Swiss friendship treaty

What was going on in Switzerland in 1864?

The tremendous transformation that brought about the borderline conditions in Switzerland from 1861-1871 experienced the formation of the Italian Kingdom and the German Empire came as a shock to many Swiss politicians of the time. Because the centuries-old foreign policy task of keeping the country balanced between a western and an eastern great power, France and Austria, suddenly disappeared before the infinitely more complicated and dangerous new task of maintaining Switzerland in the ring of four great powers in the future . One of our statesmen, who was deeply shocked and preoccupied by this new situation, was Federal Councilor Jakob Dubs, as is well known. He was convinced that Switzerland was faced with a very radical decision: either it limited itself forever to a small-state existence or it made the decision to intervene in the newly forming national territories and push through its own expansion. In 1863 Dubs drafted such a plan under the title: The future of Switzerland (Zurich Central Bibl. Z113 3, No. 7). In it he pondered the two possibilities with completely unequal inclinations. The one way to resign oneself, following the example of ancient Greece, as a state that behaves only defensively on the outside and devotes its powers inward to intellectual education, appeared to him poor. The other way, on the other hand, of taking Rome as an example and striving to become a major European power, filled him with the boldest hope: „All of this is possible.“ The most important concern of Swiss politics was to advance to the Mediterranean. In his opinion, „two important stretches of land“ were suitable for this, on the one hand Savoy – „not the small Geneva area, but the whole country“ with Nice as the port, on the other hand Welsch-Tirol and Venice as the „key to the Orient“. Both areas appeared to him to be the controversy of the great powers, Savoy disputed by Italy and France, Venice by Italy and Austria, and therefore best in the hands of a „third power that can hold it“ – namely Switzerland! „This would in fact have a great power position and would be the medium between the three larger countries France, Austria and Italy, keeping these powers physically apart and unifying them spiritually.“ As he wrote, it was in Europe’s special interest that this Swiss land and sea power was a republic, so it was not bound to any dynastic ambition, but to a neutral state. For their own strength, a Mediterranean port like Nice would offer „the possibility of closer ties with North America“ ​​- the sister republic – „with which a closer alliance could be initiated“. These imaginative trains of thought, hatched over the map of Central Europe, are followed by comments on how the territorial acquisitions should be implemented. Venice in the south was not yet connected to the Italian Empire and Germany was practically only present within the framework of the Customs Union – so it was important to proceed at the earliest opportunity in view of the approaching European „confusion“, a likely battle among the great powers. And as idiosyncratic as Dubs had drafted his project, he also tried to take a first step towards becoming a major Swiss power.

Bundesverfassung 1848


It is considered to be one of the most important historical buildings in the country and is of national importance in the Swiss inventory of cultural assets. It consists of three interconnected buildings in the southwest of Bern’s old town. The focus is the parliament building on Bundesplatz. This is where the National Council and the Council of States, the two chambers of the Federal Assembly, meet. The oldest part of the Bundeshaus is the Bundeshaus West, which was built from 1852 to 1857 (then called the “Federal City Hall”) and from 1884 to 1892 the Bundeshaus Ost was built due to a lack of space. Also under Auer’s direction, the parliament building, the middle part, was built between 1894 and 1902.

Who were the Swiss signatories?

Federal President Jacob Dubs

was born as the son of the butcher, innkeeper and postman of the same name in Affoltern am Albis, Canton Zurich on July 26, 1822. After studying as a lawyer in Bern and Heidelberg, Jakob was promoted to his political career by Alfred Escher at an early age of 25 and was elected to the Cantonal Council of Zurich in 1847. Dub’s career was as a Swiss politician, cantonal councilor and government councilor in the KT Zurich, journalist, judge and public prosecutor, national councilor as well as council of states, then to the federal council and he was elected as federal president on January 1, 1864. His term of office began in 1861 and ended in 1872. During this period he headed the Political Department (Foreign Ministry), Justice and Police Department, Postal Department and the Department of the Interior. In the early years of the Federal President, Dubs placed the emphasis on foreign policy (trade agreements with neighboring countries, the question of the fleet). In 1865 he suggested the revision of the federal constitution on federalist. Base on. From 1866 to 1872 he was president of the „Aid Association for Swiss Armed Forces and Their Families“, which later became the Swiss Red Cross. Jakob Dubs was married to Franziska Kämpfer (1825-1850). After her death in 1856 he married the daughter of a silk manufacturer from Stäfa Paulina Heitz (1825-1895) as the second woman. Jakob Dubs died on January 13, 1879 in Lausanne.

Today there is a monument to Jakob Dubs, at the roundabout on Untere Bahnhofstrasse, near the level crossing, in Affoltern am Albis.

