1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Geneva
GENEVA (Fr. Genève, Ger. Genf, Ital. Ginevra, Late Lat. Gebenna, though Genava in good Latin), a city and canton of Switzerland, situated at the extreme south-west corner both of the country and of the Lake of Geneva or Lake Leman. The canton is, save Zug, the smallest in the Swiss Confederation, while the city, long the most populous in the land, is now surpassed by Zürich and by Basel.
The canton has an area of 108.9 sq. m., of which 88.5 sq. m. are classed as “productive” (forests covering 9.9 sq. m. and vineyards 6.8 sq. m., the rest being cultivated land). Of the “unproductive” 20.3 sq. m., 111 are accounted for by that portion of the Lake of Geneva which belongs to The canton. the canton. It is entirely surrounded by French territory (the department of Haute Savoie lying to the south, and that of the Ain to the west and the north), save for about 31 m. on the extreme north, where it borders on the Swiss canton of Vaud. The Rhone flows through it from east to west, and then along its south-west edge, the total length of the river in or within the canton being about 13 m., as it is very sinuous. The turbid Arve is by far its largest tributary (left), and flows from the snows of the chain of Mont Blanc, the only other affluent of any size being the London (right). Market gardens, orchards, and vineyards occupy a large proportion of the soil (outside the city), the apparent fertility of which is largely due to the unremitting industry of the inhabitants. In 1901 there were 6586 cows, 3881 horses, 2468 swine and 2048 bee-hives in the canton. Besides building materials, such as sandstone, slate, &c., the only mineral to be found within the canton is bituminous shale, the products of which can be used for petroleum and asphalt. The broad-gauge railways in the canton have a length of 183 m., and include bits of the main lines towards Paris and Lausanne (for Bern or the Simplon), while there are also 723 m. of electric tramways. The canton was admitted into the Swiss Confederation in 1815 only, and ranks as the junior of the 22 cantons. In 1815–1816 it was created by adding to the old territory belonging to the city (just around it, with the outlying districts of Jussy, Genthod, Satigny and Cartigny) 16 communes (to the south and east, including Carouge and Chêne) ceded by Savoy, and 6 communes (to the north, including Versoix), cut off from the French district of Gex.
In 1900 there were, not counting the city, 27,813 inhabitants
in the canton, or, including the city, 132,609, the city alone having
thus a population of 104,796. (In the following statistics those
for the city are enclosed within brackets.) In 1900 this population
was thus divided in point of religion: Romanists, 67,162
canton and city. (49,965), Protestants, 62,400 (52,121), and Jews 1119 (1081). In point of language 109,741 (84,259) were French-speaking, 13,343 (12,004) German-speaking, and 7345 (6574) Italian-speaking, while there were also 89 (76) Romonsch-speaking persons. More remarkable are the results as to nationality: 43,550 (31,607) were Genevese citizens, and 36,415 (30,582) Swiss citizens of other cantons. Of the 52,644 (42,607) foreigners, there were 34,277 (26,018) French, 10,211 (9126) Italians, 4653 (4283) subjects of the German empire, 583 (468) British subjects, 832 (777) Russians, and 285 (251) citizens of the United States of America. In the canton there were 10,821 (5683) inhabited houses, while the number of separate households was 35,450 (28,621). Two points as to these statistics deserve to be noted. The number of foreign residents is steadily rising, for in 1900 there were only 79,965 (62,189) Swiss in all as against 52,644 (42,607) foreigners. One result of this foreign immigration, particularly from France and Italy, has been the rapid increase of Romanists, who now form the majority in the canton, while in the city they were still slightly less numerous than the Protestants in 1900; later (local) statistics give in the Canton 75,400 Romanists to 64,200 Protestants, and in the city 52,638 Romanists to 51,221 Protestants. Geneva has always been a favourite residence of foreigners, though few can ever have expected to hear that the “protestant Rome” has now a Romanist majority as regards its inhabitants. Galiffe (Genève hist. et archéolog.) estimates the population in 1356 at 5800, and in 1404 at 6490, in both cases within the fortifications. In 1536 the old city acquired the outlying districts mentioned above, as well as the suburb of St Gervais on the right bank of the Rhone, so that in 1545 the number is given as 12,500, reduced by 1572 to 11,000. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) it rose, by 1698, to 16,934. Thenceforward the progress was fairly steady: 18,500 (1711); 24,712 (1782); 26,140 (1789). After the creation of the canton (1815) the numbers were (those for the city are enclosed within brackets) 48,489 (25,289), the city rising in 1837 to 33,714, and in 1843 to 36,452. The result of the Federal censuses (begun in 1850) are as follows: in 1850, 64,146 (42,127); in 1860, 82,876 (59,826); in 1870, 88,791 (65,606); in 1880, 99,712 (76,197), and in 1888, 105,509 (81,407).
