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History of Switzerland

History of Switzerland

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Since 1848, the Swiss Confederation has been a federal state of relatively autonomous canton
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

s, some of which have a history of confederacy that goes back more than 700 years, arguably putting them among the world's oldest surviving republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

s. For the time before 1291, this article summarizes events taking place on the territory of modern Switzerland. From 1291, it focuses mainly on the fates of the Old Swiss Confederacy
Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy was the precursor of modern-day Switzerland....

, at first consisting of only three cantons (Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden) in what is now central Switzerland, and gradually expanding until it encompassed the present-day area of Switzerland in 1815.

Early history



Archeological evidence suggests that hunter-gatherers were already settled in the lowlands north of the Alps
Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are the portion of the Alps mountain range that lies within Switzerland. Because of their central position within the entire Alpine range, they are also known as the Central Alps....

 in the late Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 period. By the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 period, the area was relatively densely populated. Remains of Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 pile dwellings from as early as 3800 BC have been found in the shallow areas of many lakes. Around 1500 BC, Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic tribes settled in the area. The Raetia
Raetia
Raetia was a province of the Roman Empire, named after the Rhaetian people. It was bounded on the west by the country of the Helvetii, on the east by Noricum, on the north by Vindelicia, on the west by Cisalpine Gaul and on south by Venetia et Histria...

ns lived in the eastern regions, while the west was occupied by the Helvetii
Helvetii
The Helvetii were a Celtic tribe or tribal confederation occupying most of the Swiss plateau at the time of their contact with the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC...

.

In 58 BC, the Helvetii tried to evade migratory pressure from Germanic tribes by moving into Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

, but were defeated at Lawrenceburg by Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's armies and then sent back. The alpine region became integrated into the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 and was extensively romanized in the course of the following centuries. The center of Roman administration was at Aventicum (Avenches
Avenches
Avenches is a Swiss municipality in the canton of Vaud, located in the district of Broye-Vully.-History:The roots of Avenches go back to the Celts...

). In 259, Alamanni
Alamanni
The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Rhine river . One of the earliest references to them is the cognomen Alamannicus assumed by Roman Emperor Caracalla, who ruled the Roman Empire from 211 to 217 and claimed thereby to be...

 tribes overran the Limes, putting the settlements on Swiss territory on the frontier of the Roman Empire.

The first Christian bishoprics were founded in the 4th century. With the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Decline of the Roman Empire
The decline of the Roman Empire refers to the gradual societal collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Many theories of causality prevail, but most concern the disintegration of political, economic, military, and other social institutions, in tandem with foreign invasions and usurpers from within the...

, Germanic tribes entered the area. Burgundians
Burgundians
The Burgundians were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose old form in Old Norse still was Burgundarholmr , and from there to mainland Europe...

 settled in the west; while in the north, Alamanni
Alamanni
The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Rhine river . One of the earliest references to them is the cognomen Alamannicus assumed by Roman Emperor Caracalla, who ruled the Roman Empire from 211 to 217 and claimed thereby to be...

 settlers slowly forced the earlier Celto-Roman population to retreat into the mountains. Burgundy became a part of the kingdom of the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 in 534; two years later, the dukedom of the Alamans followed suit. In the Alaman-controlled region, only isolated Christian communities continued to exist and Irish monks
Hiberno-Scottish mission
The Hiberno-Scottish mission was a mission led by Irish and Scottish monks which spread Christianity and established monasteries in Great Britain and continental Europe during the Middle Ages...

 re-introduced the Christian faith in the early 7th century.

Under the Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 kings, the feudal system
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 proliferated, and monasteries and bishoprics were important bases for maintaining the rule. The Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun
The Treaty of Verdun was a treaty between the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious, the son and successor of Charlemagne, which divided the Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms...

 of 843 assigned Upper Burgundy
Upper Burgundy
Upper Burgundy is the part of Burgundy east of the Jura mountains, that together with the western County of Burgundy from 868 formed the Kingdom of Upper Burgundy, encompassing both sides of the Jura mountains range...

 (the western part of what is today Switzerland) to Lotharingia
Lotharingia
Lotharingia was a region in northwest Europe, comprising the Low Countries, the western Rhineland, the lands today on the border between France and Germany, and what is now western Switzerland. It was born of the tripartite division in 855, of the kingdom of Middle Francia, itself formed of the...

, and Alemannia (the eastern part) to the eastern kingdom of Louis the German
Louis the German
Louis the German , also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact...

 which would become part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.

In the 10th century, as the rule of the Carolingians waned, Magyars destroyed Basel
Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

 in 917 and St. Gallen
St. Gallen
St. Gallen is the capital of the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. It evolved from the hermitage of Saint Gall, founded in the 7th century. Today, it is a large urban agglomeration and represents the center of eastern Switzerland. The town mainly relies on the service sector for its economic...

 in 926. Only after the victory of King Otto I over the Magyars in 955 in the Battle of Lechfeld
Battle of Lechfeld
The Battle of Lechfeld , often seen as the defining event for holding off the incursions of the Hungarians into Western Europe, was a decisive victory by Otto I the Great, King of the Germans, over the Hungarian leaders, the harka Bulcsú and the chieftains Lél and Súr...