Jacob Dub’s Achievements:

  • November 1863 Signing of the State Treaty between Switzerland and the Grand Duchy of Baden, concerning the mutual settlement relationships.
  • 1864, elected for the first time as Federal President and on August 1, 1864, signing of the friendship treaty with the royal Hawaii
  • 1865 Jakob Dubs suggests the revision of the federal constitution.
  • In 1866, as head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police, he and Henri Dufour founded the „Aid Association for Swiss Army Men and Their Families“, from which the SRC emerged. Until 1872 he was its first president.
  • May 1870 sends the draft statutes of the Gotthard Railway Company to Alfred Escher
  • Active as a federal judge from 1875-1979
National Councilor Johann Heinrich Fierz

Born on September 12, 1813 in Meilen; died on June 11, 1877 in Fluntern, today Zurich) was a Zurich textile industrialist, national councilor, envoy of the Swiss Federal Council at the opening of the Suez Canal and from 1872 president of the joint stock building association he founded in Zurich.

The Aktienbauverein built a workers‘ housing estate in what is now Zurich’s industrial quarter, which is to be repopulated. This so-called “Fierzquartier” was already reported on at the Swiss National Exhibition in Geneva in 1895. Built between 1873 and 1880, it is the oldest social housing estate in the city of Zurich. The houses that are still standing today form a protected site. According to the motto of saving but beautifully built, the creation of healthy and cheap houses with lots of light, sun, air and a small garden for self-sufficiency was the model of this exemplary housing estate.

Between 1864 and 1867 Gottfried Semper built an office and warehouse for Fierz at Zürichbergstrasse 2 and 8. In the possession of the Canton of Zurich since 1910, the building was extensively restored between 1988 and 2003 by the Zurich architect Willi Egli. On July 19, 1864, on the recommendation of the Swiss Foreign Minister Johann Konrad Kern from Paris, the National Councilor Johann Heinrich Fierz introduced Sir John Bowring, who was just staying in Zurich, to the Federal Council. The friendship treaty between Switzerland and the Hawaiian kingdom was concluded within two days.


Swiss minister in Paris JOHANN KONRAD KERN

Johann Konrad Kern was born on June 11th, 1808 in Berlingen and died on April 14th, 1888 in Zurich, ref., Von Berlingen. He was an honorary citizen from 1852 of Frauenfeld and from 1857 of La Chaux-de-Fonds. He was the son of Christian, who was a farmer and wine merchant. He married Aline Kern-Freyenmuth in 1834, who gave him great support in his political projects. Johann attended the Latin school in Diessenhofen, Carolinum in Zurich. In 1826 he studied theology in Basel, 1827-30 law in Basel, Berlin and Heidelberg; 1830 Dr. iur. in Heidelberg. 1831 opening of his private law practice in Berlingen, 1834 in Frauenfeld. By marrying the wealthy Aline Freyenmuth and having a happy hand in her own business affairs, Johann Kern gained financial independence so that he could devote himself almost entirely to political life. K. began his career as a Thurgau Cantonal Councilor (1832-53), where he was President nine times. From 1832-52 he sat on the Education Council (1835-52 President). In 1853 he was the main initiator and co-founder of thurg. Canton school. As chief judge and chairman of the cantonal judicial commission, the so-called triumvirate, K., together with Johann Baptist von Streng and Johann Melchior Gräflein, almost completely dominated the political scene in Thurgau from 1837-50. 1849-53 he officiated as thurg. Government Council. 1850-58 he founded and presided over the Thurgauisch Hypothekenbank. 1837-40 and 1850-53 he was President of the Thurgau Non-Profit Society. In addition to his political ascent in the cantonal bodies, K. continued his career at the national level: 1833-38, 1840-42, 1845-48 he represented his canton in the federal diets. In this function he took a decisive stand in 1838 against the expulsion of the future emperor Napoleon III, which was demanded by France. on. From then on, K. played a central role alongside Jonas Furrer as the leader of the liberal majority in the Diet. In 1847 he was a member of the so-called Siebnerkommission, which dealt with the solution of the Sonderbund conflict. As the reporter of this comm. On November 4, 1847, he applied for armed action against the Sonderbund. K. made extraordinary contributions as an editor in drafting the Federal Constitution of 1848. In 1848 K. was elected to the National Council, to which he belonged until 1854 (President 1850-51). From 1848-54 he also served as a federal judge (President 1848-50). From 1855 to 1857 he was a member of the Council of States. In 1854 J. Kern became the first president. of the federal school council (until 1857). He was concerned with the creation and expansion of the Federal Polytechnic. School (founded in 1855) earned. K. succeeded in recruiting excellent teachers and thus establishing the scientific importance of the later ETH. 1853-57 he was director and member of the administrative board of Switzerland. Northeast Railway Company. As early as 1848, K. took the first steps on the international stage in Vienna as the extraordinary envoy of Switzerland. On the occasion of the Neuchâtel trade from 1856-57, J. K. Kern demonstrated great negotiating skills as a special diplomatic representative for Switzerland in the mediation efforts in Paris. Subsequently, in 1857, the Federal Council appointed him Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister of Switzerland in Paris. K. headed this important diplomatic outpost from 1857 to 1883.