The canton comprises 3 administrative districts: the 13 communes on the right bank and the 34 on the left bank each form one, while the city proper, on both sides of the river, forms one district and one commune. From 1815 to 1842 the city and the cantonal government Government. was the same. But at that date the city obtained its independence, and is now ruled by a town council of 41 members, and an executive of 5 members, the election in each case being made direct by the citizens, and the term of office being 4 years. The existing cantonal constitution dates, in most of its main features, from 1847. The legislature or Grand Conseil (now composed of 100 members) is elected (in the proportion of 1 member for every 1000 inhabitants or fraction over 500) for 3 years by a direct popular vote, subject (since 1892) to the principles of proportional representation, while the executive or conseil d’état (7 members) is elected (no proportional representation) by a popular vote for 3 years. By the latest enactments (one dating from 1905) 2500 citizens can claim a vote (“facultative referendum”) as to any legislative project, or can exercise the “right of initiative” as to any such project or as to the revision of the cantonal constitution. The canton sends 2 members (elected by a popular vote) to the Federal Ständerath, and 7 to the Federal Nationalrath.
The Consistory rules the Established Protestant Church, and is now composed of 31 members, 25 being laymen and 6 (formerly 15) clerics, while the “venerable company of pastors” (pastors actually holding cures) has greatly lost its former importance and can now only submit proposals to the Religion. Consistory. The Christian Catholic Church is also “established” at Geneva (since 1873) and is governed by the conseil supérieur, composed of 25 lay members and 5 clerics. No other religious denominations are “established” at Geneva. But the Romanists (who form 13% of the electors) are steadily growing in numbers and in influence, while the Christian Catholics are losing ground rapidly, the highest number of votes received by a candidate for the conseil supérieur having fallen from 2003 in 1874 to 806 in 1890 and 507 in 1906, while they are abandoning the country churches (some were lost as early as 1892) which they had taken from the Romanists in the course of the Kulturkampf.
The fairs of Geneva (held 4 times a year) are mentioned as early as 1262, and attained the height of their prosperity about 1450, but declined after Louis XI.’s grants of 1462–1463 in favour of the fairs of Lyons. Among the Industry. chief articles brought to these fairs (which were largely frequented by Italian, French and Swiss merchants) were cloth, silk, armour, groceries, wine, timber and salt, this last coming mainly from Provence. The manufacturers of Geneva formed in 1487 no fewer than 38 gilds, including tailors, hatters, mercers, weavers, tanners, saddle-makers, furriers, shoe-makers, painters on glass, &c. Goldsmiths are mentioned as early as 1290. Printing was introduced in 1478 by Steinschaber of Schweinfurth, and flourished much in the 16th century, though the rigorous supervision exercised by the Consistory greatly hampered the Estiennes (Stephanus) in their enterprises. Nowadays the best known industry at Geneva is that of watchmaking, which was introduced in 1587 by Charles Cusin of Autun, and two years later regulations as to the trade were issued. In 1685 there were in Geneva 100 master watchmakers, employing 300 work-people, who turned out 5000 pieces a year, while in 1760 this trade employed 4000 work-people. Of recent years its prosperity has diminished greatly, so that the watchmaking and jewelry trades in 1902 numbered respectively but 38 and 32 of the 394 establishments in Geneva which were subject to the factory laws. Lately, huge establishments have been constructed for the utilization of the power contained in the Rhone. The local commerce of Geneva is much aided by the fact that the city is nearly entirely surrounded by “free zones,” in which no customs duties are levied, though the districts are politically French: this privilege was given to Gex in 1814, and to the Savoyard districts in 1860, when they were also neutralized.
Considering the small size of Geneva, till recently, it is surprising how many celebrated persons have been connected with it as natives or as residents. Here are a few of the principal, special articles being devoted to many of them in this Celebrities. work. In the 16th century, besides Calvin and Bonivard, we have Isaac Casaubon, the scholar; Robert and Henri Estienne, the printers, and, from 1572 to 1574, Joseph Scaliger himself, though but for a short time. J. J. Rousseau is, of course, the great Genevese of the 18th century. At that period, and in the 19th century, Geneva was a centre of light, especially in the case of various of the physical sciences. Among the scientific celebrities were de Saussure, the most many-sided of all; de Candolle and Boissier, the botanists; Alphonse Favre and Necker, the geologists; Marignac, the chemist; Deluc, the physicist, and Plantamour, the astronomer. Charles Bonnet was both a scientific man and a philosopher, while Amiel belonged to the latter class only. Pradier and Chaponnière, the sculptors; Arlaud, Diday and Calame, the artists; Mallet, who revealed Scandinavia to the literary world; Necker, the minister; Sismondi, the historian of the Italian republics; General Dufour, author of the great survey which bears the name of the “Dufour Map,” have each a niche in the Temple of Fame. Of a less severe type were Cherbuliez, the novelist; Töpffer, who spread a taste for pedestrianism among Swiss youth; Duchosal, the poet; Marc Monnier, the littérateur; not to mention the names of any persons still living, or of politicians of any date.
