Act of Mediation

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Act of Mediation (1806)
4273420Act of Mediation1806

General Dispositions[edit]

Art. 1. The 19 cantons of Switzerland, viz. Appenzell, Argovia, Basle, Berne, Fribourg, Glaris, Grisons, Lucerne, St. Gall, Schaffhausen, Schwitz, Soleure, Tessen, Thurgovia, Underweld, Uri, Vaud, Zug, and Zurich, are to be federally united, according to the principles of their respective constitutions. They reciprocally guarantee those constitutions, as well as their territories, liberty, and independence, either with a reference to foreign powers, or the usurpation of any particular canton, or the conduct of factions.

2. The contingencies, either in troops or money, which will be necessary for the due execution of those guarantees, are to be furnished by the respective cantons in the following proportions.

[Here follows the quota, &c. which it is proposed each canton shall furnish.]

3. There shall exist no longer in Switzerland provincial subjects, nor any species of privilege, either local, hereditary, personal or appertaining to families.

4. Every Swiss citizen shall have the liberty of removing his residence from one canton to another, and freely to exercise his industry in any. It is permitted him to acquire political right in whatever canton he establishes himself. But he shall not enjoy, at the same time, political rights in more than one canton.

5. The ancient laws of commerce, external or internal, are abolished. The free exchange and circulation of commodities, cattle, merchandizers, &c. are guaranteed. All exclusive commercial privileges are abolished in the interior of Switzerland. The customs, &c. payable on the frontiers, shall go to the treasury of the adjoining canton; but the rates and proportions of these shall be submitted for the approbation of the diet.

6. Each canton shall reserve to itself the tolls destined for the repairs of the roads, keeping in order the banks of the rivers, bridges, &c. but the rates of these shall, as in the foregoing instance, be left to the discretion of the diet.

7. The monies coined in Switzerland shall be of uniform description, which is also to be determined by the diet.

8. No canton shall afford asylum to a criminal legally convicted, nor even to one legally accused.

9. The number of stipendiary troops to be supported in any one canton shall not exceed two hundred.

10. All partial alliances of one canton with another, or with any foreign power, is interdicted.

11. The government, or the legislative body of any canton which shall violate a decree of the diet, is liable to be cited as rebellious, before a tribunal composed of the presidents of the criminal tribunals of all the other cantons.

12. The cantons shall possess all those powers which are not expressly delegated to the federal authority.

Of the Directorial Canton[edit]

13. The diet is to assembly by rotation, and at annual periods, at Fribourg, Berne, Soleure, Basle, Zurich, and Lucerne.

14. The cantons, of which the above cities are the chief places, shall, in succession, become the directorial canton: the year for those purposes commences on the first of January.

15. The directorial canton shall provide suitable residence, and a guard of honour for the deputies; it also supplies the expences of the session.

16. The avoyer or burgomaster of the directorial canton, shall unite to those titles that of Lindamman of Switzerland. He shall have custody of the seal of the Helvetic republic. He cannot absent himself from the city. The supreme council of his canton shall accord to him an appropriate establishment, and shall defray the extraordinary expence of his official functions.

17. The foreign ministers are to present to the Landamman their letters of credence, or of recall; and must apply to him on all matters of negociation. He has also in charge the other diplomatic concerns.

18. At the opening of the diet, he is to communicate to them the necessary information respecting the domestic and foreign concerns of the republic.

19. No canton shall be allowed to call out or put in motion more than five hundred militia, until it shall have apprized the landamman of Switzerland of such an intention.

20. In case of a revolt in the interior of any canton, or on any other pressing occasion, the troops of one canton may march into another canton: but this shall take place only on the requisition of the supreme or petty council of the canton which wants such assistance; and after taking the advice of the petty council of the directorial canton, the diet, however, is to be convoked after the cessation of hostilities, or if the danger continues.

21. If, during the vacations of the diet, any disagreement should arise between any two or more cantons, they are to address themselves to the landamman of Switzerland, who, according to circumstances, shall appoint conciliatory arbiters, or refer the case to the consideration of the diet on its next sitting.

22. He is to make known to the cantons every instance in which he deems their conduct likely to interrupt the tranquility of Switzerland, and every thing which takes place of an irregular nature, and militating against either the federal act, or their particular constitution. He may, in some cases, convoke the supreme council, or that of the Landsgemeindes, in those places where the supreme authority is immediately exercised by the people.