, were the Swiss territories reintegrated into the empire.

In the 12th century, the dukes of Zähringen
Zähringen
Zähringen is the name of an old German family that founded a large number of cities in what are today Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg. While the junior line that first assumed the title Duke of Zähringen, a cadet branch of the House of Baden, became extinct in 1218, the senior line persists and...

 were given authority over part of the Burgundy territories which covered the western part of modern Switzerland. They founded many cities, including Fribourg
Fribourg
Fribourg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district of Sarine. It is located on both sides of the river Saane/Sarine, on the Swiss plateau, and is an important economic, administrative and educational center on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland...

 in 1157, and Bern in 1191. The Zähringer dynasty ended with the death of Berchtold V in 1218, and their cities subsequently became reichsfrei (essentially a city-state within the Holy Roman Empire), while the dukes of Kyburg
Kyburg
Kyburg may refer to:*Henry E. Kyburg, Jr., the philosopher/logician*The castle Kyburg in the Canton of Zurich*The municipality surrounding the castle, Kyburg, Zurich*The noble House of Kyburg that took their name from the castle....

 competed with the house of Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 over control of the rural regions of the former Zähringer territory.

Under the Hohenstaufen
Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

 rule, the alpine passes in Raetia and the St. Gotthard Pass
St. Gotthard Pass
The Gotthard Pass or St. Gotthard Pass is a high mountain pass in Switzerland between Airolo in the canton of Ticino, and Göschenen in the canton of Uri, connecting the northern German-speaking part of Switzerland with the Italian-speaking part, along the route onwards to Milan.Though the pass...

 gained importance. The latter especially became an important direct route through the mountains. Uri
Canton of Uri
Uri is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and a founding member of the Swiss Confederation. It is located in Central Switzerland. The canton's territory covers the valley of the Reuss River between Lake Lucerne and the St. Gotthard Pass. German is the primary language spoken in Uri...

 (in 1231) and Schwyz
Canton of Schwyz
Schwyz is a canton in central Switzerland between the Alps in the south, Lake Lucerne in the east and Lake Zurich in the north, centered around and named after the town of Schwyz....

 (in 1240) were accorded the Reichsfreiheit
Reichsfreiheit
Imperial immediacy was a privileged feudal and political status, which the estates of the realm such as an imperial city, a religious entity, a feudal principality, or a minor lordship could attain within the Holy Roman Empire...

to grant the empire direct control over the mountain pass. Most of the territory of Unterwalden
Unterwalden
Unterwalden is the old name of a forest-canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy in central Switzerland, south of Lake Lucerne, consisting of two valleys or Talschaften, now organized as two half-cantons, an upper part, Obwalden, and a lower part, Nidwalden.Unterwalden was one of the three participants...

 at this time belonged to monasteries which had previously become reichsfrei.

The extinction of the Kyburg
House of Kyburg
The House of Kyburg was family of Grafen or counts from Zürich in Switzerland. The family was one of the three most powerful noble families in the Swiss plateau beside the Habsburg and the House of Savoy during the 11th and 12th Centuries...

 dynasty paved the way for the Habsburg dynasty to bring much of the territory south of the Rhine under their control, aiding their rise to power. Rudolph I of Habsburg
Rudolph I of Germany
Rudolph I was King of the Romans from 1273 until his death. He played a vital role in raising the Habsburg dynasty to a leading position among the Imperial feudal dynasties...

, who became Holy Roman Emperor in 1273, effectively revoked the status of Reichsfreiheit granted to the "Forest Cantons" of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. The Forest Cantons thus lost their independent status and were governed by reeve
Vogt
A Vogt ; plural Vögte; Dutch voogd; Danish foged; ; ultimately from Latin [ad]vocatus) in the Holy Roman Empire was the German title of a reeve or advocate, an overlord exerting guardianship or military protection as well as secular justice...

s.

Old Confederacy (1291–1523)



In 1291, the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden united to defend the peace upon the death of Emperor Rudolf I of Habsburg. Their union, one nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy
Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy was the precursor of modern-day Switzerland....

, is recorded in the Federal Charter, a document probably written after the fact in the early 14th century. At the battles of Morgarten
Battle of Morgarten
The Battle of Morgarten occurred on November 15, 1315, when a Swiss Confederation force of 1,500 infantry archers ambushed a group of Austrian soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire near the Morgarten Pass...

 in 1315 and Sempach
Battle of Sempach
An armistice was agreed upon on 12 October, followed by a peace agreement valid for one year, beginning on 14 January 1387.The battle was a severe blow to Austrian interests in the region, and allowed for the further growth of the Old Swiss Confederacy....

 1386, the Swiss defeated the Habsburgs, gaining increased autonomy within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.