The city of Geneva is situated at the south-western extremity
of the beautiful lake of the same name, whence the “arrowy
Rhone” flows westwards under the seven bridges by
which the two halves of the town communicate with
each other.The city and
its buildings. To the south is the valley of the Arve (descending from the snows of the Mont Blanc chain), which unites with that of the Rhone a little below the town; while behind the Arve the grey and barren rocks of the Petit Salève rise like a wall, which in turn is overtopped by the distant and ethereal snows of Mont Blanc. Yet the actual site of the town is not as picturesque as that of several other spots in Switzerland. Though the cathedral crowns the hillock round which clusters the old part of the town, a large portion of the newer town is built on the alluvial flats on either bank of the Rhone. Since the demolition of the fortifications in 1849 the town has extended in every direction, and particularly on the right bank of the Rhone. It possesses many edifices, public and private, which are handsome or elegant, but it has almost nothing to which the memory reverts as a masterpiece of architectural art. It is possible that this is, in part, due to the artistic blight of the Calvinism which so long dominated the town. But, while lacking the medieval appearance of Fribourg or Bern, or Sion or Coire, the great number of modern fine buildings in Geneva, hotels, villas, &c., gives it an air of prosperity and comfort that attracts many visitors, though on others modern French architecture produces a blinding glare. On the other hand, there are broad quays along the river, while public gardens afford grateful shade.
The cathedral (Protestant) of St Pierre is the finest of the older buildings in the city, but is a second-rate building, though as E. A. Freeman remarks, “it is an excellent example of a small cathedral of its own style and plan, with unusually little later alteration.” The hillock on which it rises was no doubt the site of earlier churches, but the present Transitional building dates only from the 12th and 13th centuries, while its portico was built in the 18th century, after the model of the Pantheon at Rome. It contains a few sepulchral monuments, removed from the cloisters (pulled down in 1721), and a fine modern organ, but the historical old bell La Clémence has been replaced by a newer and larger one which bears the same name. More interesting than the church itself is the adjoining chapel of the Maccabees, built in the 15th century, and recently restored. Near the cathedral are the arsenal (now housing the historical museum, in which are preserved many relics of the “Escalade” of 1602, including the famous ladders), and the maison de ville or town hall. The latter building is first mentioned in 1448, but most of the present building dates from far later times, though the quaint paved spiral pathway (taking the place of a staircase in the interior) was made in the middle of the 16th century. In the Salle du Conseil d’État some curious 15th-century frescoes have lately been discovered, while the old Salle des Festins is now known as the Salle de l’Alabama, in memory of the arbitration tribunal of 1872. In the 15th-century Tour Baudet, adjoining the Town Hall, are preserved the rich archives of the city. Not far away is the palais de justice, built in 1709 as a hospital, but used as a court house since 1858. On the Île in the Rhone stands the tower (built c. 1219) of the old castle belonging to the bishop. Among the modern buildings we may mention the following: the University (founded in 1559, but raised to the rank of a University in 1873 only), the Athénée, the Conservatoire de Musique, the Victoria Hall (a concert hall, presented in 1904 to the city by Mr Barton, formerly H.B.M.’s Consul), the theatre, the Salle de la Réformation (for religious lectures and popular concerts), the Bâtiment Electoral, the Russian church and the new post office. At present the museums of various kinds at Geneva are widely dispersed, but a huge new building in course of construction (1906) will ultimately house most of them. The Musée Rath contains pictures and sculptures; the Musée Fol, antiquities of various dates; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, inter alia, a fine collection of prints; the Musée Industriel, industrial objects and models; the Musée Archéologique, prehistoric and archaeological remains; the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle, scientific collections; and the Musée Epigraphique, a considerable number of inscriptions. Some way out of the town is the Musée Ariana (extensive art collections), left, with a fine park, in 1890 to the city by a rich citizen, Gustave Revilliod. The public library is in the university buildings and contains many valuable MSS. and printed books. Geneva boasts also of a fine observatory and of a number of technical schools (watchmaking, chemistry, medicine, commerce, fine arts, &c.), some of which are really annexes of the university, which in June 1906 was attended by 1158 matriculated students, of whom 903 were non-Swiss, the Russians (475 in number) forming the majority of the foreign students. Geneva is well supplied with charitable institutions, hospitals, &c. Among other remarkable sights of the city may be mentioned the great hydraulic establishment (built 1882–1899) of the Forces Motrices du Rhône (turbines), the singular monument set up to the memory of the late duke of Brunswick who left his fortune to the city in 1873, and the Île Jean-Jacques Rousseau now connected with the Pont des Bergues. The house occupied by Rousseau is No. 40 in the Grand’ Rue, while No. 13 in the same street is on the site of Calvin’s house, though not the actual dwelling inhabited by him.
