, which was peaceably and amicably concluded in the sequel.
December was an important month in the cantons; for it was the season of some of the most decisive movements of the popular party. In Argau, the Council had temporised so much, that the people began to doubt their sincerity; and seven or eight thousand peasants took possession of the city, and compelled the government to convene a constituent assembly, as in the other revolutionised cantons. So it was in the Pays de Vaud. Some want of good faith having been manifested by the government, the peasants flocked to Lausanne, the capital, in a body, at the sound of the tocsin and upon the view of signals lighted up in Lausanne itself. Of course, their demands were acceded to by the Council without reserve or condition.
Two incidents, of an opposite nature, indicated the intentions
and feelings of the Swiss in regard to foreign nations. Some of the Carlists who had taken refuge in the Valais, sought to make their asylum the centre of political intrigues, and were compelled by the government to respect the neutral rights and duties of the country. On the other hand, a number of Italian patriots, who had fled to the Tessino to escape the penalty of disaffection to the government of Austria or Sardinia of which they were the subjects, and who became justly obnoxious to complaint as conspirators, although conspirators in the cause of liberty, were obliged to disperse themselves among the cantons, although not excluded from their refuge in Switzerland. It was impossible, after this, for either liberal France or servile Austria to impeach the impartiality of the Swiss.
The federal Diet assembled on the 22nd of December at Lucerne, and this time, at least, left no cause of complaint against its doings. It proclaimed the neutrality of Switzerland, occupied itself with the organization of a federal army to maintain that neutrality, and recognised the right of the cantons to re-construct their systems of internal administration.
Nor was the month of January, 1831, less remarkable for the events it witnessed. To begin with the affairs of Berne:-The Grand Council, which assembled on the 6th of December, had assumed an attitude of entire hostility towards the petitioners for redress of grievances, going so far as even to refuse to acknowl
edge their right to petition collectively. They prepared to march troops against a part of the Bernese territory, which demanded to form a separate canton; and the troops, in fact, were sent upon this duty; but they could not be forced to act against the people, and soon retreated, having produced no other effect but to draw the ire of the country communes upon the government, and to cause the peasants to organize themselves for offensive operations. Presently. the secondary burghers of the city of Berne began to act in unison with the inhabitants of the country, against their common enemies, the patricians. When this union was formed, the Bernese oligarchy saw plainly that their hour was come, and they bent themselves to the necessity which they could not avert. On the 13th of January, 1831, the government addressed to the people a proclamation, summoning a constituent assembly according to the public wish. This convention met in May, and was occupied for the space of three months in the work assigned them, which they performed thoroughly and well. They made a radical change in the whole system of government, and reported a constitution, just, equal, and reasonable, which equalised the representation, secured the liberty of the press, of instruction, worship, industry, petitions, and person, abolished the military capitulation, and was adopted by the people in August, by an overwhelming vote. Still the patricians kept aloof, refusing to take
part in the government organised under the new constitution, contrary to the policy of their class in Friburg and Soleure, where the nobles wisely concluded to enter frankly into the new order of things.
We have said little of Bâle thus far; but the events, which occurred in that canton, require to be particularly stated, because there the progress of the revolution was attended with bloodshed. In Bâle, the rural population embraces only three fifths of the whole population; but without duly considering this fact, the country claimed, as at Zurich, two thirds of the representation. This was one subject of difference. Another was the antiquated monopolies of the city, which shackled and oppressed the industry of the country. The peasantry were somewhat warm in their representations to the city: the latter replied by military preparations, the citizens submitting to bivouac, as in time of war. On the 3d of January, 1831, an assembly of 2,500 men was collected at Liestall, three leagues from Bâle, to discuss the public grievances. They demanded a convention of the people,-the abolition of all exclusive privileges,-and instead of two thirds, five sevenths of the representation, that is, one in twenty-one more than they had previously claimed; and they threatened to use force in case their demands were not granted. Hereupon the citizens met in the church of Saint Martin, and after deliberation, resolved to meet force with force. The insurgents appointed
mere convention, and the latter having been deprived of its rights