23. The landamman of Switzerland sends, in cases of need, inspectors for the purpose of examining the state of the roads, rivers, &c. Where necessity requires it, he can direct the immediate execution of public works, and make the necessary arrangements with respect to the expences thereof, &c.

24. His signature attaches a national credit and character to those acts to which it is affixed.

Of the Diet[edit]

23. Each canton sends a deputy to the diet, who may be accompanied by one or two substitutes, who shall be eligible to act as such in case of the absence or undisposition of the principal.

26. The deputies to the diet are to have instructions and limited powers; they cannot vote contrary to their instructions.

27. The landamman of Switzerland is, ex officio, deputy of the directorial canton.

28. The 19 deputies, who compose of the diet, shall have 25 votes in the deliberations, in manner as follows: The deputies of those cantons, of which the population is more than 100,000 inhabitants, viz. those of Berne, Zurich, Vaud, St. Gall, Argovie, and the Grisons, shall have each two votes. The deputies of those cantons of which the population is less than 100,000 souls, namely, those of Tessen, Lucerne, Thurgovie, Fribourg, Appenzell, Soleure, Basle, Schwitz, Glaris, Schaffhausen, Underwald, Zug, and Uri, shall have but one vote each.

29. The diet, at which the landamman of Switzerland presides, is to assembly the first Monday in June; its session shall not exceed the term of one month.

30. There shall be extraordinary diets on the following occasions: 1. On the demand of a neighbouring power, or of one of the cantons, supported by the supreme council of the directorial canton, which shall be assembled on such occasion, if not sitting at the time. 2ndly. On the determination of the supreme council, or of the lands-gemeindes of five cantons, who can, on such an occasion, demand the proceeding, though the directional canton may not concur in it. 3dly. When they shall be convoked by the landamman of Switzerland.

31. The declaration of war, and the treaties of peace or of alliance, emanate from the diet; but the concurrence of three-fourths of the cantons, on such occasions, is necessary.

32. It shall alone have the power of concluding treaties of commerce, &c. for the foreign service. It authorizes the cantons in case it shall deem expedient, to treat particularly in other concerns with a foreign power.

33. The diet has the direction of the contingent of the troops to be furnished by each canton, according to Art. 2. It appoints the commanding officer, and in short, adopts all the measures necessary for the security of Switzerland, and for the execution of the other dispositions of the first article; this power also comprises internal concerns.

34. It nominates and dispatches ambassadors extraordinary.

35. It decides finally upon all matters in dispute between the cantons. For this purpose it forms itself into a syndicat, but in such case each deputy has but one voice—neither are previous instructions necessary on this occasion.

36. The verbal process of the diet is to be entered into two registers, of which one remains with the directorial canton, and the other with the State Seal, which at the end of December is to be removed to the chief place in the directorial canton.

37. A Chancellor, and a Greffier, appointed by the diet for two years, and paid by the directorial canton (at the rate the diet shall think proper) shall always accompany the State Seal and the register.

38. The constitution of each canton, engrossed on parchment, and sealed with the seal of the canton, shall be deposited in the archives of the diet.

39. The present federal act, as well as those of the particular constitutions of the 19 cantons, shall abrogate and annul all anterior dispositions whatever that may be contrary to it; and no law relative to the internal affairs of the cantons, or to the relations between them, can be found on the ancient political state of Switzerland.

The repose of Switzerland, the success of the new institutions now forming, require that the necessary operations for carrying them into effect, and to transmit to the new Magistrates, the care of the public happiness and welfare, be secured from the influence of the passions, and executed with moderation, impartiality, and wisdom.

We cannot hope for a prosperous issue unless the commissioners, named by the act of mediation, be animated by the spirit which dictated it. By these considerations, we in our said quality, and with the reservations before expressed, do constitute as follows.

1. For the year 1803, Fribourg to be the directorial canton.

2. The citizen Louis d’Affry to be landamman of Switzerland for the said year, and invest him with the extraordinary powers until the assembling of the diet.

3. The original act of mediation shall be transmitted to the landamman, in order to be deposited in the archives of the directorial canton.

4. In each canton a commission of seven members, and of which one shall be appointed by us, and six chosen by the ten deputies selected to confer with us, is charged to put into activity the constitution, and to administer it provisionally.

5. These commissions are composed as follows: [Then follow the names of persons appointed to fill the commissions of the different cantons.]

