1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Vaud
VAUCLUSE, a department of south-eastern France, formed in 1793 out of the countship of Venaissin, the principality of Orange, and a part of Provence, and bounded by Drôme on the N., Basses-Alpes on the E., Bouches-du-Rhône (from which it is separated by the Durance) on the S., and Gard and Ardèche (from which it is separated by the Rhone) on the W. It has also an enclave, the canton of Valreas, in the department of Drôme. Pop. (1906) 239,178. Area, 1381 sq. m. The western third of Vaucluse belongs to the Rhone valley, and consists of the rich and fertile plains of Orange, Carpentras and Cavaillon. To the east, with a general west-south-west direction and parallel to one another, are the steep barren ranges of Ventoux, Vaucluse and Luberon, consisting of limestones and sandstones. The first-mentioned, which is the most northerly, has a maximum elevation of 6273 ft.; the culminating peak, on which is a meteorological observatory, is isolated and majestic. The Vaucluse chain does not rise above 4075 ft. The most southerly range, that of Luberon (3691 ft.), is rich in palaeontological remains of extant mammals (the lion, gazelle, wild boar, &c). The Rhone is joined on the left by the Aygues, the Sorgue (rising in Petrarch’s celebrated fountain of Vaucluse, which has given its name to the department), and the impetuous Durance. The Sorgue has an important tributary in the Ouveze and the Durance in the Coulon (or Calavon). These and other streams feed the numerous irrigation canals (Canal de Pierrelatte, Canal de Carpentras, &c.) to which is largely due the success of the farmers and market-gardeners of the department. The climate is that of the Mediterranean region. The valley of the Rhone suffers from the mistral, a cold and violent wind from N.N.W.; but the other valleys are sheltered by the mountains, and produce the oleander, pomegranate, olive, jujube, fig, and other southern trees and shrubs. The mean annual temperature is 55° F. at Orange and 58° at Avignon; the extremes of temperature are 5° and 105° F. Snow is rare. The south wind, which is frequent in summer, brings rain. The average annual rainfall is 29 in. in the hill region and 22 in the plains.
Wheat, potatoes, and oats are the most important crops; sugar-beet, sorghum, millet, ramie, early vegetables and fruits, among which may be mentioned the melons of Cavaillon, are also cultivated, and to these must be added the vine, olive and mulberry. The truffles of the regions of Apt and Carpentras. and the fragrant herbs of the Ventoux range, are renowned. Sheep are the principal live-stock, and mules are also numerous. Lignite and sulphur are mined; rich deposits of gypsum, fire-clay, ochre, &c, are worked. Montmirail has mineral springs of some repute. The industrial establishments include silk mills, silk-spinning factories, oil mills, flour mills, paper mills, wool-spinning factories, confectionery establishments, manufactories of pottery, earthenware, bricks, mosaics, tinned provisions, chemicals, candles, soap and hats, breweries, puddling works, iron and copper foundries, cabinet workshops, blast furnaces, sawmills, edge-tool workshops and nursery gardens. Coarse cloth, carpets, blankets, and ready-made clothes are also produced. The department is served by the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranee railway, and the Rhone is navigable for 40 m. within it. It is divided into 4 arrondissements (Avignon, Apt, Carpentras and Orange), 22 cantons and 150 communes. Avignon, the capital, is the seat of an arch-bishop. The department belongs to the region of the XV. army corps and to the academie (educational circumscription) of Aix, and has its appeal court at Nimes.
Avignon, Apt, Carpentras, Cavaillon, Orange and Vaison, the most noteworthy towns, are treated separately, and the interesting abbey of Senanque, of Romanesque architecture. Other places of interest are Gordes, with a town hall of Renaissance architecture; Pernes, which has a church of the 11th century and medieval fortifications; La Tour d’Aigues, with fine ruins of the Renaissance chateau of the barons of Central Bonnieux, near which there is a bridge of the 2nd or 3rd century over the Calavon; Venasque, of Gallo-Roman or even earlier origin, with a baptistery of the 8th or 9th century; and Le Thor, with a fine church in the Provencal Romanesque style.
