ConfederacySubmitted by Willl on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 19:34
Inspired by Michael Nystrom's 'Here's the plan guys' post, here is a DP original about what my profile picture represents.
It is a picture of the 'rutlischwur' of 1307, at which representatives of the cantons (local autonomous regions) Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden made an oath that they would come to each others' aid militarily in the event of invasion by any external force. That oath became the basis of the Swiss Confederacy. More and more regions, expanding from those central three, joined the oath of mutual military assistance against attack. It became known as the 'Everlasting Alliance'.
The document portrayed is a representation of the agreement they made that day. It says:
"We want to be a single People of brethren,
Never to part in danger nor distress.
We want to be free, just as our fathers were,
And rather die than live in slavery.
We want to trust in the highest God
And never be afraid of human power."
This was soon to be tested however. The empire of the day, the Austrian Hapsburgs, soon sent armies to crush the upstarts who had the impudence to think they could be free. But in many battles, culminating in the Battle of Sempach in 1386, the confederates prevailed and won their freedom.
Thus the Swiss Confederacy became an island of Liberty in the ocean of tyranny that was medieval Europe. It shows the ultimate effectiveness of Liberty as a model for human organisation. There was no ruler, no executive. There was not even a state as such, other than locally. All there was was a collection or network of binding agreements between independent, autonomous cantons that were bound ONLY by those agreements.
Needless to say the Confederacy became the most peaceful and prosperous nation in European history.
Unfortunately the country was finally conquered by the tyrant Napoleon in 1798. When imperial France was defeated in 1815 Switzerland was liberated and regained its freedoms, but much damage was done. The original confederate Liberty was ended in a civil war of 1847 which much like the American war between the States imposed the despised centralised federalism for the first time.
Nevertheless for nearly 400 years the Old Swiss Confederacy was a model of Liberty the world over, and I believe it STILL is a model for how political organisation of human beings' affairs can be done righteously, for the blessing and happiness of all involved. It shows the ultimate success and stability of the most perfect form of political organisation to which we should all aspire - Confederacy.
If you are interested in learning more I recommend the great book "Free and Swiss".
May God bless us with Liberty.