By 1353, the three original cantons had been joined by the cantons of Glarus
Canton of Glarus
The Canton of Glarus is a canton in east central Switzerland. The capital is Glarus.The population speaks a variety of Alemannic German.The majority of the population identifies as Christian, about evenly split between the Protestant and Catholic confessions.-History:According to legend, the...

 and Zug
Canton of Zug
The Canton of Zug is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland. It is located in central Switzerland and its capital is Zug. With 239 km² the canton is one of the smallest of the cantons in terms of area. It is not subdivided into districts.- History :The earlier history of the canton is...

 and the city states of Lucerne
Lucerne
Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and...

, Zürich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, and Bern, forming the "Old Federation" of eight states that persisted during much of the 15th century. Zürich was expelled from the Confederation from 1440 to 1450 due to a conflict over the territory of Toggenburg (the Old Zürich War
Old Zürich War
The Old Zürich War , 1440–46, was a conflict between the canton of Zürich and the other seven cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy over the succession to the Count of Toggenburg....

). The Confederation's power and wealth increased significantly, with victories over Charles the Bold of Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 during the 1470s and the success of Swiss mercenaries
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

.

The traditional listing order of the cantons of Switzerland
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

 reflects this state, listing the eight "Old Cantons" first, with the city states preceding the founding cantons, followed by cantons that joined the Confederation after 1481, in historical order.

The Swiss defeated the Swabian League
Swabian League
The Swabian League was an association of Imperial States - cities, prelates, principalities and knights - principally in the territory of the Early medieval stem duchy of Swabia, established in 1488 at the behest of Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg and supported as well by Bertold von...

 in 1499 and gaining greater collective autonomy within the Holy Roman Empire, including exemption from the Imperial reforms of 1495 and immunity from most Imperial courst. In 1506. Pope Julius II engaged the Swiss Guard
Swiss Guard
Swiss Guards or Schweizergarde is the name given to the Swiss soldiers who have served as bodyguards, ceremonial guards, and palace guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century. They have had a high reputation for discipline, as well as loyalty to their employers...

, which continues to serve the papacy to the present day. The expansion of the Confederation and the reputation of invincibility acquired during the earlier wars suffered a first setback in 1515 with the Swiss defeat in the Battle of Marignano
Battle of Marignano
The Battle of Marignano was fought during the phase of the Italian Wars called the War of the League of Cambrai, between France and the Old Swiss Confederacy. It took place on September 13 and 15, 1515, near the town today called Melegnano, 16 km southeast of Milan...

.

Reformation (1523–1648)


The Reformation in Switzerland
Reformation in Switzerland
The Protestant Reformation in Switzerland was promoted initially by Huldrych Zwingli, who gained the support of the magistrate and population of Zürich in the 1520s. It led to significant changes in civil life and state matters in Zürich and spread to several other cantons of the Old Swiss...

 began in 1523, led by Huldrych Zwingli
Huldrych Zwingli
Ulrich Zwingli was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. Born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system, he attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel, a scholarly centre of humanism...

, priest of the Great Minster church in Zürich since 1518. Zürich adopted the Protestant religion, joined by Berne, Basel, and Schaffhausen, while Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zug, Fribourg and Solothurn remained Catholic. Glarus and Appenzell were split. This led to inter-cantonal religious wars (Kappeler Kriege) in 1529 and 1531, because each canton usually made the opposing religion illegal, and to the formation of two diets, the Protestant one meeting in Aarau and the Catholic one in Lucerne (as well as the formal full diet still meeting usually in Baden) but the Confederation survived.

During the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, Switzerland was a relative "oasis of peace and prosperity" (Grimmelshausen) in war-torn Europe, mostly because all major powers in Europe depended on Swiss mercenaries, and would not let Switzerland fall in the hands of one of their rivals. Politically, they all tried to take influence, by way of mercenary commanders such as Jörg Jenatsch
Jörg Jenatsch
Jörg Jenatsch, commonly called Jürg or Jörg Jenatsch , was a Swiss political leader during the Thirty Years' War...

 or Johann Rudolf Wettstein
Johann Rudolf Wettstein
Johann Rudolf Wettstein was a Swiss diplomat and one-time mayor of Basel. His father, a wine grower, had migrated from Russikon in the Zurich region and worked in the Basel hospital, eventually becoming hospital supervisor.- Career :...

. The Drei Bünde of Grisons, at that point not yet a member of the Confederacy, were involved in the war from 1620, which led to their loss of the Valtellina
Valtellina
Valtellina or the Valtelline valley ; is a valley in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, bordering Switzerland. Today it is known for its skiing, its hot spring spas, its cheeses and its wines...

 in 1623.

Ancien Régime (1648–1798)



At the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, Switzerland attained legal independence from the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. The Valtellina became a dependency of the Drei Bünde again after the Treaty and remained so until the founding of the Cisalpine Republic
Cisalpine Republic
The Cisalpine Republic was a French client republic in Northern Italy that lasted from 1797 to 1802.-Birth:After the Battle of Lodi in May 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte proceeded to organize two states: one to the south of the Po River, the Cispadane Republic, and one to the north, the Transpadane...

 by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797.