“Montreux,” as well as Chateaux d’Oex, in the upper Sarine valley. Lausanne (q.v.) is the political capital of the canton. Next in point of population comes the “agglomeration” known as Montreux (q.v.), with 14,144, and Vevey (q.v.), with 11,781. Other important villages or small towns are Yverdon (7985 inhab.), Ste Croix (5905 inhab.), Payerne (5224 inhab.), Nyon (4882 inhab.), Morges (4421 inhab.), Aigle (3897 inhab.), and Chateau d’Oex (3025 inhab.). In educational matters the canton holds a high place. The academy of Lausanne dates from 1537, and was raised to the rank of a university in 1890; and there are a very large number of schools and educational establishments at Morges, Lausanne, Vevey, and elsewhere. Pestalozzi’s celebrated institution flourished at Yverdon from 1806 to 1825. Among the remarkable historical spots in the canton are Avenches (the chief Roman settlement in Helvetia), Grandson (q.v.) (scene of the famous battle in 1476 against Charles the Bold), and the castle of Chillon (where Bonivard, the prior of St Victor at Geneva, was imprisoned from 1530 to 1536 for defending the freedom of Geneva against the duke of Savoy).
The canton is divided into 19 administrative districts, which com- prise 388 communes. The cantonal constitution dates from 1885. The government consists of a Grand Conseil, or great council (one member to every 300 electors or fraction over 150), for legislative and a conseil d’etat, or council of state, of seven members (chosen by the Grand Conseil) for executive purposes. In both cases the term of office is four years. Six thousand citizens can compel consideration of any project by the legislature (“initiative,” first in 1845), and the referendum exists in its “facultative” form, if demanded by 6000 citizens, and also in case of expenditure (not included in the budget) of over half a million francs. The two members of the Federal Ständerath are named by the Grand Conseil, while the fourteen members of the Federal Nationalrath are chosen by a popular vote. Capital punishment was abolished in 1874.
The early history of the main part of the territories comprised in the present canton is identical with that of south-west Switzerland generally. The Romans conquered (58 B.C.) the Celtic Helvetii and so thoroughly colonized the land that it has remained a Romance-speaking district, despite conquests by the Burgundians (5th century) and Franks (532) and the incursions of the Saracens (10th century). It formed part of the empire of Charlemagne, and of the kingdom of Transjurane Burgundy (888–1032), the memory of “good queen Bertha,” wife of King Rudolph II., being still held in high honour. After the extinction of the house of Zahringen (1218) the counts of Savoy gradually won the larger part of it, especially in the days of Peter II., “le petit Charlemagne” (d. 1268). The bishop of Lausanne (to which place the see had probably been transferred from Aventicum by Marius the Chronicler at the end of the 6th century), however, still maintained the temporal power given to him by the king of Burgundy, and in, 1125 had become a prince of the empire. (We must be careful to distinguish between the present canton of Vaud and the old medieval Pays de Vaud: the districts forming the present canton very nearly correspond to the Pays Romand.) Late in the 15th century Bern began to acquire lands to the south from the dukes of Savoy, and it was out of those conquests that the canton was formed in 1798. In 1475 she seized Aigle and (in concert with Fribourg) fichallens and Grandson as well as Orbe (the latter held of the county of Burgundy). Vaud had been occupied by Bern for a time (1475–1476), but the final conquest did not take place till 1536, when both Savoyard Vaud and the bishopric of Lausanne (including Lausanne and Avenches) were overrun and annexed by Bern (formally ceded in 