a provisional government, and laid siege to the city; but they were repulsed in two sorties, and by gradual encroachments, until Liestall, the seat of the insurgent it had come to be treated as a sub• government, fell into the hands of ject rather than an associate. On the Balois. Had the latter con- the 8th of January, 4,000 citizens sulted moderation in this crisis, met at Lachen, with drums beatall might have been well; but ing and colors flying, in the midst they excluded all the members of a snow-storm, which of course of the provisional government they little heeded. They gave from the benefits of amnesty, and to the old country three weeks to thus laid the foundation of future come to terms in; and on the disturbances. A new constitu- refusal of the Schytzers to give tion, however, was framed and way, declared themselves a sepadopted by a majority of the peo- arate canton, and established a ple, in the midst of the troubles provisional government accordin question. ingly. The two parties did not In Saint Gall and Schaffhausen commit actual hostilities, as in the people attained their wishes, Bâle; but they came to no setbut not until they had entered the tlement. city in great numbers, as at Arau. The Diet adjourned on the 7th The Grisons, the Valais, and of May, 1831, but assembled Geneva took, apparently, little or again the 4th of July. They no interest in the changes which were engaged upon several miwere going on about them, until nor subjects, until the recomthey had been consummated mencement of hostilities in Bâle elsewhere, when the aristocracy called for their interposition. of Geneva voluntarily offered The two governments of Bâle concession to the interests of the and Liestall went to war again in people. But the proceedings in good earnest in August. Liestall the canton of Schwytz, the birth- was once more taken by the place of the country's indepen- Bâlois; and then retaken from dence, were the most curious. the latter after a serious batThe small pastoral cantons, it tle in which the Bâlois were should be remarked, were con- beaten. To put an end to hostented with their institutions. tilities, the Diet, on the 7th of Among them, everything passed September, resolved to occupy as in a family, and in the patri- the canton of Bâle with the troops archal simplicity of their manners of the confederacy, not to influthere was but little to desire or ence or control public opinion, obtain in political reforms. The but to prevent the further effusion canton of Schwytz consists of two of blood. portions, namely, the original country, and certain exterior districts incorporated with it in after times, the two divisions of the canton being united only by a
It remains only to say a word concerning Neufchâtel. This being a Prussian possession, seemed hardly to have the same free will in regard to reform as the
other cantons. The city of Neufchâtel, indeed, was contented with its political condition, because it served their interests at the present moment; but some of the dependent communes were proportionably dissatisfied with their situation, and for the very same reason. Finally, the latter broke out in open insurrection on the 13th of September, took possession of the arsenal, and proceeded to nominate a provisional government, demanding at the same time a constituent assembly. While the course to be adopted by the King of Prussia remained yet uncertain, the Swiss Diet occupied the canton with the troops of the confederacy, for the sake of preserving peace, by virtue of the federal compact, and in the way that Bâle was occupied. We defer till another volume the giving an account of the hostilities which afterwards took place in Neufchâtel, as also the further
history of the proceedings in the other cantons of the Republic.*
We make no observations upon the events which we have described, except only that the equalization of rights in Switzerland must exercise the most favorable influence on the domestic prosperity and external respectability of the Republic. Industry will now be made to flourish under the same free principles, which have fostered it in this country. The physical force of Switzerland will become attached to institutions so liberal and equal as those under consideration, and the inhabitants of the Alps will thus be rendered more capable of defending their mountain passes against foreign aggression, and of making a stand, if need be, for the liberties of Europe.
*This chapter is compiled from artiJuly, 1830, and Nov. 1831. cles in the Revue Encyclopedique for
State of Public Feeling.-Condition of England.-Aristocrat character of Government.-House of Commons.-Elective Franchise in England, Scotland and Ireland.-East India Company.-West India Company.-Corruption of Government.Catholic Emancipation.-Resignation of Duke of Wellington. -Whig Administration.-Situation of Country.-Poland.Portugal.-West India Colonies.-East India Charter.-Ireland. Anti-union Movements.-Distress.-Disturbances.—Anti-tithe Associations.-England.-Church Property.-Meeting of Parliament.-Civil List.-Retrenchment.-Budget.-Reform Bill.-Charter of Reform.-Discussion.-Timber Duty. -Defeat of Ministers.-Second Reading of Reform Bill.—General Gascoyne's Motion.-Parliament dissolved.-New Parlia ment.-Reform Bill again brought forward.-Committed.Course of Tories.-Passed House of Commons.-Rejected by House of Lords.-Public Excitement.-Lord Ebrington's resolution.-Riots at Bristol.
afforded by the subsequent pacification of Europe, a conviction, that their safety and happiness would be best promoted, by an extension of political power to those most immediately affected by its exercise.
THE year 1830 was the commencement of a new political era in Europe. The overthrow of the Bourbons sounded the knell of the feudal institutions of Christendom. It was soon discovered, that the principle of legitimate monarchy was not destined to fall The revolution of Paris, therealone. While the monarchs of fore, proved only the signal for the old world had learned from the recoil of freedom upon her the bloody scenes of the French oppressors. In Belgium, in Gerrevolution, nothing but the neces- many, in Italy, in Switzerland, sity of reverting to the antiquated and in Poland, insurrections and maxims of absolute power and commotions succeeded each othdivine right; their subjects de- er so rapidly, as to indicate a rived from the pregnant lessons general consciousness of injustice