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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

CONFEDERATIONS.                                  213
The congress of Vienna made a declaration in 1815 (March
New constitution 2O)» respecting the affairs of Switzerland, one
oflSl5<              part of which was the introduction of Geneva,
Neufchatel (a Prussian principality at that time), and Valais
(Wallis), into the confederation, and this received the consent
of the confederates. The neutralization of Switzerland with
part of Savoy, followed as an act of the same powers. (Nov.
20, 1815.) The federal compact between the sovereign can-
tons of Switzerland, now twenty-two in number, had been
concluded on the i6th of Aug., 1815. This is a reactionary
1 instrument. It fixes the rate of troops and taxes for federal
purposes, gives every canton the right to demand defense
against internal and external force, provides for the settle-
ment of disputes between the cantons, prohibits them from
making treaties which are to the prejudice of other cantons
or of the league, puts an end to all dependent territory, and
exclusive possession of rights by a class of citizens, continues
the old plan of having a vorort, and a tagsatzung or diet, to
be composed of ambassadors, meeting regularly in the chief
town of the vorort on the first Monday in July, with the bur-
gomaster or schultheiss of the presiding canton for their fore-
man. This diet declares war, concludes peace, and makes
all treaties with foreign powers ; but for the validity of these
acts, three-fourths of the votes of the cantons are necessary.
In other matters of business an absolute majority decides.
Military capitulations, and conventions concerning affairs of
police or public economy, may be made by single cantons,
provided they oppose no federal principles, nor existing
league, nor cantonal rights ; and they must also be made
known to the diet. Ambassadors from the league may be
sent to foreign powers when their appointment is thought
necessary. In extraordinary cases the vorort may be invested
with especial powers, and a committee can be appointed,
composed cf the officer of the vorort who is entrusted with
the management of the federal affairs, in conjunction with
other representatives of the confederation. In both cases
two-thirds are necessary to give validity to any resolution.