In 1653, peasants of territories subject to Lucerne
Lucerne
Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and...

, Bern, Solothurn
Solothurn
The city of Solothurn is the capital of the Canton of Solothurn in Switzerland. The city also comprises the only municipality of the district of the same name.-Pre-roman settlement:...

, and Basel
Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

 revolted because of currency devaluation. Although the authorities prevailed in this Swiss peasant war, they did pass some tax reforms and the incident in the long term prevented an absolutist
Absolutism (European history)
Absolutism or The Age of Absolutism is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by all other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites...

 development as would occur at some other courts of Europe. The confessional tensions remained, however, and erupted again in the Battles of Villmergen
Battles of Villmergen
The Battles of Villmergen were two battles between Reformed and Catholic Swiss cantons. They occurred on January 24, 1656 and July 24, 1712 at Villmergen, Canton of Aargau, Switzerland ....

 in 1656 and 1712.

Napoleonic Era (1798–1848)



During the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...

, French armies enveloped Switzerland during their battles against Austria. In 1798 Switzerland was completely overrun by the French who turned it into the united Helvetic Republic
Helvetic Republic
In Swiss history, the Helvetic Republic represented an early attempt to impose a central authority over Switzerland, which until then consisted mainly of self-governing cantons united by a loose military alliance, and conquered territories such as Vaud...

, effectively abolishing the cantons. Having been imposed by a foreign power, and relying on French troops to survive, the Helvetic Republic was highly unpopular and encountered severe economic and political problems and uprisings. Its new constitution following not Swiss sentiment but the political philosophy of the French Revolution. Swiss resistance constitution reflects a wider European discontent with the French Revolution and conflicting Swiss notions of liberty and freedom>

In 1803, Napoleon's Act of Mediation
Act of Mediation
The Act of Mediation was issued by Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 February 1803 establishing the Swiss Confederation. The act also abolished the previous Helvetic Republic, which had existed since the invasion of Switzerland by French troops in 1798. After the withdrawal of French troops in July 1802,...

 partially restored the sovereignty of the cantons, and the former tributary and allied territories of Aargau
Aargau
Aargau is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It comprises the lower course of the river Aare, which is why the canton is called Aar-gau .-History:...

, Thurgau
Thurgau
Thurgau is a northeast canton of Switzerland. The population, , is . In 2007, there were a total of 47,390 who were resident foreigners. The capital is Frauenfeld.-History:...

, Grisons, St. Gallen
Canton of St. Gallen
The Canton of St. Gallen is a canton of Switzerland. St. Gallen is located in the north east of Switzerland. It covers an area of 2,026 km², and has a population of . , the population included 97,461 foreigners, or about 20.9% of the total population. The capital is St. Gallen. Spelling...

, Vaud
Vaud
Vaud is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and is located in Romandy, the French-speaking southwestern part of the country. The capital is Lausanne. The name of the Canton in Switzerland's other languages are Vaud in Italian , Waadt in German , and Vad in Romansh.-History:Along the lakes,...

 and Ticino
Ticino
Canton Ticino or Ticino is the southernmost canton of Switzerland. Named after the Ticino river, it is the only canton in which Italian is the sole official language...

 became cantons with equal rights.

The Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 of 1815 fully re-established Swiss independence
Restauration (Switzerland)
The periods of Restoration and Regeneration in Swiss history last from 1814 to 1847. "Restoration" refers to the period of 1814 to 1830, the restoration of the Ancien Régime , reverting the changes imposed by Napoleon Bonaparte with the centralist Helvetic Republic from 1798 and the partial...

 and the European powers agreed to recognize permanent Swiss neutrality. At this time, Valais
Valais
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

, Neuchatel
Canton of Neuchâtel
Neuchâtel is a canton of French speaking western Switzerland. In 2007, its population was 169,782 of which 39,654 were foreigners. The capital is Neuchâtel.-History:...

 and Geneva
Canton of Geneva
The Republic and Canton of Geneva is the French speaking westernmost canton or state of Switzerland, surrounded on almost all sides by France. As is the case in several other Swiss cantons The Republic and Canton of Geneva is the French speaking westernmost canton or state of Switzerland,...

 also joined Switzerland as new cantons, thereby extending Swiss territory
Enlargement of Switzerland
The enlargement of Switzerland by way of the admission of new cantons to the Swiss Confederation ended in 1815. After a failed attempt of Vorarlberg to join Switzerland in 1919, the idea of resuming Swiss enlargement was revived in 2010 by a parliamentary motion of 28 right-wing members of the...

 for the last time.

Switzerland as a federal state (1848–1914)



The Radical Party
Free Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Free Democratic Party was a classical liberal political party in Switzerland. It was one of the major parties in Switzerland until its merger with the smaller classical liberal Liberal Party, to form FDP.The Liberals on 1 January 2009....

 and liberals made up of urban bourgeoisie and burghers, which were strong in the largely Protestant cantons, obtained the majority in the Federal Diet in the early 1840s. They proposed a new Constitution for the Swiss Confederation which would draw the several cantons into a closer relationship. In 1843, the conservative city patricians and mountain or Ur-Swiss from the largely Catholic cantons were opposed to the new constitution. In addition to the centralization of the Swiss government, the new Constitution also included protections for trade and other progressive reform measures.

