Giovanni Battista Pioda

Giovanni Battista Pioda ( born October 4, 1808 in Locarno, † November 3, 1882 in Rome, also Giovan Battista Pioda ) was a Swiss politician, lawyer and diplomat. He was among the leaders of liberalism in the canton of Ticino, for nearly three decades, he worked as a prosecutor, government clerk and a member of the cantonal government. After nine years of membership in the National Council and the Council of States, he was in 1857 elected as representatives of the liberal- radical faction (now the FDP) in the Federal Council. This he was a member for six years. Subsequently, he represented the interests of Switzerland as Swiss ambassador in Italy.


Studies and career

His father was the same Major Giovanni Battista Pioda, later the State Council and member of the Diet. 1816 the family moved to the Netherlands, where his father had taken command of a battalion. Pioda went to an institute in Mechelen to school and returned at the age of 16 years back to Ticino. He continued his studies with the Benedictines in Bellinzona. From 1825 he attended the convent school in Einsiedeln. At Collegio Gallo in Como, he studied philosophy and then law at the University of Pavia.

1830 published Pioda the font Osservazioni intorno alla riforma della Costituzione del Cantone Ticino ( " Considerations on reform of the Constitution of the canton of Ticino from all sides "), in which he called for the introduction of universal suffrage, freedom of the press and the expansion of education. After graduating in 1831, he completed a trainee lawyer, and two years later he was the lawyer and notary. In 1834 he was elected district attorney of the district of Locarno. The following year he married Agata Sozzi - Sorbolonghi, with whom he had eight children.

Cantonal and federal policy

After the liberal revolution in December 1839 put the new government Pioda as a State Recorder. In this office he held until 1842, he was actively involved in the 1841 suppression of a coup attempt the ultramontane. 1842 Pioda was elected to the Consiglio di Stato, the cantonal government of Ticino and took over the management of the Ministry of Interior. From 1847 to 1855 he was again State Schreiber, then a second time Council of State (this time as Director of Construction ).

Due to the strong opposition fell through in 1843 and 1851 two attempts to introduce universal suffrage. Could, however, a new liberal education law be introduced and in 1848 the ecclesiastical estates were nationalized. The support of the Italian independence movement led to economic sanctions by the Empire of Austria, which then reigned over the adjoining Lombardy. Pioda argued forcefully for political refugees and ran a clear anti-clerical policy.

On the federal level Pioda participated in various conferences on transport and postal issues, in Turin, he led negotiations in customs and railway issues. 1844 and 1848 he was a member of the Diet. On behalf of the incurred after the Sonderbundskrieg state he was commissioner in the canton of Freiburg, where he was able to successfully mediate between liberals and conservatives and bring about a reconciliation. 1848 Pioda was elected to the National Council, in the second half of 1853, he presided over this. In 1854 he was a member of the Council of States, from 1855 he was again at the National Council.

Federal and diplomat

After the unexpected death of Stefano Franscini Pioda was considered the leading candidate to replace him. On July 30, 1857, the United Federal Assembly elected him to the Federal Council, where he received 64 votes in the first ballot by 127 votes and thus exactly the absolute majority. To him, the Department of Home Affairs has been assigned, which he led during its entire six -year term.

Article 23 of the Federal Constitution enabled the Confederation to participate in construction projects of the cantons. Pioda gave the impetus for the correction of the Rhone in the Valais and Jura water correction to the first. Addition, he worked as its predecessor extensively statistics, which led to the founding of the Federal Office of Statistics in January 1860. On the question of a railway tunnel through the Alps, he has been actively supporting the Gotthard Railway, since his home canton would benefit most.

On January 26, 1864 Pioda resigned. A little later he took over the post of ambassador at the court of King Victor Emmanuel II First, he resided in Turin, from 1865 in Florence, and finally from 1870 in Rome. He used his diplomatic relations in order to help political breakthrough of the Gotthard Railway and Italy to move to part- finance.