John Adams: A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States, Letter 10

Liberty Letters, John Adams, 1786

Democratical Republics: CANTON OF SWITZ [in Switzerland]

My dear Sir,

THE canton of Switz has the honour of giving the name to the whole confederation, because the first battle for independence was fought there: yet it consists only of villages divided into six quarters, the first of which is Switz, where the ordinary regency of the country resides. The sovereign is the whole country; that is to say, the sovereignty resides in the general assembly of the country, where all the males of fifteen years of age have a right of entry and suffrage.

Yet they have their land amman; and their ordinary regency, at which the land amman presides, composed of sixty counselors, taken equally from the six quarters. All the necessary officers are taken from this council.

There are, besides, the secret chamber, the chamber of seven, and the chamber of nine, for finance, justice, and police.

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