In 1847, the Catholic cantons formed a separate union within the Confederation (the Sonderbund
Sonderbund
The Sonderbund War of November 1847 was a civil war in Switzerland. It ensued after seven Catholic cantons formed the Sonderbund in 1845 in order to protect their interests against a centralization of power...

). This led to the Sonderbundskrieg. The Radicals, fearful of a Jesuit takeover, used their control of the national government and ordered the Sonderbund disbanded. When it refused the national army attacked in a brief civil war between the Catholic and the Protestant cantons. The Sonderbund was easily defeated in less than a month; there were about 130 killed. Apart from small riots, this was the last armed conflict on Swiss territory.

As a consequence of the civil war, Switzerland adopted a federal constitution
Swiss Federal Constitution
The Federal Constitution of 18 April 1999 is the third and current federal constitution of Switzerland. It establishes the Swiss Confederation as a federal republic of 26 cantons , contains a catalogue of individual and popular rights , delineates the responsibilities of the...

 in 1848, amending it extensively in 1874 and establishing federal responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters, leaving all other matters to the cantonal governments. From then, and over much of the 20th century, continuous political, economic, and social improvement has characterized Swiss history.


World Wars (1914–45)


The major powers respected Switzerland's neutrality during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, though the Grimm-Hoffmann Affair
Grimm-Hoffmann Affair
The Grimm-Hoffmann Affair was a short-lived scandal that seriously brought into question Switzerland's neutrality during World War I. Robert Grimm, a socialist politician, travelled to Russia as an activist to negotiate a separate peace between Russia and Germany, in order to end the war on the...

 did come close into calling it into question.

During World War II, Germany considered invading
Operation Tannenbaum
Operation Tannenbaum , known earlier as Operation Green, was a planned but cancelled invasion of Switzerland by Nazi Germany during World War II.-Background:...

, but never attacked. Under General Henri Guisan
Henri Guisan
Henri Guisan was a Swiss army officer, and held the office of the General of the Swiss Army during World War II. He was the fourth and the most recent man to be appointed to the rarely used Swiss rank of General, and was possibly Switzerland's most famous soldier...

, the Swiss army prepared for mass mobilization of militia forces against invasion, and prepared strong, well-stockpiled positions high in the Alps known as the Réduit
Reduit
A reduit is a fortified structure such as a citadel or a keep into which the defending troops can retreat when the outer defences are breached...

. Switzerland remained independent and neutral through a combination of military deterrence, economic concessions to Germany, and good fortune as larger events during the war delayed an invasion. Attempts by Switzerland's small Nazi party to cause an Anschluss
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

with Germany failed miserably, largely due to Switzerland's multicultural heritage, strong sense of national identity, and long tradition of direct democracy and civil liberties. The Swiss press vigorously criticized the Third Reich , often infuriating German leaders. Switzerland was an important base for espionage by both sides in the conflict and often mediated communications between the Axis and Allied powers.

Switzerland's trade was blockaded by both the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 and by the Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

. Both sides openly exerted pressure on Switzerland not to trade with the other. Economic cooperation and extension of credit to the Third Reich varied according to the perceived likelihood of invasion, and the availability of other trading partners. Concessions reached their zenith after a crucial rail link through Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

 was severed in 1942, leaving Switzerland completely surrounded by the Axis. Switzerland relied on trade for half of its food and essentially all of its fuel, but controlled vital trans-alpine rail tunnels between Germany and Italy. Switzerland's most important exports during the war were precision machine tools, watches, jewel bearings (used in bombsights), electricity, and dairy products. During World War Two, the Swiss franc
Swiss franc
The franc is the currency and legal tender of Switzerland and Liechtenstein; it is also legal tender in the Italian exclave Campione d'Italia. Although not formally legal tender in the German exclave Büsingen , it is in wide daily use there...

 was the only remaining major freely convertible currency in the world, and both the Allies and the Germans sold large amounts of gold to the Swiss National Bank
Swiss National Bank
The Swiss National Bank is the central bank of Switzerland. It is responsible for Swiss monetary policy and for issuing Swiss franc banknotes.The names of the institution in the four official languages of the country are: ; ; ; ....

. Between 1940 and 1945, the German Reichsbank
Reichsbank
The Reichsbank was the central bank of Germany from 1876 until 1945. It was founded on 1 January 1876 . The Reichsbank was a privately owned central bank of Prussia, under close control by the Reich government. Its first president was Hermann von Dechend...

 sold 1.3 billion francs worth of gold to Swiss Banks in exchange for Swiss francs and other foreign currency. Hundreds of millions of francs worth of this gold was monetary gold
Gold standard
The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed mass of gold. There are distinct kinds of gold standard...

 plundered from the central bank
Central bank
A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is a public institution that usually issues the currency, regulates the money supply, and controls the interest rates in a country. Central banks often also oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries...

s of occupied countries. 581,000 francs of "Melmer" gold taken from Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 victims in eastern Europe was sold to Swiss banks. In total, trade between Germany and Switzerland contributed about 0.5% to the German war effort but did not significantly lengthen the war.

