The Government of Switzerland

The Government of Switzerland

The Government of Switzerland

The Government of Switzerland

Excerpt

There are obviously a great many reasons why the government of Switzerland should be of no particular interest to American students. The United States is a world unto itself, teeming with solved and unsolved political problems. If, for reasons of general culture or on account of their repercussions on American foreign relations, the scheme of government of other countries should attract attention in America, it is very natural that such attention be directed in the first place either to the Western hemisphere, or westward to Japan, or eastward to the great powers of Europe.

Strange as it may seem, there are however a variety of circumstances which have, for generations, led English- speaking and especially American authors to devote particular consideration to the political institutions of Switzerland. What are these circumstances?

In the first place Switzerland was, throughout the ages, a republic. When the United States was born as an independent nation, Switzerland had behind it a republican tradition of half a millenary. Throughout the nineteenth century, with very few exceptions, Switzerland enjoyed the monopoly of being a republic. That monopoly was de-

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