council canton cantonal
GLARUS, or GLAnts, a canton of Switzerland, is bounded on the N. and N.E. by St Gall, on the E. and S. by the Grisons, and on the W. by Uri and Schwyz. Its area is 266 or 267 square miles, its greatest length about 33 miles, and its greatest breadth about 16. A thoroughly Alpine district, sloping northwards from the lofty range which comprises the Todi (11,887 feet), the Biferten Stock (11,237), and the Scheibe (9587), and including within its limits the Gliirnisch (9581) and the Miirtschen Stock (801 2), Glarus is almost completely cut off from the neighbouring cantons, except towards the south. Of the three passes, the Segues, the Kisten, and the Panix, which communicate with the Grisons, the first and second are over the snow, and the third has only a bridle path ; and the Klausen pass and the Pragel pass, which conduct respectively to Schwyz and Uri, have also mere bridle paths. As far as it is a habitable country it may be said to consist of the valley of the Linth, which extends from the Todi southward to the Wallenstadt Lake along with the lesser valleys of the Sernf (or Sernft) and the Klon, which branch off to the east and the west. The climate, it need hardly be said, is a severe one, the snow generally remaining, even in the lowlands, till near the beginning of May. The Um at times blows with terrific violence ; and, by a law enforced in the town of Glarus, every fire in the place must be extinguished as soon as it sets in. The chief sources of wealth in the canton are the pastures and the manufacturing industries. Though copper, silver, and iron mines were formerly wrought, the only mineral production now of commercial importance is slate, which is extensively quarried in the Plattenberg. Not more than a fifth of the soil is capable of cultivation by the plough, and the agricultural produce has consequently to be supplemented by foreign supplies. About 9000 or 10,000 head of cattle are pastured in the canton, and according to the census of 1876 there are 2000 sheep, 6900 goats, and 3000 swine. Neither butter nor ordinary cheese is made in sufficient quantities for the local consumption, but the Schabzeiger, &hotter Heise, Krtiuterktise, or " green cheese," made of skim milk, whether of goats or cows, mixed with butter-milk and coloured with powdered steinklee (Melitotus caarulea), is still largely manufactured. The curd is brought down from the mountain chalets in sacks, which contain about 200 lb each. After being ground for about 2 hours in a mill along with the klee powder, which is added in the proportion of 3 lb to the 100, the curd is put into shapes, and pressed in the usual way. It grows ripe in about a year and keeps a long time. Large quantities are exported to America. The cotton manufacture is the staple of the canton, and gives support to about a fourth of the population. Formerly distributed through the country as a domestic industry, it is now concentrated in a few factory towns and villages, which in the aggregate keep about 250,000 spindles'going. The cotton goods are sent to the East, America, and Africa. It is not only in their own little country that the people of Glarus find a field for their energies ; they have contributed to the industries of many parts of Europe, and their poorer emigrants have founded three flourishing settlements in Wisconsin - New Glarus, Vilten, and New Elm. The population, which in 1851 was 30,213, had increased by 1870 to 35,150, and was estimated in 1876 at 36,179. The vast majority are Protestarts, only 6,883 being Catholics according to the census of 1870. The constitution of Glarus is of the simplest kind, and extremely democratic. According to the law of 1812, revised and sanctioned by the federal council in 1851, the government rests in the hands of a Landesgemeinde or assembly of the whole male population above the age of eighteen, which usually meets on the first Sunday in May, and elects the cantonal officials, votes the income and poll-taxes, and passes or rejects any laws that may be presented by the cantonal council or Landesrath. The cantonal council consists of 117 members. A council of 45 members, and a committee of 9 members have control of the executive. The landamman is president of the committee, the executive council, the cantonal council, and the assembly. Justice is administered by five courts completely independent of the Government. Freedom of the press, freedom of religious worship, and freedom of trade and industry are all guaranteed. Aliens are readily naturalized and admitted to the rights of citizens. The canton is divided into 25 communes, only one of which,- that of Glarus, has more than 5000 inhabitants, while 16 have less than 1000, and the smallest has only 231.