Over the course of the war, Switzerland interned 300,000 refugees. 104,000 of these were foreign troops interned according to the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers outlined in the Hague Conventions
Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907)
The Hague Conventions were two international treaties negotiated at international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands: The First Hague Conference in 1899 and the Second Hague Conference in 1907...

. The rest were foreign civilians and were either interned or granted tolerance or residence permits by the cantonal authorities. Refugees were not allowed to hold jobs. 60,000 of the refugees were civilians escaping persecution by the Nazis. Of these, 26,000 to 27,000 were Jews. Between 10,000 and 25,000 civilian refugees were refused entry. At the beginning of the war, Switzerland had a Jewish population of between 18,000 and 28,000 and a total population of about 4 million.

Within Switzerland at the time of the conflict there was moderate polarization. Some were pacifists. Some took sides according to international capitalism or international communism. Others leaned more towards their language group, with some in French-speaking areas more pro-Allied, and some in Swiss-German areas more pro-Axis. The government attempted to thwart the activities of any individual, party, or faction in Switzerland that acted with extremism or attempted to break the unity of the nation. The Swiss-German speaking areas moved linguistically further away from the standard (high) German spoken in Germany, with more emphasis on local Swiss dialects.

In the 1990s, controversy over a class-action lawsuit
World Jewish Congress lawsuit against Swiss banks
The World Jewish Congress lawsuit against Swiss banks was launched to retrieve deposits made by victims of Nazi persecution during and prior to World War II.-Negotiations:...

 brought in Brooklyn, New York over Jewish assets in Holocaust-era bank accounts prompted the Swiss government to commission the most recent and authoritative study of Switzerland's interaction with the Nazi regime. The final report by this independent panel of international scholars, known as the Bergier Commission
Bergier commission
The Bergier commission in Bern was formed by the Swiss government on 12 December 1996. It is also known as the ICE ....

, was issued in 2002.

After 1945


After the war, Swiss authorities considered the construction of a Swiss nuclear bomb. Leading nuclear physicists at the Federal Institute of Technology
ETH Zurich
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich or ETH Zürich is an engineering, science, technology, mathematics and management university in the City of Zurich, Switzerland....

 such as Paul Scherrer
Paul Scherrer
Paul Scherrer was a Swiss physicist. Born in Herisau, Switzerland, he studied at Göttingen, Germany, before becoming a lecturer there. Later, Scherrer became head of the Department of Physics at ETH Zürich....

 made this a realistic possibility, and in 1958 the population clearly voted in favour of the bomb. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to...

 of 1968 was seen as a valid alternative, however, and the bomb was never built.

From 1959, the Federal Council
Swiss Federal Council
The Federal Council is the seven-member executive council which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland and serves as the Swiss collective head of state....

, elected by the parliament, is composed of members of the four major parties, the Protestant Free Democrats
Free Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Free Democratic Party was a classical liberal political party in Switzerland. It was one of the major parties in Switzerland until its merger with the smaller classical liberal Liberal Party, to form FDP.The Liberals on 1 January 2009....

, the Catholic Christian Democrats
Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland
The Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland is a Christian democratic political party in Switzerland. It is the fourth-largest party in the National Council, with 31 seats, and the largest in the Council of States, with 15 seats. It has one seat, that of Doris Leuthard, on the Swiss...

, the left-wing Social Democrats
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Social Democratic Party of Switzerland is the largest centre-left political party in Switzerland....

 and the right-wing People's Party
Swiss People's Party
The Swiss People's Party , also known as the Democratic Union of the Centre , is a conservative political party in Switzerland. Chaired by Toni Brunner, but spearheaded by Christoph Blocher, the party is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of...

, essentially creating a system without a sizeable parliamentary opposition (see concordance system
Concordance system
In Swiss politics, concordance system refers to the presence of all major parties in the Federal Council, also referred to as the integration of the political opposition into government....

), reflecting the powerful position of an opposition in a direct democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

.

In 1963, Switzerland joined the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

. Women were granted the right to vote only in 1971, and an equal rights amendment was ratified in 1981. In 1979, parts of the canton of Bern attained independence, forming the new canton of Jura
Canton of Jura
The Republic and Canton of the Jura , also known as the Canton of Jura or Canton Jura, is one of the cantons of Switzerland. It is the newest of the 26 Swiss cantons, located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. The capital is Delémont...

.

Switzerland's role in many United Nations and international organizations helped to mitigate the country's concern for neutrality. In 2002, Switzerland was officially ratified as a member of the United Nations — the only country joining after agreement by a popular vote.

