Translation:Federal Treaty of 1815

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Bundesvertrag von 1815 , translated from German by Wikisource
This is a Wikisource translation of Bundesvertrag von 1815.
Pacte fédéral de 1815 (Suisse) , translated from French by Wikisource
This is a Wikisource translation of Pacte fédéral de 1815 (Suisse).
The Federal Treaty of 1815.

Federal Treaty between the XXII Cantons of Switzerland

In the Name of Almighty God.

Article 1[edit]

The XXII sovereign cantons of Switserland, namely: Zürich, Bern, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus, Zug, Fribourg, Solothurn, Basel, Schaffhausen, Appenzell of both Rhodes, St. Gallen, Graubünden, Aargau, Thurgau, Ticino, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel and Geneva, unite themselves by the present Treaty to assert their freedom, independence and security against all attacks from foreign powers, and to maintain internal order and tranquility. They mutually guarantee their constitutions as they have been established by the surpreme authority in every canton, in conformity with the principles of the Federal Treaty. They mutually guarantee their territory.

Article 2[edit]

To maintain this guarantee, and to preserve the neutrality of Switzerland, a contingent will be formed out of all the service-fit men from every canton, to the ratio of 2 men per 100 inhabitants. The troops will be provided by the cantons as follows:

Zürich . . . . 3858 men.  
Bern . . . . 4584   —
Lucerne . . . . 1734   —
Uri . . . . 236   —
Schwyz . . . . 602   —
Unterwalden . . . . 382   —
Glarus . . . . 482   —
Zug . . . . 250   —
Fribourg . . . . 1240   —
Solothurn . . . . 904   —
Basel . . . . 818   —
Schaffhausen . . . . 466   —
Appenzell . . . . 972   —
St. Gallen . . . . 2630   —
Graubünden . . . . 2000   —
Aargau . . . . 2410   —
Thurgau . . . . 1670   —
Ticino . . . . 1804   —
Vaud . . . . 2964   —
Valais . . . . 1280   —
Neuchâtel . . . . 1000   —
Geneva . . . . 600   —
Total 32,886 men.

This provisionally adopted scale will be reconsidered by the forthcoming orderly Tagsatzung and corrected according to the aforementioned principle.

Article 3[edit]

The monetary contributions to provide for war costs and other expenses of the Confederation will be paid by the cantons according to the following ratio (...).

This distribution of monetary contributions, too, will be reconsidered by the forthcoming orderly Tagsatzung, and in hindsight be corrected in consideration of the complaints by some cantons. A similar revision, just as for the military contingents, will take place every 20 years.

To finance the war costs, a common Swiss war treasury will be established, whose content should grow up to the amount of a double monetary contingent.

Article 4[edit]

In case of external or internal danger, every canton has the right to demand a loyal attitude from its Confederates. When troubles break out in one canton, the government in question may urge the help of the other cantons, but the Vorort should be notified immediately; in case of an enduring danger, the Tagsatzung will, at the request of the government in question, take additional measures.

In case of a sudden danger from outside, indeed the threatened canton may urge other cantons to help, but should also immediately inform the Vorort about it; that decides whether the Tagsatzung should convene, which is entitled to all dispositions to secure the Confederacy.

The canton(s) that asked for help have got the duty to reward whoever brings them this aid.

In case of an external threat, the costs will be covered by the Confederacy, in case of internal unrest these lie with the demanding cantons, unless the Tagsatzung will make a different provision because of exceptional circumstances.

Article 5[edit]

All claims and disputes between the cantons about matters that are not guaranteed by the Federal Treaty shall be submitted to confederate law. The manner and form of this legal procedure are set in the following way: each one of two quarrelling cantons chooses two arbiters from the magistrates of other cantons, or, in case they can agree, just one arbiter. If the dispute exists between more than two cantons, the specific number is chosen by each party. Once united, the arbiters shall try to settle the conflict amicably, on the road of mediation.
If they cannot achieve it, the arbiters will choose a super-arbiter out of the magistrates of a canton that is impartial in the matter, and out of which no arbiter has been appointed yet. If the arbiters cannot agree on the choice of the super-arbiter and one of the cantons complains about it, the super-arbiter will be appointed by the Tagsatzung, in which however the quarrelling cantons have no right to vote; the super-arbiter and arbiters will once again try to settle the dispute through mediation, or decide, in case of a handover from all sides, by compromis verdict; however, if neither occurs, they will agree on the dispute according to the laws. The verdict can not be appealed, and, if required, will be put into practice by the Tagsatzung. At the same time as the main issues, the costs, consisting of the payment of the arbiters and super-arbiter, will be decided. The arbiters and super-arbiters that have been chosen for the aforementioned purposes, shall be released from the oath to their canton by their governments during the dispute.
In all disputes that may arise between the cantons, they will refrain from any violent measures, let alone the use of weapons; they will exactly follow the path of law as stipulated in this article, and completely comform to the verdict.

Article 6[edit]

Cantons may not forge coalitions amongst themselves that are harmful to the Federal Treaty or the rights of the other cantons.

