He studied law and from 1835 he had a law firm together with his brother-in-law Eduard Sury. He headed the Radicals of Bern (Berner Radikale) together with Jakob Stämpfli. The Radicals later became the Free Democratic Party.
Ulrich Ochsenbein participated in the Freischarenzüge against Catholic Lucerne in 1844 and 1845. He was a member of the Grossrat in the canton of Bern from 1845 to 1846, president of the Verfassungsrat in 1846 and a member of the Regierungsrat from 1846 to 1848. 1847 to 1848 he represented the canton of Bern at the Tagsatzung (diet) which he presided in 1847. He played an important role that the Swiss constitution was accepted by the Swiss population in the constitutional referendum held on 6 June 1848.
He was elected to the Federal Council of Switzerland on 16 November 1848 and handed over office on 31 December 1854 after being voted out of office. He is one of only a few federal councilors to be voted out of office. During his time as a federal councilor a fight broke out between the conservatives and a group of the radical party. Not willing to take positions, he lost the trust of both sides. During his time in office he held the Military Department (department of defence).
- Profile of Ulrich Ochsenbein with election results on the website of the Swiss Federal Council.
- Ulrich Ochsenbein in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- All of the following links are in German.
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