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VAUD (Ger. Waadt)

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 954 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VAUD (Ger. Waadt), one of the cantons of south-western Switzerland. Its total area is 1255.2 sq. m. (thus ranking after the Grisons, Bern and the Valais), of which 1056.7 sq. m. are reckoned as " productive " (forests covering 320.1 sq. m. and vineyards 24.9 sq. m., this last region being more extensive than in any other canton). Of the rest, 16ot sq. m. are occupied by the portions of various lakes partly in the canton (Geneva, 1232 sq. M.; Neuchatel, 33 sq. m.; and Morat, 32 sq. m.) and 4'3 by glaciers, the loftiest point in the canton being the Diablerets (1o,65o ft.). The canton is of very irregular shape, as it owes its artificial existence solely to historical causes. It includes practically the whole northern shore of the Lake of Geneva, while it stretches from the " Alpes Vaudoises and Bex, on the S.E., to the Jura and the French frontier, on the N.W. A long narrow tongue extending past Payerne (Peterlingen) to the Lake of Neuchatel is just disconnected with the Avenches region that forms an " enclave " in the canton of Fribourg, while in the canton of Vaud, Fribourg holds the two " enclaves " of Vuissens and Surpierre. A small stretch of the right bank of the Rhone (from Bex to the Lake of Geneva) is within the canton, while various short streams flow down into the Lake of Geneva. But the more northerly portion of the canton, beyond the Jorat range, to the north of Lausanne, and in particular the valley of the Broye, belongs to the Aar, and so to the Rhine basin. The canton is thus hilly rather than mountainous, save at its south-eastern extremity. It is well supplied with railways, including that along the northern shore of the Lake of Geneva, while from Bex through Vallorbes runs the main Simplon .line towards Paris. There are also numerous " regional " or small-gauge railways, as well as mountain lines from Montreux past Glion up the Rochers de Naye, and from Vevey up the Mont Merin, not to speak of that (" Montreux-Oberland " line) direct to the head of the Sarine valley and so by the Simme valley to the Lake of Thun. In 1900 the population was 281,279, of whom 243,463 were French-speaking, 24,372 German-speaking, and 10,667 Italian-speaking, while 242,811 were Protestants (Calvinists, whether of the larger eglise nationale or of the smaller eglise libre, founded in 1847), 36,980 Romanists, and 1076 Jews. Agriculture is the main occupation of the inhabitants: the land is much subdivided and very highly cultivated. The vineyards give employment to great numbers of people. Much more white wine is produced than red wine. The best white wines of the canton are Yvorne (near Aigle) and La Cote (west of Lausanne), while the vineyard of Lavaux (east of Lausanne) produces both red and white wine. There is not very much industry in the canton, though at Ste Croix in the Jura watches and musical boxes are made, while at Payerne to acco is grown. Many foreigners reside in the canton, partly for reasons of health, partly on account of the educational advantages that it offers. They chiefly favour Lausanne, Vevey and the collection of hamlets known as " Montreux," as well as Chateaux d'Oex, in the upper Sarine valley. Lausanne (q.v.) is the political capital of the canton. Next in point of population comes the " agglomeration " known as Montreux (q.v.), with 14,144, and Vevey (q.v.), with 11,781. Other important villages or small towns are Yverdon (7985 inhab.), Ste Croix (5905 inhab.), Payerne (5224 inhab.), Nyon (4882 inhab.), Morges (4421 inhab.), Aigle (3897 inhab.), and Chateau d'Oex (3025 inhab.). In educational matters the canton holds a high place. The academy of Lausanne dates from 1537, and was raised to the rank.of a ilniversity in 1890; and there are a very large number of schools and educational establishments at Morges, Lausanne, Vevey, and else-where. Pestalozzi's celebrated institution flourished at Yverdon from 18o6 to 1825. Among the remarkable historical spots in the canton are Avenches (the chief Roman settlement in Helvetia), Grandson (q.v.) (scene of the famous battle in 1476 against Charles the Bold), and the castle of Chillon (where Bonivard, the prior of St Victor at Geneva, was imprisoned from 1530 to 1536 for defending the freedom of Geneva against the duke of Savoy). The canton is divided into 19 administrative districts, which comprise 388 communes. The cantonal constitution dates from 1885. The government consists s of a Grand Conseil, or great council (one member to every 300 electors or fraction over 150), for legislative and a cons& d'etat, or council of state, of seven members (chosen by the Grand Conseil) for executive purposes. In both cases the term of office is four