- some bases
Swiss emigration History
When the Swiss made America
The Red River Colony
Junod and emigration
- Rikatla, Pretoria
- San Carlos, Santa Fe
France - Goersdorf, Alsace
Italy - Naples
Ukrainia - Kiev
LaGrange Co, Indiana
Visiting our Region soon?
to succeed ... (get out of misery)
following ©article extract was published in french in the vaudois «24heures» newspaper
on January 16th,1998 and is reproduced here - a free translation -
with the permission of its author, InfoSud/Daniel Wermus. It brings
light to some of the reasons that pushed our ancestors to emigrate...
1848, Switzerland was an under-developed country
overpopulation, malaria, humanitarian aid of... Russia, hacking of
the German inventions, low wages, work of children, massive emigration
marked the development of Switzerland. Something to inspire its role
to be played in the world of tomorrow.
the last century, Switzerland was an underdeveloped, sometimes famished
country and begging the assistance for its neighbors. Russia financed
projects of development: the draining of our marshes. The country was
devastated by the malaria, deforestation, the floods. To come out themselves,
Helvetians pirated without shame the inventions of the industrial powers,
to compete by offering cheap products good, low wages and a work of
children from 14 to 16 hours per day.
internal protectionism, the bureaucratic mess (13 "customs check points" to
pass the Gothard!) slowed down the development until 1848. The ancestors
of the gnomists of finance refused to lend to the farmers and to
the craftsmen, or used usurious rates.
Lastly, misery and galloping demography caused a massive emigration
until the first quarter of the 20th century.
the 150 years occasion of our federal State that became the richest
of the world, the organizations of mutual aid publish an incredible
document: " Switzerland, developing country the 1798-1848-1998-2048" (1).
evolution has initially common points with the LAC (the least advanced
countries) of the Sahel: not very productive agriculture, lack of raw
materials, no maritime outlet, cyclic famines. Then, the country molted
in "Asian" dragon and floods the rich countries of its textiles at
low prices. Today, will Switzerland - that became leader in services
and advanced technologies - be able to remember its painful beginnings?
It is not a question, affirms the Community of work Swiss aid / Action
de Carème / Pain pour le prochain / Helvetas / Caritas (CT), to incite
the countries of the South to copy our receipts. But the experiment
the past can
inspire the project of Foundation of solidarity. And to transform Switzerland,
now accused of rapacity, as a privileged partner of tens of emergent
countries of the South or the East.
never succeeded in nourishing Switzerland. For the last century already,
it was necessary to import half the cereals. In the country-side especially,
chronic misery struck a person out of ten. Added to its regular crises: " the
hay and the fresh grasses were for many their daily food. Even putrid
carrion did not discourage the famished ones. One saw them excavating
per tens in the streets and the lanes, on heaps of disgusting manure,
in the open air sewers, and to gluttonously swallow potato peels and
carrots in decomposition".
is the testimony of Pasteur Scheitlin of St-Gall, on the devastations
of the famine of 1817. Caused by the
eruption in Java had darkened the planetary atmosphere and had cooled
the temperature. Other cause, the world market: the
end of the Napoleonic blockade caused an economic crisis in all
Europe, due to the invasion of English industrial products.
was victim of the then existing globalization! Its experiment should
reflect on those who preach today the uncontrolled opening of the world
markets, notes Yassine Fall, Senegalese economist.
Switzerland, disastered area, accepted gifts from Germany, France,
The Tsar Alexandre 1st offered 100.000 roubles. Half was invested in a project
of development: to drain the plain of the Lindt and to install mountain farmers
on the gained grounds. The other half was distributed to the cantons and
affected for social assistance. But in county Thurgau, the money disappeared
in the vaults
of the State... Other typical aspects of the under development: the environment
massive deforestation of the slopes caused the erosion and catastrophic
floods. Rivers overflowed, forming putrid mud, harmful dens of
malaria prevailed towards the input of the lakes, as was the case in the
lower Valais county.
infrastructures were pitiable. In 1850, Switzerland has only
25km of railways, against 5850km in Germany and 3000km
in France. The building
site in 1875 of the tunnel of Gothard reminds us of the mega-projects
that are financed today in the third world (dams, etc.) :
foreign capital,miserable working conditions, alcohol,
brothels, fights, deads (200 in total).
to "succeed"... (get out of misery)
Helvetians were in the situation of a Tamil, Albanian or
a Moroccan: too large family, empty plate, no work, stopped
horizon. And if one
was going to see elsewhere? Formerly, the best means consisted
in "working" as mercenary.
1859, it is prohibited. Then, being expatriated as economic refugees,
the Swiss supplied a handful of cheap labor
abroad, treated hard. In Russia, they are at the origin of the word
schwejtsar: gatekeeper. In 1856, the revolt of the Swiss coffee gatherers
in Sao Paulo shows the gap between the dream of el dorado and the
sad condition of the emigrants: they had been engaged to replace the
of county Ticino were entirely depopulated by the exodus to California
or Australia. Many communes encouraged the departures to get rid of their
social cases. Agencies of emigration without scruple multiplied, so
much that a law
came in 1880 to protect the candidates against the exploiters. (...)
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