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The subject was the advisability of a separation of Church and State. The curious feature, as it struck me, was to hear all these first- rate men, however different in principle, yet all seeming to argue that this separation must take place sooner or later. For generations Switzerland has been either the battlefield for the rival intrigues of its big neighbours, or the green room in which political dramas, to be afterwards acted on the big European stage, have been rehearsed.

As long as England considered herself as still belonging to the European family she was, on numberless occasions, able to act as the moderator and peacemaker in regard to quarrels which, originating in Switzerland refugee ques- tion, Jesuit question, etc. Not being limitrophe like France, Italy, Austria, or Ger- many, and having no conceivable interest in common with any of these neighbours, she was marked out as the natural mediator and neutral friend. During the fifteen years that my father was minister at Berne, four or five blazing questions of this kind the extradition of Louis Napoleon amongst others were extinguished by the action of England My father's wisdom and moderation, his long experience and thorough acquaintance, with the peculi- arities of the position, and the great personal respect which both the then rival governments of France and Austria had for him, enabled him to play the part of moderator with eminent success.

These very qualities, however, were the cause of his fall! Lord Palmerston, furious with Guizot about the Spanish marriages, was determined to get his revenge wherever he could find it. Seeing the terror with which the rising revolutionary movement filled the French Government, he suddenly determined on ] THE SWISS TROUBLES 39 giving up the business of peacemaker, and, feeling that my father's well established character in his line of business was in the way of a sudden catastrophe, he recalled him and instigated Peel to perform his celebrated feat of pre- cipitating the Sonderbund War , which was, by the impulse it gave to the revolutionary party, the direct cause of the February Revolution which destroyed Guizot, and with him the repose of Europe for generations to come.

When, after the era of the first French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the great reconstruction of the map of Europe took place at the Congress of Vienna in , Switzerland, after a prolonged period of foreign invasion and internal disorders, settled down under the constitution known as the Federal Compact, under which, her neutrality and independence being guaranteed by England, France, and Austria, the country enjoyed an unexampled spell of prosperity and of material and intel- lectual progress. Wealth increased, industry prospered, education advanced, arts and literature flourished.

This happy state lasted till , when the July Revolution again disturbed the peace of Europe. Owing to her geographical position and close proximity to the storm centre, Switzerland was the first to feel the evil effects. Political aspirations, which had long lain dormant, revived, and led to disturbances and riots, and even in many cases to the overthrow of existing institutions. Before the end of eleven cantons had changed both rulers and constitutions ; moreover, the country was soon over- run by hordes of political refugees, chiefly of German origin, who not only repaid the protection they received by actively propagating their revolutionary doctrines and by fomenting discontent, but who.

A great deal of the mischief after- wards so much deplored was subsequently directly traced to many of these refugees being at that time admitted to the universities of Berne and Zurich, and to the editorship of Swiss journals. Soon the whole of Switzerland was seething with political trouble ; the old religious difficulties in the Catholic and Protestant cantons being revived with increased violence by the suppression of all the convents of Argovy by the government of that canton in The admission of the Jesuits into Lucerne in , on the one hand, and the invasion of the Catholic cantons by large bodies of armed men known as Corps Francs, or Freischaaren, on the other, formed the culminating point of the agitation.

But it must be borne in mind that, however impolitic the former measure may have been, it was strictly legal and within the rights of cantonal sovereignty ; whereas the organisa- tion of the Freischaaren was radically illegal, and a violation of the peace. One of the causes of the evil, which subsequently grew to such a height, is clearly indicated in an administrative report of the year , drawn up by the Executive Council for the Grand Council of Argovy, and therefore not liable to the suspicion of partiality, addressed as it is to the same public authority which in , by its confiscation of the Argovian convents, was the first to openly violate the federal laws.

Complaints are made especi- ally of the progressive tendency of the youth of the canton to meetings and insubordination, the adult scholars particu- larly are distinguished by their irreligious spirit and the rude- ness of their manners and character. Too much has been said of their natural rights and not enough of their natural duties ; the public newspapers of the canton have too much in- flamed their minds with the pompous words of light and progress, so that we are now just only reaping what has been sown. The citizens no longer acknowledge any authority : the youth 1 Report by the School Committee of Zoffingen.