years. Six thousand citizens can compel consideration of any project by the legislature (" initiative," first in 1845), and the referendum exists in its " facultative " form, if demanded by 6000 citizens, and also in case of expenditure (not included in the budget) of over half a million francs. The two members of the Federal StBnderath are named by the Grand Conseil, while the fourteen members of the Federal Nationalrath are chosen by a popular vote. Capital punishment was abolished in 1874. The early history of the main part of the territories comprised, in the present canton is identical with that of south-west Switzer-land generally. The Romans conquered (58 B.C.) the Celtic Helvetii and so thoroughly colonized the land that it has remained a Romance-speaking district, despite conquests by the Burgundians (5th century) and Franks (532) and the incursions of the Saracens (loth century). It formed part of the empire of Charlemagne, and of the kingdom of Transjurane Burgundy (888-sop), the memory of " good queen Bertha," wife of King Rudolph II., being still held in high honour. After the extinction of the house of Zahringen (1218) the counts of Savoy gradually won the larger part of it, especially in the days of Peter TI., " le petit Charlemagne " (d. 1268). The bishop of Lausanne (to which place the see had probably been transferred from Aventicum by Marius the Chronicler at the end of the 6th century), howeyer, still maintained the temporal power given to him by the king of Burgundy, and in. ,1125 had become a prince of the empire. (We must be careful to distinguish between the present canton of Vaud and the old medieval Pays de Vaud: the districts forming the present canton very nearly correspond to the Pays Remand.) Late in the 15th century Bern began to acquire lands to the south from the dukes of Savoy, and it was out of those conquests that the canton was formed in 1798. In 1475 she seized Aigle and (in concert with Fribourg) Echallens and Grandson as well as Orbe (the latter held of the county of Burgundy). Vaud had been occupied by Bern for a time (1475-1476), but the final conquest did not take place till 1536, when both Savoyard Vaud and the bishopric of Lausanne (including Lausanne and Avenches) were overrun and annexed by Bern (formally ceded in 1564), who added to them (1555) Chateau d'Oex, as her share of the domains of the debt-laden count of the Gruyere in the division of the spoil she made with Fribourg. Bern in 1526 sent Guillaume Farel, a preacher from Dauphine, to carry out the Reformation at Aigle, and after 1536 the new religion was imposed by force of arms and the bishop's residence moved to Fribourg (permanently from 1663). Thus the whole land became Protestant, save the-district of Echallens. Vaud was ruled very harshly by bailiffs from Bern. In 1588 a plot of some nobles to hand it over to Savoy was crushed, and in 1723 the enthusiastic idealist Davel lost his life in an attempt to raise it to the rank of a canton. Political feeling was therefore much excited by the outbreak of the French Revolution, and a Vaudois, F. C. de la Harpe, an exile and a patriot, persuaded the Directory in Paris to march on Vaud in virtue of alleged rights conferred by a treaty of 565. The French troops were received enthusiastically, and the " Lemanicrepublic " was proclaimed (January 1798), succeeded by the short-lived Rhodanic republic, till in March 1798 the canton of Leman was formed as a district of the Helvetic republic. This corresponded precisely with the present canton minus Avenches and Payerne, which were given to the canton of Vaud (set up in 1803). The new canton was thus made up of the Bernese con- quests of 1475, 1475-76, 1536 and 1555. The constitutions of 1803 and 1814 favoured the towns and wealthy men, so that an agitation went on for a radical change, which was effected in the constitution of 1831. Originally acting as a mediator, Vaud finally joined the anti-Jesuit movement (especially after the radicals came into power in 1845), opposed the Sonderbund, and accepted the new federal constitution of 1848, of which Druey of Vaud was one of the two drafters. From 1839 to 1846 the canton was distracted by religious struggles, owing to the attempt of the radicals to turn the church into a simple department of state, a struggle which ended in the splitting off (1847) of the "free church." The cantonal feeling in Vaud is very strong, and was the main cause of the failure of the project of revising the federal constitution in 1872, though that' of 1874 was accepted. In 1879 Vaud was one of the three cantons which voted (though in vain) against a grant in aid of the St Gotthard railway. In 1882 the radicals obtained a great majority, and in 1885 the constitution of 1861 was revised.
End of Article: VAUD (Ger. Waadt)

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