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Swiss Confederation
Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German)
Confédération suisse (French)
Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)
Confederaziun svizra (Romansh)
Confœderatio Helvetica (CH) (Latin)
Flag Coat of arms
Motto(unofficial) "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno" (Latin)
English: One for all, all for one
German: Einer für alle, alle für einen
French: Un pour tous, tous pour un
Italian: Uno per tutti, tutti per uno
Romansh: In per tuts, tuts per in
Anthem"Swiss Psalm"
Location of  Switzerland  (dark green)

on the European continent  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]

Capital Bern[note 1]
46°57′N 7°27′E / 46.95°N 7.45°E / 46.95; 7.45
Largest city Zürich
Official language(s) German,
French,
Italian,
Romansh[1]
Demonym Swiss
Government Federal state, with parliamentary system and direct democracy
 -  Federal Council .Moritz Leuenberger (VP 10)
Micheline Calmy-Rey
Hans-Rudolf Merz
Doris Leuthard (Pres.
^ Federal Council (Swiss Cabinet) Home Affairs--Pascal Couchepin - (Free Democrat) Finance--Hans-Rudolf Merz - President (Free Democrat) Foreign Affairs--Micheline Calmy-Rey (Social Democrat) Justice and Police--Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf (Conservative Democratic Party) Defense, Civil Protection and Sports--Ueli Maurer (Swiss People's Party) Economic Affairs--Doris Leuthard - Vice President (Christian Democrat) Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications--Moritz Leuenberger (Social Democrat) Federal Chancellor--Corina Casanova (ex officio) Ambassador to the United States--Urs Ziswiler .
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The recent high level official visit to South Africa was by the Swiss Foreign Minister, Michelin Calmy-Rey, in March 2004.
  • The Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.dfa.gov.za [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

10)

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
Ueli Maurer
Didier Burkhalter
 -  Federal Chancellor Corina Casanova
Legislature Federal Assembly
 -  Upper House Council of States
 -  Lower House National Council
Independence
 -  Foundation date 1 August[note 2] 1291 
 -  de facto 22 September 1499 
 -  Recognized 24 October 1648 
 -  Restored 7 August 1815 
 -  Federal state 12 September 1848[2] 
Area
 -  Total 41,284 km2 (136th)
15,940 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 4.2
Population
 -  2009 estimate 7,782,900[3] (94th)
 -  2007 census 7,593,500 
 -  Density 188/km2 (65th)
477.4/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $315.768 billion[4] (38th)
 -  Per capita $43,195[4] (7th)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $500.260 billion[4] (21st)
 -  Per capita $68,433[4] (4th)
Gini (2000) 33.7 (medium
HDI (2007) 0.960[5] (very high) (9th)
Currency Swiss franc (CHF)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .ch
Calling code +41
.Switzerland (German: die Schweiz,[note 3] French: la Suisse, Italian: la Svizzera, Romansh: la Svizra), officially the Swiss Confederation (Confœderatio Helvetica in Latin, hence its ISO country codes CH and CHE), is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities.^ Article 115 [Seat of Federal Authorities] .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ German, French, Italian and Romansh are the national languages of Switzerland.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Switzerland has four official languages--German, French, Italian, and Romansch (based on Latin and spoken by a small minority in the Canton Graubunden).
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The country is situated in Western Europe[note 4] where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.^ It is a landlocked country country bordered by Germany to the South, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein to the East, Italy to the South and France to the West.
  • The Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.dfa.gov.za [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Located in Central Europe , Switzerland has been touched by the influence of its surrounding countries; Italy , France and Germany , and has grown to become a nation with a unique culture and way of life.
  • Car hire in Switzerland: Rental cars in Switzerland with DriveAway Holidays. 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.driveaway.com.au [Source type: News]

^ Ministries in the Western Europe section only possibly minister in this country.
  • Joshua Project - Ethnic People Groups of Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.joshuaproject.net [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Switzerland is a landlocked country whose territory is geographically divided between the Alps, the Central Plateau and the Jura that yields a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi).^ Switzerland straddles the central ranges of the Alps.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Geography Area: 41,285 sq.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Switzerland is located in central Europe and spreads over an area of 15,942 square miles (41,290 km 2 ), about twice the size of the state of New Jersey in the U.S. Most of the country is composed of a mountainous plateau bordered by the great bulk of the Alps in the south and by the Jura Mountains in the northwest.

.The Swiss population of approximately 7.8 million people concentrates mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found.^ The Conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP) has emerged as the strongest party in the 2003 elections, marking a significant concentration of conservative-nationalist power for the first time in decades.
  • The Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.dfa.gov.za [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The largest cities by population are Zürich (about 340,000), Basel (180,000), Geneva (170,000), Berne (130,000), and Lausanne (120,000).

.Among them are the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.^ The largest cities by population are Zürich (about 340,000), Basel (180,000), Geneva (170,000), Berne (130,000), and Lausanne (120,000).

.Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $67,384.[4] Zürich and Geneva have respectively been ranked as having the second and third highest quality of life in the world.^ Per capita income is among the highest in the world, as are wages.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Located in Central Europe , Switzerland has been touched by the influence of its surrounding countries; Italy , France and Germany , and has grown to become a nation with a unique culture and way of life.
  • Car hire in Switzerland: Rental cars in Switzerland with DriveAway Holidays. 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.driveaway.com.au [Source type: News]

^ Switzerland was ranked as the second most competitive economy in the World Economic Forum's 2008 Global Competitiveness Report, reflecting the country's sound institutional environment, excellent infrastructure, efficient markets, competent macroeconomic management, world-class educational attainment, and high levels of technological innovation, which boost Switzerland's competitiveness in the global economy.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[6]
.The Swiss Confederation has a long history of neutrality—it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815—and was one of the last countries to join the United Nations.^ Strict neutrality was its policy in both World Wars I and II. Geneva became the seat of the League of Nations (later the European headquarters of the United Nations) and of a number of international organizations.

^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The traffic in mercenaries as well as the alienation between the predominantly Protestant Swiss and their Catholic neighbors kept the Swiss Confederation out of the wars of the European powers, which formally recognized Swiss neutrality in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Switzerland is home to many international organisations, including the World Economic Forum, the International Olympic Committee, the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and the second largest UN office.^ Switzerland (mainly Geneva) is home to many international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (whose flag is essentially the Swiss flag with colors reversed--the Red Cross historically being a Swiss organization).
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Switzerland was ranked as the second most competitive economy in the World Economic Forum's 2008 Global Competitiveness Report, reflecting the country's sound institutional environment, excellent infrastructure, efficient markets, competent macroeconomic management, world-class educational attainment, and high levels of technological innovation, which boost Switzerland's competitiveness in the global economy.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Switzerland is a member of a number of international economic organizations, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.On the European level it was a founder of the European Free Trade Association and is part of the Schengen Agreement.^ On 19 May 2003, negotiations were launched between South Africa ( SACU) and the EFTA States (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) on a Free Trade Agreement.
  • The Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.dfa.gov.za [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Switzerland also is a member of the following international organizations: World Trade Organization, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, European Free Trade Association, Bank for International Settlements, Council of Europe, and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Instead, Switzerland in 1960 helped form the European Free Trade Area, which did not strive for political union.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.Switzerland comprises three main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, and Italian, to which the Romansh-speaking valleys are added.^ German, French, Italian and Romansh are the national languages of Switzerland.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Switzerland has four official languages--German, French, Italian, and Romansch (based on Latin and spoken by a small minority in the Canton Graubunden).
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ During World War I serious tension developed between the German, French, and Italian-speaking parts of the country, and Switzerland came close to violating its neutrality but managed to stay out of hostilities.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

The Swiss therefore do not form a nation in the sense of a common ethnic or linguistic identity. .The strong sense of belonging to the country is founded on the common historical background, shared values (federalism, direct democracy, neutrality)[7] and Alpine symbolism.^ The Swiss amended their Constitution extensively in 1874, establishing federal responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters, as well as introducing direct democracy by popular referendum.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and historically has served as a neutral intermediary and host to major international treaty conferences.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Insofar as the cantonal law provides for this he shall share in the property belonging in common to local citizens and corporations.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[8] .The establishment of the Swiss Confederation is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291; Swiss National Day is celebrated on the anniversary.^ The anniversary of the charter's signature (August 1, 1291) today is celebrated as Switzerland's National Day.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The Swiss Confederation established independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Contents

Etymology

.The English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries.^ Around one in ten people use English every day, and many Swiss are comfortably tri- or quadrilingual.

^ Switzerland industrialized rapidly during the 19th century and by 1850 had become the second most industrialized country in Europe after Great Britain.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[9] .The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse, also in use since the 16th century.^ Around one in ten people use English every day, and many Swiss are comfortably tri- or quadrilingual.

.The name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy.^ They shall take place according to a system of proportional representation, each Canton or Half-Canton forming one electoral district.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Modifications of the territory of a Canton are subject to the assent of the population concerned, of the Cantons concerned, and the assent of the Federal Parliament in the form of a federal decree.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

The toponym itself is first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes, ultimately perhaps related to suedan "to burn", referring to the area of forest that was burned and cleared to build.[10] .The name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, and after the Swabian War of 1499 gradually came to be used for the entire Confederation.^ Sustainable Development The Confederation and the Cantons shall strive to establish a durable equilibrium between nature, in particular its capacity to renew itself, and its use by man.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The Confederation and the Cantons shall strive within the framework of their competence for a sufficient, varied and reliable, economical, and environment-compatible energy supply and for an economical and rational use of energy.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The Confederation has the right to take over, against fair compensation, the use or the ownership of military training grounds and buildings destined to military purposes which already exist in the Cantons.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[11][12]
.The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article (d'Schwiiz for the Confederation,[13] but simply Schwyz for the canton and the town).^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Since the country is not an ethnic, linguistic or religious unity, it has survived – so the Swiss are fond of saying – simply through the will of its people to resolve their differences.

^ Insofar as the provisions for federal insurance do not cover basic requirements, as defined in Article 34quater (2), the Confederation shall grant the Cantons subsidies for the financing of supplementary allowances.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[14]
.The Neo-Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was introduced at the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic.^ French revolutionary troops occupied the country in 1798 and named it the Helvetic Republic, but Napoleon in 1803 restored its federal government.

It is derived from the name of the Helvetii, a Celtic tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. The name of the Helvetii is attested epigraphically, in Etruscan form, on a vessel dated to ca. 300 BC.[15] They first appear in historiography in the 2nd century BC, in Posidonius. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century, with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.[16]

History

.Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of modern Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries.^ The victorious Radicals transformed the confederation into one federal state under a new constitution adopted in 1848 and recast in 1874, establishing a strong central government while giving significant control to each canton.

^ The Swiss Confederation is ruled by a seven-member government called the Federal Council , with the presidency rotating annually between all seven members.

^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

Early history

.The oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years.^ The estimated pregnancy rate for the age group of 15 to 19 years is about 10 per 1,000.

^ The new legal limitation did not lead to a reduction of the number of legal abortions (about 15,000 per year in those times).

[17] The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC.[17]
Founded in 44 BC, Augusta Raurica was the first Roman settlement on the Rhine and is nowadays the most important archaeological site in Switzerland[18]
The earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. .La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC,[17] possibly under some influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilisations.^ HISTORY Originally inhabited by the Helvetians, or Helvetic Celts, the territory comprising modern Switzerland came under Roman rule during the Gallic wars in the 1st century BC and remained a Roman province until the 4th century AD. Under Roman influence, the population reached a high level of civilization and enjoyed a flourishing commerce.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Intercourse experiences are reported by around 10% of 14-year-olds, while two thirds of boys and girls report intercourse experience by age 17.

.One of the most important tribal groups in the Swiss region was the Helvetii.^ Bruges DIRECTIONS Has all you need to get the most out of one of Europe's most popular regions.

^ One of the most important areas of research in Switzerland is the study of sexual and reproductive health performed by Karen Klaue and Brenda Spencer with the collaboration of Hugues Balthasar.

In 58 BC, at the Battle of Bibracte, Julius Caesar's armies defeated the Helvetii.[17] .In 15 BC, Tiberius, who was destined to be the second Roman emperor and his brother, Drusus, conquered the Alps, integrating them into the Roman Empire.^ In 58 B.C.E., the Helvetii who inhabited the area of Switzerland (called Helvetia in those times) were conquered by the Romans.

^ In 1033, the territory was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire.

.The area occupied by the Helvetii—the namesakes of the later Confoederatio Helvetica—first became part of Rome's Gallia Belgica province and then of its Germania Superior province, while the eastern portion of modern Switzerland was integrated into the Roman province of Raetia.^ In 58 B.C.E., the Helvetii who inhabited the area of Switzerland (called Helvetia in those times) were conquered by the Romans.

^ In 2002, both worldwide and in Switzerland, pedosexuality became a public issue when pedosexual crimes committed by Roman Catholic priests decades earlier became a public scandal.

^ But the Swiss Transfer Ticket is valid from your point of entry into Switzerland, in this case Basel, so it also covers the Basel-Zurich part of the TGV journey.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

In the Early Middle Ages, from the 4th century, the western extent of modern-day Switzerland was part of the territory of the Kings of the Burgundians. The Alemanni settled the Swiss plateau in the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps in the 8th century, forming Alemannia. Modern-day Switzerland was therefore then divided between the kingdoms of Alemannia and Burgundy.[17] .The entire region became part of the expanding Frankish Empire in the 6th century, following Clovis I's victory over the Alemanni at Tolbiac in 504 AD, and later Frankish domination of the Burgundians.^ In 800, the country became part of Charlemagne's empire.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ In the following centuries, the Swiss Confederation slowly added new cantons.

[19][20]
.Throughout the rest of the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries the Swiss regions continued under Frankish hegemony (Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties).^ Swiss mercenaries continued for centuries to serve in other armies; the Swiss Guard of the Pope is a vestige of this tradition.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

But after its extension under Charlemagne, the Frankish empire was divided by the Treaty of Verdun in 843.[17] The territories of nowadays Switzerland became divided into Middle Francia and East Francia until they were reunified under the Holy Roman Empire around 1000 AD.[17]
.By 1200, the Swiss plateau comprised the dominions of the houses of Savoy, Zähringer, Habsburg and Kyburg.^ Between 1315 and 1388 the Swiss Confederates inflicted three crushing defeats on the Habsburgs, whose aspiration to regional dominion clashed with Swiss self-determination.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[17] .Some regions (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, later known as Waldstätten) were accorded the Imperial immediacy to grant the empire direct control over the mountain passes.^ In the 1200s, Habsburg encroachments on the privileges of the three mountainous localities of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden resulted in the conclusion of a defensive league among them in 1291.

^ With the opening of a new important north-south trade route across the Alps in the early 13th century, the Empire's rulers began to attach more importance to the remote Swiss mountain valleys, which were granted some degree of autonomy under direct imperial rule.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.When the Kyburg dynasty fell in 1264 AD, the Habsburgs under King Rudolph I (Holy Roman Emperor in 1273) extended their territory to the eastern Swiss plateau.^ It later passed under the dominion of the Holy Roman emperors in the form of small ecclesiastic and temporal holdings subject to imperial sovereignty.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ The Swiss Confederation established independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ Buoyed by their feats, the Swiss Confederates continuously expanded their borders by military means and gained formal independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499.
  • Switzerland (08/09) 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.state.gov [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[19]

Old Swiss Confederacy

The house dominions that existed around AD 1200:
     Savoy      Zähringer      Habsburg      Kyburg
The Old Swiss Confederacy was an alliance among the valley communities of the central Alps. The Confederacy facilitated management of common interests (free trade) and ensured peace on the important mountain trade routes. .The Federal Charter of 1291 agreed between the rural communes of Uri, Schwyz, and Nidwalden is considered the confederacy's founding document, even though similar alliances are likely to have existed decades earlier.^ Tensions exist between the four language communities, as they do between Catholic and Protestant, or between urban and rural areas, while regional characteristics remain sharply defined and diverse.

^ In the 1200s, Habsburg encroachments on the privileges of the three mountainous localities of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden resulted in the conclusion of a defensive league among them in 1291.

^ The Federal Court shall also adjudicate disputes concerning statelessness and disputes between Communes of different Cantons concerning questions of citizenship.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[21][22]
Federal charter of 1291
.By 1353 the three original cantons had joined with the cantons of Glarus and Zug and the Lucerne, Zürich and Bern city states to form the "Old Confederacy" of eight states that existed until the end of the 15th century.^ Together, the peoples of the 23 sovereign Cantons of Switzerland united by the present alliance, to wit: Zurich, Berne, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden (Upper and Lower), Glarus, Zug, Fribourg, Soleure, Basle (City and Rural), Schaffhausen, Appenzell (both Rhodes), St. Gall, Grisons, Aargau, Thurgau, Ticino, Vaud, Valais, Neuchatel, Geneva and Jura, form the Swiss Confederation.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Until now, there are only two cantons of Switzerland (Genf and Zürich) where lesbian and gay couples have the opportunity to legalize their partnership.

^ The three great Swiss cities of Geneva, Zürich and Basel are crammed with world-class museums and galleries.

The expansion led to increased power and wealth for the federation.[22] .By 1460, the confederates controlled most of the territory south and west of the Rhine to the Alps and the Jura mountains, particularly after victories against the Habsburgs (Battle of Sempach, Battle of Näfels), over Charles the Bold of Burgundy during the 1470s, and the success of the Swiss mercenaries.^ Switzerland is located in central Europe and spreads over an area of 15,942 square miles (41,290 km 2 ), about twice the size of the state of New Jersey in the U.S. Most of the country is composed of a mountainous plateau bordered by the great bulk of the Alps in the south and by the Jura Mountains in the northwest.

^ Landlord and Tenant 1 The Confederation shall issue regulations against abuses in the field of landlord and tenant, particularly against abusive rent, on avoiding abusive notices of termination, and on the limited extension of tenancies.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ At the most it is 220km from north to south, and 348km from west to east.

.The Swiss victory in the Swabian War against the Swabian League of Emperor Maximilian I in 1499 amounted to de facto independence within the Holy Roman Empire.^ In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia gave Switzerland its independence from the Holy Roman Empire.

^ In 1033, the territory was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire.

[22]
The Old Swiss Confederacy had acquired a reputation of invincibility during these earlier wars, but expansion of the federation suffered a setback in 1515 with the Swiss defeat in the Battle of Marignano. This ended the so-called "heroic" epoch of Swiss history.[22] The success of Zwingli's Reformation in some cantons led to inter-cantonal religious conflicts in 1529 and 1531 (Wars of Kappel). .It was not until more than one hundred years after these internal wars that, in 1648, under the Treaty of Westphalia, European countries recognised Switzerland's independence from the Holy Roman Empire and its neutrality.^ In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia gave Switzerland its independence from the Holy Roman Empire.

^ Even now, despite being one of the most visited countries in Europe, Switzerland remains one of the least understood.

^ Switzerland may be a small, little-regarded mid-continental country with a serious image problem, but it has plenty more to offer than most visitors suspect.

[19][20]
During the Early Modern period of Swiss history, the growing authoritarianism of the patriciate families combined with a financial crisis in the wake of the Thirty Years' War led to the Swiss peasant war of 1653. In the background to this struggle, the conflict between Catholic and Protestant cantons persisted, erupting in further violence at the Battles of Villmergen in 1656 and 1712.[22]

Napoleonic era

The Act of Mediation was Napoleon's attempt at a compromise between the Ancien Régime and a Republic.
.In 1798, the revolutionary French government conquered Switzerland and imposed a new unified constitution.^ French revolutionary troops occupied the country in 1798 and named it the Helvetic Republic, but Napoleon in 1803 restored its federal government.

[22] .This centralised the government of the country and effectively abolished the cantons and Mülhausen and Valtellina valley separated from Switzerland.^ All transfer taxes on the moving of property inside Switzerland and all preemption rights of citizens of one Canton against citizens of other Cantons are abolished.
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^ It shall decide whether to approve intercantonal treaties and treaties between Cantons and foreign countries, should the Federal Government or a Canton raise an objection.
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The new regime, known as the Helvetic Republic, was highly unpopular. It had been imposed by a foreign invading army and destroyed centuries of tradition, making Switzerland nothing more than a French satellite state. The fierce French suppression of the Nidwalden Revolt in September of 1798 was an example of the oppressive presence of the French Army and the local population's resistance to the occupation.
When war broke out between France and its rivals, Russian and Austrian forces invaded Switzerland. .The Swiss refused to fight alongside the French in the name of the Helvetic Republic.^ French revolutionary troops occupied the country in 1798 and named it the Helvetic Republic, but Napoleon in 1803 restored its federal government.