Gordon at Vienna in May , ' have succeeded in enlarging the scene of contest ; from the Grand Council Chambers it has been transferred to popular meetings in the open air, and what was formerly a rivalry for political ascendancy between a few dema- gogues and their partisans is now assuming every day more and more the character of a rupture between popula- tions of different creeds. The Jesuit question was seized upon with most perverse adroitness and fatal success by the Radical leaders of Argovy and Berne, leagued together to revenge the defeat 2 of their party, La Jcune Suisse, in the Valais a twelvemonth ago.

It was to be foreseen that they would so act from the moment that Lucerne passed that ill-advised law [admitting the Jesuits].

Manual Liberal Diplomacy and German Unification: The Early Career of Robert Morier

The mischief is now done and has fully justified the apprehensions of the friends of good order and the hopes of the anarchists who could not suffer a greater disappointment than to be deprived of their favourite grievance by the withdrawal of that law. Moneau in his presidential speech at the opening of the Diet. Their efforts were energetically seconded by all the other Powers, more especially by Prussia, fully aware that in the then state of Europe any breach of the peace might involve not Switzerland alone, but the whole of Europe in incalculable dangers.

As Morier pointed out to Lord Aberdeen on 24th January : — ' The anti-Jesuit movement in Switzerland would, if it became an international question, prove peculiarly embar- rassing to both Austria and France in different ways, because of their own relations with the clerical party. France especially was between the Devil and the deep sea, because to uphold the cantonal principle attacked by the Radicals would affront the French democrats ; while the opposite course, viz.

The matter was further complicated by the fact that France was one of the Powers guaranteeing the " independence of the Helvetic body in its present form. France is so situated as to render her Government most cautious to avoid the appearance of favouring the Jesuits, Austria on the contrary having no motive for keeping on terms with the Radicals. We fortunately,' he adds, ' are so situated as to make it a matter of perfect in- difference to us if both parties, Radicals and Jesuits, were safely lodged at the bottom of any Swiss lake.

His efforts had 1 Morier to Lord Aberdeen, 30th April Guizot's wish that all the Powers should be agreed on the Swiss question, Prince Metternich says : ' This wish is equally shared by the Austrian Cabinet, which sees in the unanimous agreement of the Powers the only means of exercising a beneficial influence on the march of Swiss affairs. Guizot who, in a note addressed to the French representatives at Berne, to which the Ministers of England, Russia, Austria, and Pnissia had given their approval, expressed ' his profound conviction that equitable and patient adjustment of the rights, the interests, and sentiments concerned is the only road to a peaceable and honourable arrangement.

Guizot's confidence in the highest degree. Lucerne is still disposed even now to give up the Jesuits, if the single convent of Muri, illegally suppressed with the other convents of Argovy, were re-established.

Let the Pro- testants be just and the Catholics will be reasonable. I believe the revolution in the Canton de Vaud has opened their [the Berne Government] eyes and made them reflect on the contagion of example which might perhaps encourage the ultra-radical central committee of anti-Jesuit agitation to try the experiment of pushing the present avoyers from their seats. Druey, the Vaudois deputy and leader of the ultra-radical party, whose political tenets seem to have been resumed in his dictum, " L'opinion publique, c'est la rue," and whose real object was to suppress the Catholics in the Canton de Vaud.

Frequent assaults were made upon chapels and oratories and on private houses where religious services were held.

German Unification - 3 Minute History

Druey told him that ' the party with whom he acted were resolved at all hazards to effect the expulsion of the Jesuits from Switzer- land ; that for this purpose they aimed at obtaining a majority 1 to decree the expulsion, which they intended immediately to carry into execution, if need be, by force of arms ; that should they fail in having a majority this result is anticipated by all parties then a most terrific crisis must ensue — war to the knife, unmitigated by discipline, ending only by the extermination of one of the parties.

On the 31st March the long-threatened movement began with the invasion of Lucerne territory by a body of six thousand men, con- sisting of refugees and armed volunteers under the command 1 From the Diet sitting at Zurich. This victory toned down for a time the Radicalism of the Berne Government, and induced them to disavow the ' illegal and consequently condemnable measure ' which had ended in such discomfituie. The Lucerne Govern- ment, acting on the whole with great forbearance, issued a manifesto, the spirit of which may be conveyed in the following extract : ' The desire of revenge is unworthy of victors ; it is unworthy of Christians.

