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As Switzerland was from rogue state to model country

"is Never going to be the Switzerland to do something, and consequent run," wrote an envoy of the Grand Duchy of Baden, in 1829, to his government. A in the Austrian service standing Snitch named it in 1843, the "cloaca magna of Europe".

sent, But only a few years later, foreign diplomats, other reports home. They praised peace and punctuality of the administration and the perfection of the transport company. "You can certainly say that the small country of Switzerland is one of the largest industrial countries of the world," said a Diplomat in 1864.

Within a very short time from a "rogue state" to the model country, from a developing country to an industrial state: How was this possible? Answers to this question, Joseph Young, former chief historian of Credit Suisse and a publicist in his new book, "The laboratory of progress".

The prerequisites for Switzerland were very bad. In the first half of the 19th century. Century, they had lost in key areas of the port. While in the UK, Germany and France, for example, thousands of railway kilometers were built, there was in 1848, in Switzerland only a single track of 23 kilometers in length: the "Spanish bread train" from Zurich to Baden.

The reason for the backwardness of the Young in the political architecture. Until 1848 the Confederation of States was a powder keg. In 1832, set fire to small manufacturers and home-workers in type-a mechanical spinning and weaving in, 1833, it came to the violent division of the Canton of Basel, in 1840, shot each other, shot the upper and lower Valais. In 1847, fought in the sonderbund war, the liberal cantons against the Catholic-conservative country cantons.

Constitution unleashed a tremendous momentum

In some rural areas, prevailed in bitter poverty. Foreign countries sent aid in the development of the country, but the Swiss could not agree on the distribution. The municipality of Flawil had to wait "more than twenty years, until the relief arrived," says Young.

Switzerland was a country of emigration. Young the reasons, describes, tells of the Deported, the child slave market in Friedrichshafen, or the Grisons sugar bakers. He describes the fates of the numerous emigrants who came to wealth and glory, such as, for example, the Thurgauer Ulrico Hoepli as a publisher in Milan and Alfonsina Storni as a poet in Argentina.

The turn of the new Federal Constitution of 1848 brings. It is characterized by the liberal spirit of the victors of the sonderbund war. But sensitive areas, such as education, Religion and the culture it left in the cantonal competence. The economic policy changes – including the standardisation of Weights and measures, the abolition of internal customs duties, introduction of the Swiss franc, freedom of trade and industry and the guarantee of Ownership – unleashed an enormous economic momentum and brought at the same time an unexpected political stability. "The Federal Constitution of 1848 was an ingenious work", is the Young convinced. Made in Switzerland to the experimental field of business and science – to the "laboratory of progress".

Crucial to the recovery was the railroad. With the railway law of 1852, the Parliament transferred the competence for the licensing of railway projects in the cantons and left the construction and operation of the private sector. Unlike in Germany or France, the route in the beginning, was determined according to economic criteria, which sparked a tremendous momentum. Within a few decades, Switzerland has built up the densest railway network in the world. The felt as the "magic formula" for the then-success

So was the railway to the locomotive of progress. The modernisation thrust, you triggered, captured other areas, especially tourism, banking and insurance. "The tracks fade Andean regions and cultures. Railway stations, bridges, viaducts, ramps, and Tunnels, the piers and Columns, on which the new Switzerland", was born, so Young.

The 48 and the magic formula

applies The strong emphasis on the personalities of the historian Guild, not just as a modern. But it took a "heads and hands, which took the new Switzerland in the attack," insists Young. Using numerous examples, he told how the pioneers and entrepreneurs, the Faith in progress inspired a "Generation of '48", in horrendem pace of modern Switzerland created.

What today would be frowned upon, referred to Young as a "magic formula in the young state": the Association of politics, economy and science. Leaders founded railway companies, factories and banks. "The hotel of kings, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, Merchants and large capitalists set the tone and pulled the strings openly in the foreground," writes Young.

embodiment of this type, the railway entrepreneur Alfred Escher was. In different political and economic function, he wrote in 1853, is equal to four times the contract for the construction and operation of the railway line from Zurich to Dietikon.

The amazing achievements of the second half of the 19th century. Century, until today. With his fascinating stories of this wild green is currently Young makes history tangible.

Created: 08.12.2019, 13:24 PM

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