Contested Citizenship

Public Schooling and Political Changes in Early Nineteenth Century Switzerland

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
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This article examines public education and the establishment of the nation-state in the first half of the nineteenth century in Switzerland. Textbooks, governmental decisions, and reports are analyzed in order to better understand how citizenship is depicted in school textbooks and whether (federal) political changes affected the image of the “imagined citizen” portrayed in such texts. The “ideal citizen” was, first and foremost, a communal and cantonal member of a twofold society run by the church and the secular government, in which nationality was depicted as a third realm.