In 1803 Napoleon organised a meeting of the leading Swiss politicians from both sides in Paris. .The result was the Act of Mediation which largely restored Swiss autonomy and introduced a Confederation of 19 cantons.^ Autonomy of the Cantons The Confederation shall respect the autonomy of the Cantons.
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^ The Cantons may deal directly with lower ranking foreign authorities; in other cases, the relations of the Cantons with foreign countries shall be conducted by the Confederation acting on their behalf.
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^ In the following centuries, the Swiss Confederation slowly added new cantons.

[22] .Henceforth much of Swiss politics would concern balancing the cantons' tradition of self-rule with the need for a central government.^ In the exercise of its competence the Confederation shall bear in mind the needs and safeguard the development possibilities of the water source reas and of the Cantons concerned.
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.In 1815 the Congress of Vienna fully re-established Swiss independence and the European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality.^ In 1815, the Congress of Vienna guaranteed the neutrality and recognized the independence of Switzerland.

[19][20][22] .Swiss troops still served foreign governments until 1860 when they fought in the Siege of Gaeta.^ In the Swiss Army, no decorations may be worn and no titles conferred by foreign governments may be assumed.
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.The treaty also allowed Switzerland to increase its territory, with the admission of the cantons of Valais, Neuchâtel and Geneva.^ The cantons are Zürich, Bern, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Glarus, Zug, Fribourg, Solothurn, Schaffhausen, Saint Gall, the Grisons (Graubünden), Aargau, Thurgau, Ticino, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel, Geneva, and Jura.

Switzerland's borders have not changed since.[23]

Federal state

The first Federal Palace in Bern (1857). .One of the three cantons presiding over the Tagsatzung (former legislative and executive council), Bern was chosen as the federal capital in 1848, mainly because of its closeness to the French speaking area.^ Article 98 [Federal Council Presidency] .
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^ The victorious Radicals transformed the confederation into one federal state under a new constitution adopted in 1848 and recast in 1874, establishing a strong central government while giving significant control to each canton.

^ The supreme executive and governing authority of the Confederation is a Federal Council composed of seven members.
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[24]
The restoration of the power to the patriciate was only temporary. .After a period of unrest with repeated violent clashes such as the Züriputsch of 1839, civil war broke out in 1847 when some of the Catholic cantons tried to set up a separate alliance (the Sonderbundskrieg).^ It shall take account of the existing funds, assist the efforts of the Cantons and professional associations to set up new funds and it is entitled to establish a central compensation fund.
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^ The Confederation is entitled to set up, in addition to the existing polytechnic, a federal university and other establishments for higher education or to subsidize such institutions.
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^ All separate alliances and all treaties of a political nature between Cantons are prohibited.
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[22] .The war lasted for less than a month, causing fewer than 100 casualties, most of which were through friendly fire.^ It's civilised, comfortable, environmentally-friendly and affordable, altogether a much less stressful experience than flying.
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^ [An estimated less than 100 adults and children died of AIDS during 2001.

.However minor the Sonderbundskrieg seems to be when compared with other European riots and wars in the 19th century, it nevertheless had a major impact on both the psychology and the society of the Swiss and of Switzerland.^ In Switzerland, as in many other European countries and in the United States, the majority of professionals nowadays have the opinion that same-sex orientation has nothing to do with psychic health or psychic disease, but that homosexuality as heterosexuality includes the whole range from psychic health to severe disturbance.

.The war made all Swiss understand the need for unity and strength towards its European neighbours.^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
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.Swiss people from all strata of society, whether Catholic, Protestant, or from the liberal or conservative current, realised that the cantons would profit more if their economic and religious interests were merged.^ All Cantons are bound to afford all Swiss citizens the same treatment as their own citizens in the fields of legislation and of judicial proceedings.
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^ The established Swiss citizen shall enjoy at his domicile all the rights of the citizens of that Canton and, with these, all the rights of the citizens of that Commune.
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^ In the 1960s and 1970s, a so-called “abortion tourism” (mainly from Catholic and conservative cantons to more-liberal ones) was common, and the women often were made to feel guilty when seeking help in case of unwanted pregnancy.

.Thus, while the rest of Europe was plagued by revolutionary uprisings, the Swiss drew up an actual constitution which provided for a federal layout, much of it inspired by the American example.^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
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^ Where the Federal Constitution and implementing legislation do not provide otherwise, the revision shall follow the legislative process.
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^ Home > Library > Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of April 18, 1999 (as amended until October 15, 2002) .
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.This constitution provided for a central authority while leaving the cantons the right to self-government on local issues.^ The victorious Radicals transformed the confederation into one federal state under a new constitution adopted in 1848 and recast in 1874, establishing a strong central government while giving significant control to each canton.

^ The Cantons are sovereign insofar as their sovereignty is not limited by the Federal Constitution and, as such, exercise all rights which are not entrusted to the federal power.
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^ The provisions of existing federal laws, concordats, cantonal constitutions, and laws which are inconsistent with the present Federal Constitution shall cease to be in force with the adoption of the latter or, as the case may be, the enactment of the federal laws it provides for.
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.Giving credit to those who favoured the power of the cantons (the Sonderbund Kantone), the national assembly was divided between an upper house (the Swiss Council of States, 2 representatives per canton) and a lower house (the National Council of Switzerland, representatives elected from across the country).^ The Council of States shall consist of 46 representatives of the Cantons.
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^ The National Council shall be composed of 200 representatives of the Swiss people.
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^ A council of states (two members from each canton, and one from each half canton) and a 200-member national council (whose members are directly elected every four years) together form the federal assembly.

Referenda were made mandatory for any amendment of this constitution.[20]
A system of single weights and measures was introduced and in 1850 the Swiss franc became the Swiss single currency. .Article 11 of the constitution forbid sending troops to serve abroad, though the Swiss were still obliged to serve Francis II of the Two Sicilies with Swiss Guards present at the Siege of Gaeta in 1860, marking the end of foreign service.^ Article 45bis [Swiss Living Abroad] .
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^ Swiss who, though not belonging to those troops, are nevertheless subject to military service.
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^ Foreign Trade 1 The Confederation shall safeguard abroad the interests of the Swiss economy.
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Inauguration in 1882 of the Gotthard Rail Tunnel, connecting the southern canton of Ticino.
.An important clause of the constitution was that it could be re-written completely if this was deemed necessary, thus enabling it to evolve as a whole rather than being modified one amendment at a time.^ If by means of a popular initiative several different provisions are to be modified or introduced into the Federal Constitution, each one must be the subject of a separate initiative request.
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[25]
This need soon proved itself when the rise in population and the Industrial Revolution that followed led to calls to modify the constitution accordingly. .An early draft was rejected by the population in 1872 but modifications led to its acceptance in 1874.[22] It introduced the facultative referendum for laws at the federal level.^ If the Federal Assembly disagrees, it may prepare its own draft or recommend the rejection of the proposed draft and submit its own draft or recommendation of rejection together with the draft proposed by the initiative to the decision of the people and the Cantons.
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^ Modifications of the territory of a Canton are subject to the assent of the population concerned, of the Cantons concerned, and the assent of the Federal Parliament in the form of a federal decree.
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^ It shall submit to the Federal Assembly drafts of laws and decrees and shall give its opinion on proposals submitted to it by the Councils or the Cantons.
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.It also established federal responsibility for defence, trade, and legal matters.^ The Confederation can decree uniform legal provisions on the right to participate in elections and other polls on federal matters.
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In 1891, the constitution was revised with unusually strong elements of direct democracy, which remain unique even today.[22]

Modern history

The beginning of tourism in the 19th century led to the construction of important infrastructures. Here the train connecting the village of Zermatt (1891).
Switzerland was not invaded during either of the world wars. .During World War I, Switzerland was home to Vladimir Illych Ulyanov (Lenin) and he remained there until 1917.[26] Swiss neutrality was seriously questioned by the Grimm-Hoffmann Affair in 1917, but it was short-lived.^ The researchers found there is an enormous heterogeneity between Switzerland’s 26 federated states.

^ Home > Library > Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of April 18, 1999 (as amended until October 15, 2002) .
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^ Until now, there are only two cantons of Switzerland (Genf and Zürich) where lesbian and gay couples have the opportunity to legalize their partnership.

.In 1920, Switzerland joined the League of Nations, which was based in Geneva, on the condition that it was exempt from any military requirements.^ Geneva, Switzerland: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS/WHO).

During World War II, detailed invasion plans were drawn up by the Germans,[27] but Switzerland was never attacked.[22] .Switzerland was able to remain independent through a combination of military deterrence, concessions to Germany, and good fortune as larger events during the war delayed an invasion.^ Measures for the external security as well as for the preservation of the independence and neutrality of Switzerland, declaration of war and conclusion of peace.
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[20][28] Under General Henri Guisan, a massive mobilisation of militia forces was ordered. .The Swiss military strategy was changed from one of static defence at the borders to protect the economic heartland, to one of organised long-term attrition and withdrawal to strong, well-stockpiled positions high in the Alps known as the Réduit.^ The Confederation shall take steps to ensure that the professional insurance as well as the federal insurance schemes are able, in the long term, to develop in accordance with their aims.
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^ But the following decades and the changing and more and more liberal attitude of Swiss people towards abortion led to a reduction in illegal abortions at first, and after the introduction of the pill, to a reduction of legal abortions as well.

^ Long term global evaluation of a national AIDS prevention strategy: The case of Switzerland.

.Switzerland was an important base for espionage by both sides in the conflict and often mediated communications between the Axis and Allied powers.^ The Confederation and the Cantons may, within the framework of their powers, take measures to maintain public peace between the members of the various religious communities.
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[28]
The bombing of Schaffhausen during World War II
Switzerland's trade was blockaded by both the Allies and by the Axis. .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.^ In the fields of credit and currency, in foreign trade and in public finance, it may, if necessary, depart from the principle of economic freedom.
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.Concessions reached a peak after a crucial rail link through Vichy France was severed in 1942, leaving Switzerland completely surrounded by the Axis.^ This form links to www.eurostar.com , an it's sell one-way or return tickets from London or over 130 UK towns & cities to several key cities in Switzerland.
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^ Rail 2000, and the link of Eastern and Western Switzerland to the European high-speed railroad network; e.
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.Over the course of the war, Switzerland interned over 300,000 refugees[29] and the International Red Cross, based in Geneva, played an important part during the conflict.^ Gender studies have also become an important part of the research and academic activities in Switzerland.

Strict immigration and asylum policies as well as the financial relationships with Nazi Germany raised controversy.[30] .During the war, the Swiss Air Force engaged aircraft of both sides, shooting down 11 intruding Luftwaffe planes in May and June 1940, then forcing down other intruders after a change of policy following threats from Germany.^ The revised Federal Constitution or the revised part of it, as the case may be, shall enter into force if it has been approved by the majority of the Swiss citizens casting a vote and the majority of the Cantons.
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The fact that the Swiss Air Force consistently beat the Luftwaffe was a recurring embarrassment for Hitler in World War Two. The Allies acknowledged this, but the Allied Air Forces also many times intruded Swiss Air Space and made raids on several cities during the War. Over 100 Allied bombers and their crews were interned during the war. .During 1944-45, Allied bombers mistakenly bombed a few places in Switzerland, among which were the cities of Schaffhausen, Basel and Zürich.^ The largest cities by population are Zürich (about 340,000), Basel (180,000), Geneva (170,000), Berne (130,000), and Lausanne (120,000).

[28]
.
The coat of arms of the Canton of Jura has been set apart in the dome of the Federal Palace.
^ Without the consent of the federal authorities, no Canton or Half-Canton may maintain a standing armed force of more than 300 men, not including Police forces.
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The canton was founded in 1978, its territory split off that of the canton of Bern and formally joined the Swiss Confederation in 1979.
Women were granted the right to vote in the first Swiss cantons in 1959, at the federal level in 1971[22][31] and, after resistance, in the last canton Appenzell Innerrhoden in 1990. After suffrage at the federal level, women quickly rose in political significance, with the first woman on the seven member Federal Council executive being Elisabeth Kopp, who served from 1984–1989,[22] and the first female president being Ruth Dreifuss in 1999.
Switzerland joined the Council of Europe in 1963.[20] In 1979 areas from the canton of Bern attained independence from the Bernese, forming the new canton of Jura. .On 18 April 1999 the Swiss population and the cantons voted in favour of a completely revised federal constitution.^ Note: the Swiss Constitution has since been completely revised (renumbered).
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^ Transitory Provisions after Adoption of Federal Constitution of April 18, 1999 1.
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^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
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[22]
The National Exposition of 2002
.In 2002 Switzerland became a full member of the United Nations, leaving the Vatican as the last widely recognised state without full UN membership.^ In September 2002, Switzerland became the 190th member of the UN. .

^ In 2002, both worldwide and in Switzerland, pedosexuality became a public issue when pedosexual crimes committed by Roman Catholic priests decades earlier became a public scandal.

^ Members of the Council of States and of the Federal Council and officials appointed by the latter may not at the same time be members of the National Council.
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Switzerland is a founding member of the EFTA, but is not a member of the European Economic Area. .An application for membership in the European Union was sent in May 1992, but not advanced since the EEA was rejected in December 1992[22] when Switzerland was the only country to launch a referendum on the EEA. There have since been several referenda on the EU issue; due to a mixed reaction from the population the membership application has been frozen.^ There are regional differences with regard to this situation, with childcare options for only 2% of the children in the German-speaking part, 7% of the children in the French-speaking part, and 34% of the children in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland.

^ Until now, there are only two cantons of Switzerland (Genf and Zürich) where lesbian and gay couples have the opportunity to legalize their partnership.

^ In December 2001, Switzerland had an estimated population of 7.3 million.

Nonetheless, Swiss law is gradually being adjusted to conform with that of the EU and the government has signed a number of bilateral agreements with the European Union. .Switzerland, together with Liechtenstein, has been completely surrounded by the EU since Austria's membership in 1995. On 5 June 2005, Swiss voters agreed by a 55% majority to join the Schengen treaty, a result that was regarded by EU commentators as a sign of support by Switzerland, a country that is traditionally perceived as independent and reluctant to enter supranational bodies.^ Purpose 1 The Swiss Confederation shall protect the liberty and the rights of the people, and shall ensure the independence and security of the country.
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^ The following information, therefore, cannot to be considered as completely representative for Swiss teenagers, since only interested adolescents contact these services.

^ Note: the Swiss Constitution has since been completely revised (renumbered).
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[20]

Politics

.The Federal Constitution adopted in 1848 is the legal foundation of the modern federal state, the second oldest in the world.^ The victorious Radicals transformed the confederation into one federal state under a new constitution adopted in 1848 and recast in 1874, establishing a strong central government while giving significant control to each canton.

^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
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^ The National Council and the Council of States shall deal with all matters which, according to this Constitution, fall within the competence of the Confederation and have not been attributed to another federal authority.
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[32] .A new Constitution was adopted in 1999, but did not introduce notable changes to the federal structure.^ The victorious Radicals transformed the confederation into one federal state under a new constitution adopted in 1848 and recast in 1874, establishing a strong central government while giving significant control to each canton.

^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
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^ Adopted in the votation of March 12, 2000, certified as accurate by decision of the Federal Government of May 17, 2000 and based on the Federal Decree of October 8, 1999.
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.It outlines basic and political rights of individuals and citizen participation in public affairs, divides the powers between the Confederation and the cantons and defines federal jurisdiction and authority.^ Conflicts of competence between federal authorities.
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^ Chapter 1: Relationship between the Confederation and the Cantons .
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^ Relations between the Confederation and the Cantons 1 The Federal Parliament shall maintain the relations between the Confederation and the Cantons.
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.There are three main governing bodies on the federal level:[33] the bicameral parliament (legislative), the Federal Council (executive) and the Federal Court (judicial).^ Initiative The Federal Government shall submit to the Federal Parliament drafts of its legislation.
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^ Decisions are taken by the Federal Council as a body.
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^ The supreme executive and governing authority of the Confederation is a Federal Council composed of seven members.
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The Federal Palace in Bern is the name of the building in which the Federal Assembly of Switzerland (federal parliament) and the Swiss Federal Council (executive) are housed.
.The Swiss Parliament consists of two houses: the Council of States which has 46 representatives (two from each canton and one from each half-canton) who are elected under a system determined by each canton, and the National Council, which consists of 200 members who are elected under a system of proportional representation, depending on the population of each canton.^ Members of the Council of States shall be paid an allowance by the Cantons.
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^ Members of the National Council and of the Federal Council may not at the same time be members of the Council of States.
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^ The Council of States shall consist of 46 representatives of the Cantons.
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Members of both houses serve for 4 years. .When both houses are in joint session, they are known collectively as the Federal Assembly.^ Article 86 [Federal Assembly Sessions] .
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^ Article 92 [Federal Assembly Joint Meetings] .
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^ They may participate in elections to the House of Representatives and in federal votations, and may launch and sign popular initiatives and referenda in federal matters.
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.Through referendums, citizens may challenge any law passed by parliament and through initiatives, introduce amendments to the federal constitution, thus making Switzerland a direct democracy.^ Politically, Switzerland is a direct democracy.

^ If the Federal Assembly disagrees, it may prepare its own draft or recommend the rejection of the proposed draft and submit its own draft or recommendation of rejection together with the draft proposed by the initiative to the decision of the people and the Cantons.
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^ A federal law shall determine the procedure to be followed in the case of popular initiative requests and votes on the revision of the Federal Constitution.
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[32]
.The Federal Council constitutes the federal government, directs the federal administration and serves as collective Head of State.^ The victorious Radicals transformed the confederation into one federal state under a new constitution adopted in 1848 and recast in 1874, establishing a strong central government while giving significant control to each canton.

^ The supreme executive and governing authority of the Confederation is a Federal Council composed of seven members.
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^ Members of the National Council and of the Federal Council may not at the same time be members of the Council of States.
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.It is a collegial body of seven members, elected for a four-year mandate by the Federal Assembly which also exercises oversight over the Council.^ The chief executive, or federal council, is composed of seven members (elected for four years by the federal assembly) and includes the president of the confederation (elected by the federal assembly annually).

^ The Chancellor shall be elected by the Federal Assembly for a term of four years, at the same time as the Federal Council.
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^ The members of the Federal Council shall be elected by the Federal Assembly for four years from among all the Swiss citizens who are eligible for the National Council.
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.The President of the Confederation is elected by the Assembly from among the seven members, traditionally in rotation and for a one-year term; the President chairs the government and assumes representative functions.^ Term of Office The members of the House of Representatives, the Federal Government, and the Chancellor of the Confederation shall be elected for four years.
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^ The chairman of the Federal Council shall be the President of the Confederation; he and the Vice-President shall be chosen by the Federal Assembly from among the members of the Council for a term of one year.
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^ The Federal Parliament shall elect, for a term of one year, one of the members of the Federal Government as President of the Confederation, and another as Vice- President of the Federal Government.
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.However, the president is a primus inter pares with no additional powers, and remains the head of a department within the administration.^ Furthermore, the Confederation may, within the limits or its own legislative powers, authorize the Cantons to enact regulations on matters which do not call for federal legislation and concerning which the Cantons themselves have no legislative powers.
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[32]
.The Swiss government has been a coalition of the four major political parties since 1959, each party having a number of seats that roughly reflects its share of electorate and representation in the federal parliament.^ In order to finance the Major Railroad Projects, the Federal Government may a.
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^ Enactments of the Federal Parliament and of the Federal Government cannot be challenged before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
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^ If the Federal Parliament approves an initiative in the form of a general suggestion, it shall prepare a partial revision in the sense of the initiative, and submit it to the vote of the people and the Cantons.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

The classic distribution of 2 CVP/PDC, 2 SPS/PSS, 2 FDP/PRD and 1 SVP/UDC as it stood from 1959 to 2003 was known as the "magic formula". In the 2007 Federal Council elections the seven seats in the Federal Council were distributed as follows:
2 Social Democrats (SPS/PSS),
2 Liberal Democrats (FDP/PRD),
2 Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC),[note 6]
1 Christian Democrats (CVP/PDC).
.The function of the Federal Supreme Court is to hear appeals against rulings of cantonal or federal courts.^ Enactments of the Federal Parliament and of the Federal Government cannot be challenged before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Eligibility Every Swiss citizen entitled to vote is eligible for membership in the House of Representatives, the Federal Government, and the Federal Supreme Court.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Elections 1 The Federal Parliament shall elect the members of the Federal Government, the Federal Chancellor, the judges of the Federal Supreme Court, and the General.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.The judges are elected by the Federal Assembly for six-year terms.^ The members of the Federal Court and their substitutes shall be elected by the Federal Assembly which shall ensure that the three official languages of the Confederation are represented.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ A council of states (two members from each canton, and one from each half canton) and a 200-member national council (whose members are directly elected every four years) together form the federal assembly.