During the month of May, Morier was actively engaged in an endeavour to save Dr. Steiger from the sentence of death passed upon him at Lucerne, which seems to have been thoroughly deserved. This Dr. Steiger had already been implicated in the first attempt 2 to overturn the Lucerne Government, and arrested, but allowed to go free for want of proof. He then went to Berne, where he was received with distinction by the anti- Jesuit party, and since then had been considered as the leader of the Lucerne refugees, and generally designated as the President of the Provisional Government, which it was intended to estab- lish in Lucerne, had the expedition proved successful.

In the report of the operations of the Freischaaren, pub- lished by Ochsenbein, Dr. Steiger is alluded to as the person who recommended the bombardment of Lucerne, being himself a citizen of Lucerne! That Morier, to whom the Executive Council of the Berne Republic had addressed an appeal to intercede on his behalf, did his utmost, mny be gathered from a letter of M. Soyez sur que je ferai valoir toute mon influence pour que Steiger, tout grand criminel qu'il soit, recoive sa grace, pourvu qu'on puisse trouver moyen de le mcttre hors d'etat de nuire.

Steiger shortly afterwards, however, spared the Lucerne Government the trouble of any further deliberations as to his disposal by escaping from prison on 20th June into Zurich territory, where he was received with shouts of triumph by his partisans. During all this time Morier had been unremitting in his endeavours to induce the Powers to bring pressure to bear upon the Lucerne Government, so as to cause them to withdraw the privilege of the Jesuits, persuaded as he was that this measure was from the first ' deprecated by all reflecting men as well in the Canton of Lucerne as in the rest of Switzerland,' 1 and that ' it is well known that even in the Canton and Government of Lucerne many who most jealously joined in repelling the invasion of the free- booter bands were amongst the most determined adver- saries of that [Jesuit] cause.

Morier, therefore, suggested to Sir R. Gordon, Ambassador at Vienna, that ' Prince Metter- nich could not exert the influence of his Court with greater benefit to the cause of general peace and security of the Catholic interest in Switzerland than by obtaining that Leu whom he elsewhere describes as the leader of the peasants, " himself an honest, upright, but very obstinate peasant " be induced by a word from the Nuncio to pro- pose to the Grand Council of Lucerne instructions in the sense of a withdrawal of the decree.

Gordon, Ambassador at Vienna, nth May 1S So far the representatives of the Powers had been in absolute agreement, both Austria and Rome from the first discouraging the admission of the Jesuits, which would probably by then have been abandoned, but for the con- duct of their unprincipled assailants.

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After the attack on Lucerne, however, there were signs that in future Rome and some of the Catholic Powers would, from a mistaken feeling of honour, encourage the Lucerne Government to stand by their original decree. Morier therefore, with the ever-present fear of foreign intervention before his eyes, was most anxious to arrange a compromise which ' Lucerne, being now the victor, might without derogation of principle or honour ' accept.

His proposal was based on the following : — ' That Lucerne will consent to waive her own undoubted right in this matter, on the condition that the other cantons should desist from their declaration of the competency of a majority of the Diet to interfere in the confessional and educational arrangements of individual cantons — and secondly, that the sequestered property of the convents of Argovy should be applied to the maintenance of a theological seminary for all Swiss Catholics as an indemnity for the suppression of the said convents.

Switzerland was gradually sinking more and more into a state of anarchy, and in a private letter to Lord Aberdeen, dated 6th June , Morier wrote : — ' The Cantonal Governments are in a state of decomposi- tion, the spirit of ultra-democracy is gaining men, women, and children ; it is becoming what a writer of Geneva on the Swiss democracy calls la societe poussiere, where there is no cement of authority or moral principle or religious feeling to make the unit grains of dust cohere.

The cantons of Lucerne, Uri, Schwitz, Unterwalden, Zug, Vallais, and Freyburg were the parties to this alliance, first kept secret, but which the Lucerne Government begged Count Crotti, the Sardinian Minister, confidentially to com- municate to Morier, who equally confidentially transmitted the information to Lord Aberdeen. This alliance was known as the Catholic League, and later as the Sonderbund. In the spring of the ultra-radical party seized the Government of the canton of Berne, which, following the example of the canton of Vaud, now started full sail on a radical course.

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A committee of seven was appointed with the object of drafting the new Constitution, whose tendency may be judged by some of its members, comprising as it did Ochsenbein, the commander of the expedition against Lucerne ; Funk, a lawyer of doubtful reputation in his pro- fession ; Kohler, a former member of the Executive Council, from which he had been excluded some years previously on account of the notorious profligacy of his conduct ; and Staempfli, an attorney, editor of the Berne Zeitang, the organ of the ultra-radical faction.