The real name of the city is Genava, that being the form under which it appears in almost all the known documents up to the 7th century, A.D., the variation Genua (which has led to great confusion with Genoa) being also found in the 6th century. But Geneva and Gebenna History.are of later date. The first mention of the city is made by Caesar (Bell. Galli. i. 6-7) who tells us that it was the last oppidum of the Allobroges, and the nearest to the territory of the Helvetii, with which it was connected by a bridge that, for military reasons, he was forced to destroy. Inscriptions of later date state that it was only a vicus of the Viennese province, while mentioning the fact that a gild of boatmen flourished there. But the many Roman remains found on the original site (in the region of the cathedral) of the city show that it must have been of some importance, and that it possessed a considerable commerce. About 400 the Notitia Galliarum calls it a civitas (so that it then had a municipal administration of its own), and reckons it as first among those of the Viennese. Probably this rise in dignity was connected with the establishment of a bishop’s see there, the first bishop certainly known, Isaac, being heard of about 400 in a letter addressed by St Eucherius to Salvius, while, in 450, a letter of St Leo states that the see was then a suffragan of the archbishopric of Vienne. It is possible that there may be some ground for the local tradition that Christianity was introduced into this region by Dionysius and Paracodus, who successively occupied the see of Vienne, but another tradition that the first bishop was named St Nazarius rests on a confusion, as that saint belongs to Genoa and not to Geneva.
About the middle of the 5th century A.D. it came into the possession of the Burgundians, who held it as late as 527 (thus leaving no room for any occupation by the Ostrogoths), and in 534 passed into the hands of the Franks. The Burgundian kings seem to have made Geneva one of their principal residences, and the Notitia (above named) tells us that the city was restaurata by King Gundibald (d. 516) which is generally supposed to mean that he first surrounded it with a wall, the city then comprising little more than the hill on which the present cathedral stands. That building is of course of much later date, but it seems certain that when (c. 513–516) Sigismund, son of King Gundibald, built a stone church on the site, it took the place of an earlier wooden church, constructed on Roman foundations, all three layers being clearly visible at the present day. We know that St Avitus, archbishop of Vienne (d. 518), preached a sermon (preserved to us) at the dedication of a church at Geneva which had been built on the site of one burnt by the enemy, and the bits of half-burnt wood found in the second of the two layers mentioned above, seem to make it probable that the reference is to Sigismund’s church. But Geneva was in no sense one of the great cities of the region, though it is mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary and in the Peutinger Table (both 4th century A.D.), no doubt owing to its important position on the bank of the Rhone, which then rose to the foot of the hill on which the original city stood. This is no doubt the reason why, apart from some passing allusions (for instance, Charles the Great held a council of war there in 773, on his first journey to Italy), we hear very little about it.
In 1032, with the rest of the kingdom of Burgundy or Arles, it reverted to the emperor Conrad II., who was crowned king at Payerne in 1033, and in 1034 was recognized as such at Geneva by a great assembly of nobles from Germany, Burgundy and Italy, this rather unwilling surrender signifying the union of those 3 kingdoms. It is said that Conrad granted the temporal sovereignty of the city to the bishop, who, in 1162, was raised to the rank of a prince of the Holy Roman Empire, being elected, from 1215, by the chapter, but, after 1418, named directly by the pope himself.
Like many other prince-bishops, the ruler of Geneva had to defend his rights: without against powerful neighbours, and within against the rising power of the citizens. These struggles constitute the entire political history of Geneva up to about 1535, when a new epoch of unrest opens with the adoption of Protestantism. The first foe without was the family of the counts of the Genevois (the region south of the city and in the neighbourhood of Annecy), who were also “protectors” (advocati) of the church of Geneva, and are first heard of in the 11th and 12th centuries. Their influence was probably never stronger than during the rule as bishop (1118–1119) of Guy, the brother of the reigning count. But his successor, Humbert de Grammont, resumed the grants made to the count, and in 1125 by the Accord of Seyssel, the count fully acknowledged the suzerainty of the bishop. A fresh struggle under Bishop Ardutius (1135–1185) ended in the confirmation by Frederick Barbarossa, as emperor, of the position of the bishop as subject to no one but himself (1153), this declaration being strengthened by the elevation of the bishop and his successors to the rank of princes of the empire (1162).