^ The chief executive, or federal council, is composed of seven members (elected for four years by the federal assembly) and includes the president of the confederation (elected by the federal assembly annually).

[34]

Direct democracy

The Landsgemeinde is an old form of direct democracy. It is still practised in two cantons.[35]
.Swiss citizens are subject to three legal jurisdictions: the commune, canton and federal levels.^ Every citizen of a Canton is a Swiss citizen.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ All Cantons are bound to afford all Swiss citizens the same treatment as their own citizens in the fields of legislation and of judicial proceedings.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Freight documents for the transport of luggage, animals and goods by the federal railways and by transport enterprises which have been granted a concession by the Confederation shall not be subjected by the Cantons to stamp or registration duty.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.The 1848 federal constitution defines a system of direct democracy (sometimes called half-direct or representative direct democracy since it is aided by the more commonplace institutions of a parliamentary democracy).^ Switzerland consists of 26 federated states, of which 20 are called cantons and 6 are called half cantons.

^ This number does not represent only the traditional single mother, since more and more couples choose not to get married when they start a family.

.The instruments of Swiss direct democracy at the federal level, known as civic rights (Volksrechte, droits civiques), include the right to submit a constitutional initiative and a referendum, both of which may overturn parliamentary decisions.^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Swiss men and women shall have the same rights and the same duties in matters of federal elections and other federal polls.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ If the Federal Assembly disagrees, it may prepare its own draft or recommend the rejection of the proposed draft and submit its own draft or recommendation of rejection together with the draft proposed by the initiative to the decision of the people and the Cantons.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[32][36]
.By calling a federal referendum a group of citizens may challenge a law that has been passed by Parliament, if they can gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days.^ Furthermore, the Confederation may, within the limits or its own legislative powers, authorize the Cantons to enact regulations on matters which do not call for federal legislation and concerning which the Cantons themselves have no legislative powers.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Provisions mentioned in Articles 31bis , 31ter (2) , 31quater , and 31quinquies may only be enacted through federal laws or federal decrees on which a popular vote can be requested.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The laws enacted pursuant to this article shall be implemented with the cooperation of the Cantons; private and public associations may be called upon to cooperate.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.If so, a national vote is scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law.^ Proposals submitted to the vote of the People and the Cantons shall be accepted if the majority of those voting and the majority of the Cantons approve them.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Required Majorities 1 Proposals submitted to the vote of the People shall be accepted if the majority of those voting approves them.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ In the National Council and the Council of States decisions are taken by the absolute majority of the members casting a vote.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.Eight cantons together can also call a referendum on a federal law.^ Cantons when implementing and executing federal law; g.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ If the Federal Assembly disagrees, it may prepare its own draft or recommend the rejection of the proposed draft and submit its own draft or recommendation of rejection together with the draft proposed by the initiative to the decision of the people and the Cantons.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Optional Referendum 1 The following are submitted to the vote of the People at the request of 50’000 citizens entitled to vote, or of eight Cantons: a.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[32]
.Similarly, the federal constitutional initiative allows citizens to put a constitutional amendment to a national vote, if they can get 100,000 voters to sign the proposed amendment within 18 months.^ Popular Initiative for Total Revision of the Federal Constitution 1 100 000 citizens entitled to vote may propose a total revision of the Federal Constitution.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Popular Initiative for Partial Revision of the Federal Constitution 1 100 000 citizens entitled to vote may propose a partial revision of the Federal Constitution.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[note .7] Parliament can supplement the proposed amendment with a counter-proposal, with voters having to indicate a preference on the ballot in case both proposals are accepted.^ If the Federal Assembly draws up a counter-draft, three questions shall be submitted to the voters on the same ballot paper.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.Constitutional amendments, whether introduced by initiative or in Parliament, must be accepted by a double majority of both the national popular vote and a majority of the cantonal popular votes.^ The result of a popular vote in a Canton determines the vote of that Canton.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The result of the popular vote in each canton is considered to be the vote of that Canton.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ If both the popular initiative and the counter-draft are .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[note 8][37][38][39]

Cantons

The Swiss Confederation consists of 26 cantons:[32]
Canton Capital Canton Capital
Wappen Aargau matt.svg Aargau Aarau Wappen Nidwalden matt.svg *Nidwalden Stans
Wappen Appenzell Ausserrhoden matt.svg *Appenzell Ausserrhoden Herisau Wappen Obwalden matt.svg *Obwalden Sarnen
Wappen Appenzell Innerrhoden matt.svg *Appenzell Innerrhoden Appenzell Wappen Schaffhausen matt.svg Schaffhausen Schaffhausen
Wappen Basel-Stadt matt.svg *Basel-Stadt Basel Wappen Schwyz matt.svg Schwyz Schwyz
Wappen Basel-Landschaft matt.svg *Basel-Landschaft Liestal Wappen Solothurn matt.svg Solothurn Solothurn
Wappen Bern matt.svg Bern Bern Wappen St. Gallen matt.svg St. Gallen St. Gallen
Wappen Freiburg matt.svg Fribourg Fribourg Wappen Thurgau matt.svg Thurgau Frauenfeld
Wappen Genf matt.svg Geneva Geneva Wappen Tessin matt.svg Ticino Bellinzona
Wappen Glarus matt.svg Glarus Glarus Wappen Uri matt.svg Uri Altdorf
Wappen Graubünden matt.svg Graubünden Chur Wappen Wallis matt.svg Valais Sion
Wappen Jura matt.svg Jura Delémont Wappen Waadt matt.svg Vaud Lausanne
Wappen Luzern matt.svg Lucerne Lucerne Wappen Zug matt.svg Zug Zug
Wappen Neuenburg matt.svg Neuchâtel Neuchâtel Wappen Zürich matt.svg Zürich Zürich
*These half-cantons are represented by one councillor (instead of two) in the Council of States.
.The cantons have a permanent constitutional status and, in comparison with the situation in other countries, a high degree of independence.^ As in many other countries, child sexual abuse is a crime with a high percentage of unreported cases, especially when it is an abuse in the sense of incest (done by the father or other close family member).

^ In comparison with some other European countries, the pregnancy and birthrate of teenagers (age 15 to 19 years) is relatively low.

.Under the Federal Constitution, all 26 cantons are equal in status.^ The victorious Radicals transformed the confederation into one federal state under a new constitution adopted in 1848 and recast in 1874, establishing a strong central government while giving significant control to each canton.

^ Any object which according to legislation is subject to a federal tax under Paragraph (1)(a), (b) and (c), or exempt from such taxes shall remain free from any taxation on similar grounds by the Cantons or Communes.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Implementation of Federal Law 1 The Cantons shall implement federal law in conformity with the Constitution and the statute.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.Each canton has its own constitution, and its own parliament, government and courts.^ Enactments of the Federal Parliament and of the Federal Government cannot be challenged before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Elections 1 The Federal Parliament shall elect the members of the Federal Government, the Federal Chancellor, the judges of the Federal Supreme Court, and the General.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ An urgent Federal Statute that has no constitutional basis shall lapse one year after its adoption by the Federal Parliament, unless it was adopted within that period by the People and the Cantons.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[35] .However, there are considerable differences between the individual cantons, most particularly in terms of population and geographical area.^ There is, however, still a lack of uniformity between the different cantons in Switzerland.

^ There are largely cantonal churches, which differ in their theological and organizational character and program.

^ There are regional differences with regard to this situation, with childcare options for only 2% of the children in the German-speaking part, 7% of the children in the French-speaking part, and 34% of the children in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland.

.Their populations vary between 15,000 (Appenzell Innerrhoden) and 1,253,500 (Zürich), and their area between 37 km2 (14 sq mi) (Basel-Stadt) and 7,105 km2 (2,743 sq mi) (Graubünden).^ Of the half cantons, Obwalden and Nidwalden together form Unterwalden, Basel-Land and Basel-Stadt form Basel, and Ausser-Rhoden and Inner-Rhoden form Appenzell.

The Cantons comprise a total of 2,889 municipalities. .Within Switzerland there are two enclaves: Büsingen belongs to Germany, Campione d'Italia belongs to Italy.^ Until now, there are only two cantons of Switzerland (Genf and Zürich) where lesbian and gay couples have the opportunity to legalize their partnership.

[40]
.In a referendum held in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg on 11 May 1919 over 80% of those voting supported a proposal that the state should join the Swiss Confederation.^ Proposals submitted to the vote of the People and the Cantons shall be accepted if the majority of those voting and the majority of the Cantons approve them.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Those who render military or alternative service and thereby suffer health impairment or lose their lives, have the right for themselves or their relatives to adequate support by the Confederation.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Those who render civil protection service and thereby suffer health impairment or lose their lives, have the right for themselves or their relatives to adequate support by the Confederation.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

However, this was prevented by the opposition of the Austrian Government, the Allies, Swiss liberals and non German-speaking Swiss.[41][42]

Foreign relations and international institutions

The Palace of Nations - the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva
.Traditionally, Switzerland avoids alliances that might entail military, political, or direct economic action and had been neutral since the end of its expansion in 1515. Its policy of neutrality has been internationally recognised at the Congress of Vienna in 1815.[43][44] Only in 2002 did Switzerland become a full member of the United Nations[43] but it was the first state to join it by referendum.^ Members of the National Council and of the Federal Council may not at the same time be members of the Council of States.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Members of the Council of States and of the Federal Council and officials appointed by the latter may not at the same time be members of the National Council.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ In the National Council and the Council of States decisions are taken by the absolute majority of the members casting a vote.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and historically has served as an intermediary between other states.^ The Cantons may deal directly with lower ranking foreign authorities; in other cases, the relations of the Cantons with foreign countries shall be conducted by the Confederation acting on their behalf.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Relations between the Cantons and Foreign Countries 1 The Cantons may conclude treaties with foreign countries within the scope of their powers.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Relations between the Confederation and the Cantons 1 The Federal Parliament shall maintain the relations between the Confederation and the Cantons.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[43] .Switzerland is not a member of the European Union; the Swiss people have consistently rejected membership since the early 1990s.^ In 1999, the Swiss people rejected implementation of a nationwide maternity insurance.

[43]
The reversed Swiss flag became the symbol of the Red Cross Movement,[31] founded in 1863 by Henri Dunant[45]
.An unusual number of international institutions have their seats in Switzerland, in part because of its policy of neutrality.^ Strict neutrality was its policy in both World Wars I and II. Geneva became the seat of the League of Nations (later the European headquarters of the United Nations) and of a number of international organizations.

.Geneva is the birth place of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and hosts the United Nations Human Rights Council.^ Geneva, Switzerland: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS/WHO).

The European Broadcasting Union has the official headquarters in the city. .Even though Switzerland is one of the most recent countries to have joined the United Nations, the Palace of Nations in Geneva is the second biggest centre for the United Nations after New York, and Switzerland was a founding member of the League of Nations.^ Strict neutrality was its policy in both World Wars I and II. Geneva became the seat of the League of Nations (later the European headquarters of the United Nations) and of a number of international organizations.

^ Switzerland is not a member of the EU, so all foreign nationals need a passport.

^ Switzerland’s accession to the United Nations 1 Switzerland accedes to the Organization of the United Nations.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.Apart from the United Nations headquarters, the Swiss Confederation is host to many UN agencies, like the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and about 200 other international organisations.^ Strict neutrality was its policy in both World Wars I and II. Geneva became the seat of the League of Nations (later the European headquarters of the United Nations) and of a number of international organizations.

^ In the Name of Almighty God, the Swiss Confederation, with the intent of strengthening the alliance of the Confederates and of maintaining and furthering the unity, strength and honor of the Swiss nation, has adopted the following Federal Constitution: .
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Those who render military or alternative service and thereby suffer health impairment or lose their lives, have the right for themselves or their relatives to adequate support by the Confederation.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[43] The World Economic Forum foundation is based in Geneva. It is best known for its annual meeting in Davos which brings together top international business and political leaders to discuss important issues facing the world, including health and the environment.
.Furthermore, many sport federations and organisations are located throughout the country, such as the International Ice Hockey Federation.^ Federal legislation shall provide the possibility for such persons to obtain certificates of capacity valid throughout the Confederation.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Freedom of trade and industry is guaranteed throughout the territory of the Confederation, subject to such limitations as are contained in the Federal Constitution and the legislation enacted under its authority.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.The most important ones are probably the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne, the FIFA (International Federation of Association Football), in Zürich, and the UEFA (Union of European Football Association), in Nyon.^ One of the most important areas of research in Switzerland is the study of sexual and reproductive health performed by Karen Klaue and Brenda Spencer with the collaboration of Hugues Balthasar.

[46]

Swiss Armed Forces

An F/A-18 Hornet in flight over Switzerland. Pilots have to deal with the Swiss mountains.
.The Swiss Armed Forces, including the Land Forces and the Air Force, are composed of conscripts: professional soldiers constitute only about 5 percent of the military personnel, and all the rest are conscript citizens aged from 20 to 34 (in special cases up to 50) years.^ All Cantons are bound to afford all Swiss citizens the same treatment as their own citizens in the fields of legislation and of judicial proceedings.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The established Swiss citizen shall enjoy at his domicile all the rights of the citizens of that Canton and, with these, all the rights of the citizens of that Commune.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The age at first sexual intercourse has changed over the past 20 years, to a greater extent for boys than for girls.

.Being a landlocked country, Switzerland has no navy, however on lakes bordering neighbouring countries armed military patrol boats are used.^ However, you can't use it to buy tickets from Switzerland to London as there's no facility to collect tickets in Switzerland, so for this use raileurope.com (or .com.au etc.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

.Swiss citizens are prohibited from serving in foreign armies, with the exception of the Swiss Guards of the Vatican.^ In the Swiss Army, no decorations may be worn and no titles conferred by foreign governments may be assumed.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Protection against expulsion, extradition, and removal by force 1 Swiss citizens may not be expelled from the country; they may be extradited to a foreign authority only with their consent.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.The structure of the Swiss militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their own personal equipment, including all personal weapons, at home.^ Top tip 1: By all means book the easy way, asking the system for a ticket from 'London St Pancras' to your Swiss destination all in one go.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ The Swiss school system has not yet adapted to the needs of employed women, with schedules changing from day to day and children expected to eat their lunches at home.

^ Right to Privacy 1 All persons have the right to receive respect for their private and family life, home, and secrecy of the mails and telecommunications.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

Some organisations and political parties find this practice controversial and dangerous.[47] .Compulsory military service concerns all male Swiss citizens; women can serve voluntarily.^ All Cantons are bound to afford all Swiss citizens the same treatment as their own citizens in the fields of legislation and of judicial proceedings.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ The established Swiss citizen shall enjoy at his domicile all the rights of the citizens of that Canton and, with these, all the rights of the citizens of that Commune.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

^ Every Swiss is under the obligation to perform military service.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

They usually receive the marching order at the age of 19 for military conscription. .About two thirds of the young Swiss are found suited for service; for those found unsuited, an alternative service exists.^ There do exist a few Internet services and counseling centers for teenagers, which provide answers to questions about sexuality and family planning.

^ Swiss men who render neither military nor alternative service owe a tax.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Those who render military or alternative service and thereby suffer health impairment or lose their lives, have the right for themselves or their relatives to adequate support by the Confederation.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[48] Annually, approximately 20,000 persons are trained in boot camp for a duration from 18 to 21 weeks. .The reform "Army XXI" was adopted by popular vote in 2003, it replaced the previous model "Army 95", reducing the effectives from 400,000 to about 200,000. Of those, 120,000 are active and 80,000 are reserve units.^ Popular Initiative for Partial Revision of the Federal Constitution 1 100 000 citizens entitled to vote may propose a partial revision of the Federal Constitution.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Popular Initiative for Total Revision of the Federal Constitution 1 100 000 citizens entitled to vote may propose a total revision of the Federal Constitution.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The new legal limitation did not lead to a reduction of the number of legal abortions (about 15,000 per year in those times).

[49]
MOWAG Eagle armoured vehicles in a military parade
.Overall, three general mobilisations have been declared to ensure the integrity and neutrality of Switzerland.^ Measures for the external security as well as for the preservation of the independence and neutrality of Switzerland, declaration of war and conclusion of peace.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.The first one was held on the occasion of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. The second one was decided in response to the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914. The third mobilisation of the army took place on September 1939 in response to the German attack on Poland; Henri Guisan was elected as the General-in-Chief.^ Presidency Each Chamber shall elect from its midst for a term of one year, a President, the first Vice-President, and the second Vice-President.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

Because of neutrality, the army cannot take part in armed conflicts in other countries, but is part of some peacekeeping missions around the world. .Since 2000 the armed forces department has also maintained the Onyx intelligence gathering system to monitor satellite communications.^ Without the consent of the federal authorities, no Canton or Half-Canton may maintain a standing armed force of more than 300 men, not including Police forces.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.Following the end of the Cold War there have been a number of attempts to curb military activity or even abolish the armed forces altogether (see Group for a Switzerland without an Army).^ It can be seen that there is no longer a major difference in the different regions of Switzerland, and preexisting differences between cities and rural areas and between different groups of education have diminished.

^ There are no representative data about the number of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals in Switzerland.

^ Without the consent of the federal authorities, no Canton or Half-Canton may maintain a standing armed force of more than 300 men, not including Police forces.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

.A notable referendum on the subject was held on the 26 November 1989. Although it was defeated, over one third of the people voted in favour of it.^ Optional Referendum 1 The following are submitted to the vote of the People at the request of 50’000 citizens entitled to vote, or of eight Cantons: a.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Mandatory Referendum 1 The following shall be submitted to the vote of the People and the Cantons: a.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ If a referendum is demanded against an urgent Federal Statute, it shall lapse one year after its adoption by the Federal Parliament, unless it is approved by the People within that period.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[50][51] A similar referendum, called for before, but held shortly after, the September 11 attacks, was defeated by over 78% of voters.[52]

Geography and climate

Satellite image of Switzerland
Extending across the north and south side of the Alps, Switzerland encompasses a great diversity of landscapes and climates on a limited area of 41,285 square kilometres (15,940 sq mi).[53] The population is about 7.7 million, resulting in an average population density of around 190 people per square kilometre (485/sq mi).[53][54][55] .The more mountainous southern half of the country is far more sparsely populated than the northern half.^ Without the consent of the federal authorities, no Canton or Half-Canton may maintain a standing armed force of more than 300 men, not including Police forces.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[53]
Contrasted landscapes between the 4,000 metres of the high Alps (Matterhorn on the left), the Sanetsch region and the plateau at Lake Lucerne
Switzerland contains three basic topographical areas: the Swiss Alps on the south, the Central Plateau or middleland, and the Jura mountains on the north.[53] The Alps are a high mountain range running across the central-south of the country, comprising about 60% of the country's total area. Among the high valleys of the Swiss Alps countless glaciers are found, totalling an area of 3,000 square kilometres.[56] .From these the headwaters of several major European rivers such as the Rhine, Rhone, Inn, Aare, and Ticino flow finally into the largest Swiss lakes such as Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), Lake Zürich, Lake Neuchâtel, and Lake Constance.^ The revised Federal Constitution or the revised part of it, as the case may be, shall enter into force if it has been approved by the majority of the Swiss citizens casting a vote and the majority of the Cantons.
  • Switzerland - Constitution 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.basiclaw.net [Source type: Original source]

[53]
Contrasted climates between the most glaciated area in western Eurasia (Aletsch Glacier),[57] the cold temperate Jura (Vallée de Joux) and the southern canton of Ticino (Lake Lugano)
About a hundred of Switzerland's mountain peaks are close to or higher than 4,000 metres.[58] At 4,634 m/15,203 ft, the Dufourspitze is the highest, although the Matterhorn (4,478 m/14,692 ft) is probably more famous. Both are located within the Pennine Alps in the canton of Valais. The section of the Bernese Alps above the deep glacial Lauterbrunnen valley, containing 72 waterfalls, is also well known for the Jungfrau(4,158 m/13,642 ft) and Eiger, and the many picturesque valleys in the region. In the southeast the long Engadin Valley, encompassing the St. Moritz area in canton Graubünden, is also well known; the highest peak in the neighbouring Bernina Alps is Piz Bernina (4,049 m/13,284 ft).[59]
The more populous northern part of the country, comprising about 30% of the country's total area, is called the Middle Land. It has greater open and hilly landscapes, partly forested, partly open pastures, usually with grazing herds, or vegetables and fruit fields, but it is still hilly. There are large lakes found here and the biggest Swiss cities are in this area of the country.[59] The largest lake is Lake Geneva (also called Lac Léman in French), in western Switzerland. The Rhone River is both the main input and output of Lake Geneva.
The Swiss climate is generally temperate, but can vary greatly between the localities,[60][61] from glacial conditions on the mountaintops to the often pleasant near Mediterranean climate at Switzerland's southern tip. Summers tend to be warm and humid at times with periodic rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing. The winters in the mountains alternate with sun and snow, while the lower lands tend to be more cloudy and foggy in winter.[61] A weather phenomenon known as the föhn[60] can occur at all times of the year, even in winter, and is characterised by a relatively warm wind, bringing air of very low relative humidity. It blows mostly on the northern side of the Alps where it can trigger dangerous avalanches.[61] The driest conditions persist in the southern valleys of the Valais[60] above which valuable saffron is harvested and many wine grapes are grown, Graubünden also tends to be drier in climate[60] and slightly colder, yet with plentiful snow in winter. The wettest conditions persist in the high Alps and in the Ticino canton which has much sun yet heavy bursts of rain from time to time.[60] .The eastern part tends to be colder than western Switzerland, yet anywhere up high in the mountains can experience a cold spell at any time of the year.^ Rail 2000, and the link of Eastern and Western Switzerland to the European high-speed railroad network; e.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

