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BASE FEE—BASEL

famous Wolfenbütteler Fragmente, published by Lessing. In 1744 he went to Leipzig as a student of theology, but gave himself up entirely to the study of philosophy. This at first induced sceptical notions; a more profound examination of the sacred writings, and of all that relates to them, brought him back to the Christian faith, but, in his retirement, he formed his belief after his own ideas, and it was far from orthodox. He returned to Hamburg, and between 1749 and 1753 was private tutor in a nobleman's family in Holstein. Basedow now began to exhibit his really remarkable powers as an educator of the young, and acquired so much distinction that, in 1753, he was chosen professor of moral philosophy and belles-lettres in the academy of Sorö in Denmark. On account of his theological opinions he was in 1761 removed from this post and transferred to Altona, where some of his published works brought him into great disfavour with the orthodox clergy. He was forbidden to give further instruction, but did not lose his salary; and, towards the end of 1767, he abandoned theology to devote himself with the same ardour to education, of which he conceived the project of a general reform in Germany. In 1768 appeared his Vorstellung an Menschenfreunde für Schulen, nebst dem Plan eines Elementarbuches der menschlichen Erkenntnisse, which was strongly influenced by Rousseau's Émile. He proposed the reform of schools and of the common methods of instruction, and the establishment of an institute for qualifying teachers,—soliciting subscriptions for the printing of his Elementarwerk, where his principles were to be explained at length, and illustrated by plates. The subscriptions for this object amounted to 15,000 Talers (£2250), and in 1774 he was able to publish the work in four volumes. It contains a complete system of primary education, intended to develop the intelligence of the pupils and to bring them, so far as possible, into contact with realities, not with mere words. The work was received with great favour, and Basedow obtained means to establish an institute for education at Dessau, and to apply his principles in training disciples, who might spread them over all Germany. The name of Philanthropin which he gave to the institution appeared to him the most expressive of his views; and he engaged in the new project with all his accustomed ardour. But he had few scholars, and the success by no means answered his hopes. Nevertheless, so well had his ideas been received that similar institutions sprang up all over the land, and the most prominent writers and thinkers openly advocated the plan. Basedow, unfortunately, was little calculated by nature or habit to succeed in an employment which required the greatest regularity, patience and attention; his temper was intractable, and his management was one long quarrel with his colleagues. He resigned his directorship of the institution in 1778, and it was finally closed in 1793. Basedow died at Magdeburg on the 25th of July 1790.

See H. Rathmann, Beiträge zur Lebensgeschichte Basedows (Magdeburg, 1791); J. C. Meyer, Leben, Charakter und Schriften Basedows (2 vols., Hamburg, 1791-1792); G. P. R. Hahn, Basedow und sein Verhaltnis zu Rousseau (Leipzig, 1885); A. Pinloche, Basedow et le philanthropinisme (Paris, 1890); C. Gössgen, Rousseau und Basedow (1891).


BASE FEE, in law, a freehold estate of inheritance which is limited or qualified by the existence of certain conditions. In modern property law the commonest example of a base fee is an estate created by a tenant in tail, not in possession, who bars the entail without the consent of the protector of the settlement. Though he bars his own issue, he cannot bar any remainder or reversion, and the estate (i.e. the base fee) thus created is determinable on the failure of his issue in tail. An example of this kind of estate was introduced by George Eliot into the plot of Felix Holt. Another example of a base fee is an estate descendible to heirs general, but terminable on an uncertain event; for example, a grant of land to A and his heirs, tenants of the manor of Dale. The estate terminates whenever the prescribed qualification ceases. An early meaning of base fee was an estate held not by free or military service, but by base service, i.e. at the will of the lord.


