Vaud, Or Pays De Vaud (Ger. Waadt Or Waadtland), a S. W. canton of Switzerland, bounded N. by the canton and lake of Neufchatel, E. by Fribonrg, S. by the canton and lake of Geneva, and W. by France, from which it is separated by the Jura range; area, 1,244 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 231,700, all Protestants except 17,592 Catholics and about 400 Jews. Capital, Lausanne. The highest Alpine points in the canton are in the S. E. part, and are connected by the Jorat, stretching N. of the lake of Geneva, with the Jura range in the west. The valleys of the latter are remarkable for rich pasture lands and for groves of walnuts. To the abundance of valleys (vaulx) is ascribed the origin of the name of the canton. The largest is that of Broye. Northern Vaud is drained by tributaries of the Aar and the lake of Neufchatel, and southern Vaud belongs to the basin of the Rhone, its drainage flowing to that river and to the lake of Geneva. The latter lake is partly within the canton, and its E. shore is the warmest and most delightful portion. Among the other lakes is Lake Joux, about 3,300 ft. above the sea level and at the foot of some of the loftiest summits of the Jura, Mont Tendre S. E. of the lake being 5,500 ft. high. Southern Vaud is remarkably fertile, and produces excellent wine and fruit, which are largely exported.

Large tracts of forest yield a great variety of trees. The salt mines at Bex are next to those of Basel the largest in Switzerland. Watches, musical boxes, tobacco, cigars, and carved wood are manufactured. The great concourse of visitors at Lausanne, Bex, Vevay, and other celebrated places, contributes greatly to the prosperity of the canton. Vaud forms part of la Suisse romande or francaise, and French, in a more or less correct form, is generally spoken. The canton is divided into 19 districts, comprising, besides the original territory between the lakes of Geneva and Neufchâtel conquered in 1536 by Bern from Savoy, the district of Bex and Aigle, S. E. of the lake of Geneva, and others on the lake of Neufchâtel,-all of which were under Bernese authority till 1798, when with French aid they formed the republic of Leman; and by Napoleon's act of mediation (Feb. 19, 1803), the canton became part of the Helvetic confederation under its present name. The constitution of May 25, 1831, was revised in July, 1845, and thus adopted in August, after the overthrow in February of the local government, which had favored the Jesuits and the Sonderbund. The grand council is the supreme cantonal authority, and acts in conjunction with a council of state chosen by itself; but all laws initiated by the grand council, or proposed by it at the demand of at least 8,000 citizens, must be ratified by a popular vote.

Another revision of the constitution in 1861 made it still more democratic.