In 1250 the counts of Savoy first appear in connexion with Geneva, being mortgagees of the Genevois family, and, in 1263, practically their heirs as “protectors” of the city. It was thus natural that the citizens should invoke the aid of Savoy against their bishop, Robert of the Genevois (1276–1287). But Count Amadeus of Savoy not merely seized (1287) the castle built by the bishops (about 1219) on the Île, but also (1288) the office of vicedominus [vidomne], the official through whom the bishop exercised his minor judicial rights. The new bishop, William of Conflans (1287–1295) could recover neither, and in 1290 had to formally recognize the position of Savoy (which was thus legalized) in his own cathedral city. It was during this struggle that about 1287 (these privileges were finally sanctioned by the bishop in 1309) the citizens organized themselves into a commune or corporation, elected 4 syndics, and showed their independent position by causing a seal for the city to be prepared. The bishop was thus threatened on two sides by foes of whom the influence was rising, and against whom his struggles were of no avail. In 1365 the count obtained from the emperor the office of imperial vicar over Geneva, but the next bishop William of Marcossay (1366–1377: he began the construction of a new wall round the greatly extended city, a process not completed till 1428) secured the withdrawal of this usurpation (1366–1367), which the count finally renounced (1371). One of that bishop’s successors, Adhémar Fabri (1385–1388) codified and confirmed all the franchises, rights and privileges of the citizens (1387), this grant being the Magna Carta of the city of Geneva. In 1401 Amadeus VIII. of Savoy bought the county of the Genevois, as the dynasty of its rulers had become extinct. Geneva was now surrounded on all sides by the dominions of the house of Savoy.
Amadeus did homage, in 1405, to the bishop for those of the newly acquired lands which he held from the bishop. But, after his power had been strengthened by his elevation (1417) by the emperor to the rank of a duke, and by his succession to the principality of Piedmont (1418, long held by a cadet branch of his house), Amadeus tried to purchase Geneva from its bishop, John of Pierre-Scisé or Rochetaillée (1418–1422). This offer was refused both by the bishop and by the citizens, while in 1420 the emperor Sigismund declared that he alone was the suzerain of the city, and forbade any one to attack it or harm it in any fashion. Oddly enough Amadeus did in the end get hold of the city, for, having been elected pope under the name of Felix V., he named himself to the vacant see of Geneva (1444), and kept it, after his resignation of the Papacy in 1449, till his death in 1451. For the most part of this period he resided in Geneva. From 1451 to 1522 the see was almost continuously held by a cadet of the house of Savoy, which thus treated it as a kind of appange.
Most probably Geneva would soon have become an integral part of the realms of the house of Savoy had it not been for the appearance of a new protector on the scene—the Swiss confederation. In the early 15th century the town of Fribourg made an alliance with Geneva for commercial purposes (the cloth warehouses of Fribourg at Geneva being enlarged in 1432 and 1465), as the cloth manufactured at Fribourg found a market in the fairs of Geneva (which are mentioned as early as 1262, and were at the height of their prosperity about 1450). The duke, however, was no better inclined towards the Swiss than towards Geneva. He struck a blow at both, when, in 1462–1463, he induced his son-in-law, Louis XI. of France, to forbid French merchants to attend the fairs of Geneva, altering also the days of the fairs at Lyons (established in 1420 and increased in number in 1463) so as to make them clash with those fixed for the fairs of Geneva. This nearly ruined Geneva, which, too, in 1477 had to pay a large indemnity to the Swiss army that, after the defeat of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, advanced to take vengeance on the dominions of his ally, Yolande, dowager duchess of Savoy and sister of Louis XI., as well as on the bishop of Geneva, her brother-in-law. But, after this payment, the bishop made an alliance with the Swiss. A prolonged attempt was made (1517–1530) by the reigning duke of Savoy, Charles III. (1504–1553), to secure Geneva for his family, at first with the help of his bastard cousin John (1513–1522), the last of his house to hold the see. In this struggle the syndic, Philibert Berthelier, succeeded in concluding (1519) an alliance with Fribourg, which, however, had to be given up almost immediately. It split the citizens into two parties; the Eidgenots relying on the Swiss, while the Mamelus (mamelukes) supported the duke. Berthelier was executed in 1519, and Amé Lévrier in 1524, but Bezanson Hugues (d. 1532) took their place, and in 1526 succeeded in renewing the alliance with Fribourg and adding to it one with Bern. This much enraged the duke, who took active steps against the citizens, and tried (1527) to carry off the bishop, Pierre de la Baume (1522–1544), who soon found it best to make his submission.
The Genevese, thus abandoned by their natural protector, looked to the Swiss for help. They sent (October 1530) a considerable army to save the city. This armed intervention compelled the duke to sign the treaty of St Julien (19th October) by which he engaged not to trouble the Genevese any more, agreeing that if he did so the two towns of Fribourg and Bern should have the right to occupy his barony of Vaud. The two towns also, by the decision given as arbitrators at Payerne (30th December 1530), upheld their alliance with Geneva, condemned the duke to pay all the expenses of the war, and confirmed the clause as to their right to occupy Vaud; they alsothe exercise of the powers of vidomne by the duke with so many restrictions that in 1532 the duke, after much resistance, formally agreed to recognize the alliance of Geneva with the two towns and not to annoy the Genevese any more. Thus a legal tie between Geneva and two of the Swiss cantons was established, while the duke did not any longer venture to annoy the Genevese, as he clung to his fine barony of Vaud. In the course of this struggle (and especially after the last episcopal vidomne had left the town in 1526) the municipal authorities of the city greatly developed, a grand conseil of 200 members being set up in imitation of those at Bern and at Fribourg, while within the larger assembly there was a petit conseil of 60 members for more confidential business. Thus 1530 marks the date at which Geneva became its own mistress within, while allied externally with the Swiss confederation. But hardly had this settlement been reached when a fresh element of discord threatened to wholly upset matters—the adoption of Protestant principles by the city. Just before this event, however, the fortifications were once more (1534) rebuilt (bits still remain) and extended so as to take in several new suburbs, including that of St Gervais on the right bank of the Rhone which, till then, seems to have been unenclosed (1511–1527).
