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Geneva

GENEVA

GENEVA. The only European city to become an independent republic in the sixteenth century and remain so for over 250 years (15361798), Geneva became best known as the seat of John Calvin's (15091564) Reformation. These two distinctions are closely connected. Calvinist austerity gave a durable imprint to Geneva's character, and many of the republic's leading families descended from French religious refugees who were drawn by Calvin's fame. Thanks partly to its university, founded in 1559 to train pastors for the Reformed Church in France, Geneva maintained a disproportionate intellectual role in early modern Europe from the Reformation through the Enlightenment. However, the city that attracted Voltaire (16941778) and repelled its illustrious native son Jean-Jacques Rousseau (17121778) seems significantly different from the place where Calvin settled two centuries earlier. Worldly prosperity had undermined the relatively impoverished austerity of its heroic Reformation period. After the fall of Napoléon I, Geneva became a Swiss canton in 1814 and continued its international vocation in the nineteenth century through the Red Cross (founded by a Genevan) and in the twentieth century as host to the League of Nations.

Geneva's political history as a successful independent urban republic was unique in early modern Europe. Its independence, exemplified by its proud new motto Post Tenebras Lux (After Darkness, Light) and a coat of arms displaying half of the imperial eagle and half of the papal keys (the modern flag of the Swiss canton of Geneva), survived many serious threats. After 1559 two great Catholic neighbors, the duchy of Savoy and the kingdom of France, surrounded its minuscule territories on land. Geneva sustained its independence only through permanent political alliances with two Swiss cantons, Bern and Zurich; the city remained physically connected to its Bernese political allies only via Lake Geneva. The most serious threat came from an attempted escalade by the Savoyards on the longest night of the year in 1602, whose successful repulse is still celebrated annually in Geneva on 12 December, the pre-Gregorian and thus "Protestant" date of the winter equinox in 1602. Geneva narrowly avoided annexation by Louis XIV (ruled 16431715) after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, but the republic survived for over another century until it was annexed by revolutionary France. As Peter Gay pointed out in 1959, one of the last champions of Genevan civic republicanism was none other than Voltaire, who was often assumed to prefer enlightened absolutism but who on this point largely agreed with his philosophical rival Rousseau.

Of course Calvin dominates Geneva's religious history, just as his statue dominates the Wall of the Reformation near the University of Geneva. In early modern Europe, Geneva quickly developed a reputation for austere righteousness that was unparalleled in a place of this size. Rival myths about Geneva's peculiarities developed by the mid-sixteenth century. Enthusiastic Protestants described it as a kind of earthly Jerusalem, while Catholics saw it as a sink of iniquity where renegade priests engaged in orgies. As John Knox (15131572), himself a byword for austerity and once the minister of an English refugee church in Geneva, put it, "manners and religion so sincerely reformed I have not yet seen in any other place." A related tribute came from a different source a generation after Calvin's death, when a visiting Jesuit remarked enviously that no one dared to blaspheme anyplace in Geneva.

The most important religious institution affecting the daily lives of Genevans after the Reformation was the Consistory, which Calvin introduced in 1541 to enforce ecclesiastical discipline. Within a year it systematically required troublemakers to "give an account of their faith," that is, it tested them for what came to be called confessional orthodoxy. Traces of Catholic practices disappeared within a generation. The Consistory's moral severity remained largely unchallenged until Voltaire's day.

Geneva has never been a major European city. At the peak of the Calvinist refuge around 1560, the city-republic held about twenty-five thousand people. By the 1580s the population had fallen by nearly half, and it remained below fifteen thousand until the early eighteenth century, gradually regaining its earlier peak by the time the city finally lost its independence. Geneva's economic history is almost as distinctive as its religious or political history. A highly successful printing industry, developed by French religious refugees like Jean Crespin and Laurent de Normandie, made religious propaganda the city's leading export in Calvin's time. Conventional wisdom correctly links vernacular printing to the spread of the French Reformation in the mid-sixteenth century. Although GenevaEurope's only Protestant Francophone publishing centerremained intellectually significant far into the following century, most Genevan books were printed in Latin after 1585.