Precipitation tends to be spread moderately throughout the year, with minor variations across the seasons depending on locale. Autumn frequently tends to be the driest season, yet the weather patterns in Switzerland can be highly variable from year to year, and difficult to predict.
Switzerland's ecosystems can be particularly fragile, because of the many delicate valleys separated by high mountains, often forming unique ecologies. The mountainous regions themselves are also vulnerable, with a rich range of plants not found at other altitudes, and experience some pressure from visitors and grazing. The climatic, geological and topographical conditions of the alpine region make for a very fragile ecosystem that is particularly sensitive to climate change.[62][63]

Economy

The Omega Speedmaster, a Swiss-made watch worn on the moon during the Apollo missions. In terms of value, Switzerland is responsible for half of the world production of watches.[31][64]
.Switzerland has a stable, modern and one of the most capitalist economies in the world.^ The journey by narrow-gauge train from Chur to St Moritz is one of the most scenic train rides in Switzerland, or indeed the world.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

.It has the 2nd highest European rating after Ireland in the Index of Economic Freedom 2008, while also providing large coverage through public services.^ In the fields of credit and currency, in foreign trade and in public finance, it may, if necessary, depart from the principle of economic freedom.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The Confederation may by statute set a lower rate for the value added tax on tourist services in Switzerland, provided that the services are largely used by foreigners and the competitive situation so requires.15 4 The value added tax may be levied until the end of 2006.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.The nominal per capita GDP is higher than those of the larger western European economies and Japan, ranking 6th behind Luxembourg, Norway, Qatar, Iceland and Ireland.^ The fares charged may be slightly higher than those charged in Europe.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ Be aware that the fares charged may be slightly higher than those charged in Europe.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

The Swiss franc remains one of the world's strongest currencies with the lowest inflation rate.[65]
The Greater Zürich Area, home to 1.5 million inhabitants and 150,000 companies, has taken top position in some life quality surveys.[66]
The Engadin Valley. Tourism constitutes an important revenue for the less industrialised alpine regions.
If adjusted for purchasing power parity, Switzerland ranks 15th in the world for GDP per capita.[67] .The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report currently ranks Switzerland's economy as the most competitive in the world.^ The journey by narrow-gauge train from Chur to St Moritz is one of the most scenic train rides in Switzerland, or indeed the world.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

[68] For much of the 20th century, Switzerland was the wealthiest country in Europe by a considerable margin.[69] In 2005 the median household income in Switzerland was an estimated 95,000 CHF, the equivalent of roughly 90,000 USD (as of December 2009) in nominal terms.
Switzerland is home to several large multinational corporations. The largest Swiss companies by revenue are Glencore, Nestlé, Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, ABB and Adecco.[70] Also notable are UBS AG, Zurich Financial Services, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re, and The Swatch Group. .Switzerland is ranked as having one of the most powerful economies in the world.^ The journey by narrow-gauge train from Chur to St Moritz is one of the most scenic train rides in Switzerland, or indeed the world.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

[69]
Chemicals, health and pharmaceutical, measuring instruments, musical instruments, real estate, banking and insurance, tourism, and international organisations are important industries in Switzerland. The largest exported goods are chemicals (34% of exported goods), machines/electronics (20.9%), and precision instruments/watches (16.9%).[71] .Exported services amount to a third of exported goods.^ The export of goods, and services rendered abroad; 2.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Services in connection with the export or transit of goods.
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[71]
Around 3.8 million people work in Switzerland. Switzerland has a more flexible job market than neighboring countries and the unemployment rate is very low. .Unemployment rate increased from a low of 1.7% in June 2000 to a peak of 4.4%, as of December 2009.[72] Population growth from net immigration is quite high, at 0.52% of population in 2004.[71] Foreign citizen population is 21.8% as of 2004,[71] about the same as in Australia.^ Abrogated in the votation of June 10, 2001, certified as accurate by decision of the Federal Government of August 22, 2001 and based on the Federal Decree of December 15, 2000.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Train times valid from 13 December 2009 to June 2010.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

GDP per hour worked is the world's 17th highest, at 27.44 international dollars in 2006.
.Switzerland has an overwhelmingly private sector economy and low tax rates by Western standards; overall taxation is one of the smallest of developed countries.^ They shall safeguard the interests of the national economy and, together with the private sector of the economy, contribute to the welfare and economic security of the population.
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^ Within the limits of their powers, they shall strive to create favorable conditions for the private sector of the economy.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

Switzerland is an easy place to do business; Switzerland ranks 21st of 178 countries in the Ease of Doing Business Index. The slow growth Switzerland experienced in the 1990s and the early 2000s has brought greater support for economic reforms and harmonisation with the European Union.[73][74] According to Credit Suisse, only about 37% of residents own their own homes, one of the lowest rates of home ownership in Europe. Housing and food price levels were 171% and 145% of the EU-25 index in 2007, compared to 113% and 104% in Germany.[71] Agricultural protectionism—a rare exception to Switzerland's free trade policies—has contributed to high food prices. Product market liberalisation is lagging behind many EU countries according to the OECD.[73] Nevertheless, domestic purchasing power is one of the best in the world.[75][76][77] Apart from agriculture, economic and trade barriers between the European Union and Switzerland are minimal and Switzerland has free trade agreements worldwide. Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Education, science, and technology

Some of the Swiss scientists who played a key role in their discipline (clockwise):
Leonhard Euler (maths)
Louis Agassiz (glaciology)
Auguste Piccard (aeronautics)
Albert Einstein (physics)
.Education in Switzerland is very diverse because the constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority for the school system to the cantons.^ It shall guarantee that persons having a university education or a federal or cantonal education certificate or an education certificate recognized by a Canton may exercise their profession throughout Switzerland.
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^ It may, moreover, complement cantonal measures while respecting cantonal autonomy in school matters, and take its own measures to encourage education.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[78] There are both public and private schools, including many private international schools. .The minimum age for primary school is about six years in all cantons, but most cantons provide a free "children's school" starting at four or five years old.^ The Cantons shall ensure a sufficient primary education open to all children.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[78] Primary school continues until grade four or five, depending on the school. .Traditionally, the first foreign language in school was always one of the other national languages, although recently (2000) English was introduced first in a few cantons.^ The Cantons of Obwald, Nidwald, Basel City, Basel Land, Appenzell Outer Rhodes and Appenzell Inner Rhodes shall elect one Senator each; the other Cantons shall elect two Senators.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[78] At the end of primary school (or at the beginning of secondary school), pupils are separated according to their capacities in several (often three) sections. The fastest learners are taught advanced classes to be prepared for further studies and the matura,[78] while students who assimilate a little bit more slowly receive an education more adapted to their needs.
The "Zentrum" campus of ETH Zürich,[note 9] university in Switzerland, where Albert Einstein studied.
.There are 12 universities in Switzerland, ten of which are maintained at cantonal level and usually offer a range of non-technical subjects.^ It shall guarantee that persons having a university education or a federal or cantonal education certificate or an education certificate recognized by a Canton may exercise their profession throughout Switzerland.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

The first university in Switzerland was founded in 1460 in Basel (with a faculty of medicine) and has a tradition of chemical and medical research in Switzerland. The biggest university in Switzerland is the University of Zurich with nearly 25,000 students. .The two institutes sponsored by the federal government are the ETHZ in Zürich (founded 1855) and the EPFL in Lausanne (founded 1969 as such, formerly an institute associated with the University of Lausanne) which both have an excellent international reputation.^ The two Chambers shall decide on the motions of the Federal Government in the same session, and shall put their decree into force following the procedure of Art.
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^ The Federal Government shall establish the total sum of the additional savings in such a way that the objectives shall be achieved with a delay of no more than two years.
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^ It shall approve international treaties, with the exception of those which by statute or international treaty are within the powers of the Federal Government.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

In 2008, the ETH Zurich was ranked 15th in the field Natural Sciences and Mathematics by the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities[79] and the EPFL in Lausanne was ranked 18th in the field Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences by the same ranking. In addition there are various Universities of Applied Sciences. In business and management studies, University of St. Gallen (HSG) and International Institute for Management Development (IMD) are the leaders. Switzerland has the second highest rate of foreign students in tertiary education, after Australia.[80]
Many Nobel prizes were awarded to Swiss scientists, for example to the world-famous physicist Albert Einstein in the field of physics who developed his theory of relativity while working in Bern. More recently Vladimir Prelog, Heinrich Rohrer, Richard Ernst, Edmond Fischer, Rolf Zinkernagel and Kurt Wüthrich received Nobel prizes in the sciences. In total, 113 Nobel Prize winners stand in relation to Switzerland[81] and the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded 9 times to organisations residing in Switzerland.[82]
The LHC tunnel, in the world's largest laboratory, Geneva.
Geneva hosts the world's largest laboratory, the CERN,[83] dedicated to particle physics research. Another important research center is the Paul Scherrer Institute. Notable inventions include the lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), the scanning tunneling microscope (Nobel prize) or the very popular Velcro. Some technologies enabled the exploration of new worlds such as the pressurized balloon of Auguste Piccard and the Bathyscaphe which permitted Jacques Piccard to reach the deepest point of the world's oceans.
Switzerland Space Agency, the Swiss Space Office, has been involved in various space technologies and programs. In addition it was one of the 10 founders of the European Space Agency in 1975 and is the seventh largest contributor to the ESA budget. In the private sector, several companies are implicated in the space industry such as Oerlikon Space[84] or Maxon Motors[85] who provide spacecraft structures.

Switzerland and the European Union

Switzerland voted against membership in the European Economic Area in a referendum in December 1992 and has since maintained and developed its relationships with the European Union (EU) and European countries through bilateral agreements. In March 2001, the Swiss people refused in a popular vote to start accession negotiations with the EU.[86] In recent years, the Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with those of the EU in many ways, in an effort to enhance their international competitiveness. The economy has been growing most recently at around 3% per year. .Full EU membership is a long-term objective of some in the Swiss government, but there is considerable popular sentiment against this supported by the conservative SVP party.^ Eligibility Every Swiss citizen entitled to vote is eligible for membership in the House of Representatives, the Federal Government, and the Federal Supreme Court.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The Federal Parliament and the Federal Government shall take into account the objectives of paragraph 2 when establishing the budget and the long-term financing plan, and when deliberating on all matters having financial consequences.
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The western French-speaking areas and the urban regions of the rest of the country tend to be more pro-EU, however with far from any significant share of the population.[87][88]
.The government has established an Integration Office under the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Economic Affairs.^ In the fields of credit and currency, in foreign trade and in public finance, it may, if necessary, depart from the principle of economic freedom.
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To minimise the negative consequences of Switzerland's isolation from the rest of Europe, Bern and Brussels signed seven bilateral agreements to further liberalise trade ties. These agreements were signed in 1999 and took effect in 2001. This first series of bilateral agreements included the free movement of persons. A second series covering nine areas was signed in 2004 and has since been ratified. The second series includes the Schengen Treaty and the Dublin Convention. They continue to discuss further areas for cooperation. .In 2006, Switzerland approved a billion francs supportive investment in the poorer eastern European countries in support of cooperation and positive ties to the EU as a whole.^ Rail 2000, and the link of Eastern and Western Switzerland to the European high-speed railroad network; e.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

A further referendum will be needed to approve 300 million francs to support Romania and Bulgaria and their recent admission. .The Swiss have also been under EU and sometimes international pressure to reduce banking secrecy and to raise tax rates to parity with the EU. Preparatory discussions are being opened in four new areas: opening up the electricity market, participation in the European GNSS project Galileo, cooperating with the European centre for disease prevention and recognising certificates of origin for food products.^ (Nuclear Energy) Until September 23, 2000, no general, building, start-up, or operating permit shall be granted for new installations for the production of nuclear energy.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ As an independent central bank, the Swiss National Bank shall follow a monetary policy which serves the general interest of the country; it shall be administered with the cooperation and under the supervision of the Confederation.
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[89]
.On 27 November 2008, the interior and justice ministers of European Union in Brussels announced Switzerland's accession to the Schengen passport-free zone from 12 December 2008. The land border checkpoints will remain in place only for goods movements, but should not run controls on people, though people entering the country had their passports checked until 29 March 2009 if they originated from a Schengen nation.^ Switzerland is one of the few remaining European countries where relatively high point-to-point rail fares and the lack of compulsory reservations & supplements makes railpasses both good value and convenient.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ Switzerland’s accession to the United Nations 1 Switzerland accedes to the Organization of the United Nations.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[90]

Energy, infrastructure, and environment

The Gösgen Nuclear Power Plant is one of the four in Switzerland.
.Electricity generated in Switzerland is 56% from hydroelectricity and 39% from nuclear power, with 5% of the electricity generated from conventional power sources resulting in a nearly CO2-free electricity-generating network.^ All persons have the right to receive information freely, to gather it from generally accessible sources, and to disseminate it.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.On 18 May 2003, two anti-nuclear initiatives were turned down: Moratorium Plus, aimed at forbidding the building of new nuclear power plants (41.6% supported and 58.4% opposed),[91] and Electricity Without Nuclear (33.7% supported and 66.3% opposed).^ (Nuclear Energy) Until September 23, 2000, no general, building, start-up, or operating permit shall be granted for new installations for the production of nuclear energy.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[92] The former ten-year moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants was the result of a citizens' initiative voted on in 1990 which had passed with 54.5% Yes vs. 45.5% No votes. A new nuclear plant in the Canton of Bern is presently planned. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) is the office responsible for all questions relating to energy supply and energy use within the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). The agency is supporting the 2000-watt society initiative to cut the nation's energy use by more than half by the year 2050.[93]
Entrance of the new Lötschberg Base Tunnel, third longest railway tunnel in the world, under the old Lötschberg railway line. It is the first completed tunnel of the greater project AlpTransit.
A very dense rail network[31] of 5,063 km (3,146 mi) carries over 350 million passengers annually.[94] In 2007, each Swiss citizen travelled on average 2,103 km (1,307 mi) by rail, which makes them the keenest rail users.[95] The network is administered mainly by the Federal Railways, except in Graubünden, where the 366 km (227 mi) narrow gauge railway is operated by the Rhaetian Railways and includes some World Heritage lines.[96] The building of new railway base tunnels through the Alps is under way to reduce the time of travel between north and south. .Swiss private-public managed road network is funded by road tolls and vehicle taxes.^ The proceeds from the tolls and taxes set out in paragraph 2 shall be credited to the financial accounts of the Confederation, and transferred into the fund the same year.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.The Swiss autobahn/autoroute system requires the purchase of a vignette (toll sticker)—which costs 40 Swiss francs—for one calendar year in order to use its roadways, for both passenger cars and trucks.^ To drive on Swiss motorways you need to buy a road tax called the Vignette, which costs around Sfr 30 and can be purchased from Automobile Associations or at border crossings.

^ The system recognises many other Swiss destinations besides the ones shown here.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ Top tip 1: By all means book the easy way, asking the system for a ticket from 'London St Pancras' to your Swiss destination all in one go.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

The Swiss autobahn/autoroute network has a total length of 1,638 km (1,018 mi) (as of 2000) and has, by an area of 41,290 km2 (15,940 sq mi), also the one of the highest motorway densities in the world. Zürich Airport is Switzerland's largest international flight gateway, which handled 20.7 million passengers in 2007.
Switzerland has one of the best environmental records among nations in the developed world;[97] it was one of the countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and ratified it in 2003. With Mexico and the Republic of Korea it forms the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG).[98] The country is heavily active in recycling and anti-littering regulations and is one of the top recyclers in the world, with 66% to 96% of recyclable materials being recycled, depending on the area of the country.[99] In many places in Switzerland, household garbage disposal is charged for. Garbage (except dangerous items, batteries etc.) is only collected if it is in bags which either have a payment sticker attached, or in official bags with the surcharge paid at the time of purchase.[100] This gives a financial incentive to recycle as much as possible, since recycling is free.[101] .Swiss health officials and police often open up garbage for which the disposal charge has not been paid and search for evidence such as old bills which connect the bag to the household/person they originated from.^ Supply of official Swiss postage stamps used as such.
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Fines for not paying the disposal fee range from CHF 200–500.[102]

Demographics

Official languages in Switzerland:[103]       German (63.7%; 72.5%)       French (20.4%; 21.0%)       Italian (6.5%; 4.3%)       Romansh (0.5%; 0.6%)
Switzerland lies at the crossroads of several major European cultures that have heavily influenced the country's languages and culture. .Switzerland has four official languages: German (63.7% total population share, with foreign residents; 72.5% of residents with Swiss citizenship, in 2000) in the north, east and center of the country; French (20.4%; 21.0%) to the west; Italian (6.5%; 4.3%) in the south.^ Scotland, north of England, East Anglia to Switzerland .
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ The Thomas Cook Rail Map of Europe is the best and most comprehensive map of train routes right across Europe, from Portugal in the west to Istanbul, Moscow & Ukraine in the east, from Finland in the north to Sicily & Crete in the south.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ Switzerland ► Scotland, the north of England, East Anglia .
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

[103] .Romansh, a Romance language spoken locally by a small minority (0.5%; 0.6%) in the southeastern canton of Graubünden, is designated by the Federal Constitution as a national language along with German, French and Italian (Article 4 of the Constitution), and as official language if the authorities communicate with persons of Romansh language (Article 70), but federal laws and other official acts do not need to be decreed in this language.^ Cantons when implementing and executing federal law; g.
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^ Implementation of Federal Law 1 The Cantons shall implement federal law in conformity with the Constitution and the statute.
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^ The Cantons shall designate their official languages.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

.The federal government is obliged to communicate in the official languages, and in the federal parliament simultaneous translation is provided from and into German, French and Italian.^ Principle of Collective Authority and Division into Departments 1 The Federal Government shall take its decisions as a collective body.
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^ (National Day) 1 Until the entry into force of the new federal legislation, the Federal Government shall regulate the modalities.
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^ Enactments of the Federal Parliament and of the Federal Government cannot be challenged before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[104]
The German spoken in Switzerland is predominantly a group of Alemannic dialects collectively known as Swiss German, but written communication typically use Swiss Standard German, whilst the majority of radio and TV broadcast is (nowadays) in Swiss German as well. Similarly, there are some dialects of Franco-Provençal in rural communities in the French speaking part, known as "Suisse romande", called Vaudois, Gruérien, Jurassien, Empro, Fribourgeois, Neuchâtelois, and in the Italian speaking area, Ticinese (a dialect of Lombard). Also the official languages (German, French and Italian) borrow some terms not understood outside of Switzerland, i.e. terms from other languages (German Billette[105] from French), from similar term in another language (Italian azione used not as act but as discount from German Aktion). .Learning one of the other national languages at school is obligatory for all Swiss, so many Swiss are supposed to be at least bilingual, especially those belonging to minorities.^ The system recognises many other Swiss destinations besides the ones shown here.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ Top tip 1: By all means book the easy way, asking the system for a ticket from 'London St Pancras' to your Swiss destination all in one go.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ At least two thirds of the net profits of the Swiss National Bank shall be credited to the Cantons.
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[106]
Resident foreigners and temporary foreign workers make up about 22% of the population.[107] Most of these (60%) are from European Union or EFTA countries.[108] Italians are the largest single group of foreigners with 17.3% of total foreign population. They are followed by Germans (13.2%), immigrants from Serbia and Montenegro (11.5%) and Portugal (11.3%).[108] Immigrants from Sri Lanka, most of them former Tamil refugees, are the largest group among people of Asian origin.[109] In the 2000s, domestic and international institutions have expressed concern about what they perceive as an increase of xenophobia, particularly in some political campaignings. .However, the high proportion of foreign citizens in the country, as well as the generally unproblematic integration of foreigners, underlines Switzerland's openness.^ Protection against expulsion, extradition, and removal by force 1 Swiss citizens may not be expelled from the country; they may be extradited to a foreign authority only with their consent.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[110]