In 1532 William Farel, a Protestant preacher from Dauphiné, who had converted Vaud, &c., to the new belief, first came to Geneva and settled there in 1533. But although Bern supported the Reform, Fribourg did not, and in 1534 withdrew from its alliance with Geneva, while directly afterwards the duke of Savoy made a fresh attempt to seize the city. On the 10th of August 1535 the Protestant faith was formally adopted by Geneva, but an offer of help from France having been refused, as the city was unwilling to give up any of its sovereign rights, the duke’s party continued its intrigues. Finally Bern, fearing that Geneva might fall to France instead of to itself, sent an army to protect the city (January 1536), but, not being able to persuade the citizens to give up their freedom, had to content itself with the conquest of the barony of Vaud and of the bishopric of Lausanne, thus acquiring rich territories, while becoming close neighbours of Geneva (January and March 1536). Meanwhile Farel had been advancing the cause of religious reform, which was definitively adopted on the 21st of May 1536. In July 1536 a French refugee, John Calvin (q.v.), came to Geneva for a night, but was detained by Farel who found in him a powerful helper. The opposition party of the Libertins succeeded in getting them both exiled in 1538, but, in September 1541, Calvin was recalled (Farel spending the rest of his life at Neuchâtel, where he died 1565) to Geneva. Born in 1509, he was then about 32 years of age. He set up this theocracy in Geneva, and ruled the reorganized republic with a strong hand till his death in 1564, when he was succeeded by the milder Théodore de Beza (1519–1605).
The great blot on Calvin’s rule was his intolerance of other thinkers, as exemplified by his burning of Gruet (1547) and of Servetus (1553). But, on the other hand, he founded (1559) the Academy, which, originally meant as a seminary for his preachers, later greatly extended its scope, and in 1873 assumed the rank of a University. The strict rule of Calvin drove out many old Genevese families, while he caused to be received as citizens many French, Italian and English refugees, so that Geneva became not merely the “Protestant Rome” but also quite a cosmopolitan little city. The Bernese often interfered with the internal affairs of Geneva (while Calvin, a Frenchman, naturally looked towards France), and refused to allow the city to conclude any alliances save with itself. That alliance was finally renewed in 1558, while in 1560 the Romanist cantons made one with the duke of Savoy, a zealous supporter of the old faith. In 1564, after long negotiations, Bern restored to the duke part of its conquests of 1536, viz. Gex, the Genevois and the Chablais, Geneva being thus once more placed amid the dominions of the duke; though by the same treaty (that of Lausanne, October 1564, Calvin having died the preceding May) the alliance of Bern with Geneva was maintained. In 1579 Geneva was included in the alliance concluded by France with Bern and Soleure, while in 1584 Zürich joined Bern in another alliance with Geneva. The struggle widened as Geneva became a pawn in the great attempt of the duke of Savoy to bring back his subjects to the old faith, his efforts being seconded by François de Sales, the “apostle of the Chablais.” But the king of France, for political reasons, opposed Savoy, with whom, however, he made peace in 1601. In December 1602 François de Sales was consecrated bishop of Geneva (since 1535 the bishops had lived at Annecy), and a few days later the duke of Savoy made a final attempt to get hold of the city by a surprise attack in the night of 11-12th December 1602 (Old Style), known in history as the “Escalade,” as ladders were used to scale the city walls. It was successfully repelled, over 200 of the foe being slain, while 17 Genevese only perished. Filled with joy at their rescue from this attack, the citizens crowded to their cathedral, where Beza (then 83 years of age) bid them to sing the 124th Psalm which has ever since been sung on the anniversary of this great delivery. The peace of St Julien (21st of July 1603) marked the final defeat of the duke of Savoy in the long struggle waged (since 1290) by his house against the city of Geneva.
