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Alfred Escher | Letters

Volume 3
Alfred Eschers Briefwechsel 1843–1848. Jesuiten, Freischaren, Sonderbund, Bundesrevision

Published by Joseph Jung on behalf of the Alfred Escher Foundation, edited and annotated by Björn Koch

Publisher: NZZ Libro
Date: 05.2011
Size: 288 pages
ISBN: 978-3-03823-703-7

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Alfred Escher's election to Zurich City Council in the summer of 1844 marked the start of one of the most impressive political careers in 19th century Switzerland. Escher entered the political arena during a stormy period. Following the dissolution of the monasteries in Canton Aargau, the appointment of the Jesuits to teach in Lucerne, "Freischarenzüge" (partisan offensives) and the formation of the "Sonderbund" alliance, in 1847 the irreconcilable differences between Switzerland's opposing political camps ultimately escalated into civil war. After their victory over conservative forces, the radical-liberals revised the constitution in 1848, laying the foundations for modern Switzerland. As the head of the anti-Jesuit movement he simultaneously acquired a national reputation and began to build up a network of similarly minded people, forging joint plans and coordinating political action. The 86 original letters printed in this volume, complete with detailed commentary and explanatory secondary texts, give us a ringside seat at this tumultuous period in Swiss history, opening up new perspectives and delivering some surprising insights.