Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

The Revolutionary Movements of 1848

91
Swiss Constitution (Extracts) September 12, 1848

Since the Reformation the Swiss cantons had separately determined which faith, Catholic or Reformed, would be supported by law. After 1830 ideas of political liberalism, security for individual rights, and a closer national union produced growing demands for revision of the weak pact of 1815. Resisting the trend six Catholic cantons united in the Sonderbund to protect religion and cantonal privilege, but the Diet in 1847 dissolved the league and exiled the Jesuits. The resulting civil war and defeat of the Sonderbund cleared the way for constitutional reorganization in 1848.

XLI. . . . 1. No Swiss belonging to a Christian profession can be denied the right to settle in any one of the Cantons, provided he is in possession of the following vouchers:
a. A certificate of nativity or its equivalent.
b. A certificate of good moral conduct.
c. A certificate that he enjoys the rights and honors of citizenship; and if on demand he can prove that. . . he is enabled to support himself and family.

* * *

XLIV. The free exercise of religious worship is guaranteed to the acknowledged Christian professions throughout the whole extent of Switzerland.

To the Cantons, as well as to the Confederacy, is reserved the right to adopt measures necessary for maintaining public order and peace among the different denominations.

* * *

LVIII. The Order of Jesuits, and societies affiliated thereto, are not permitted to be domiciliated in any part of Switzerland.

Source: The Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation ( Washington, D.C., 1858), pp. 15, 16, 18. German text in William E. Rappard, Die Bundesverfassung der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft 1848-1948 ( Zurich, 1948), pp. 435-504.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

Cambridge Modern History ( New York, 1903- 1912), II, 234-261.

W. Oechsli, History of Switzerland 1499-1914 ( Cambridge, 1922), pp. 396-408.

U. Lampert, Kirche und Staat in der Schweiz ( Freiburg, Germany, 1939).

-232-

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