Is the most important Thurgau politician of the regeneration period. At the national level, he was one of the most outstanding members of the Federal Assembly of 1848, along with Alfred Escher. He refused to be elected to the Federal Council. K. is considered to be the founder of Switzerland. Professional diplomacy.


Bundesrat Friedrich Frey-Herosé

Friedrich Frey-Herosé was born as the son of the manufacturer Daniel Frey and Anna Elisabeth Sulzer on October 12, 1801 in Lindau on Lake Constance; died on September 22, 1873 in Bern. Frey-Herosé was a Swiss politician, officer and businessman. He was chief of staff in the Sonderbund War and during the Neuchâtel trade. After serving in the government of the canton of Aargau for eleven years, he was elected to the Federal Council in 1848 as a representative of the liberal center (today’s FDP), to which he belonged until 1866. He made a significant contribution to the abolition of internal tariffs and concluded trade agreements with numerous countries. Frey-Herosé was Federal President in 1854 and 1860 and Vice President in 1853 and 1859. In his private life, he showed a great deal of commitment to promoting education and culture.

Friedrich Frey graduated from the Aarau Cantonal School. He then studied chemistry at the Collège de France in Paris. In 1824 he married the daughter of a manufacturer, Henriette Herosé, whose last name he added to his own to avoid confusion; the couple had five children (he divorced in 1849 and married Emilie Langel in the same year). In 1821 he took over the management of his father’s chemical factory in der Telli, which had been founded eight years earlier. During a visit to Paris in 1830 he was actively involved in the July Revolution and took part in the street fights. In 1836/37 he built a cotton mill next to his chemical factory; Chocolat Frey, founded in 1887, took over this factory building in 1900 and used it for chocolate production until 1967.

In 1860 Frey-Herosé was Federal President for a second time and again Foreign Minister. He came under political pressure after a conviction, initially only expressed in confidential discussions, had become public. In the Savoy trade he took the position that Switzerland should not interfere in the question of the cession of Savoy to France, even if a territorial claim was legally justifiable.

From 1861 Frey-Herosé headed the trade and customs department again. As one of the first Swiss, he recognized the coming economic importance of Japan and made a trade agreement possible in 1864. A trade agreement concluded with France in the same year was of great economic importance. In accordance with his principle that the whole world is the market for Switzerland, Frey-Herosé also signed a trade agreement with the Kingdom of Hawaii. On December 6, 1866, he announced his resignation for the end of the year. He remained in the National Council until 1872.


Who were the ones on the Hawaiian side?

Sir John Bowring

Sir John Bowring was born the son of a cloth manufacturer in Exeter, Devonshire on October 17, 1792. John died on November 23, 1872 in Claremont near Exeter. He was a British statesman, traveler, writer and polyglot. Between 1824 and 1830 he was a collaborator and editor of the Westminster Review founded by Bentham. In 1832 he was elected to the House of Commons. As a member of a British-French commission appointed to examine mutual trade relations, in 1834/1835 he and Villiers drafted the well-compiled reports on commercial relations between France and Great-Britain (2 vols. London, 1835–1836) intended for Parliament. . New reports to the parliament arose through officially arranged trips to Belgium, Italy (especially to Tuscany), to Egypt and Syria as well as through Germany (the area of ​​the customs union) in the year 1840. In new elections he initially lost his seat in the lower house, but was Re-elected in 1841. Here he waged a five-year struggle against the grain tariffs.

In 1836 he was made an honorary member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

In 1849 Bowring became consul in Canton (China) and was knighted as Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath and made governor of Hong Kong because of the firmness with which he represented English commercial interests there. He was also made superintendent of British trade with China. In Bangkok he concluded the Siamese-British Friendship and Commerce between Her Majesty and the Kings of Siam with King Mongkut, which led to increased trade relations with Siam. He described this journey in The kingdom and the people of Siam (2 vols. London 1857).

The bombardment of Canton imposed by Bowring in October 1856 without a declaration of war as part of the Second Opium War (1856-1860) led to his recall. On the return trip to England he visited the Philippines, which he described in the book Visit to the Philippine Islands (London 1860), and eventually retired from civil service. Nevertheless, in 1861 he was commissioned to negotiate a trade agreement with Italy. Later, as diplomatic representative of the governments of Siam and Hawaii, he concluded a number of treaties between these countries and Belgium, Holland, Spain, Sweden, Italy and Switzerland.



The Federal Councilor Jakob Dubs wanted to lead Switzerland to another great power in the European expansion. During this time, Switzerland was very active in drawing up and signing trade agreements with various countries. Jacob Dubs had a great vision not only to deepen trade together with the USA, but Switzerland also actively supported the Union militarily in the war of secession. So that the young federal state could play on the international stage, the friendship treaty with the Hawaiian Kingdom was just right. Although this contract was not too important for Switzerland to trade with Hawaii, it could not be refused. Thus, this contract was concluded and signed within two days, without major negotiations.





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