Swiss road history between state consolidation and private interests

Spielmann, Benjamin (27 October 2016). Swiss road history between state consolidation and private interests (Unpublished). In: Conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M). Mexico City, Mexiko. 27.-30.10.2016.

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This paper discusses major development steps in the emergence of the modern road network in Switzerland. It considers connections between state authorities and actors from the private sector. Before the Swiss Federal State was founded in 1848, the country consisted of regional and largely independent territories with only few institutional bonds between them. Neither a strong central political instance nor a comprehensive master plan existed, yet these regional governments together with foreign states, managed to gradually create a road network. The road network connected major Swiss towns and allowed access to foreign transportation systems. This paper argues that this was possible based on mutual economic interests of regional and foreign states as well as the private sector: The states were interested in tolls and military use, and the private sector needed roads for efficient freight transportation that generated fiscal revenue. This coaction between public and private actors was at the expense of local societal structures that needed to cope with large scale economic interests. However, road projects contributed to consolidate regional state structures that were essential to passing road laws, incorporating technical knowledge and expanding road networks on a more regional level.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History

UniBE Contributor:

Spielmann, Benjamin

Subjects:

900 History

Language:

English

Submitter:

Benjamin Spielmann

Date Deposited:

08 May 2017 12:12

Last Modified:

07 Mar 2018 09:13

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.96063

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/96063

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