6. On the 10th of March next, the central government shall dissolve itself, after having transmitted its papers and archives to the landamman of Switzerland.

7. Each commission shall assemble on the 10th of March, at the chief place of the canton, and notify its assembling immediately to the prefect.

8. Within 24 hours after that notification, the prefect shall transmit to the commission, the papers of administration.

9. In those cases which may require instructions, or special authorities, the commissions shall address themselves to the landamman of Switzerland.

10. On the 15th of April the commission shall be put into a state of activity, in order that on the 1st of June each canton may elect its deputies to the diet, and prepare their instructions, and on the first Monday in July, in the present year, the diet shall assemble.

11. The affairs pending before the Supreme Tribunal shall be carried to the Tribunal of Appeal of the canton in which the parties reside. The Supreme Tribunal shall cease all its functions on the 10th of March.

12. The Helvetic troops, at present in the pay of Switzerland, who shall not be employed by the 1st of May by the cantons, shall be taken into the service of France.

13. No prosecution shall be carried on for crimes relating to the revolution, committed, or pretended to be committed, either by individuals, or in the exercise of any public function.

The dissolution of the central government, and the reinstatement of the sovereignty in the cantons, requires that there should be a provision made for the discharge of the Helvetic debt, and of the disposal of the property declared national. We, in our said quality, and with the reserve before expressed, appoint as follows

Art. 1. The property heretofore belonging to the convents shall be restored to them, not only the property situated in the same canton but also in any other.

2. The administration of national property other than that heretofore belonging to Berne, in the cantons of Vaud and Argovia, is provisionally transmitted to the cantons to which it belonged. The documents respecting the claims of Berne, shall be provisionally transmitted to those commissioners appointed by the cantons of Berne, Vaud and Argovia.

3. In each canton burdened with debts anterior to the revolution, there shall be assigned funds for their funding or discharge, out of what remains of the property heretofore belonging to the canton.

4. There shall be re-constituted for each city a revenue proportioned to its municipal expenses.

5. The national debt shall be liquidated, to which purpose all claim shall be appropriated. If the debt exceeds the amount of the credit in a proportion according to what remains of their ci-devant immoveable property, after the discharge of the cantonal debts anterior to the revolution, and the recomposition of the patrimony of the cities.

6. The moveable and immoveable property which shall remain after the formation of the communal funds, the discharge of the cantonal and national debts, shall return to the possession of those cantons to which it had belonged. The property which shall remain in the cantons of Vaud and Argovia shall be belong to them. What may remain of the claims of Berne, shall be equally distributed amongst the cantons of Berne, Vaud, and Argovia.

7. A commission composed of five members, namely, the citizens Stapfer, Minister of the Republic, Kuster, Ex-Minister of the finances, Raemy, ci-devant Chancellor of Fribourg, and at present member of the Administrative Chamber, Sutzer, of Winterthur, Helvetic deputy, Laurent, mayor of Lucerne, President of the Administrative Chamber, shall determine the extent of the wants of the municipalities, and of the funds necessary for re-constituting their revenues, shall liquidate the debts of the canton, and the national debt, shall assign to each debt the funds necessary to operate its discharge, and shall determine the property which shall return into the possession of each canton.

8. It shall publish the result of its labours with respect to the debts on the 10th of May, and with respect to the revenues of the cities and the patrimony of the cantons on the 10th of June; It shall send the result of each labour to the first landamman of Switzerland, and to each canton, for the purpose of being carried into execution.

9. The commission shall assemble at the chief place of the directorial canton, and shall remain there till the end of its labours. The present act, the result of long conferences between wise men and friends of virtue, appears to us to contain those dispositions which are most proper to ensure the peace and happiness of Switzerland. As soon as they shall be executed, the French troops shall be withdrawn.

We recognize Helvetia, constituted conformably to the present act, as an independent power.

We guarantee the federal constitution, and that of each canton, against the enemies of the tranquility of Helvetia, whomsoever they may be, and we promise to continue those relations of beneficence, which for so many ages have united the two nations.

Made and done at Paris, 19th February, 1803.

The Secretary of State.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs.
(Signed) C. M. TALLEYRAND.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

The present act has been transmitted by the senators commissioners undersigned, to the ten Swiss deputies undersigned, at Paris, 19th February, 1803.

(Signed) (Signed)

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1929.

This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

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