BASEL (Fr. Bâle), one of the most northerly of the Swiss cantons, and the only one (save Schaffhausen) that includes any territory north of the Rhine. It is traversed by the chain of the Jura, and is watered by the Birs and the Ergolz, both tributaries (left) of the Rhine. It is traversed by railways from Basel to Olten (25 m.) and to Laufen (14¼ m.), besides local lines from Basel to Flühen (8 m.) for the frequented pilgrimage resort of Mariastein, and from Liestal to Waldenburg (8¾ m.), From 1803 to 1814 the canton was one of the six "Directorial" cantons of the Confederation. Since 1833 it has been divided into two half cantons, with independent constitutions.

One is that of Basel Stadt or Bâle Ville, including, besides the city of Basel, the three rural districts (all to the north of the Rhine) of Riehen, Bettingen and Klein Hüningen (the latter now united to the city). The total area of this half canton is 13.7 sq. m. only, of which 11 sq. m. are classed as "productive," forests occupying 1.5 sq. m., but its total population in 1900 was 112,227 (of whom 3066 inhabited the rural districts), mainly German-speaking, and numbering 73,063 Protestants, 37,101 Romanists (including the Old Catholics), and 1897 Jews. The cantonal constitution dates from 1889. The executive of seven members and the legislature (Grossrat) of 130 members, as well as the one member sent to the Federal Ständerat and the six sent to the Federal Nationalrat, are all elected by a direct popular vote for the term of three years. Since 1875, 1000 citizens can claim a popular vote (facultative Referendum) on all bills, or can exercise the right of initiative whether as to laws or the revision of the cantonal constitution.

The other half canton is that of Basel Landschaft or Bâle Campagne, which is divided into four administrative districts and comprises seventy-four communes, its capital being Liestal. Its total area is 165 sq. m., of which all but 5 sq. m. is reckoned "productive" (including 55.9 sq. m. of forests). In 1900 its total population was 68,497, nearly all German-speaking, while there were 52,763 Protestants, 15,564 Romanists, and 130 Jews.

The cantonal constitution dates from 1892. The executive of 5 members and the legislature or Landrat (one member per 800 inhabitants or fraction over 400), as well as the single member sent to the Federal Ständerat and the three sent to the Federal Nationalrat, are all elected by a direct popular vote for three years. The "obligatory Referendum" obtains in the case of all laws, while 1500 citizens have the right of "initiative" whether as to laws or the revision of the cantonal constitution. Silk ribbon weaving, textile industries and the manufacture of tiles are carried on.

 (W. A. B. C.) 


BASEL (Fr. Bâle, but Basle is a wholly erroneous form; Ital. Basilea), the capital of the Swiss half canton of Basel Stadt or Bâle Ville. It is now the second most populous (109,161 inhabitants) town (ranking after Zürich) in the Swiss Confederation, while it is reputed to be the richest, the number of resident millionaires (in francs) exceeding that of any other Swiss town. Both facts are largely due to the opening (1882) of the St Gotthard railway, as merchandise collected from every part of north and central Europe is stored in Basel previous to being redistributed by means of that line. Hence the city has an extremely large and flourishing transit trade, despite the rather dingy appearance of its older portions. The city is divided by the Rhine into Gross Basel (south) and Klein Basel (north), the former being by far the larger. There are several bridges over the river, the old wooden bridge having been replaced in 1905 by one built of stone. The central or main railway station is in Gross Basel, while the Baden station is in Klein Basel. The most prominent building in the city is the cathedral or Münster, built of deep red sandstone, on a terrace high above the Rhine. It was consecrated in 1019, but was mainly rebuilt after the disastrous earthquake of 1356 that nearly ruined the city. The public meetings of the great oecumenical council (1431-1449) were held in the choir, while the committees sat in the chapter-house. Erasmus lived in Basel 1521-1529, and on his death there (1536) was buried in the cathedral, attached to which are cloisters, in which various celebrated men are buried, e.g. Oecolampadius (d. 1531), Grynaeus (d. 1541), Buxtorf (d. 1732). The 16th-century Rathaus or town hall has recently been restored. In the museum is a fine collection of works of art by Holbein (who lived in Basel from