Switzerland is not a member state of the EU, but has been (together with Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

) surrounded by EU territory since the joining of Austria in 1995. In 2005, Switzerland agreed to join the Schengen treaty and Dublin Convention
Dublin Convention
The Dublin Regulation is a European Union law that determines the EU Member State responsible to examine an application for asylum seekers seeking international protection under the Geneva Convention and the EU Qualification Directive, within the European Union...

 by popular vote.

See also

  • Historiography of Switzerland
    Historiography of Switzerland
    The historiography of Switzerland is the study of the history of Switzerland. Up until the late twentieth century, it was largely shaped by the centuries-old traditional account of the founding of the Old Swiss Confederacy through the Federal Charter of 1291 as a defensive alliance of small...

  • History of the Alps
    History of the Alps
    The Alpine region has been populated since ancient times and, due to its central location, its history has always been closely entwined with that of Europe. Currently the Alps sprawl across eight countries...

  • History of Austria
    History of Austria
    The history of Austria covers the history of the current country of Austria and predecessor states, from the Iron Age, through to a sovereign state, annexation by the German Third Reich, partition after the Second World War and later developments until the present day...

  • History of Europe
    History of Europe
    History of Europe describes the history of humans inhabiting the European continent since it was first populated in prehistoric times to present, with the first human settlement between 45,000 and 25,000 BC.-Overview:...

  • History of France
    History of France
    The history of France goes back to the arrival of the earliest human being in what is now France. Members of the genus Homo entered the area hundreds of thousands years ago, while the first modern Homo sapiens, the Cro-Magnons, arrived around 40,000 years ago...

  • History of Germany
    History of Germany
    The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar, who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, thus distinguishing it from Gaul , which he had conquered. The victory of the Germanic tribes in the Battle of the...

  • History of the Grisons
  • History of Italy
    History of Italy
    Italy, united in 1861, has significantly contributed to the political, cultural and social development of the entire Mediterranean region. Many cultures and civilizations have existed there since prehistoric times....

  • History of Liechtenstein
    History of Liechtenstein
    Political identity came to the territory now occupied by the Principality of Liechtenstein in 814, with the formation of the subcountry of Lower Rhaetia...

  • History of Zürich
    History of Zürich
    Zurich was continuously inhabited since Roman times. The name Zurich is possibly derived from the Celtic dur . It is first mentioned in 807 under the form Turigus, then in 853 as Turegus...

  • List of Presidents of Switzerland
  • Politics of Switzerland
    Politics of Switzerland
    The politics of Switzerland take place in the framework of a multi-party federal parliamentary democratic republic, whereby the Federal Council of Switzerland is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government and the federal administration and is not concentrated in any one...

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Switzerland
    Postage stamps and postal history of Switzerland
    This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Switzerland.- Cantonal issues :The first stamps used in Switzerland were issued by the cantons of Zürich, Geneva and Basel for their own use, with the first federal issues coming several years later.- Zürich :The Zurich 4 and 6 was first...


Order of accession of the cantons


  • 1291 – Uri
    Canton of Uri
    Uri is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and a founding member of the Swiss Confederation. It is located in Central Switzerland. The canton's territory covers the valley of the Reuss River between Lake Lucerne and the St. Gotthard Pass. German is the primary language spoken in Uri...

    , Schwyz
    Canton of Schwyz
    Schwyz is a canton in central Switzerland between the Alps in the south, Lake Lucerne in the east and Lake Zurich in the north, centered around and named after the town of Schwyz....

    , Unterwalden
    Unterwalden
    Unterwalden is the old name of a forest-canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy in central Switzerland, south of Lake Lucerne, consisting of two valleys or Talschaften, now organized as two half-cantons, an upper part, Obwalden, and a lower part, Nidwalden.Unterwalden was one of the three participants...

     (now divided into Obwalden
    Obwalden
    Obwalden is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the centre of Switzerland. The population is 33,997 of which 4,043 are foreigners. Its capital is Sarnen. The canton contains the geographical centre of Switzerland.-History:...

     and Nidwalden
    Nidwalden
    Nidwalden is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the centre of Switzerland. The population is 40,287 of which 4,046 are foreigners. The capital is Stans.-History:...

    )
  • 1332 – Lucerne
    Canton of Lucerne
    Lucerne is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the centre of Switzerland. The population of the canton is . , the population included 57,268 foreigners, or about 15.8% of the total population. The cantonal capital is Lucerne.-History:...

  • 1351 – Zurich
    Canton of Zürich
    The Canton of Zurich has a population of . The canton is located in the northeast of Switzerland and the city of Zurich is its capital. The official language is German, but people speak the local Swiss German dialect called Züritüütsch...

  • 1352 – Glarus
    Canton of Glarus
    The Canton of Glarus is a canton in east central Switzerland. The capital is Glarus.The population speaks a variety of Alemannic German.The majority of the population identifies as Christian, about evenly split between the Protestant and Catholic confessions.-History:According to legend, the...

