What especially not to say about Bonaparte and Switzerland

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According to a centuries-old tradition, the cannon thunders above Lausanne each year, on January 24, to commemorate Vaud Independence, the work of the Directory in 1798, and to celebrate April 14, 1803, the day of the creation of the canton of Vaud under of the Mediation Act given to the Confederates by the First Consul Bonaparte in Paris, February 19, 1803. The President of the French Republic, also President of the Italian Republic, thus put an end to three months of tedious meetings, a consulta, with around a hundred representatives of civil and political society from the Helvetic Republic, established five years earlier by the armies of the Revolution. His mediation had cut short the victorious march of the troops of the partisans of the Old Regime on those of the supporters of democracy in “Helvetic”. This is why the preamble to the Mediation Act “Made by the FIRST CONSUL of the French Republic, between the Parties which divide Switzerland” ¹ contains its share of historical truth.

The Pays de Vaud had formed between 1536 and 1798 a colonial expansion (subject country) of the Republic / Canton of Bern long maintained outside the defensive perimeter of Corpus Helveticus, name given to what is not yet Switzerland. The Mediation Act will govern the political life of the Confederates from February 1803 to December 1813. It confirmed the fundamental freedoms exported across Europe in the vans of the armies of the Directory, but above all re-established the cantonal states suppressed by the constitution of the Republic. Helvetic, Une et Indivisible, copied and pasted in 1798 from the French model. The brand new canton of Vaud saw, by this very fact in 1803, its destiny linked to that of 18 other cantons, independent from each other and equal in law within a Confederation, whose independence was, at its tour, guaranteed in that its policy did not conflict with the interests of France.

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