However, by 1590 Geneva entered a prolonged depression. The city emerged gradually in the late seventeenth century thanks to the growth of two new leading export-oriented trades, watchmaking and banking, both of which long outlived the republic (Rousseau was the son of a Geneva watchmaker). One invention of Geneva's eighteenth-century financiers involved investment in one-life annuities issued by the French crown. Using local genealogical data, they made actuarial tables that showed that girls past the age of five from wealthy families had the longest life expectancies. These bankers then created collective shares based on the lives of thirty selected Genevan girlsa scheme that worked well until the French Revolution destroyed the state that paid these annuities.

See also Bèze, Théodore de ; Calvin, John ; Calvinism ; Knox, John ; Reformation, Protestant ; Switzerland ; Zurich .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Among the recent achievements of Genevan scholarship, one must mention three ongoing critical editions, all published locally by Librairie Droz: the European-wide correspondence of Calvin's successor, Théodore de Bèze (22 volumes to date, through 1582); the minutes of Geneva's Company of Pastors (thirteen volumes so far, covering 15461618), and the early records of Geneva's Consistory (two volumes to date).

Gay, Peter. Voltaire's Politics. Princeton, 1959.

Guichonnet, Paul, ed. Histoire de Genève. 3rd ed. Toulouse and Lausanne, 1986.

Monter, E. William. Calvin's Geneva. New York, 1967.

Naphy, William G. Calvin and the Consolidation of the Genevan Reformation. Manchester, U.K., 1994.

William Monter

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"Geneva." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Geneva (canton and city, Switzerland)

Geneva (jənē´və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva. One of the smallest cantons, Geneva is in the plain between the Jura and the Alps. It borders on Vaud canton for 3.5 mi (5.6 km) in the north, but otherwise it is almost entirely surrounded by French territory. The population is primarily French-speaking. The rural areas produce fruit, vegetables, cereals, and wine; industry and population are centered in the city of Geneva (1990 pop. 171,042), the capital of the canton. Situated on the Lake of Geneva and divided by the Rhône River, which emerges from the lake, it is a picturesque city joined by numerous bridges. Geneva is a cultural, financial, and administrative center. Its major industries are trade, banking, insurance, and the manufacture of precision machinery, watches, jewelry, chemicals, and food. Among its historic buildings are the Cathedral of St. Pierre (12th–14th cent.), where John Calvin preached, the 16th-century town hall, and the 18th-century palace of justice. The Univ. of Geneva (1473; founded as an academy by Calvin in 1559) faces the noted Reformation monument (1917). The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art opened in 1994. A very high fountain on the south shore of the lake has become a symbol of the city.

History

Geneva was an ancient settlement of the Celtic Allobroges and was later included in Roman Gaul. An episcopal see under the Roman Empire, Geneva passed successively to the Burgundians (5th cent.), the Franks (6th cent.), Transjurane Burgundy (9th–11th cent.), and the Holy Roman Empire. The bishops of Geneva gradually absorbed the powers of the feudal counts of Geneva and in 1124 became rulers of the city. The rising merchant class soon grew antagonistic to episcopal authority.

In 1285, the citizens of Geneva placed themselves under the protection of the counts (later dukes) of Savoy, and by 1387 they had won extensive rights of self-rule. However, by gradually transforming the bishops into their tools, the dukes nearly succeeded in mastering the city by the beginning of the 16th cent. Incensed, the citizens allied themselves with two Swiss cantons—Fribourg and Bern—expelled the bishop (1533), and accepted (1535) the Reformation preached by Guillaume Farel.