Health

The Swiss citizens are covered by a compulsory universal health-insurance coverage, permitting access to a broad range of modern medical services. .The healthcare system compares well with other European countries and patients are largely satisfied with it.^ Selecting other countries will switch you to the relevant mini-site, allowing ticket despatch to other European countries.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ To have tickets sent to addresses in other European countries, change the mini-site to the appropriate country by clicking the flag and country name at the bottom of the page.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

In 2006 life expectancy at birth was 79 years for men and 84 years for women.[111] It is among the highest in the world.[112][113] However, spending on health is particularly high, with 11.5% of GDP (2003) and, from 1990, a steady increase is observed, reflecting the high prices of the services provided[114] With aging populations and new healthcare technologies, health spending will likely continue to rise.[114]

Urbanisation

Urbanisation in the Rhone Valley (outskirts of Sion)
Between two thirds and three quarters of the population live in urban areas.[115][116] .Switzerland has gone from a largely rural country to an urban one in just 70 years.^ Public Works In the interest of Switzerland or a large part of the country, the Confederation may build and operate public works, or promote the realization of such works.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

Since 1935 urban development has claimed as much of the Swiss landscape as it did during the previous 2,000 years. This urban sprawl does not only affect the plateau but also the Jura and the Alpine foothills[117] and there are growing concerns about land use.[118] However from the beginning of the 21st century, the population growth in urban areas is higher than in the countryside.[116]
Switzerland has a dense network of cities, where large, medium and small cities are complementary.[116] The plateau is very densely populated with about 450 people per km2 and the landscape continually shows signs of man's presence.[119] .The weight of the largest metropolitan areas, which are Zürich, Geneva-Lausanne, Basel and Bern tend to increase.^ Change in Basel for Geneva, Lausanne, Bern or in Zurich for Chur, Davos, St Moritz (see www.sbb.ch for Swiss train times & fares).
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ The best & cheapest way to buy tickets from London to Basel, Bern or Lausanne is online, just follow the instructions above .
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ The system will easily book the direct TGVs from Paris to Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Zurich or Bern, and it will also book tickets to many destinations involving a change of train in Switzerland, such as Interlaken or Zermatt.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

[116] In international comparison the importance of these urban areas is stronger than their number of inhabitants suggests.[116] In addition the two main centers of Zürich and Geneva are recognized for their particular great quality of life.[120]

Religion

.Switzerland has no official state religion, though most of the cantons (except Geneva and Neuchâtel) recognize official churches, which are either the Catholic Church or the Swiss Reformed Church.^ Church and State 1 The regulation of the relationship between church and state is a cantonal matter.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

These churches, and in some cantons also the Old Catholic Church and Jewish congregations, are financed by official taxation of adherents.[121]
The reformed church of Glarus
Christianity is the predominant religion of Switzerland, divided between the Catholic Church (41.8% of the population) and various Protestant denominations (35.3%). Immigration has brought Islam (4.3%, predominantly Kosovars, Bosniaks and Turks) and Eastern Orthodoxy (1.8%) as sizeable minority religions.[122] In a 2009 referendum, Swiss voters banned the construction of new minarets. The 2005 Eurobarometer poll[123] found 48% to be theist, 39% expressing belief in "a spirit or life force", 9% atheist and 4% agnostic. Greeley (2003) found that 27% of the population does not believe in God.[124]
The country is historically about evenly balanced between Catholic and Protestant, with a complex patchwork of majorities over most of the country. .One canton, Appenzell, was officially divided into Catholic and Protestant sections in 1597.[125] The larger cities (Bern, Geneva, Zürich and Basel) are predominantly Protestant.^ The Cantons of Obwald, Nidwald, Basel City, Basel Land, Appenzell Outer Rhodes and Appenzell Inner Rhodes shall elect one Senator each; the other Cantons shall elect two Senators.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ Change in Basel for Geneva, Lausanne, Bern or in Zurich for Chur, Davos, St Moritz (see www.sbb.ch for Swiss train times & fares).
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ The Cantons of Obwald, Nidwald, Basel City, Basel Land, Appenzell Outer Rhodes and Appenzell Inner Rhodes have each one half of a cantonal vote.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

Central Switzerland, as well as Ticino, is traditionally Catholic. The Swiss Constitution of 1848, under the recent impression of the clashes of Catholic vs. Protestant cantons that culminated in the Sonderbundskrieg, consciously defines a consociational state, allowing the peaceful co-existence of Catholics and Protestants. .A 1980 initiative calling for the complete separation of church and state was resoundingly rejected, with only 21.1% voting in support.^ If it rejects the initiative, it shall submit it to the vote of the People; the People shall decide whether the initiative should be followed.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[126]

Culture

Alphorn concert in Vals
Switzerland is in the unusual situation of being the home of three of Europe's major languages. Swiss culture is characterised by diversity, which is reflected in a wide range of traditional customs.[127] A region may be in some ways strongly culturally connected to the neighbouring country that shares its language, the country itself being rooted in western European culture.[128] The linguistically isolated Romansh culture in eastern Switzerland constitutes an exception, it survives only in the upper valleys of the Rhine and the Inn and strives to maintain its rare linguistic tradition.
Switzerland is home to many notable contributors to literature, art, architecture, music and sciences. .In addition the country attracted a number of creative persons during time of unrest or war in Europe.^ The Thomas Cook European timetable has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

[129] .Some 1000 museums are distributed through the country; the number has more than tripled since 1950.[130] Among the most important cultural performances held annually are the Locarno International Film Festival[131] and the Montreux Jazz Festival.^ Businesses with a total annual taxable turnover of no more than 75’000 francs; 2.
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[132]
.Alpine symbolism has played an essential role in shaping the history of the country and the Swiss national identity.^ As an independent central bank, the Swiss National Bank shall follow a monetary policy which serves the general interest of the country; it shall be administered with the cooperation and under the supervision of the Confederation.
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[133][134] .Nowadays many mountain areas have a strong highly energetic ski resort culture in winter, and a hiking (wandering) culture in summer.^ For many years, the area around St Moritz, Davos and Klosters has attracted visitors from the UK both for winter sports and summer holidays.
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.Some areas throughout the year have a recreational culture that caters to tourism, yet the quieter seasons are spring and autumn when there are fewer visitors and a higher ratio of Swiss.^ For many years, the area around St Moritz, Davos and Klosters has attracted visitors from the UK both for winter sports and summer holidays.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

A traditional farmer and herder culture also predominates in many areas and small farms are omnipresent outside the cities. Folk art is kept alive in organisations all over the country. In Switzerland it is mostly expressed in music,dance, poetry, wood carving and embroidery. The alphorn, a trumpet- like musical instrument made of wood, has become alongside yodeling and the accordion an epitome of traditional Swiss music.[135][136]

Literature

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was not only a writer but also an influential philosopher of the eighteenth-century[137] (his statue in Geneva)
As the Confederation, from its foundation in 1291, was almost exclusively composed of German-speaking regions, the earliest forms of literature are in German. In the 18th century French became the fashionable language in Bern and elsewhere, while the influence of the French-speaking allies and subject lands was more marked than before.[138]
Among the classics of Swiss German literature are Jeremias Gotthelf (1797–1854) and Gottfried Keller (1819–1890). The undisputed giants of 20th century Swiss literature are Max Frisch (1911–91) and Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–90), whose repertoire includes Die Physiker (The Physicists) and Das Versprechen (The Pledge), released in 2001 as a Hollywood film.[139]
Prominent French-speaking writers were Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) and Germaine de Staël (1766–1817). More recent authors include Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (1878–1947), whose novels describe the lives of peasants and mountain dwellers, set in a harsh environment and Blaise Cendrars (born Frédéric Sauser, 1887–1961).[139] Also Italian and Romansh-speaking authors contributed but in more modest way given their small number.
.The probably most famous Swiss literary creation, Heidi, the story of an orphan girl who lives with her grandfather in the Alps, was one of the most popular children's books ever and has come to be a symbol of Switzerland.^ The journey by narrow-gauge train from Chur to St Moritz is one of the most scenic train rides in Switzerland, or indeed the world.
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Her creator, Johanna Spyri (1827–1901), wrote a number of other books around similar themes.[139]

Media

.The freedom of the press and the right to free expression is guaranteed in the federal constitution of Switzerland.^ Freedom of the Media 1 The freedom of the press, radio and television, and of other forms of public telecasting of productions and information is guaranteed.
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^ Right to Primary Education The right to sufficient and free primary education is guaranteed.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The guarantee of political rights protects the free formation of opinion by the citizens and the unaltered expression of their will.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[140] The Swiss News Agency (SNA) broadcasts information around-the-clock in three of the four national languages—on politics, economics, society and culture. The SNA supplies almost all Swiss media and a couple dozen foreign media services with its news.[140]
Switzerland has historically boasted the greatest number of newspaper titles published in proportion to its population and size.[141] The most influential newspapers are the German-language Tages-Anzeiger and Neue Zürcher Zeitung NZZ, and the French-language Le Temps, but almost every city has at least one local newspaper. .The cultural diversity accounts for a large number of newspapers.^ In accomplishing its tasks, it shall take into account the cultural and linguistic diversity of the country.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

[141]
In contrast to the print media, the broadcast media has always been under greater control of the government.[141] .The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, whose name was recently changed to SRG SSR idée suisse, is charged with the production and broadcast of radio and television programs.^ Freedom of the Media 1 The freedom of the press, radio and television, and of other forms of public telecasting of productions and information is guaranteed.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

^ The independence of radio and television and the autonomy of their programming are guaranteed.
  • ThisNation.com--Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation 19 September 2009 11:54 UTC www.thisnation.com [Source type: Original source]

SRG SSR studios are distributed throughout the various language regions. Radio content is produced in six central and four regional studios while the television programs are produced in Geneva, Zürich and Lugano. An extensive cable network also allows most Swiss to access the programs from neighboring countries.[141]

Sports

Ski area over the glaciers of Lötschental
Skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering are among the most popular sports in Switzerland, the nature of the country being particularly suited for such activities.[142] Winter sports are practiced by the natives and tourists since the second half of the 19th century with the invention of bobsleigh in St. Moritz.[143] The first world ski championships were held in Mürren (1931) and St. Moritz (1934). The latter town hosted the second Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and the fifth edition in 1948. Among the most successful skiers and world champions are Pirmin Zurbriggen and Didier Cuche.
.Like other Europeans, many Swiss are fans of football and the national team or 'Nati' is widely supported.^ The system recognises many other Swiss destinations besides the ones shown here.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

Switzerland was the joint host, with Austria, of the Euro 2008 tournament. .Many Swiss also follow ice hockey and support one of the 12 clubs in the League A.^ The system recognises many other Swiss destinations besides the ones shown here.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

In April 2009, Switzerland hosted the 2009 IIHF World Championship for the 10th time.[144] The numerous lakes make Switzerland an attractive place for sailing. The largest, Lake Geneva, is the home of the sailing team Alinghi which was the first European team to win the America's Cup in 2003 and which successfully defended the title in 2007. Tennis has become increasely popular sport, and Swiss players such as Martina Hingis and Roger Federer have won multiple Grand Slams.
Roger Federer is one of the best male players in the history of tennis, and the current number one ATP tennis player in the world
Motorsport racecourses and events were banned in Switzerland following the 1955 Le Mans disaster with exception to events such as Hillclimbing. However, this ban was overturned in June 2007.[145] During this period, the country still produced successful racing drivers such as Clay Regazzoni, Jo Siffert and successful World Touring Car Championship driver Alain Menu. Switzerland also won the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in 2007-08 with driver Neel Jani. Swiss motorcycle racer Thomas Lüthi won the 2005 MotoGP World Championship in the 125cc category.
Traditional sports include Swiss wrestling or "Schwingen". It is an old tradition from the rural central cantons and considered the national sport by some. Hornussen is another indigenous Swiss sport, which is like a cross between baseball and golf.[146] Steinstossen is the Swiss variant of stone put, a competition in throwing a heavy stone. Practiced only among the alpine population since prehistoric times, it is recorded to have taken place in Basel in the 13th century. It is also central to the Unspunnenfest, first held in 1805, with its symbol the 83.5 kg stone named Unspunnenstein.[147]

Food

The cuisine of Switzerland is multi-faceted. While some dishes such as fondue, raclette or rösti are omnipresent through the country, each region developed its own gastronomy according to the differences of climate and languages.[148] .Traditional Swiss cuisine uses ingredients similar to those in other European countries, as well as unique dairy products and cheeses such as Gruyère or Emmental, produced in the valleys of Gruyères and Emmental.^ Selecting other countries will switch you to the relevant mini-site, allowing ticket despatch to other European countries.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

^ To have tickets sent to addresses in other European countries, change the mini-site to the appropriate country by clicking the flag and country name at the bottom of the page.
  • How to travel by train from London to Switzerland 28 January 2010 0:57 UTC www.seat61.com [Source type: General]

The number of fine-dining establishments is high, particularly in western Switzerland.[149][150]
Chocolate had been made in Switzerland since the 18th century but it gained its reputation at the end of the 19th century with the invention of modern techniques such as conching and tempering which enabled its production on a high quality level. Also a breakthrough was the invention of milk chocolate in 1875 by Daniel Peter.[151]
Swiss wine is produced mainly in Valais, Vaud (Lavaux), Geneva and Ticino, with a small majority of white wines. Vineyards have been cultivated in Switzerland since the Roman era, even though certain traces can be found of a more ancient origin. The most widespread varieties are the Chasselas (called Fendant in Valais) and Pinot Noir. The Merlot is the main variety produced in Ticino.[152]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ De jure "federal city"; de facto capital. Because of historical federalist sensibilities, Swiss law does not designate a formal capital, and some federal institutions such as courts are located in other cities.
  2. ^ Traditional. The Federal Charter only mentions "early August" and the treaty is a renewal of an older one, now lost.
  3. ^ The Swiss German name is also sometimes spelt as Schwyz or Schwiiz. Schwyz is also the standard German (and international) name of one of the Swiss cantons.
  4. ^ Or Central Europe depending on the definition. See Geography of Switzerland.
  5. ^ As shown in this image, the current members of the council are (as of November 2009, from left to right): Didier Burkhalter, Federal Chancellor Corina Casanova, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, Ueli Maurer, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Hans-Rudolf Merz, Doris Leuthard (President of the Confederation), Moritz Leuenberger (Vice-President of the Confederation)
  6. ^ The SVP/UDC has suffered a split since the election, with both their councillors defecting to the Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland (BDP/PBD). As of 2009, with the election of Ueli Maurer, the SVP/UDC and the BDP/PBD hold one seat each.
  7. ^ Since 1999, an initiative can also be in the form of a general proposal to be elaborated by Parliament, but because it is considered less attractive for various reasons, this form of initiative has yet to find any use.
  8. ^ That is a majority of 23 cantonal votes, because the result of the popular vote in the six traditional half-cantons each counts as half the vote of one of the other cantons.
  9. ^ In 2008, ETH Zurich was ranked 15th in the field Natural Sciences and Mathematics by the Shanghai Ranking and in 2007 it was ranked 27th in all fields.