The latter was the son-in-law of Professor Wilhelm Snell, a German refugee whose removal from the chair of International Law at the Berne University, and banishment from the canton by the late Government, as much on account of his revolutionary doctrine as of the constant state of intoxication in which this professor was seen both in the chair and out of it, had been the question on which the strength of the two parties had been tried. That it must end in the break up of the present political order of things in the Confederation cannot be doubted.

It is now merely a question of time and mode ; the spirit and object of the VOL. Of the latter's mischievous activities, and the disastrous direction he imparted to English foreign policy, the opinion of so shrewd and broad-minded an observer as King Leopold 1. Times are getting somewhat troubled, to which it must be confessed England, i. They have behaved in an uncommonly foolish manner in the Spanish affair, which Lord Palmerston is quite aware of and feels very deeply ; it makes him angry, rude, and threatening, which leads him on to commit fresh mistakes, so that we may now expect unforeseen catastrophes, possibilities of war,' etc.

They accordingly issued a protocol in which they stated that they were resolved ' to maintain their alliance under all circumstances so long, but only so long, as the attempts made in violation of the Federal Compact against the sovereignty and territory of their successive states shall continue.


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Funk and Ochsenbein as President and Vice-President. Ochsenbein's elevation to the highest post in the Confederation,' wrote Morier to Lord Palmerston from Zurich on 4th September, ' should it be allowed, being still further aggravated by the circumstance of his 1 From 31st August to 4th September 1S His expulsion had been pronounced by the extraordinary Diet of , on the proposal of the same military council of which the presidency would officially devolve upon him in his capacity as Federal President.

Steiger, condemned to death for high treason by the Tribunal of Lucerne ; the nomination of Ochsenbein himself to be second deputy for Berne in the place of one already named, which was considered as a gratuitous insult to the Diet, although he declined to appear on some pretext or another in his capacity as deputy at Zurich.

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That, in consequence of these nominations, diplomatic relations with the Berne Government would be greatly embarrassed was to be foreseen. Guizot's considera- tion, whether it would be consonant with the dignity of the French Government to allow its representative to have personal intercourse with a man who had led an expedition openly condemned, and in a manner protested against, in the French note the year before, and on that account judged unworthy to hold an inferior station in the federal military staff.

Both the French and English Ministers concurred to draw the attention of their respective Governments to the importance of this state of things being attentively con- sidered by the Powers interested, to prevent it degener- ating into a state of complete anarchy and consequent civil war, which might eventually lead to an intervention earnestly to be deprecated, and that the course it should be found expedient to pursue should be determined previ- ously to the transfer of the directional functions from Zurich to Berne.

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A spirit of utter lawlessness began more and more to prevail at Berne. In a quarrel in the streets, shortly afterwards, M. Weber, the Director of the Centr. Funk, President of the late Constituent Assembly and of the Supreme Tribunal, to the ground, being himself shortly afterwards assailed in like manner by Captain Karl, the proprietor of the inn where the meetings of the famous Bear Club were held.

On 21st September a brutal attack was made by an individual in the employment of the Bernese Post Office on Burnet Morier, then on a holiday in Switzerland, whilst quietly walking in the streets of Berne in the company of an English clergyman, who afterwards testified how utterly unprovoked the assault had been. Burnet, however, with commendable vigour and promptitude, had knocked his assailant down. Although unofficial complaints for this outrage were addressed to the Executive, they refused to offer ' a single expression of regret, disapprobation, or apology for the conduct of one of their own servants,' for whom, on the contrary, they claimed an indemnity.

His father therefore asked Lord Palmerston's permis- sion to treat the matter seriously : —. I cannot therefore but express my conviction that nothing less than the determination of the British Government, declared by express authority in the most explicit terms not to overlook any injury or insult wantonly offered to any British subject whatever in any part of Switzerland, will be sufficient to enable H. Minister in this country to maintain the position which belongs to the high character of the country he has the honour to represent. For these considerations I deem it my duty now to request your Lordship to authorise me to demand of the Bernese Government, in the name of H.

Minister, accredited to the Swiss Confederation, but for the additional wrong of the marked neglect, not to say contempt, with which the representations of H. Minister respecting that outrage have been t r eated by the Bernese Government. Government the impossibility, without compromising its own dignity, of leaving such conduct disregarded.