1700-1770 History of Italy 1794-1815

Graubünden 1770-1794

In 1771 to 1774 an attempt was made to construct a modern road connecting Chiavenna and Nauders; supported by the Austrian Party (headed by the Planta); it was successfully subverted by the von Salis (the French Party). The road connecting Chur with the Liechtenstein border was modernized 1781-1787; trade along that route doubled within a decade. The prohect of a territorial prison (or workhouse) and of a territorial police was repeatedly discussed, but not realized because of both the costs involved and the fear of the communities the federation would interfere in their responsibility.
In 1761 a Seminary was established in Haldenstein, a modern educational institution influenced by pietist thought. The curriculum included modern languages and the sciences (neglected by traditional institutes of higher learning). It enjoyed rising popularity, 50 students in 1765, 100 in 1770. In 1771 the seminary moved to Marschlins. In 1786 J. B. Tscharner from Chur opened the "National School" on his estate in Jenins, with the explicit intention to educate a generation of patriots. In 1793 the school, noe also referred to as seminary, was moved to Reichenau.
Leading Gr. intellectuals of the late 18th century joined Swiss scholarly societies. In 1778 the Society of Agricultural Friends (Gesellschaft Landwirtschaftlicher Freunde, also referred to as Gr. Economic Society) was established; they intended to raise the state of Gr. agriculture by publishing advice to the farmers. The society offered awards, adbocated the transfer of commonly used land into fenced meadows and fields, the latter with little success. They also promoted the extension of farmland by river regulation etc.
New industries - a cotton spinning factory (1770), a dye factory in 1793 - were exceptional and did not last.

The schools, the Society of Agricultural Friends represent the spirit of the Enlightenment in Graubünden; the schools had a greater impact, while many of the suggestions of the Society - such as to hold a census in 1780 - failed to win the approval of the Bundestag respectively the Gr. farmers. Only in 1803 a census was held, 73.546 inhabitants were counted.
In the 1770es the Salis family gained a dominant position in Graubünden; in the 1780es, the opposition Patriotic Party was formed, in which J.B. Tscharner played a leading role.

REFERENCE Friedrich Pieth, Bündnergeschichte (History of Graubünden), Chur : Fr. Schuler 1945, 638 pp., in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on August 16th 2003, last revised on November 10th 2004

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