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Federal Constitution, article 4, "National languages" : National languages are German, French, Italian and Romansh; Federal Constitution, article 70, "Languages", paragraph 1: The official languages of the Confederation are German, French and Italian. Romansh shall be an official language for communicating with persons of Romansh language.
  2. ^ A solemn declaration of the Tagsatzung declared the Federal Constitution adopted on 12 September 1848. A resolution of the Tagsatzung of 14 September 1848 specified that the powers of the institutions provided for by the 1815 Federal Treaty would expire at the time of the constitution of the Federal Council, which took place on 16 November 1848.
  3. ^ "Population size and population composition". Swiss Federal Statistical Office. Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Neuchâtel. 2009. http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/themen/01/02/blank/key/bevoelkerungsstand.html. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Switzerland". International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=146&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=47&pr.y=11. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  5. ^ Human Development Report 2009. The United Nations. Retrieved 5 October 2009.
  6. ^ Swiss and German cities dominate ranking of best cities in the world
  7. ^ Constitutional Patriotism and Exclusion: the Swiss Case euroculturemaster.org. Retrieved on 2009-07-30
  8. ^ In Search of Natural Identity: Alpine Landscape and the Reconstruction of the Swiss Nation. journals.cambridge.org. Retrieved on 2009-07-30
  9. ^ OED Online Etymology Dictionary etymonline.com. Retrived on 2009-06-25
  10. ^ Room, Adrian. Placenames of the World. London: MacFarland and Co., Inc., 1997.
  11. ^ Switzerland, the Catholic Encyclopedia newadvent.org. Retrieved on 2010-01-26
  12. ^ On Schwyzers, Swiss and Helvetians, Federal Department of Home Affairs [1]. Retrieved on 2010-01-26
  13. ^ Züritüütsch, Schweizerdeutsch (p. 2) schweizerdeutsch.ch. Retrieved on 20010-01-26
  14. ^ Kanton Schwyz: Kurzer historischer Überblick sz.ch. Retrieved on 2010-01-26
  15. ^ Reproduction in R.C. De Marinis, Gli Etruschi a Nord del Po, Mantova, 1986.
  16. ^ Helvetia in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h History swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-27
  18. ^ Switzerland's Roman heritage comes to life swissinfo.ch
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  20. ^ a b c d e f g History of Switzerland Nationsonline.org. Retrieved on 2009-11-27
  21. ^ Schwabe & Co.: Geschichte der Schweiz und der Schweizer, Schwabe & Co 1986/2004. ISBN 3-7965-2067-7 (German)
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p A Brief Survey of Swiss History admin.ch, Retrieved on 2009-06-22
  23. ^ Swiss border in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  24. ^ Bundesstadt in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
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  26. ^ Lenin and the Swiss non-revolution swissinfo.ch. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  27. ^ Let's Swallow Switzerland by Klaus Urner (Lexington Books, 2002).
  28. ^ a b c Book review: Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II, Halbrook, Stephen P. stonebooks.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-02
  29. ^ Asylum in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  30. ^ The Bergier Commission Final Report, page 117.
  31. ^ a b c d Country profile: Switzerland UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Retrieved on 2009-11-25
  32. ^ a b c d e f Political System admin.ch, Retrieved on 2009-06-22
  33. ^ "Political System". Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps/eur/vgbr/infoch/chpoli.html. 
  34. ^ The Judiciary: The Federal Supreme Court ch.ch. Retrived on 2009-12-15
  35. ^ a b Cantons ch.ch. Retrieved on 2009-12-15
  36. ^ How direct democracy makes Switzerland a better place telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-12-04
  37. ^ Tremblay; Lecours; et al. (2004) Mapping the Political Landscape. Toronto: Nelson.
  38. ^ Turner; Barry (2001). The Statement's Yearbook. New York: MacMillan Press ltd.
  39. ^ Banks, Arthur (2006). Political Handbook of The World 2005-2006. Washington: Cq Press.
  40. ^ Enclaves of the world enclaves.webs.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-15
  41. ^ Vorarlberg austria.org. Retrieved on 2009-12-15
  42. ^ unige.ch - Direct democracy in the world
  43. ^ a b c d e Neutrality and isolationism swissworld.org, Retrieved on 2009-06-23
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  45. ^ Henri Dunant, the Nobel Peace Prize 1901 nobelprize.org. Retrieved on 2009-12-02
  46. ^ Sports directory if-sportsguide.ch. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  47. ^ An initiative to abandon this practice has been launched on 4 September 2007, and is supported by GSoA, the Green Party of Switzerland and the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland as well as other organisations which are listed here [2].
  48. ^ "Zwei Drittel der Rekruten diensttauglich (Schweiz, NZZ Online)". http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/schweiz/zwei_drittel_der_rekruten_diensttauglich_1.687233.html. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 
  49. ^ Armeezahlen www.vbs.admin.ch (German)
  50. ^ Volksabstimmung vom 26. November 1989 admin.ch. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
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  66. ^ Zürich – the Highest Quality of Life Worldwide for the Seventh Successive Year
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  68. ^ World Economic Forum - Global Competitiveness Report
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  70. ^ "Six Swiss companies make European Top 100". swissinfo.ch. 18 October 2008. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/detail/Six_Swiss_companies_make_European_Top_100.html?siteSect=161&sid=7174196&cKey=1161172317000. Retrieved 22 July 2008. 
  71. ^ a b c d e Swiss Statistical Yearbook 2008 by Swiss Federal Statistical Office
  72. ^ Swiss jobless reach 12-year high -- a mere 4.4 pct
  73. ^ a b Policy Brief: Economic Survey of Switzerland, 2007 (326 KiB), OECD
  74. ^ Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2008 - Switzerland Country Note (45 KiB)
  75. ^ Domestic purchasing power of wages (68 KiB)
  76. ^ Switzerland tops in buying power goliath.ecnext.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-14.
  77. ^ Want the world's best wages? Move to Switzerland reuters.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-14.
  78. ^ a b c d The Swiss education system swissworld.org, Retrieved on 2009-06-23
  79. ^ Shanghai Ranking 2008 Top 100 world universities in Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  80. ^ Education at Glance 2005 by the OECD: Percentage of foreign students in tertiary education.
  81. ^ Nobel prizes in non-science categories included.
  82. ^ "Mueller Science - Spezialitaeten: Schweizer Nobelpreisträger". http://www.muellerscience.com/SPEZIALITAETEN/Schweiz/SchweizerNobelpreistraeger.htm. Retrieved 31 July 2008. 
  83. ^ CERN - the largest laboratory in the world www.swissworld.org
  84. ^ Company overview www.oerlikon.com
  85. ^ Media releases maxonmotor.ch
  86. ^ Prof Clive Church (may 2003). "The contexts of Swiss opposition to Europe" (PDF, 124 KiB). Sussex European Institute. p. 12. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sei/documents/wp64.pdf. Retrieved 13 June 2008. 
  87. ^ """Volksinitiative «Ja zu Europa!» (Initiative «Yes to Europe!»)" (in German) (PDF, 1.1 MiB). BFS/OFS/UST. 13 February 2003. http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/17/03/blank/key/2001/01.Document.22675.pdf. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  88. ^ """Volksinitiative "Ja zu Europa!", nach Kantonen. (Initiative "Yes to Europe!" by Canton)." (in German) (XLS). BFS/OFS/UST. 16 January 2003. http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/17/03/blank/key/2001/01.Document.85488.xls. Retrieved 15 June 2008. 
  89. ^ Switzerland and the European Union europa.admin.ch. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  90. ^ Switzerland in Schengen: end to passport checks euronews.net. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  91. ^ "Vote No. 502 – Summary" (in German). 18 May 2003. http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/pore/va/20030518/det502.html. 
  92. ^ "Vote No. 501 – Summary" (in German). 18 May 2003. http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/pore/va/20030518/det501.html. 
  93. ^ "Federal government energy research". 16 January 2008. http://www.bfe.admin.ch/forschungnetze/01223/index.html?lang=en. 
  94. ^ Verkehrsleistungen – Daten, Indikatoren admin.ch (German)
  95. ^ Schienenverkehr admin.ch (German)
  96. ^ Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes unesco.org
  97. ^ Swiss sit atop ranking of greenest nations msnbc.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-02
  98. ^ Party grouping unfccc.int. Retrieved on 2009-12-02
  99. ^ Swiss Recycling
  100. ^ Stadtreinigung Basel-Stadt—Pricelist bags and stickers
  101. ^ "Recycling around the world". BBC. 25 June 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4620041.stm. Retrieved 24 April 2006. 
  102. ^ Richtig Entsorgen (Kanton Basel-Stadt) (1.6 MiB)—Wilde Deponien sind verboten... Für die Beseitigung widerrechtlich deponierter Abfälle wird zudem eine Umtriebsgebühr von Fr. 200.– oder eine Busse erhoben (page 90)
  103. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office. "Languages and religions - Data, indicators". http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/themen/01/05/blank/key/sprachen.html. Retrieved 9 October 2007.  The first number refers to the share of languages within total population. The second refers to the Swiss citizens only.
  104. ^ The Parliamentary Services parlament.ch. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  105. ^ SBB: Billette - OnlineTicket
  106. ^ Minorities and bilingualism swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  107. ^ Ausländerinnen und Ausländer in der Schweiz - Bericht 2008 (German) (1196 KiB), Swiss Federal Statistical Office, page 12.
  108. ^ a b Ausländerinnen und Ausländer in der Schweiz - Bericht 2008 (German) (1196 KiB), Swiss Federal Statistical Office, page 72.
  109. ^ Foreign population in Switzerland detailed by nationality, 1980–2006 (German), Swiss Federal Statistical Office.
  110. ^ Definitive report on racism in Switzerland by UN expert humanrights.ch
  111. ^ Switzerland who.int. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
  112. ^ Life expectancy at birth, 2006 who.int. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
  113. ^ OECD Health Data 2006 oecd.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
  114. ^ a b OECD and WHO survey of Switzerland’s health system oecd.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
  115. ^ Where people live swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-26
  116. ^ a b c d e Städte und Agglomerationen unter der Lupe admin.ch. Retrieved on 2009-06-26
  117. ^ Swiss countryside succumbs to urban sprawl swissinfo.ch. Retrieved on 2009-06-30
  118. ^ Enquête représentative sur l’urbanisation de la Suisse (Pronatura) gfs-zh.ch. Retrived on 2009-06-30
  119. ^ Swiss plateau swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-29
  120. ^ Quality of living mercer.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-26
  121. ^ International Religious Freedom Report 2004 – Switzerland, U.S. Department of State.
  122. ^ CIA World Factbook section on Switzerland
  123. ^ Social values, Science and TechnologyPDF (1.64 MiB), Eurobarometer, June 2005.
  124. ^ Greeley, Andrew. 2003. Religion in Europe at the End of the Second Millennium. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers
  125. ^ Reclus, Élisée (1881). The Earth and Its Inhabitants. D. Appleton and Company. p. 478. 
  126. ^ Volksabstimmung vom 2. März 1980 admin.ch. Retrieved on 2010
  127. ^ Swiss culture swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-12-01
  128. ^ European Year of Intercultural Dialogue Dr Michael Reiterer. Retrieved on 2009-12-01
  129. ^ Switzerland: culture traveldocs.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-01
  130. ^ Museums swissworld.org. Retrived on 2009-12-02
  131. ^ Film festivals swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-12-02
  132. ^ Switzerland’s Prestigious Music Festival-Montreux Jazz Festival nowpublic.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-02
  133. ^ Mountains and hedgehogs swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-12-01
  134. ^ In Search of Natural Identity: Alpine Landscape and the Reconstruction of the Swiss Nation, Oliver Zimmer, London School of Economics and Political Science
  135. ^ Folk music swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-12-02
  136. ^ Culture of Switzerland europe-cities.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-14
  137. ^ Art in literature cp-pc.ca. Retrieved on 2009-12-14
  138. ^ From Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, Swiss literature
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  140. ^ a b Press and the media ch.ch. Retrieved on 2009-06-25
  141. ^ a b c d Press in Switzerland pressreference.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-25
  142. ^ Sport in Switzerland europe-cities.com. Retrieved on 2009-12-14
  143. ^ A brief history of bobsleigh fibt.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-02
  144. ^ IIHF World Championships 2009 official website
  145. ^ "Switzerland lifts ban on motor racing". GrandPrix.com & DueMotori.com. 6 June 2007. http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Switzerland_lifts_ban_on_motor_racing. Retrieved 23 September 2008. 
  146. ^ Hornussen swissroots.org. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  147. ^ Tradition and history interlaken.ch. Retrieved on 2010-01-25
  148. ^ Flavors of Switzerland theworldwidegourmet.com. Retrieved on 2009-06-24
  149. ^ The MICHELIN Guide Switzerland 2010 attests to the high quality of gourmet cooking with one new 2 star restaurant and 8 new one star Press information, Michelin. Retrived on 2009-12-14
  150. ^ Swiss region serves up food with star power usatoday.com. Retrived on 2009-12-14
  151. ^ Chocolate swissworld.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-24
  152. ^ Wine-producing Switzerland in short swisswine.ch. Retrieved on 2009-06-24

Bibliography

  • Church, Clive H. (2004) The Politics and Government of Switzerland. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-69277-2.
  • Dalton, O.M. (1927) The History of the Franks, by Gregory of Tours. Oxford: The Clarendon Press.
  • Fahrni, Dieter. (2003) An Outline History of Switzerland. From the Origins to the Present Day. 8th enlarged edition. Pro Helvetia, Zürich. ISBN 3-908102-61-8
  • Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (2002–). Published electronically and in print simultaneously in three national languages of Switzerland.

External links

Government
Reference
Geography
Travel
History
News media
Education
Science, research, and technology

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Satellite map of Switzerland
Switzerland is a country in central Europe.

Sourced

  • In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed - they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love and five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock!
  • Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels built on the cuckoo clock style of architecture.

External links

Wikipedia
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Look up Switzerland in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Central Europe : Switzerland
noframe
Location
noframe
Flag
Image:Sz-flag.png
Quick Facts
Capital Berne
Government Federal Republic
Currency Swiss Franc (CHF)
Area 41,285 km²
Population 7,489,370 (July 2006 est.)
Language Swiss-German, German, French, Italian, Romansh
Religion Protestant and Roman Catholic in pretty equal shares, Judaism 0.2%
Electricity 230V/50Hz
Calling Code +41
Internet TLD .ch
Time Zone UTC+1
Switzerland [1] (German: Schweiz, French: Suisse, Italian: Svizzera, Romansch: Svizra) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It has borders with France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north.
The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude. Switzerland has cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers.
Switzerland is known for its mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) but it also has a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The highest point is Dufourspitze at 4,634 m while Lake Maggiore is only 195 m above sea level.

Understand

Switzerland's independence and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers and Switzerland was not involved in either of the two World Wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations, but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.
Switzerland showcases three of Europe's most distinct cultures. To the northeast is the beer-drinking, sausage-eating German-speaking Switzerland; to the south-west the wine drinking and shopping spills effortlessly into France; in the south-east the sun warms cappuccino-sippers loitering in Italian-style plazas; and in the center: classic Swiss flugelhorns and mountain landscapes. Binding it all together is a distinct Swiss mentality.
Switzerland can be a glorious whirlwind trip whether you've packed your hiking boots, snowboard, or just a good book and a pair of sunglasses.

Economy

Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP larger than that of the big Western European economies. The Swiss in recent years have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness. Switzerland remains a safe haven for investors, because it has maintained a degree of bank secrecy and has kept up the franc's long-term external value. Reflecting the anemic economic conditions of Europe, GDP growth dropped in 2001 to about 0.8%, to 0.2% in 2002, and to -0.3% in 2003, with a small rise to 1.8% in 2004-05. Even so, unemployment has remained at less than half the EU average.
Regions of Switzerland
Regions of Switzerland
Lake Geneva
On the northern shores of the Léman, from the Jura to the Alps
Jura Mountains and Fribourg
Hiking, lakes, watch-making
Bernese Lowlands
The core region of Traditional Bernese influence
Bernese Highlands
The Majestic Bernese Alps
Central Switzerland
The birthplace of the Swiss Confederation, the legends of William Tell
Basel
Industrial city, with countryside
Zurich
A tourist region in its own right
Northeastern Switzerland
Between the Alps and Lake Constance
Valais
Europe's highest peaks and largest glaciers
Graubünden
Region which is the same as canton Graubünden, very mountainous, lightly populated and home to many great tourist cities
Ticino
Italian speaking region which is the same as the canton Ticino
The capital city of Berne
The capital city of Berne
  • Zurich - Switzerland's biggest city and a major center of banking also has a thriving nightlife.
  • Geneva - This center of arts and culture, the second-largest city in Switzerland, is by far the international capital-- home to around 200 governmental and non-governmental organisations. Geneva was the home of John Calvin during the Reformation, elevating the city to the rank of "Protestant Rome," the effects of which drive Geneva today.
  • Berne - The Swiss capital features an amazingly well preserved old-town with arcades along almost every street. Great restaurants abound, as do bars and clubs. Check out the Einstein sites as well.
  • Basel - Slightly smaller than Geneva, Switzerland's third city is the traveller's gateway to the German Rhineland and Alsace.
  • Lausanne - While Geneva is busy being the international capital, Lausanne fills the role in most of the rest of French-speaking Switzerland. Scenery, dining, dancing, boating and the Swiss wine-country are the draws.
  • Lugano - Italian-speaking Switzerland's top destination, with a gorgeous old-town and a pretty lake. The food is simply amazing.
  • Lucerne - Central Switzerland's main city with direct water links to all of the early Swiss historic sights. It's pretty too, and though it is heavily touristed the views and museums make putting up with the crowds well worthwhile.
  • Locarno - On the shore of southern Switzerland's largest lake.
  • Solothurn - Solothurn, situated on the river Aare and on the foot of the Jura mountain range is referred to as 'Switzerland's Finest Baroque town'.
  • Interlaken - The outdoor and action sports capital of Switzerland. Anything from skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, white-water rafting, to canyoning.
  • Zermatt - There are a lot of mountain resorts in Switzerland, but only one of them has the Matterhorn.
  • Davos - The highest city in Europe and financial capital of the world in January. The largest ski resort of Switzerland.
  • St. Moritz - World's oldest winter resort.
  • Grindelwald - The classic resort at the foot of the Eiger.
  • Gstaad - For famous people only.
  • Crans Montana - On a sunny terrace facing the giants of Valais Alps.
  • Verbier - The big ski resort of the four valleys.

Get in

Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Agreement. For EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) or Swiss citizens, an officially approved ID card (or a passport) is sufficient for entry. In no case will they need a visa for a stay of any length. Others will generally need a passport for entry.
There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented the treaty - the European Union (except Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: Not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union.
Airports in Europe are thus divided into "Schengen" and "non-Schengen" sections, which effectively act like "domestic" and "international" sections elsewhere. If you are flying from outside Europe into one Schengen country and continuing to another, you will clear Immigration and Customs at the first country and then continue to your destination with no further checks. Travel between a Schengen member and a non-Schengen country will result in the normal border checks. Note that regardless of whether you travelling within the Schengen area or not, some airlines will still insist on seeing your ID card or passport.
Keep in mind that the counter begins once you enter any country in the Schengen Area and is not reset by leaving a specific Schengen country for another Schengen country, or vice-versa.
As of January 2010 only the citizens of the following non-EU/EEA/Swiss countries do not need a visa for entry into the Schengen Area; note that they must not stay longer than three months in half a year and must not work while in the EU: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia*/**, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela, additionally persons holding British National (Overseas), Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR passports.
Note that
  • while British subjects with the right of abode in the United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories citizens connected to Gibraltar are considered "United Kingdom nationals for European Union purposes" and therefore eligible for unlimited access to the Schengen Area,
  • British Overseas Territories citizens without the right of abode in the United Kingdom and British subjects without the right of abode in the United Kingdom as well as British Overseas citizens and British protected persons in general do require visas.
However, all British Overseas Territories citizens except those solely connected to the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas are eligible for British citizenship and thereafter unlimited access to the Schengen Area.
Further note that
(*) Macedonian, Montenegrin and Serbian citizens need a biometric passport to enjoy visa-free travel and
(**) Serbian citizens with passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate (Serbs residing in Kosovo) still do need a visa.
Note though that Swiss customs controls are in place, and likewise with customs controls for travelling outside of Switzerland into the rest of the EU.
Major international airports are in Zurich, Geneva and Basel, with smaller airports in Lugano and Berne. Flying into nearby Milan (Italy), Lyon or even Paris (France) or Frankfurt (Germany) are other options though rather expensive and time-consuming (3h Frankfurt-Basel, 4h Milan-Zurich, 5h Paris-Berne) by train. Some discount airlines fly to Friedrichshafen, Germany which is just across Lake Constance (the Bodensee) from Romanshorn, not too far from Zurich. The Flagcarrier of Switzerland is SWISS [2] which is a member of Star Alliance [3] and successor of the famous Swissair.
Trains arrive from all parts of Europe. Switzerland is together with Germany one of the most central-lying countries in Europe, making it a center of railways and highways to the rest of Europe. Some major routes include:
Common tourist destinations within Switzerland are easily reachable by car, e.g. Geneva from central eastern France, and Zurich from southern Germany. Although Switzerland is now part of the Schengen agreement, it is not part of the EU customs/tariff union. Therefore EU/Swiss border posts will focus on smuggling etc. and checks on main roads will remain in place even after 2008. Delays are usually short but cars may be stopped and no reason needs to be named. Some delay may be caused by queuing at busy times and there are often queues lasting hours to use the tunnels under the Alps from Italy such as Mont Blanc, Gotthard etc. Swiss motorway vignettes can and should be purchased at the border if your car does not already have a valid one for the year and you intend to use the Swiss motorways which is almost unavoidable.

Get around

By plane

The following carriers offer domestic flights within Switzerland:
  1. SWISS [5] (Basel/Mulhouse (EuroAirport Swiss), Geneva (Geneve-Cointrin Airport), Lugano Airport, Zurich Airport)
  2. Darwin Airlines [6] (Berne (Belp Airport), Geneva (Geneve-Cointrin Airport), Lugano Airport)
  3. FlyBaboo website [7] (Geneva (Geneve-Cointrin Airport), Lugano Airport)
But in almost every case you will be better off taking the train.

Public transport

The Swiss will spoil you with fantastic transportation - swift, disturbingly punctual trains, clean buses, and a half dozen different kinds of mountain transport systems, integrated into a coherent system. The discount options and variety of tickets can be bewildering, from half fare cards to multi-day, multi-use tickets good for buses, boats, trains, and even bike rentals. In general there's at least one train or bus per hour on every route, on many routes trains and buses are running every 30 min, but as with everything in Switzerland the transit runs less often, or at least for a shorter period of the day, on Sundays. Authoritative information, routes, and schedules can be found at [8], or from a ticket window in any train station.

Tickets

Almost nobody in Switzerland pays full fare for the transit system. At the very least they all have a Half-Fare Card (Demi-tarif/Halbtax) which saves you 50% on all national buses and trains and gives a discount on local and private transit systems. Press the '1/2' button on the ticket machines to indicate you have this card, and be prepared to hand it to the conductor along with your ticket on the train. Annual half fare cards cost CHF150; visitors from abroad can buy a 1-month Half-Fare Card cards for CHF99 [9] [10]. You save CHF 57 on a round-trip ticket from Zurich to Lugano, so if you are planning on traveling a lot, it will quickly pay for itself. Children between ages 6 and 16 pay 1/2 price for travel around Switzerland.
The next step up from a half-fare card is a Swisspass, which grants you access to all national bus and rail, all city transit systems, and hefty discount on privately operated boats, cable cars, and ski lifts. These range from CHF 260 for a 4-day, 2nd class pass to CHF 578 for a month pass, 2nd class. Like the half-fare, you can buy this from any train station ticket office.
Only two trains in Switzerland require reservations: Bernina Express, running daily between Chur and Tirano and the Glacier Express running from St. Moritz to Zermatt.
On most trains in Switzerland, tickets can be bought on board, but with a surcharge of CHF 10, so it is recommended to buy tickets before hand. Though this does not apply for the suburb trains (you'll get fined if you haven't got a ticket). Swiss Rail kiosks accept credit/debit cards, although they require that a PIN be entered.

Travel

Using the trains is easy, although the number of different kinds of trains can be a bit confusing unless you know that the schedules at a Swiss train station are color coded. The yellow sheet is for departures and the white sheet is for arrivals. Faster trains appear on both of these sheets in red, while the trains in black stop at more stations. For long trips it is often easier to use the website, as it will pick transfers for you. You need not fear transfers of five minutes or less. You will make them, provided you know exactly which platform you arrive on and which one you depart from. Many Swiss commute with a one or two minute transfer!
At the track, the signs indicate the destination and departure time. The small numbers and letters along the bottom show you where you can board the train. The letters indicate the zone you should stand in, and the numbers indicate the class. The class (1st or 2nd) is indicated by a "1" or "2" on the side of the car, these correspond with the numbers on the sign. All Swiss trains are non-smoking — this is also indicated on the side of car, as well as inside.
Luggage can be stowed above your seat or in between seats, or on a rack at the end of the car. During busy periods, people often stow large luggage (or skis) in the entrance area in between cars. This is usually fairly safe, but use common sense.
The variety of trains is bewildering at first, but is actually quite simple. The routes the SBB-CFF-FFS website suggests will make much more sense if you understand them. All trains have a one or two letter prefix, followed by a number, for example RE2709, IR2781. Only the prefix, the destination, and the time of departure are important.
  • Regio/Régional (R) trains are local trains. They stop everywhere or almost everywhere, and generally reach into the hinterlands of a major station like Lausanne, but not to the next major station (in this case Geneva). If you are going to a small town, you may transfer at a large station to an R train for the last leg. Often you can use tickets from city public transit on the S system, but ask before trying.
  • RE (RegioExpress) trains generally reach from one major station to the next, touching every town of any importance on the way, but don't stop at every wooden platform beside the tracks.
  • IR (InterRegio) trains are the workhorses of Swiss transit. They reach across two or three cantons, for instance from Geneva, along Lake Geneva through Vaud, and all the way to Brig at the far end of the Valais. They only stop at fairly large towns, usually those that boast three or four rail platforms.
  • IC (InterCity) trains are express trains with restaurant cars. They are sumptuous and comfortable, often putting vaunted services like the TGV to shame, and make runs between major stations, with occasionally stops at a more minor one where tracks diverge.
  • ICN trains (InterCityNeigezug, or Intercity Tilting Train) are the express tilt-trains, as luxurious as the IC trains. They run between major cities like Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, Biel, and Basel.
There are also a number of narrow gauge railways that don't fit this classification that supplement the buses in the hinterlands, such as the line from Nyon to La Cure or the line from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen.
You can bring your bicycle on every train in Switzerland, with two provisos: you must have a ticket for it (available from the ticket machines, CHF 10 for a day pass), and you must get on at a door marked with a bicycle. On ICN trains and some IR trains this is at the very front of the train.
As good as the Swiss train system is, if you have a little time, and you only want to travel 1-200 miles, you could try purchasing the world's best footpath maps and walk 10-20 miles a day over some of the most wonderful and clearly-marked paths, whether it is in a valley, through a forest, or over mountains.
The trails are well-planned (after a number of centuries, why not?), easy to follow, and the yellow trail signs are actually accurate in their estimate as to how far away the next hamlet, village, town or city is--once you've figured out how many kilometers per hour you walk (easy to determine after a day of hiking).
There are plenty of places to sleep in a tent (but don't pitch one on a seemingly pleasant, flat piece of ground covered by straw--that's where the cows end up sleeping after a lazy day of eating, and they'll gnaw at your tent string supports and lean against your tent sides. And definitey don't do this during a rainstorm!), lots of huts on mountain tops, B & B's on valley floors, or hotels in towns and cities. You could even send your luggage ahead to the next abode and travel very lightly, with the necessary water and Swiss chocolate!

