Joachim Heer

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Joachim Heer (born September 25, 1825 in Glarus ; † March 1, 1879 there , entitled to live in Glarus) was a Swiss politician . He was a member of the government of the Canton of Glarus for 24 years , including 18 years as Landammann . He also represented his canton in the National Council for 18 years . In 1875 he was elected to the Federal Council as a representative of the liberal center (today's FDP ) . In 1877 he was Federal President . His greatest success was saving the Gotthard Railway , which was under construction, from financial collapse.

Joachim Heer (1825–1879) politician
Joachim Heer


Studies and canton politics

He came from a respected Glarus councilor family. His father Cosmus Heer was Landammann of the Canton of Glarus , as was the great-grandfather of the same name. Grandfather Joachim Heer and great uncle Niklaus Heer held the office of governor of the canton of Linth one after the other during the Helvetic Republic . Joachim Heer graduated from high school in Zurich , then studied law at the University of Zurich , at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg and at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Berlin . In 1846 he completed his studies with a doctorate . First he worked as a judge at the civil court. Although he had reservations about violently dissolving the Sonderbund , he took part in the Sonderbund War on the federal side in November 1847 . In 1850 he married Anna Katharina Iselin, the daughter of a captain.

Heer quickly climbed the career ladder in his home canton. After being elected to the canton school council (1848) and the professional ethics committee (1851), he was provincial governor from 1852 . In 1853 he campaigned for the construction of a railway line through the valley, which was opened six years later by the United Swiss Railways . In 1857 he was elected Landammann . He held this office, which corresponds to the chairman of the cantonal government, for 18 years. During this time, the main town of Glarus was rebuilt after the fire disaster of 1861 and the implementation of the most progressive factory law in Switzerland.

Federal politics

In the parliamentary elections on October 28, 1857 , a few months after being elected mayor, Heer also succeeded in entering the National Council . Politically, he belonged to the liberal center. In 1863 and 1869/70 he was President of the National Council . In 1863 he presided over the commission responsible for the correction of the Jura waters and in 1864 he headed a trade delegation in France . In the years 1867 and 1868 he was temporarily ambassador to the North German Confederation in Berlin . Heer was considered an excellent mediator and therefore received individual votes in the Federal Council election as early as 1863. In 1866 he achieved two votes more than the incumbent Wilhelm Matthias Naeff , but refused to accept the election.

In March 1871, Heer acted as a commissioner in the context of the federal intervention after the Tonhalle riot in Zurich . On December 10, 1875, four federal councilors had to be replaced. Heer was defeated in the election of the fourth member Louis Ruchonnet , who later refused and was replaced by Numa Droz . In the election of the fifth member, Heer prevailed in the first ballot with 91 of 170 votes cast; 64 votes were received for Fridolin Anderwert and 15 votes for other people. The Federal Assembly also elected him Vice-President on the same day. The Glarner Zeitung wrote that through this election "Switzerland gained a lot, but the canton lost even more".

Federal Council

When he took office on January 1, 1876, Heer took over the post and telegraph department . He dealt with a new law on postal tariffs and its implementation. In his diary entries he expressed himself critical of the collegial system and the bureaucracy. He feels that he has been degraded to an office worker, and there is also a lack of clear leadership and a policy that strives towards specific goals.

In 1877, as Federal President , Heer was, as was customary at the time, head of the Political Department and thus Foreign Minister. The most pressing problem this year was the massive cost increase in the construction of the Gotthard Railway . In June, Heer presided over an international conference in Lucerne with representatives of the participating states. This decided on a distribution key for the supplementary subsidy, to which Switzerland had to contribute eight million francs. With skill and persuasiveness, he succeeded in convincing the 13 cantons represented in the Gotthard Association to make a financial contribution of two million francs. The “Federal Law on Granting Subsidies for Alpine Railways” was adopted by the Federal Assembly and ultimately survived the referendum vote by a long margin. In 1878 Heer headed the railway and trade department . In this role he signed a trade agreement with Romania on March 30th . He also implemented the Swiss Factory Act, which had been passed the previous year and was based on the Glarus model.

In February 1877 Heer fell ill with severe pleurisy from which he never fully recovered. His condition deteriorated so much in the summer of 1878 that doctors advised him to resign. He announced this on December 10 of the same year, and handed over his office to his successor Simeon Bavier on December 28 . At the end of February 1879, Heer suffered a stroke , which he died a few days later.


In the novel Vrenelis Gärtli by Tim Krohn The Closeness of Joachim Heer figure of "Mr. Heer" and his daughter plays an important role. The Vreneli saves the "Fralein Army" from a persecutor and is thanked by their father for support.


Web links

Commons : Joachim Heer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Moos: The Federal Council Lexicon. P. 147.
  2. ^ Moos: The Federal Council Lexicon. Pp. 147-148.
  3. ^ Moos: The Federal Council Lexicon. P. 148.
  4. ^ Moos: The Federal Council Lexicon. Pp. 148-149.
  5. ^ Moos: The Federal Council Lexicon. Pp. 149-150.
  6. ^ Moos: The Federal Council Lexicon. P. 150.
  7. Press comments (PDF) ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. to Tim Krohn: Vrenelis Gärtli. Novel. Berlin 2007 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
predecessor Office successor
Josef Martin Knüsel Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Simeon Bavier
- Swiss envoy in Berlin
Bernhard Hammer