1564), who added to them (1555) Chateau d’Oex, as her share of the domains of the debt-laden count of the Gruyere in the division of the spoil she made with Fribourg. Bern in 1526 sent Guillaume Farel, a, preacher from Dauphine, to carry out the Reformation at Aigle, and after 1536 the new religion was imposed by force of arms and the bishop's residence moved to Fribourg (permanently from 1663). Thus the whole land became Protestant, save the -district of Echallens. Vaud was ruled very harshly by bailiffs from Bern. In 1588 a plot of some nobles to hand it over to Savoy was crushed, and in 1723 the enthusiastic idealist Davel lost his life in an attempt to raise it to the rank of a canton. Political feeling was therefore much excited by the outbreak of the French Revolution, and a Vaudois, F. C. de la Harpe, an exile and a patriot, persuaded the Directory in Paris to inarch on Vaud in virtue of alleged rights conferred by a treaty of 1565. The French troops were received enthusiastically, and the “Lemanic republic” was proclaimed (January 1798), succeeded by the short-lived Rhodanic republic, till in March 1798 the canton of Leman was formed as a district of the Helvetic republic. This corresponded precisely with the present canton minus Avenches and Payerne, which were given to the canton of Vaud (set up in 1803). The new canton was thus made up of the Bernese conquests of 1475, 1475–76, 1536 and 1555. The constitutions of 1803 and 1814 favoured the towns and wealthy men, so that an agitation went on for a radical change, which was effected in the constitution of 1831. Originally acting as a mediator, Vaud finally joined the anti-Jesuit movement (especially after the radicals came into power in 1845), opposed the Sonderbund, and accepted the new federal constitution of 1848, of which Druey of Vaud was one of the two drafters. From 1839 to 1846 the canton was distracted by religious struggles, owing to the attempt of the radicals to turn the church into a simple department of state, a struggle which ended in the splitting off (1847) of the “free church.” The cantonal feeling in Vaud is very strong, and was the main cause of the failure of the project of revising the federal constitution in 1872, though that of 1874 was accepted. In 1879 Vaud was one of the three cahtbris which voted (though in vain) against a grant in aid of the St Gotthard railway. In 1882 the radicals obtained a great majority, and in 1885 the constitution of 1861 was revised.
Authorities.—C. Burnier, La Vie vaudoise et la révolution (Lausanne, 1962); E. Busset and E. de la Harpe, Aux Ormonts (2nd ed., Lausanne, 1906); J. Cart, Histoire de la liberté des cultes dans le canton de Vaud (Lausanne, 1890); A. Ceresole, Légendes des Alpes vaudoises (Lausanne, 1885); E. de la Harpe, Guide du Jura vaudois (Neuchâtel, 1903); H. Dübi, Climbers' Guide for the Bernese Oberland, vol. iii, (including the Alpes Vaudoises) (London, 1907); E. Dunant, Guide illustré du musée d’Avenches (Lausanne, 1900); F. Forel, Chartes communales du pays de Vaud, 1214—1527 (Lausanne, 1872); P. Maillefer, Histoire du canton de Vaud (Lausanne, 1903); Memoires et documents (published by the Soc. d’Histoire de la Suisse Romande) (Lausanne, from 1838); A. de Montet, T. Rittener and A. Bonnard, Chez nos aïeux (Lausanne, 1902); A. Pfleghart,, Die schweizeriscke Uhrenindustrie (Leipzig, 1908); J. R. Rahn, Geschichte des Schlosses Chilion (2 parts, Zurich, 1888–89); E. Rambert, Bex et ses environs (Lausanne, 1871); Alexandre Vinet (2nd ed., Lausanne, 1875), and Ascensions et flâneries (Alpes vaudoises) (new ed., Lausanne, 1888); Meredith Read, Historic Studies in Vaud, Berne and Savoy (2 vols., London, 1897); A. Vautier, La Patrie vaudoise (Lausanne, 1903); L. Vulliemin, Le Canton de Vaud (3rd ed., Lausanne, 1885); A. Wagnon, Autour des Plans (Bex, 1890). See Lausanne. (W. A. B. C.)