In the charter of 1387 we hear only of the conseil général (composed of all male heads of families) which acted as the legislature, and elected annually the executive of 4 syndics; no doubt this form of rule existed earlier than 1387. Even before 1387 there was also the petit conseil or conseil ordinaire or conseil étroit, a body not recognized by the law, though it became very powerful; it was composed of the 4 syndics, with several other counsellors, and acted originally as the adviser of the syndics who were legally responsible for the rule of the city. In 1457 we first hear of the Council of the Fifty (re-established in 1502 and later known as the Sixty), and in 1526 of the Council of the Two Hundred (established in imitation of those of Bern and Fribourg), both being summoned in special cases of urgency. The members of both were named by the petit conseil, of which, in turn, the members were confirmed or not by the Two Hundred. By the Constitution of 1543 the conseil général had only the right of choosing the 4 syndics out of a list of 8 presented by the petit conseil and the Two Hundred, which therefore really elected them, subject to a formal approbation on the part of the larger body. This system was slightly modified in 1568, the constitution of that date lasting till 1794. The conseil général fell more and more into the background, the members of the other councils gradually obtained the privilege of being irremovable, and the system of co-optation resulted in the creation of a close monopoly of political offices in the hands of a few leading families.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, while the Romanist majority of the Swiss cantons steadily refused to accept Geneva as even a subordinate member of the Confederation, the city itself was distracted on several occasions by attempts of the citizens, as a whole, to gain some share in the aristocratic government of the town, though these attempts were only partially successful. But the last half of the 18th century marks the most brilliant period in the literary history of Geneva, whether as regards natives or resident foreigners, while in the succeeding half century the number of Genevese scientific celebrities is remarkable. In 1794 the effects of the French Revolution were shown in the more liberal constitution granted by the city government. But in 1798 the city was annexed to France and became the capital of the French department of Léman (to be carefully distinguished from the Swiss canton of Léman, that is Vaud, of the Helvetic Republic, also set up in 1798), while in 1802, by the Concordat, the ancient bishopric of Geneva was suppressed. On the fall of Napoleon (1813) the city recovered its independence, and finally, in 1815, was received as the junior member of the Swiss confederation, several bits of French and Savoyard territory (as pointed out above) being added to the narrow bounds of the old Genevese Republic in order to give the town some protection against its non-Swiss neighbours.
The constitution of 1814 set up a common form of government for the city and the canton, the city not obtaining its municipal independence till the constitution of 1842. From 1535 to 1798 public worship according to the Romanist form had been strictly forbidden. In 1799 already the first attempts were made to re-establish it, and in 1803 the church of St Germain was handed over to the Romanists. The constitution of 1814, looking forward to the annexation of Romanist districts to the city territory to form the new canton, guaranteed to that body the freedom of worship, at any rate in these newly gained districts. In 1819 the canton (the new portions of which were inhabited mainly by Romanists) was annexed to the bishopric of Lausanne, the bishop in 1821 being authorized to add “and of Geneva” to his episcopal style. After the adventure of the “Escalade” the fortifications were once more strengthened and extended, these works being completed about 1726. But, in 1822, some of the bastions were converted into promenades, while in 1849 the rest of the fortifications were pulled down so as to allow the city to expand and gradually assume its present aspect.
When Geneva recovered its political independence in 1814 a new constitution was drawn up, but it was very reactionary, for there is no mention in it of the sovereignty of the people. It set up a conseil représentatif or legislature of 250 members, which named the conseil d’état or executive, while it was itself elected by a limited class, for the electoral qualification was the annual payment of direct taxes to the amount of 20 Swiss livres or about 23 shillings. It was not till 1842 that this system, though much criticized, was modified. In the early part of 1841 the “Third of March Association” was formed to watch over the interests of the citizens, and in November of that year the government was forced by a popular demonstration to summon an assemblée constituante, which in 1842 elaborated a new constitution that was accepted by the citizens. Besides bestowing on the city a government distinct from that of the canton, it set up for the latter a grand conseil or legislature, and a conseil d’état or executive of 13 members, both elected for the term of 4 years. But this constitution did not seem liberal enough to many citizens, so that in 1846 the government gave way to the Radicals, led by James Fazy (1794–1878), who drew up a constitution that was accepted by a popular vote on the 21st of May 1847. It was much more advanced than that of 1842, and in its main features still prevails. From that date till 1864 the Radicals ruled the state, their head, Fazy, being an able man, though extravagant and inclined to absolutism. Under his sway the town was modernized and developed, but the finances were badly administered, and Fazy became more and more a radical dictator. “On voudrait faire de Genève,” sighed the conservative, de la Rive, “la plus petite des grandes villes, et pour moi je préfère qu’elle reste la plus grande des petites villes.” In 1861 and in 1864 Fazy failed to secure his re-election to the conseil d’état, riots followed his defeat, and the Federal troops were forced to intervene so as to restore order.
