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The Age of the Democratic RevolutionA Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800$
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R. R. Palmer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161280

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161280.001.0001

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The Helvetic Republic

The Helvetic Republic

Chapter:
(p.663) Chapter XXVIII The Helvetic Republic
Source:
The Age of the Democratic Revolution
Author(s):

R. R. Palmer

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161280.003.0028

This chapter focuses on Switzerland and the Helvetic Republic. Until 1798, all of Switzerland was an incredibly complex mosaic of dissimilar pieces. Over a millennium, there had grown up an indefinite number of small communities—from cities like Zurich to remote clusters of pastoral families in Alpine valleys—which no longer belonged to the Holy Roman Empire, and did not yet belong politically to anything else. There was no Swiss state, Swiss citizenship, Swiss law, or even Swiss government. However, nowhere else was the impact of certain principles of the Revolution more apparent and more lasting—especially of the principles of legal equality and of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic. The idea of a Swiss people became a reality under the Helvetic Republic, whose main features were confirmed in the Napoleonic Act of Mediation of 1803, and reconfirmed at the Congress of Vienna.

Keywords:   Switzerland, French Revolution, equality, Helvetic Republic, Napoleonic Act of Mediation of 1803

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