Swiss American Historical Society Review

Swiss American Historical Society Review

Article Title

"Tue Unfinished Project of J .J. Bachofen and the Gender Wars on the Home Front"



Switzerland, Swiss history, European history


Johann Jakob Bachofen gestated and was born in one of the ore turbulent years of European history. 1815 was the year in which 1trician families like those of his father and of his mother reasserted 1eir sovereignty over a brief democratic interlude led by Napoleon onaparte .2 It was a year in which Klemens von Metternich concluded 1e Congress of Vienna wherein titled families triumphed in conserv- 1g their political positions after a sanguine lesson from the majority )pulation, namely that European nobility was created as an obliga, ry relationship of the elite few to sustain the humanity and economic :curity of the majority during times of great economic upheaval and :-ordering of global trade. Bachofen sensed a reincarnation of a his- 1ric social contract that was authentic in the early Industrial Age as it as true after the collapse of the ancient Roman Empire.

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