The Democratic party (liberal-conservative) ruled from 1865 to 1870, and did much to improve the finances of the state. In 1870 the Radicals regained the supremacy under their new chief, Antoine Carteret (1813–1889) and kept it till 1878. This was a period of religious strife, due to the irritation caused by the Vatican council, and the pope’s attempt to revive the bishopric of Geneva. Gaspard Mermillod (1824–1891) was named in 1864 curé of Geneva, and made bishop of Hebron in partibus, acting as the helper of the bishop of Lausanne. Early in 1873 the pope named him “vicar apostolic of Geneva,” but he was expelled a few weeks later from Switzerland, not returning till 1883, when he became bishop of Lausanne, being made cardinal in 1890. The Radical government enacted severe laws as to the Romanists in Geneva, and gave privileges to the Christian Catholic Church, which, organized in 1874 in Switzerland, had absorbed the community founded at Geneva by Père Hyacinthe, an ex-Carmelite friar. The Romanists therefore were no longer recognized by the state, and were persecuted in divers ways, though the tide afterwards turned in their favour. The Democrats ruled from 1878 to 1880, and introduced the “Referendum” (1879) into the cantonal constitution, but, their policy of the separation of church and state having been rejected by the people at a vote, they gave way to the Radicals. The Radicals went out in 1889, and the Democrats held the reins of power till 1897, their leader being Gustave Ador. In 1891 they introduced the “Initiative” into the cantonal constitution, and in 1892 the principle of proportional representation so far as regards the grand conseil, while Th. Turrettini did much to increase the economical prosperity of the city. In 1897 the Radicals came in again, their leaders being first Georges Favon (1843–1902) till his death, and then Henri Fazy, a distant relative of James and an excellent historian. They attempted to rule by aid of the Socialists, but their power fluctuated as the demands of the Socialists became greater. On the 30th of June 1907 the Genevese, by a popular vote, decided on the separation of Church and State.
Authorities.—D. Baud-Bovy, Peintres genevois, 1702–1807 (2 vols., Geneva, 1903–1904); J. T. de Belloc, Le Cardinal Mermillod (Fribourg, 1892); M. Besson, Recherches sur les origines des évêchés de Genève, Lausanne et Sion (Fribourg, 1906); J. D. Blavignac, Armorial genevois (Geneva, 1849), and Études sur Genève depuis l’antiquité jusqu’à nos jours (2 vols., Geneva, 1872–1874); Fr. Bonivard, Chroniques de Genève (Reprint) (2 vols., Geneva, 1867); F. Borel, Les Foires de Genève au XV e siècle (Geneva, 1892); Ch. Borgeaud, Histoire de l’université de Genève, 1559–1798 (Geneva, 1900); E. Choisy, La Théocratie à Genève au temps de Calvin (Geneva, 1898), and L’État chrétien Calviniste à Genève au temps de Théodore de Bèze (Geneva, 1902); F. de Crue, La Guerre féodale de Genève et l’établissement de la Commune, 1205–1320 (Geneva, 1907); H. Denkinger, Histoire populaire du canton de Genève (Geneva, 1905); E. Doumergue, La Genève Calviniste (containing a minute topographical description of 16th-century Geneva, and forming vol. iii. of the author’s Jean Calvin) (Lausanne, 1905); E. Dunant, Les Relations politiques de Genève avec Berne et les Suisses, de 1536 à 1564 (Geneva, 1894); Documents de l’Escalade de Genève (Geneva, 1903); G. Fatio and F. Boissonnas, La Campagne genevoise d’après nature (Geneva, 1899), and Genève à travers les siècles (Geneva, 1900); H. Fazy, Histoire de Genève à l’époque de l’Escalade, 1598–1603 (Geneva, 1902), and Les Constitutions de la République de Genève (to 1847) (Geneva, 1890); J. B. G. Galiffe, Genève historique et archéologique (2 vols., Geneva, 1869–1872); J. A. Gautier, Histoire de Genève (to 1691) (6 vols., 1896–1903); F. Gribble and J. H. and M. H. Lewis, Geneva (London, 1908); J. Jullien, Histoire de Genève (new ed., Geneva, 1889); C. Martin, La Maison de Ville de Genève (Geneva, 1906); Mémoires et documents (publ. by the local Historical Society since 1821); F. Mugnier, Les Évêques de Genève-Annecy, 1535–1870 (Paris, 1888); Pierre de Genève, St (monograph on the cathedral), 4 parts (Geneva, 1891–1899); A. de Montet, Dictionnaire biographique des Genevois, &c. (2 vols., Lausanne, 1878); C. L. Perrin, Les Vieux Quartiers de Genève (Geneva, 1904); A. Pfleghart, Die schweizerische Uhrenindustrie (Leipzig, 1908); Régeste genevois avant 1312 (Geneva, 1866); Registres du conseil de Genève, vols. i. and ii., 1409–1477 (Geneva, 1900–1906); A. Roget, Histoire du peuple de Genève depuis la Réforme jusqu’à l’Escalade (7 vols., from 1536–1568; Geneva, 1870–1883); A. Rilliet, Le Rétablissement du Catholicisme à Genève il y a deux siècles (Geneva, 1880); P. Vaucher, Luttes de Genève contre la Savoie, 1517–1530 (Geneva, 1889); Recueil généalogique suisse (Genève) (2 vols., Geneva, 1902–1907). (W. A. B. C.)