Federal Charter of 1291

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Federal Charter of 1291

The Federal Charter or Letter of Alliance (in German Bundesbrief) is documenting the Eternal Alliance or League Of The Three Forest Cantons (in German Ewiger Bund der Drei Waldstätten), the union of three cantons in what is now central Switzerland, formed in early August, 1291.

This inaugural confederation grew through a long series of accessions to modern Switzerland. The Alliance was concluded by representatives from three areas: Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. It was set up as a league for defence purposes against any attacker, probably prompted by the death of Rudolf I of Habsburg on 15 July 1291. Before his death, Habsburg attempted to reinforce his claim over Schwyz and Unterwalden which meant a succession of military interventions.

The authenticity of the letter is disputed. Most historians agree that it is almost certainly a forgery of the 14th century. In 1991, the parchment has been radiocarbon dated to between 1252 and 1312 (with a certainty of 85%). If the document is indeed a forgery, it would therefore be a product of the decades following the described event, and is certainly unrelated to the emergence of the modern federal state in 1848.


External link

Original text and translations (http://www.lexilogos.com/declaration/suisse_pacte_texte.htm)

Template:Wikisourceparde:Bundesbrief von 1291 nl:Bondsbrief van 1291

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