This article examines public education and the establishment of the
nation-state in the first half of the nineteenth century in Switzerland. Textbooks,
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.