at len.rth actually wrested the hereditary domain of Hapsburg from the
dukes of Austriaj who tried in vain to recover it. ...
Even Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, the mightiest prince ot ins
time, was defeated bv the Swiss at the three battles of Grandson (14.0,
p 173) Morat (1476, p. 164), and Naneu, while at an earlier period a large
bodv of irregular French and other troops, which had been made over to
Austria by the King of France, sustained a severe check from the con¬
federates at SI. Jacob on the Birs (1444, p. 5).
In the Swabian war (1499) the bravery and unity of the Swiss achieved
another triumph in the victory of Dornaeh (p. 6). At that period their
independence of the emperor was formally recognised, but they continued
nominally attached to the empire down to 1648.
The last-named victory formed a fitting termination to a successful
career of two centuries, the most glorious in the history of Switzerland.
At the beginning of the 16th century a period of decline set in. The
enormous booty captured in the Burgundian war had begotten a taste for
wealth and luxury, the demoralising practice of serving as mercenary
troops in foreign lands began to prevail, and a foundation was laid for
the reproachful proverb, 'Pas d'argent, pas de Suisses !'
The cause of the Reformation under the auspices of Zwingli was
zealously embraced by a large proportion of the population of Switzerland
about the beginning of the 16th century; but the bitter jealousies thus
sown between the Roman Catholic and the Reformed Cantons were
attended with most disastrous consequences, and in the civil wars which
ensued bloody battles were fought at Kappel (p. 35) in 1531, at Villmergen
in 1656, and during the Toggenburg war (p. 290) in 1712.
Traces of unflinching bravery and of a noble spirit of self-sacrifice in
the cause of conscience are observable in individual instances even at the
close of the 18th century, as exampled by the affairs of Rothenthurm
(p. 300) and Stans (p. 86), but the national vigour was gone. The resist¬
ance of individuals to the invasion of the French republicans proved fruit¬
less, and the Helvetian Republic was founded on the ruins of the ancient
liberties of the nation. In 1803 Napoleon restored the cantonal system,
and in accordance with resolutions passed by the Congress of Vienna in
1815 the constitution was remodelled. The changes introduced in conse¬
quence of the revolution of July, 1830, were unhappily the forerunners of
the civil war of the Sonderbund, or Separate League, in November, 1847;
but, this was of short, duration, and on 12th September, 1848, a new
federal constitution was inaugurated. Since that period the public tran¬
quillity has been undisturbed, and the prosperity and harmony which now
prevail throughout the country are not unworthy of the glorious traditions
of the past.
XII. Constitution and Statistics.
The Federal Constitution of 12th Sept., 1848, contains among others
the following articles : 3. The cantons are sovereign, in so far as their
sovereignty is not limited by the Federal Constitution. 13 The Confede¬
racy is not entitled to maintain a standing army. Without the consent of
the Confederacy no canton is permitted to maintain more than 300 regular
troops. 23. ('ustoms dues are levied by the Confederacy alone. 33. The
postal system is conducted by the Confederacy. 39. The expenditure of
the Conle.lcracy is defrayed, (a) by the interest of the Federal war-fund;
b) by he du.es levied at the front.ers; ,c) by the revenue derived from
the postal system; (.1) by the proceeds of the gunpowder commission-
(e> by the of taxes levied by resolution of the Federal"Assemble TTverv
native of Switzerland is at liberty to settle where he pleases 43 Fo
eigners cannot be naturalised without resigning their original mfinimii'tv
44. All religious sects are tolerated. 45. The freedom of the nrea, is
established. 57. Foreigners whose presence is considered ,,..,.;„ i- • , ,
the interests of the Confederacy may be ejected. 08. The order Tftl
Jesuits is excluded from every part of Switzerland. ' u