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LUCERNE (Ger. Luzern; Ital. Lucerne)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 97 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LUCERNE (Ger. Luzern; Ital. Lucerne), one of the cantons of central Switzerland. Its total area is 579.3 sq. m., of which 53o•2 sq. m. are classed as " productive " (forests covering 120.4 sq. m., and vineyards •o4 sq. m.). It contains no glaciers or eternal snows, its highest points being the Brienzer Rothhorn (7714 ft.) and Pilatus (6995 ft.), while the Rothstock summit (5453 ft.) and the Kaltbad inn, both on the Rigi, are included in the canton, the loftiest point of the Rigi range (the Kulm) being entirely in Schwyz. The shape of the canton is an irregular quadrilateral, due to the gradual acquisition of rural districts by the town, which is its historical centre. The northern portion, about 151 sq. m., of the Lake of Lucerne is in the canton. Its chief river is the Reuss, which flows through it for a short distance only receiving the Kleine Emme that flows down through the Entlebuch. In the northern part the Wigger, the Suhr and the Wynen streams flow through shallow valleys, separated by low hills. The canton is fairly well supplied with railways. The lakes of Sempach and Baldegg are wholly within the canton, which also takes in small portions of those of Hallwil and of Zug. In 1900 the population numbered 146,519, of which 143,337 were German-speaking, 2204 Italian-speaking and 747 French-speaking, while 134,020 were Romanists, 12,085 Protestants and 319 Jews. Its capital is Lucerne (q.v.); the other towns are Kriens (pop. 5951), Willisau (4131), Ruswil (3928), Littau (3699), Emmen (3162) and Escholzmatt (3127). The peasants are a fine race, and outside the chief centres for foreign visitors have retained much of their primitive simplicity of manners and many local costumes. In the Entlebuch particularly the men are of a robust type, and are much devoted to wrestling and other athletic exercises. That district is mainly pastoral and is famous for its butter and cheese. Elsewhere in the canton the pastoral industry (including swine-breeding) is more extended than agriculture, while chiefly in and around Lucerne there are a number of industrial establishments. The industrie des strangers is greatly developed in places frequented by foreign visitors. The population as a whole is Conservative in politics and devotedly Romanist in religion. But owing to the settlement of many non-Lucerne hotel-keepers and their servants in the town of Lucerne the capital is politically Radical. The canton ranks officially third in the Swiss confederation next after Zurich and Bern. It was formerly in the diocese or Constance, and is now in that of Basel. It contains 5 administrative districts and 107 communes. The existing cantonal 529 French-speaking persons) and Romanists (in 1900 there were 4933 Protestants and 299 Jews). The nucleus of the town was a Benedictine monastery, founded ab out 750 on the right bank of the Reuss by the abbey of Murbach in Alsace, of which it long remained a " cell." It is first mentioned in a charter of 84o under the name of " Luciaria," which is probably derived from that of the patron saint of the monastery, St Leger or Leodegar (in O. Ger. Leodegar or Lutgar)—the form " Lucerrun " is first found in 1252. Under the shadow of this monastery there grew up a small village. The germs of a municipal constitution appear in 1252, while the growing power of the Habsburgs in the neighbourhood weakened the ties that bound Lucerne to Murbach. In 1291 the Habsburgs finally purchased Lucerne from Murbach, an act that led a few weeks later to the foundation of the Swiss Confederation, of which Lucerne became the fourth member (the first town to be included) in 1332. But it did not get rid of all traces of Habsburg domination till after the glorious victory of Sempach (1386). That victory led also to the gradual acquisition of territory ruled by and from the town. At the time of the Reformation Lucerne slave to the old faith, of which ever since it has been the great stronghold in Switzerland. The papal nuncio resided here from 16o1 to 1873. In the 16th century, as elsewhere in Switzerland, the town government fell into the hands of an aristocratic oligarchy, whose power, though shaken by the great peasant revolt (1653) in the Entlebuch, lasted till 1798. Under the Helvetic republic (1798-1803) Lucerne was the seat of the central government, under the Act of Mediation (1803-1814) one of the six " Directorial " cantons and from 1815 to 1848 one of the three ruling cantons. The patrician government was swept away by the cantonal constitution of 1831. But in 1841 the Conservatives regained power, called in the Jesuits (1844) and so brought about the Sonderbund War (1847) in which they were defeated, the decisive battle taking place at Gisikon, not far from Lucerne. Since 1848 Lucerne has been in disfavour with the Radicals who control the federal government, and has not been chosen as the site of any great federal institution. The Radicals lost power in the canton in 1871, after which date the Conservatives became predominant in the canton, though in the town the Radicals were in the majority. See J. J. Blumer, Staats-und Rechtsgeschichte d. schweiz. Demokratien (3 vols., St Gall, 1850–1859) ; A. L. Gassmann, Das Volkslied im Luzerner Wiggerthal u. Hinterland (Basel, 1906) ; Geschichtsfreund (organ of the Historical Society of the Forest Cantons) from 1843. A. von Liebenau, Charakterbilder aus Luzern's Vergangenheit (2 vols., Lucerne, 1884–1891); T. von Liebenau, Das alte Luzern (Lucerne, 1881) and " Der luzernische Bauernkrieg vom 1653 " (3 articles in vols. xviii.-xx., 1893–1895, of the Jahrbuch f. Schweizerische Geschichte); Heimathkunde fur den Kanton Luzern (6 vols., Lucerne, 1867–1883) ; A. Liftoff, Sagen, Brauche, Legenden aus d. Funf Orlen (Lucerne, 1862); K. Pfyffer, Der Kanton Luzern (2 vols., 1E58–1859) and Geschichte d. Stadt u. Kanton Luzern (2 vols., new ed., 1861); A. P. von Segesser, Rechtsgeschichte d. Stadt u. Republik Luzern (4 vols., 1850–1858) and 45 Jahre (1841–1887) im Luzernischen Staatsdienst (Bern, 1887); J. Sowerby, The Forest Cantons of Switzerland (London, 1892). (W. A. B. C.)
End of Article: LUCERNE (Ger. Luzern; Ital. Lucerne)
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