    , Zug
    Canton of Zug
    The Canton of Zug is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland. It is located in central Switzerland and its capital is Zug. With 239 km² the canton is one of the smallest of the cantons in terms of area. It is not subdivided into districts.- History :The earlier history of the canton is...

  • 1353 – Bern
  • 1481 – Fribourg
    Canton of Fribourg
    The Canton of Fribourg is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the west of the country. The capital of the canton is Fribourg. The name Fribourg is French, whereas is the German name for both the canton and the town.-History:...

    , Solothurn
    Canton of Solothurn
    Solothurn is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the northwest of Switzerland. The capital is Solothurn.-History:The territory of the canton comprises land acquired by the capital...

  • 1501 – Basel-Stadt
    Basel-City
    Basel-Stadt is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland. The city of Basel and the municipalities of Bettingen and Riehen form its territory.-History:...

    , Basel-Landschaft
    Basel-Country
    Basel-Landschaft , is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland. The capital is Liestal...

    , Schaffhausen
    Canton of Schaffhausen
    The Canton of is a canton of Switzerland. The principal city and capital of the canton is Schaffhausen.- History:Schaffhausen was a city-state in the Middle Ages, documented to have struck its own coins starting in 1045. It was then known as Villa Scafhusun. Around 1049 Count Eberhard von...

  • 1513 – Appenzell Außerrhoden
    Appenzell Ausserrhoden
    Appenzell Ausserrhoden is a canton of Switzerland. The seat of the government and parliament is Herisau, judicial authorities are in Trogen. Appenzell Ausserrhoden is located in the north east of Switzerland, bordering the cantons of St...

    , Appenzell Innerrhoden
    Appenzell Innerrhoden
    Appenzell Innerrhoden is the smallest canton of Switzerland by population and the second smallest by area, Basel-City having less area.-Foundation:...

  • 1803 – St. Gallen
    Canton of St. Gallen
    The Canton of St. Gallen is a canton of Switzerland. St. Gallen is located in the north east of Switzerland. It covers an area of 2,026 km², and has a population of . , the population included 97,461 foreigners, or about 20.9% of the total population. The capital is St. Gallen. Spelling...

    , Graubünden
    Graubünden
    Graubünden or Grisons is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. The canton shares borders with the cantons of Ticino, Uri, Glarus and St. Gallen and international borders with Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein...

    , Aargau
    Aargau
    Aargau is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It comprises the lower course of the river Aare, which is why the canton is called Aar-gau .-History:...

    , Thurgau
    Thurgau
    Thurgau is a northeast canton of Switzerland. The population, , is . In 2007, there were a total of 47,390 who were resident foreigners. The capital is Frauenfeld.-History:...

    , Ticino
    Ticino
    Canton Ticino or Ticino is the southernmost canton of Switzerland. Named after the Ticino river, it is the only canton in which Italian is the sole official language...

    , Vaud
    Vaud
    Vaud is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and is located in Romandy, the French-speaking southwestern part of the country. The capital is Lausanne. The name of the Canton in Switzerland's other languages are Vaud in Italian , Waadt in German , and Vad in Romansh.-History:Along the lakes,...

  • 1815 – Valais
    Valais
    The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

    , Neuchâtel
    Canton of Neuchâtel
    Neuchâtel is a canton of French speaking western Switzerland. In 2007, its population was 169,782 of which 39,654 were foreigners. The capital is Neuchâtel.-History:...

    , Geneva
    Canton of Geneva
    The Republic and Canton of Geneva is the French speaking westernmost canton or state of Switzerland, surrounded on almost all sides by France. As is the case in several other Swiss cantons The Republic and Canton of Geneva is the French speaking westernmost canton or state of Switzerland,...

  • 1979 – Jura
    Canton of Jura
    The Republic and Canton of the Jura , also known as the Canton of Jura or Canton Jura, is one of the cantons of Switzerland. It is the newest of the 26 Swiss cantons, located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. The capital is Delémont...

     (secession from Bern)

Further reading

  • Balsiger, Jörg. Uphill Struggles: The Politics of Sustainable Mountain Development in Switzerland and California (2009)
  • Codevilla, Angelo M. Between the Alps and a Hard Place: Switzerland in World War II and the Rewriting of History (2000) excerpt and text search
  • Fahrni, Dieter. An Outline History of Switzerland. From the Origins to the Present Day (8th ed. 2003, Pro Helvetia, Zurich). ISBN 3-908102-61-8
  • Halbrook, Stephen P. Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality In World War II (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Luck, James Murray. A History of Switzerland. The First 100,000 Years: Before the Beginnings to the Days of the Present. SPOSS, Palo Alto CA. (1985) ISBN 0-930664-06-X
  • Oechsli, Wilhelm. History of Switzerland, 1499-1914 (1922) full text online
  • Ozment, Steven E. "The Reformation in the Cities: The Appeal of Protestantism to Sixteenth-Century Germany and Switzerland (1975)
  • Schelbert, Leo. Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Wilson, John. History of Switzerland (1832) excerpt and text search, outdated

External links