Information for railway fans

In Switzerland nearly all railways run electrically but it is possible to find many steam railways such as the Brienzer Rothornbahn or the Furka Railway for instance. There are many interesting mountain railways of all types. In Switzerland most electric trains get their power from a single phase AC network at 15 000V 16 2/3Hz. This network uses its own powerlines run with 66 kV and 132 kV, which have, unlike normal power lines, a number of conductors not divisible by 3. Most powerlines for the single phase AC grid of the traction power grid have four conductors. Railway photography is permitted everywhere provided you don't walk on forbidden areas without permission.
Here is short list of the most remarkable railway lines:
  • The Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt, a 8 hours travel in the Swiss Alps.
  • The Bernina Express from Davos to Tirano, the highest transversal in the Alps, high mountain scenery.
  • The Jungfraujoch railway, from Interlaken (560 meters) to the Jungfraujoch station (3450 meters) in two hours. Definitely the most impressive journey in the Alps.
  • The Gornergrat railway, departure from Zermatt to the 3090 meters high Gornergrat.
  • The Mount Rigi railway, oldest mountain train in Europe.
  • The Mount Pilatus railway, from Lucerne to the top, the steepest railway in the world.
  • The Lötschberg is a line connecting Berne and Brig, not considered as a mountain train but still impressive scenery.
  • The Gotthard with its many spirals connecting Lucerne and Bellinzona

By car

To use the motorways (known as Autobahnen, Autoroutes, or Autostrade, depending on where you are), vehicles under 3500 kg weight need to buy a "Vignette", a sticker which costs 40 CHF that allows you to use the motorways as much as you like for the entire year (more precisely, from 1 December of the preceding year to 31 January of the following, so a 2009 vignette is valid from 1 December 2008 until 31 January 2010). Trailers must have a separate vignette. Avoiding the motorways in order to save the toll price is generally futile; the amount is well worth it, even if you are only transiting. Failure to possess a valid vignette is punishable by a 100 CHF fine and a requirement to purchase a vignette immediately (total fine of 140 CHF).
Sharing vignettes is, of course, illegal and subject to the same fines as not having one.
Vehicles larger than 3500 kg have to pay a special toll assessed through special on-board units that is applied for all roads, not just the motorways.
Speed limits: 120 km/h on motorways, 80 km/h on normal roads and inside tunnels and 50 km/h inside villages. Vehicles unable to travel at 80 km/h are not permitted on the motorways. Whilst driving "a wee bit too fast" is common on motorways, people tend to stick pretty closely to the other two limits. Fines are hefty and traffic rules are strictly enforced.
Don't Think You'll Speed Undeterred
If you get fined but not stopped (e.g. caught by a Speed Camera) the police will send you the fine even if you live abroad. In Switzerland, speeding is not a violation of a traffic code but a Legal Offence, if you fail to comply there is a good chance that an international rogatory will be issued and you have to go to court in your home country.
Also, starting from 2007, Switzerland banned all GPS appliances with built-in speed cameras databases as they are equipped with "Radar Detectors".
According to some GPS navigator producers, it is advised to remove the Swiss radar database while driving in the country as the police may give you a fine and impound your device even if is turned off and placed in the trunk of your vehicle!
The blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.05%. As in every country, do not drink and drive, as you will lose your license for several months if you are cited and a heavy fine may be imposed.
If you like cars, Switzerland can seem like a bit of a tease. They feature some of the greatest driving roads in the world, but can literally throw you in jail for speeding, even on highways. If you stick to the limits, the back roads/mountain roads will still be a blast to drive on, while still maintaining you are not excessively fined/arrested.
Be aware that the 'priority to right' rule exists in most major cities, as well as towns and village centres. Dipped headlights are strongly recommended at all times.
Driving is the best way to see a wonderful country with outstanding roads. Six tips for mountain roads:
  • Honk if you're on a small road and you don't see around the bend.
  • The Postal Bus (bright yellow) always has priority. You can hear it approaching by means of its distinct three tone horn
  • The car driving uphill has priority over the car driving downhill.
  • Don't even think about driving as fast as the locals: they know every bend, you don't.
  • In general, drive at a speed which allows you to stop within the distance you can see, in order to be safe; and drive so that you would be happy to meet yourself coming the other way!
  • During Winter, although all vehicles are equipped with Winter tires, it is advised that you apply chains to the wheels of your car if driving in an area of heavy snowfall.

Bicycle

Veloland Schweiz has built up an extensive network of long distance cycle trails all across the country. There are many Swiss cities where you can rent bicycles if that is your means of traveling and you can even rent electric bicycles. During the summer it is quite common for cities to offer bicycle 'rental' for free! Cycling in cities is pretty safe, at least compared to other countries, and very common. As with the car you need to buy a vignette sticker for your bike too, these are a liability insurance in case of accidents. A common place to buy the stickers is the post office.

In-line Skating

Besides the main types of transportation, the adventurous person can see Switzerland by in-line skating. There are three routes, measuring a combined 600-plus kilometers designed specifically for in-line skating throughout the country. They are the Rhine route, the Rhone route, and the Mittelland route. These are also scenic tours. Most of the routes are flat, with slight ascents and descents. The Mittelland route runs from Zurich airport to Neuenburg in the northwest; the Rhine route runs from Bad Ragaz to Schaffhausen in the northeastern section of the country. Finally, the Rhone route extends from Brig to Geneva. This is a great way to see both the country-side and cityscapes of this beautiful nation.
  • The Castle of Chillon: near Montreux
  • The Lavaux vineyards: on the shore of Lake Geneva
  • The Castles of Bellinzona: in the southern canton of Ticino
  • The Abbey of St. Gallen
  • The Top of Europe and the Sphinx observatory: a "village" with a post office on the 3,500 metres high Jungfraujoch above Wengen
  • The Grande Dixence: a 285 metres high dam, south of Sion
  • The Landwasser viaduct: on the railway between Chur and St. Moritz
  • The Matterhorn: from Schwarzsee, Gornergrat or simply from the village of Zermatt
  • The northern walls of the Jungfrau and Eiger: two of the most celebrated mountains in the Alps, they can be seen from the valley of Lauterbrunnen or from one of the many summits that can be reached by train or cable car
  • The Aletsch Glacier: the longest in Europe, the Aletsch wild Forest is located above the glacier, best seen from above Bettmeralp
  • The lakes of the Upper Engadine: one of the highest inhabited valley in the Alps at the foot of Piz Bernina, they can be all seen from Muottas Muragl
  • The Lake Lucerne: from the Pilatus above Lucerne
  • The Oeschinensee: a mountain lake with no rivals above Kandersteg
  • The Rhine Falls: the largest in Europe, take a boat to the rock in the middle of the falls

Buy

Switzerland is not part of the European Union and the currency is the Swiss franc (or Franken or franco, depending in which language area you are), divided into 100 centimes, Rappen or centesimi. However, many places - such as supermarkets, restaurants, sightseeings' box offices, hotels and the railways or ticket machines - accept Euro and will give you change in Swiss Francs or in Euro if they have it in cash. A check or a price-label contain prices both in francs and in Euro. Usually in such cases the exchange-rate comply with official exchange-rate, but if it differs you will be notified in advance. Changing some money to Swiss Francs (CHF) is essential. Money can be exchanged at all train stations and most banks throughout the country.
Switzerland is more cash-oriented than most other European countries. It is not unusual to see bills being paid by cash, even Fr 200 and Fr 1000 notes. Some establishments (but fewer than previously) do not accept credit cards, check first. When doing credit card payments, carefully review the information printed on the receipt (details on this can be found in the "Stay Safe" section below). All ATMs accept foreign cards, getting cash should not be a problem.
Coins are issued in 5 centime (brass, rare), 10 centime, 20 centime, ½ Franc, 1 Franc, 2 Franc, and 5 Franc (all silver colored) denominations. One centime coins are no longer legal tender, but may be exchanged until 2027 for face value. Two centime coins have not been legal tender since the 1970's and are, consequently, worthless.
Banknotes are found in denominations of 10 (yellow), 20 (red), 50 (green), 100 (blue), 200 (brown), and 1000 (purple) Francs. They are all the same width and contain a variety of security features.

"Swiss-made": Souvenirs and Luxury Goods

Switzerland is famous for a few key goods: watches, chocolate, cheese, and Swiss Army knives.
  • Watches - Switzerland is the watch-making capital of the world, and "Swiss Made" on a watch face has long been a mark of quality. While the French-speaking regions of Switzerland are usually associated with Swiss watchmakers (like Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe), some fine watches are made in the Swiss-German-speaking region, such as IWC in Schaffhausen. Every large town will have quite a few horologers and jewelers with a vast selection of fancy watches displayed their windows, ranging from the fashionable Swatch for 60CHF to the handmade chronometer with the huge price tag. For fun, try to spot the most expensive of these mechanical creations and the ones with the most "bedazzle!!".
  • Chocolate - Switzerland may always have a rivalry with Belgium for the world's best chocolate, but there's no doubting that the Swiss variety is amazingly good. Switzerland is also home to the huge Nestlé food company. If you have a fine palate (and a fat wallet) - you can find two of the finest Swiss chocolatiers in Zurich: Teuscher (try the champagne truffles) and Sprüngli. For the rest of us, even the generic grocery store brand chocolates in Switzerland still blow away the Hershey bars found elsewhere. For a good value, try the "Frey" brand chocolates sold at Migros. If you want to try some real good and exclusive swiss chocolate, go for the Pamaco chocolates, derived from the noble Criollo beans and accomplished through the original, complex process of refinement that requires 72h (quite expensive though, a bar of 125g costs about CHF 8.-). For Lindt fans, it is possible to get them as low as half the supermarket price by going to the Lindt factory store in Kilchberg (near Zurich).
Holey moley!
Ever wondered why Swiss cheese, known locally as Emmentaler, always has those distinct holes? Bacteria are a key part of the cheesemaking process. They excrete huge amounts of carbon dioxide which forms gas bubbles in the curd, and these bubbles are what cause the holes.
  • Cheese - many different regions of Switzerland have their own regional cheese speciality. Of these, the most well-known are Gruyère and Emmentaler (what Americans know as "Swiss cheese"). Be sure to sample the wide variety of cheeses sold in markets, and of course try the cheese fondue! Fondue is basically melted cheese and is used as a dip with other food such as bread. The original mixture consists of half Vacherin cheese and half Gruyère but many different combinations have been developed since.
  • Swiss Army knives - Switzerland is the official home of the Swiss Army Knife. There are two brands Victorinox and Wenger. Both brands are manufactured by Victorinox. The Wenger business went bankrupt and Victorinox purchased it (2005). Victorinox knives, knife collectors will agree, are far far superior, in terms of design, quality, functionality. The most popular Victorinox knife is the Swiss Champ which has 33 functions and currently costs (Jan 2008) CHF78 . Most Tourists will purchase this knife. The "biggest" Victorinox knife is the Swiss Champ 1.6795.XAVT- This has 80 functions and is supplied in a case. This knife costs CHF364. The 1.6795.XAVT may in years to come be a collectors model. Most shops throughout Switzerland stock Victorinox knifes, even some Newsagents will stock them. They are excellent gifts and souvenirs. N.B. Swiss Army Knives must be packed in hold luggage.
Ski and tourist areas will sell the other kinds of touristy items - cowbells, clothing embroidered with white Edelweiss flowers, and Heidi-related stuff. Swiss people love cows in all shapes and sizes, and you can find cow-related goods everywhere, from stuffed toy cows to fake cow-hide jackets. If you have a generous souvenir budget, look for fine traditional handcrafted items such as hand-carved wooden figures in Brienz, and lace and fine linens in St. Gallen. If you have really deep pockets, or just wish you did, be sure to shop on Zurich's famed Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most exclusive shopping streets in the world. If you're looking for hip shops and thrift stores, head for the Niederdorf or the Stauffacher area.

Supermarket Chains

Swiss employment law bans working on Sundays, so shops stay closed. An exception is any business in a railway station, which is deemed to be serving travellers and so is exempt. If you want to find an open shop on a Sunday, go to the nearest big railway station. If a business is family-owned, you aren't employing anybody so you can open, hence small shops can also open on Sundays.
Swiss supermarkets can be hard to spot in big cities. They often have small entrances, but open out inside, or are located in a basement, leaving the expensive street frontages for other shops. Look for the supermarket logos above entrances between other shops.
For the "self catering":
  • Migros [11] - This chain of supermarkets (in fact a cooperative) provides average to good quality food and no-food products and homeware. However, they do not sell alcoholic beverages nor cigarettes. Brand name products are rare as the chain does their own brands (quality is good, so you don't have to mind). Migros stores can be spotted by a big, orange Helvetica letter "M" sign. The number of "M" letters indicates the size of the store and the different services available - a single "M" is usually a smaller grocery store, a double M ("MM") may be larger and sells other goods like clothing, and a MMM is a full department store with household goods and possibly electronics and sporting goods. Offers change weekly on Tuesdays.
  • Coop [12] - Also a cooperative. Emphasis on quality as well as multi-buy offers, points collection scheme(s) and money off coupons. Sells many major brands. Come at the end of the day to get half-priced salads and sandwiches. Coop City is usually a department store with a Coop grocery store inside, a multi-floor layout provides space for clothing, electrical items, stationary, paperware as well as beauty products and perfume. Offers change weekly (some exceptions - fortnightly), on Tuesdays.
  • Denner [13] - A discount grocery store, noticeable for their red signs and store interiors. Relatively low priced. Offers change weekly, usually from Wednesday. Denner was bought by Migros in late 2006, but will not be rebranded at present.
  • Coop Pronto - a convenience store branch of Coop, usually open late (at least 20:00) seven days a week. Usually has a petrol, filling-station forecourt.
  • Aperto [14] - also a convenience store, located in the railway stations
  • Pick-Pay [15] - another discount grocery. Yellow logo. (Sold to Denner in Sept. 05, rebranding in progress)
  • Manor [16] - the Manor department stores often have a grocery store on the underground level.
  • Globus [17] - in the largest cities the Globus department stores have a grocery store on the underground level.
As of March 2005, Coop launched low-price-line (Coop Prix-Garantie). In Migros, you find "M-Budget" products. Sometimes it's exactly the same product, just for cheaper price. They also offer pre-pay mobiles as cheap as 29.80 CHF, including 19 CHF money on the SIM-Card and the some of the cheapest call rates.
The German discounter, Aldi Suisse started with 5 discount shops in the eastern part of Switzerland in early 2006. The prices are a little lower than at the other supermarket chains, but still significantly higher than in Germany.

Talk

There is no Swiss language. Depending on where you are in the country the locals might speak Swiss-German (Schwyzerdütsch), French, Italian, or, in the hidden valleys of Graubünden, Romansch, an ancient language related to Latin. All four are considered official languages. Some cities such as Biel/Bienne and Fribourg are bilingual, and any part of Switzerland has residents who speak something besides the local vernacular at home. Note that you are unlikely to hear Romansch, as essentially all the 65,000 Romansch speakers also speak Swiss German and or Italian, and they are actually outnumbered in Switzerland by native English speakers.
Around two-thirds of the population of Switzerland is German-speaking, located particularly in the center, north, and east of the country. French is spoken in the west, around Lausanne and Geneva, while Italian and Romansch are spoken in the far south. The Swiss themselves learn one of the other Swiss languages in school. In French-speaking Switzerland, this is typically German so English is less commonly understood there. In any of the large German-speaking cities you will have no trouble finding people who speak English. In the countryside, it is less common but hardly rare. People under the age of 40 typically speak more fluent English than older people. Generally speaking, in the past when two Swiss meet for the first time, they would first address each other in French, and then switch to a language both are most comfortable with once they have established each others native language. English, however, has now clearly become the most important second language in German-speaking Switzerland (as on much of the continent) much to the dismay of Francophone Switzerland including a debate if French or English should be taught in schools. Most offer both.
Swiss German is a family of southern German dialects. Even if you are quite fluent in standard German, you are unlikely to understand anything said to you. The dialects vary so dramatically that someone from Zürich may have real trouble understanding someone from the eastern Valais. All Swiss German speakers can also speak standard German, albeit with a heavy sing-song accent, but in the cities many prefer to use English when speaking with foreigners. Swiss German belongs to the same language family as the German dialects of Alsace, (France) Voralberg, (Austria) and Baden-Württemberg (Germany). A small portion of Swiss German speakers spill over into northern Italy, but Italian is universally spoken in this region of Italy as well along the frontier. The Swiss media still makes regular use of Swiss German, which is a special case in the German speaking world, showcasing Switzerland's desire to maintain its special identity. Generally, the Swiss German speakers are the most likely to see themselves as distinctly different and unique in general context of German speaking Europe.
Swiss French (officially Romand) is essentially standard French with some differences. It is spoken more slowly, with more of a drawl. The numbers are not the same. Though anyone will understand you when you use soixante-dix, quatre-vingt, quatre-vingt-dix (70, 80, 90), the use of these vanish as you proceed east along Lac Léman: in Geneva soixante-dix becomes septante and quatre-vingt-dix becomes nonante.quatre-vingts and huitante are both acceptable ways to say the number eighty. However, by the time you reach Lausanne, however, quatre-vingts has given way to huitante, and in the Valais it is possible to hear the almost Italian octante.
Another difference is that you may encounter people using the word cornet to define a plastic bag (as opposed to the word sachet that would be heard in France).
Swiss Italian is no more divergent from standard Italian than any other regional dialect that you would encounter within Italy.

Learn

Switzerland has some universites of world renown, like ETH in Zurich or University of Lausanne. Keep in mind, it's much better to speak the local language, so if you can't speak either French, German or Italian, better go for a language course first. There are a few English courses as well, but it will be much easier to go with local language. Also have in mind that if you're a foreigner, and you want to go for popular subjects, you have to pass entry-tests, and it will cost you a lot, not only for university fees, but also for living.
If you like cheaper learning, go for Migros Klubschule, they offer language courses in almost every language as well as a lot of different courses for many subjects, just have a look on their website [18]. You may also want to try the different "Volkshochschule", which offer a large variety of subjects at very reasonable fees (such as [19] in Zurich, for instance).
If you are looking for quality French courses for adults or juniors, you can learn French in one of the ESL schools centres located in Switzerland [20]. You can also choose LSI (Language Studies International) and go for one of the many schools in their extensive network to learn French in Switzerland [21]

Work

If you want to work in Switzerland, be aware that you generally need to obtain a work permit.
Switzerland signed an agreement with the European Union that allows citizens of the old EU-15 states to work and search jobs at arms length with Swiss citizens. In these cases you only need a valid passport and have to register with the local administration. The same system applies in general to citizens of the new EU-10 states (Eastern European states in general) plus Bulgaria and Romania but there are limitations on the number of permits. For all other countries in the world the best way is to check with your embassy if there are, for example, exchange programs.
Switzerland has an unemployment rate of about 3.5% (Feb. 2009) and skilled academics will have good job opportunities.
The high level of Swiss salaries reflect the high costs of living, so keep in mind that you must spend a lot for accommodation and food, when you negotiate your salary. Still, if you want or have to make money fast, you can save a substantial amount per month while working in a low-paying job. In general, you work 42 hours/week and have 4 weeks of paid holidays.
Switzerland has no legal minimum salary. The salary depends on the industry you work in, with most companies paying at least 3500 CHF per month, for example as cashier in a supermarket. Overtime work is usually paid (unless otherwise agreed in contract).
If you want to check the average salaries by industry or make sure you get the right amount paid, Swiss employees are heavy organized in trade unions SGB [22] and always keen to help you.