The arrival (1536) of John Calvin thrust upon Geneva a role of European importance as the focal point of the Reformation. With its population swelled by Protestant refugees, notably Huguenots, Geneva became a cosmopolitan intellectual center. During the 18th cent., when the stern theocracy of Calvin had mellowed into patrician rule, the city's intellectual life reached its zenith. Voltaire settled there; J. J. Rousseau, H. B. de Saussure, Jacques Necker, Albert Gallatin, and P. E. Dumont were among the famous sons of Geneva in the 18th cent.

The city, annexed to France from 1798 to 1813, joined Switzerland as a canton in 1815—the last canton to join the Confederation. It is the headquarters of many public and private international organizations. In 1864, Geneva was made the seat of the International Red Cross; it was also the seat of the League of Nations (1920–46). Geneva is headquarters for the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, and other international bodies. In 1945 it became the European headquarters of the United Nations. Geneva has been the scene of the Geneva Conferences and other high-level international meetings.

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Geneva

Geneva City at the s end of Lake Geneva, sw Switzerland. A Roman town, it was taken by the Franks in the 6th century and passed to the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th century. During the Reformation, it became the centre of Protestantism under John Calvin. It joined the Swiss Confederation in 1814 and was the scene of the Geneva Conventions in 1864. It was the seat of the League of Nations (1919–46), and is the headquarters of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization. Industries: banking, watch-making and jewellery, precision instruments, tourism, enamelware. Pop. (2000) 175,000.

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Geneva

Geneva a city in Switzerland, noted in the 17th century for its Protestantism.
Geneva bands two white cloth strips attached to the collar of some Protestants' clerical dress, as originally worn by Calvinists in Geneva.
Geneva Bible an English translation of the Bible published in 1560 by Protestant scholars working in Europe.
Geneva Convention an international agreement first made at Geneva in 1864 and later revised, governing the status and treatment of captured and wounded military personnel and civilians in wartime.

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Geneva

Geneva. City in Switzerland, associated with J. Calvin. The Geneva Academy and the Geneva Catechisms expounded Calvinist views; the Geneva Bible (usually known as the Breeches Bible for its translation of Genesis 3. 7) was issued with Calvinist commentary, and was widely read. A Geneva gown is a black, full-sleeved gown, still worn by some Protestant ministers, to make a deliberate contrast with vestments and their association with the sacrifice of the mass.

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"Geneva." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Geneva (city, United States)

Geneva, city (1990 pop. 14,143), Ontario co., W central N.Y., in the Finger Lakes region; inc. as a city 1897. Located in a farm area, Geneva's manufactures include cans and canning machinery, paper containers, metal and optical products, and water purification systems. There are also printing plants. Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a state agricultural experiment station are in the city.

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Geneva

Geneva spirit otherwise called hollands (flavoured with the juice of juniper berries). XVIII. — Du. genever (assim. to the name of Geneva in Switzerland) — OF. genevre (mod. genièvre) :- *jeniperus, for L. jūniperus JUNIPER. Cf. GIN2.

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geneva

geneva See gin.

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"geneva." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Geneva

Genevacadaver, slaver •halva, salver, salvor •balaclava, Bratislava, carver, cassava, Costa Brava, guava, Java, kava, larva, lava, palaver •woodcarver •clever, endeavour (US endeavor), ever, forever, however, howsoever, never, never-never, sever, Trevor, whatever, whatsoever, whenever, whensoever, wheresoever, wherever, whichever, whichsoever, whoever, whomever, whomsoever, whosoever •delver, elver •Denver •Ava, caver, craver, deva, engraver, enslaver, favour (US favor), flavour (US flavor), graver, haver, laver, paver, quaver, raver, saver, savour (US savor), shaver, vena cava, waiver, waver •lifesaver • semiquaver •achiever, beaver, believer, cleaver, deceiver, diva, Eva, fever, Geneva, griever, heaver, leaver, lever, Neva, perceiver, receiver, reiver, reliever, retriever, Shiva, underachiever, viva, weaver, weever •cantilever

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