Article 7[edit]

After the recognition of the XXII cantons, the Confederation accepts the principle that there are no longer any subjected lands in Switzerland anymore; the enjoyment of political rights can never be the exclusive privilege of one class of citizens of any canton.

Article 8[edit]

The Tagsatzung manages the affairs of the Confederacy, which are conferred upon it by the sovereign cantons, according to the provisions of the Federal Treaty. It consists of the ambassadors of the XXII cantons, that vote in accordance with their instructions. Every canton has one vote, which is expressed by an ambassador. It convenes in the capital city of the respective Vorort, normally every year on the first Monday in July, abnormally when the Vorort calls it, or at the desire of five cantons. The Vorort's Mayor or Schultheiß in office chairs the convention.

The Tagsatzung declares war and makes peace; only it establishes treaties with foreign States; though for certain important questions the majority of three quarters of the cantons is required. In all other matters that are conferred upon the Tagsatzung by the present Confederacy, the absolute majority suffices. Commercial treaties with foreign States are concluded by the Tagsatzung. Individual cantons may conclude treaties with foreign States for military capitulations and treaties about economic and policing issues. However, such treaties may not be contrary to the Federal Treaty, nor to existing alliances, nor to the constitutional rights of the other cantons, and to this end, they shall be brought to the attention of the Tagsatzung.

Confederate envoys will be appointed and recalled by the Tagsatzung when their deputation is deemed necessary.

The Tagsatzung takes all essential measures for the external and internal security of the Confederacy. It determines the organisation of the contingents, decides on their mobilisation and use, appoints the general, the general staff and the federal colonels. It directs, in accordance with the cantonal governments, the supervision of the training and equipments of the military contigents.

Article 9[edit]

In unusual circumstances, and when it cannot be continuously convened, the Tagsatzung has the right to accord powers of attorney to the Vororte. To the errand of more important Confederate issues, it can also appoint additional Confederate representatives to the government of the Vorort upon which the management of the Confederation has been conferred. In both cases, a two-thirds majority of votes is required.

The Confederate representatives are elected by the cantons, which will rotate according to the following six classes:

The first Confederate representative will be provided alternately by the two leading cantons that are not currently presiding [Bern, Zürich, Lucerne].

The second Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden.
The third Glarus, Zug, Appenzell, Schaffhausen.
The fourth Fribourg, Basel, Solothurn, Valais.
The fifth Graubünden, St. Gallen, Aargau, Neuchâtel.
The sixth Vaud, Thurgau, Ticino, Geneva.

The Tagsatzung informs the Confederate representatives of the necessary instructions and determines the duration of their activities. In any case, the latter will cease once the Tagsatzung will reconvene. The Confederate representatives will be paid by the Federal treasury.

Article 10[edit]

When the Tagsatzung is not convened, the direction of Confederate issues is conferred upon a Vorort with the power it has exercised until the year 1798. The Vorort rotates every two years amongst the cantons of Zürich, Bern and Lucerne; this rotation has commenced on 1 January 1815. The Vorort is accorded a Confederate chancellery, which consists of a chancellor and a general secretary, who are chosen by the Tagsatzung.

Article 11[edit]

The free purchase of groceries, country products and trade commodities, and for these matters and for cattle the unhindered export and import from one canton to another, are guaranteed, except for the necessary police dispositions against usury and harmful exercise of the right of first refusal.

The police dispositions will be determined equally for the citizens of one's own canton and the inhabitants of other cantons.

The currently existing customs, road and bridge fees that have been approved by the Tagsatzung will remain in place. However, no new ones can be established, nor the existing ones raised, nor their extent increased if it was limited to a certain amount of years, without the Tagsatzung's approval.

The Abzugsrechte from canton to canton have been abolished.

Article 12[edit]

The continuous existence of convents and chapters and the conservation of their property, as far as the cantonal governments are concerned, are guaranteed. Their riches are subjected to tax and duties just like any other private property.

Article 13[edit]

The Helvetic national debt, which was determined to be three million one hundred and eighteen thousand three hundred and thirty-six francs on 1 November 1804, remains recognised.

Article 14[edit]

All Confederate concordates and treaties concluded since the year 1803, that do not conflict with the foundations of the current Federal Treaty, remain how they have been so far. The collection of decisions made by the Tagsatzung in the same period shall be put to revision to the Tagsatzung of 1816, and it shall determine which of these will be in force in the future.

Article 15[edit]

Both the present Federal Treaty and the cantonal constitutions will be conserved in the Confederate archive.


The XXII cantons constitute themselves as the Swiss Confederacy. They declare that they freely and unforcedly enter this confederation, remain true to it in fortune and misfortune as brothers and confederates, and especially that from now on they want to mutually fulfill the duties and obligations that arise from it, and with this, such an important act for the wellbeing of the common fatherland, after the mores of the fathers, maintain a holy community, so that this Federal Treaty is not just signed by the representatives of all the cantons and provided with new federal seals, but is also a festively confirmed dear oath to God the Almighty.