Sleep

Most tourist areas in Switzerland have a tourist office where you can call and have them book a hotel for you for a small fee. Each town usually has a comprehensive list of hotels on their web site, and it is often easiest to simply call down the list to make a reservation rather than try to book online. Many hotels will request that you fax or email them your credit card information in order to secure a reservation. In general, hotel staff are helpful and competent, and speak English quite well.
Hotel rates in Switzerland can get quite expensive, especially in popular ski resort areas.
There is also a hostel network in Switzerland for students. Types of hotels in Switzerland include historic hotels, traditional hotels, inns located in the country, spas and bed and breakfasts.

Stay safe

Switzerland is not surprisingly one of the safest countries in Europe, but anywhere that attracts Rolex-wearing bankers and crowds of distracted tourists will also bring out a few pickpockets. Obviously, keep an eye on belongings, especially in the midst of summer crowds.
Quite some Swiss establishments will print your entire credit card number into the receipt, thus raising identity theft concerns when shopping with a credit card in Switzerland. Therefore, the visitor utilizing credit card should carefully review the information printed on all receipts prior to discarding them. This happens, for instance, on some book and clothing stores and even on the ubiquitous K-Kiosk. This list is obviously not exhaustive; therefore, the visitor must beware whenever using a credit card.
In most cities the area around the train stations tend to be the seediest, and there is always some sort of 'red light district', though it may only be a block or two long.
Women traveling alone should have no problems. The younger Swiss tend to be very open with public displays of affection - sometimes too open, and some women may find people getting too friendly especially in the wee hours of the club & bar scene. Usually the international language of brush-offs or just walking away is enough.
Swiss police take on a relatively unobtrusive air; they prefer to remain behind the scenes, as they consider their presence potentially threatening to the overall environment (practice of deescalation). Unlike some more highly policed countries, officers will rarely approach civilians to ask if they need help or merely mark their presence by patrolling. However, police are indeed serious about traffic violations. Jaywalking (crossing a red pedestrian light), for example, will be fined on the spot. The upside to stringent traffic rules is that automobile drivers are generally very well-disciplined, readily stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks, for example (but note that, in Basel city at least, whilst the cross-walks give priority to pedestrians many drivers will stop on and reverse over cross-walks without much care or attention). Generally, you are safe anywhere at any time. If, for any reason, you feel threatened, seek a near restaurant or telephone booth. The emergency phone number in Switzerland is 117, and operators are generally English-speaking.
Football (soccer) games are the only notable exception to the above rule. Due to the potential threat of hooligan violence, these games (esp. in Basel or Zurich) are generally followed by a large contingent of police officers with riot gear, rubber bullets, and tear gas, in case of any major unrest.
Switzerland has very strong Good Samaritan laws, making it a civic duty to help a fellow in need (without unduly endangering oneself). People are therefore very willing and ready to help you if you appear to be in an emergency situation. Be aware, though, that the same applies to you if you witness anyone in danger. The refusal to help to a person in need can be punishable by law as "Verweigerung der Hilfeleistung", i.e. refusal of aid. The general reservation of Americans to avoid entanglement with strangers due to possible future civil liability does not apply in Switzerland, for it would be practically impossible to wage a civil suit against anyone providing aid.
The drinking age for beer, wine and alcoholic cider is 16 while the age for any other alcohol (e.g. spirits, "alcopops",...) is 18. The public consumption of alcohol in Switzerland is legal, so do not be alarmed if you see a group of teenagers drinking a six-pack on public property; this is by no means out of the ordinary and should not be interpreted as threatening.
Switzerland is not a country of insane civil lawsuits and damage claims; consequently, if you see a sign or disclaimer telling you not to do something, obey it! An example: in many alpine areas, charming little mountain streams may be flanked by signs with the message "No Swimming". To the uninitiated, this may seem a bit over the top, but these signs are in fact a consequence to the presence of hydroelectric power plants further upstream that may discharge large amounts of water without warning.
In mountain areas, be sure to inquire about weather conditions at the tourist information office or local train station as you head out in the morning. They should be well informed about severe weather conditions and will advise you about possible avalanche areas.
There have been problems with police assuming that any Black, East European, or Arab person without an ID card or passport is an illegal immigrant, and treating them accordingly. That could be a considerable problem if you are travelling alone.

Stay healthy

Generally there is no problem with food and water in Switzerland. Restaurants are controlled by strict rules. Water is drinkable everywhere, even out of public fountains unless specially marked. There are many organic food stores and restaurants available and its currently illegal to sell any genetically modified food.

Respect

Learning the mother tongue of the area you will be staying in is a great sign of respect. English is widely spoken in Switzerland, but any attempt to speak the local language is always appreciated, even if you're replied to in English. It’s always polite to ask if they speak English before starting a conversation.
Make an effort to at least learn Hello, Goodbye, Please, and Thank You in the language of the region you will be traveling in. "I would like..." is also a phrase that will help you. If you are in the German speaking region of Switzerland, it is generally wise to try to communicate in High German rather than attempting to speak a Swiss German dialect. The German Swiss almost instinctively switch from Swiss German to High German once they notice that they are speaking to a foreigner.
German, French, and Italian all have formal and informal forms of the word you, which changes the conjugation of verb you use, and sometimes phrases. For example, the informal phrase don't worry about it in French is ne t'en fais pas and the formal is ne vous en faites pas. The formal is used to show respect to someone who is older than you, who you consider to be a superior, someone who has a greater rank than you at work, or simply a stranger in the street. The informal is used with close friends, relatives, and peers.
As a general rule, you shouldn't use the informal with someone you don't know well, someone who is your superior in rank, or an elder.
Use the informal with your close friends and younger people. Peers can be a gray area, and it is advisable to use the formal at first until they ask you to use the informal.
Friends kiss each other on the cheek three times (left - right - left). This is the usual thing to do when being introduced to someone in the French speaking part. In the German speaking part it is normal to just shake hands when being introduced. Don't be shy as you if you reject the advance it appears awkward and rude on your part. You don't have to actually touch your lips the skin after-all, as a fake kiss will do.
Do not litter. While Switzerland will not fine you (as in Singapore), littering is definitely seen as bad behaviour in this country and in general in German speaking Europe or Central Europe for that matter. Also make sure that you put it in the correctly labeled bin (e.g. recyclable). Some bins actually have times to when this should be done to avoid excess noise!
Be punctual. That means no more than one minute late, if that! Not surprisingly for a country that is known for making clocks, the Swiss have a near-obsession with being on time.

Contact

Many of the internet cafes that have emerged in the 1990's have closed since, probably because Switzerland has one of the highest rate of high-speed internet connections in homes in the world, but almost any video rental shop and most train stations will have a few internet terminals. The tourist office should be able to direct you to the nearest one. The going rate is 5 CHF for 20 minutes. Also, you can send email, SMS (text messages to cell phones) or short text faxes from just about every public phone booth for less that 1 CHF. Some public phone booths allow you to browse the internet. There are many shopping centers and cities (Lausanne and Vevey for example) that offer free wireless internet access: ask the young locals, maybe they know where to go.
The public phones are surprisingly cheap, and have no surcharge for credit cards.
If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 Mhz bands - they usually cost around 10-40 CHF and are obtainable in the shops of the mobile service providers Swisscom, Orange or Sunrise in most cities. Mobile network coverage is close to 100% by area, even in the mountainous, non-populated areas.
There are also a lot of cheap prepaid cards for local calls from other providers. The prepaid cards of the big supermarket chains Migros (M-Budget-Mobile [23]) and Coop ( Coop Mobile [24]) for example cost around 20 CHF and include already 15 CHF airtime. The definitely cheapest prepaid card for international communication is yallo [25]: 0,39 CHF/min within Switzerland as well as to all European and many more countries (to the mobile and fixed networks). This includes the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. SMS cost 0,10 CHF. The prepaid cards can be bought online (30 CHF with 30 CHF airtime inclusive), in most post offices (29 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive) or Sunrise shops (20 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive). An other prepaid card with cheap rates offers Lebara Mobile (Sister concern of Sunrise). The prepaid card is available for 5 CHF with an equivalent talk time and recharge vouchers offer the talktime equivalent to the price of the voucher.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SWITZERLAND, a republican country of central Europe, comprising the Swiss Confederation, and bounded N. by the German Empire, E. by Austria (except where the principality of Liechtenstein intervenes), S. by Italy, and W. by France.
Table of contents

Physical Description

Switzerland extends between the parallels 45° 49' 2" and 47° 48' 32" lat. (Greenwich) and the meridians 5° 57' 26" and 10 29' 40" long. (Greenwich). It forms an irregular quadrilateral, of which the greatest length from east to west is 226.2 km., and the greatest breadth from north to south is nearly 137 km. (136.8). It has, however, no proper physical unity, as it consists of a number of small districts, differing from each other widely in language, religion, ethnology, customs, &c., but bound together in a political alliance, made originally for common defence against a common foe. It is therefore an artificial land, just as its inhabitants form an artificial nation, though nowadays it is becoming more homogeneous in both respects. Its political boundaries thus do not coincide with those of nature. The entire canton of Ticino is south of the Alps, as are the valleys of Simplon (Valais), Mesocco, Bregaglia, Poschiavo and Munster (all in the Grisons); the whole canton 3. The Swiss portion of the main chain of the Alps and this great northern outlier run parallel to each other from the Mont Dolent to near Coire, while for a short distance they actually unite near the Pizzo Rotondo (west of the St Gotthard Pass), parting again near the Oberalp Pass (east of the St Gotthard). Between these two great snowclad ranges flow two of the mightiest European rivers, the Rhone towards the west and the Rhine towards the east, their headwaters being only separated by the tangled mountain mass between the Pizzo Rotondo and the Oberalp Pass, which sends the Reuss towards the north and the Ticino towards the south.
4. To the north of this great northern outlier rises the Jura range (q.v.), really a huge spur of the Alps (with which it is connected by the Jorat range), while between the northern outlier and the Jura extends what may be called the plains or " plateau " of Switzerland, consisting all but wholly of the undulating valley of the Aar (below Thun) with its numerous affluents. To that river valley we must add the valley of the Thur (a direct affluent of the Rhine), that lies between the Aar basin and the Rhine basin (the Lake of Constance).
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Switzerland-1.jpg
We may thus roughly describe Switzerland (as it exists at the present time) as consisting of three great river valleys (Rhone, Rhine and Aar) with the smaller one of the Thur, which Miilh usen 'Base? .?a ' Names of the 13 Cantons underlined a; {i?.. ??j?,jl?cbti, l 1 II i..W??:e? ° .?: ' ?
.".'.St:Gallo. :. .o.'.' ?? n PPE, 117 "q??w ?, l ?ps??l111?..'..`Is ? mS?? UGI!??? ::. 'y;e ?'W?,?, G,lalrus The 3 original Cantons(Die (lrhantone)12.91-1332 WA The 8 ancient Cantons1353-1481' 'MOM The 13 Cantons1513-1798 (5 added between 1332 and 1353) (5 added between 1481 and 1513) Subject Districts Hiss E i Dates of Confederation,Alliance or Conquest,are shown thus:-1512 Subject States incorporated with Cantons are indicated by the word To with the date of incorporation:- To Bern 1536 Allied and Protected Districts of Schaffhausen and part of that of Basel are north of the Rhine, while a large part of the Grisons lies to the east of the Rhine basin, and Porrentruy is far down on the western slope of the Jura. But it is to be noted that all these exceptional cases were outside the limits of the Swiss Confederation up to 1798. Putting them aside, the physical geography of Switzerland may thus be described: I. On the south runs the main chain of the Alps (q.v.), which is joined, at the Mont Dolent (12,543 ft.) in the chain of Mont Blanc, by the lower ranges that rise south of the Lake of Geneva, and which continues partly Swiss till close to the Stelvio Pass on the east.
2. To the north of this main chain there is another great range of mountains (wholly Swiss) only slightly inferior in extent and height, which starts from the hills known as the Jorat range above Lausanne, and culminates in the great snowy summits of the Bernese Oberland and of the Tbdi group, before trending to the north near Coire, and, after rising once more in the Santis group, dies away on the southern shore of the Lake of Constance.
all lie to the north of the main chain of the Alps and include the region between the Alps and the Jura. If we examine matters more carefull y we note that the Rhone and Rhine valleys are shut off from that of the Aar (and, of course, of the Thur) by the great northern outlier of the Alps, which consists of the Bernese Oberland and Todi Alps. Two wide and undulating valleys (Aar and Thur) and two deeply cut trenches (Rhone and Rhine) thus lie on the northern slope of the Alps, to the north and south respectively of the great northern outlier of the Alps. The main chain cf the Alps rises in Swiss territory to the height of 15,217 ft. in the loftiest summit or Dufourspitze (wholly Swiss) of Monte Rosa, though the Dom (14,942 ft.), in the Mischabel range, between Zermatt and Saas, is the highest mountain mass which is entirely Swiss. The great northern outlier attains a height of 14,026 ft. in the Finsteraarhorn (Bernese Oberland), while the lowest level (581 ft.) within the Confederation is on the Lago Maggiore. The highest permanently inhabited village in Switzerland is Juf (69 9 8 ft.), at the head of the Avers valley (a tributary of the Hinter Rhine, Grisons), while the lowest is Ascona (666 ft.), on the Lago Maggiore and just south-west of Locarno.
According to the most recent calculations, the total area of Switzerland is 15,951 sq. m. (some 2500 sq. m. less than that of Servia). Of this 11,927.5 sq. m. (or 74.8%) are reckoned as " productive," forests occupying 3,390.9 sq. m. and vineyards 108.7 sq. m., the remainder, or 8427.7 sq. m., consisting of arable and pasture land. Of the " unproductive " area of 4023.5 sq. m (or 25.2%) much consists of lakes and rivers, while glaciers cover 709.7 sq. m. Approximately the Alps occupy one-sixtieth of this area, the Jura about one-tenth, and the " plateau " the rest. Of the entire area the great cantons of the Grisons, Bern and the Valais take up 7411.8 sq. m., or nearly onehalf, while if to them be added Vaud, Ticino and St Gall the extent of these six (out of twenty-two) cantons is 10,527.6 sq. m., or almost two-thirds of the area of the Confederation. Not included in the total area of Switzerland are three small " enclaves " (4 sq. m. in all), Busingen and Verenahof (both in Schaffhausen) belonging to Baden, while Campione (opposite Lugano) is Italian. Switzerland borders on many countriesFrance west and south-west, Italy south, Austria east (Tirol and Vorarlberg), and Germany north (Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Baden and Alsace). Switzerland sends its waters to four great river basins (which drain to three different seas) in the following proportions: Rhine basin, 11,159 sq. m.; Rhone basin, 2768 sq. m.; Po basin, 1361 sq. m.; and Inn basin, 663 sq. m.
The thirteen cantons which till 1798 formed the Confederation are all comprised in the Rhine basin, the ten oldest (i.e. all before 1500) being within that of the Aar, and it was only after 1798 that certain Romonsch-, Frenchand Italian-speaking " allies " and subject lands-with their river basins-were tacked on to them.
Most of the great Swiss rivers, being in their origin mere mountain torrents, tend to overflow their banks, and hence much is required and has been done to prevent this by embanking them, and regaining arable land from them. So the Rhine (between Ragatz and the Lake of Constance), the Rhone, the Aar, the Reuss; and in particular we may mention the great work on the Linth (1807-1816) carried out by Hans Konrad Escher, who earned by his success the surname of " Von der Linth," and on the Zihl near the lakes of Neuchatel and Bienne, while the diversion of the Kander from its junction with the Aar at Thierachern to a channel by which it flows into the Lake of Thun was effected as early as 1714.
There are very many lakes, large and small, in Switzerland. The two most extensive, those of Geneva and of Constance, balance each other, as it were, at the south-west and north-east corners of the land. But neither of these is wholly Swiss, this distinction being claimed by the next in size, that of Neuchatel (92.4 sq. m.), the Lago Maggiore (partly Swiss only) coming next in the list, and being followed by the wholly Swiss lakes of Lucerne and of Zurich. Then come Lugano, Thun, Bienne, Zug, Brienz, Morat, the Walensee, and Sempach (52 sq. m.). These fourteen only are over 4 sq. m. in extent. Eleven of them are in the Rhine basin (also in that of the Aar), two (Maggiore and Lugano) in that of the Po, and one (Geneva) in that of the Rhone. There are no large lakes in the Swiss portion of the Inn basin, the most extensive being that of Sils (12 sq. m.). Of the smaller lakes those best known to travellers are the Daubensee (near the summit of the Gemmi), the Oeschinensee (at the foot of the Blumlis Alp range) and the Marjelensee, formed by the damming up of the waters of the Great Aletsch glacier by a huge lateral moraine. Alpine tarns are innumerable.
Of the countless waterfalls in Switzerland those of the Rhine (near Schaffhausen) have volume but not height, while the reverse is the case in varying degrees with those of the Aar at the Handegg, of the Reichenbach, of Pissevache, and particularly of the Staubbach, a mere thread of water falling clear of a cliff of great height.
There are said to be 1077 glaciers in Switzerland, but it is really impossible to estimate the number accurately, as practically all are now in retreat, and it is not easy to say whether an isolated fragment of ice is or is not entitled to rank as an independent glacier. From them flow all the more important Swiss rivers and streams. Yet their distribution is very unequal, for eleven cantons (just one-half of the Confederation) have none. The Valais heads the list with 375 sq. m., then come the Grisons (138.6), Bern (iii 3), Uri (44.3), Glarus (13.9) and Ticino (13.1). The five others (Unterwalden, Vaud, St Gall, Schwyz and Appenzell) boast of 13.3 all together. The three longest glaciers in the Alps are all in the great northern outlier (not in the main chain)-the Great Aletsch (162 m.), the Fiescher and the Unteraar (each io m.). In the main chain the Gorner (94 m.) is the longest. Of glaciers covering an area of over 6 sq. m. no fewer than 17 are in Switzerland, as against two each in the French portion of the chain of Mont Blanc and in the Eastern Alps.
Forests cover 21.2% (339 0.99 sq. m.) of the total area of Switzerland. Of the six most extensive cantons five. are also at the head in the matter of forests: Bern (591 sq. m.), the Grisons (503), Vaud (320), the Valais (297.4) and Ticino (267.2). St Gall (157) ranks in this respect after Zurich (180.8) and Aargau (172), while the only other cantons with over ioo sq. m. are Lucerne (120.4), Fribourg (119) and Soleure (iii. 3), the lowest place being taken by Geneva (9.9). By far the greater part (67%) of the forest area belongs to the communes or private corporations, while 28.5% is in the hands of private individuals (much of this having become private property in the time of Napoleon I.), but only 4.5% is in the hands of the state, in consequence of the suppression of many monasteries. The communes own 94.3% of the forest area in the Valais, private individuals 78.8% in Lucerne, and the state 16% in Schaffhausen. Schaffhausen and the Jura cantons are the most wooded in proportion to their area, while at the other end of the scale are the towns of Geneva and Basel, and the barren canton of Uri. The great floods of 1834, 1852 and 1868 drew attention to the negligent administration of the forests, considered specially as a protection against damage due to the forces of nature. A forestry department was created in the polytechnic school in Zurich when it was opened in 1855. The Federal Constitution of 1874 (art. 24) handed over to the Confederation the oversight of the forests " in the high mountains," this being interpreted to mean the Alps with their spurs, but not to include the Jura, and a law of 1876 was enacted to carry out this task. In 1897 the limitation mentioned above was struck out, so that the Confederation now has oversight of all forests within its territory, a law of 1902 regulating in detail the whole subject. Since 1876 much has been done, either directly by the Confederation or indirectly by subsidizing the efforts of the cantons, to reafforest districts where the trees had been recklessly cut down, and to ensure the proper administration of forests generally.
Geology.-The greater part of Switzerland is occupied by the belts of folded rock which constitute the Alps and the Jura (q.v.). The central plain, however, is covered by nearly undisturbed deposits of Oligocene and Miocene age, concealed in many places by glacial, alluvial and other accumulations of later date. Both the Oligocene and the Miocene beds are, for the most part, of freshwater or brackish-water origin, but the middle of the Miocene series is formed of marine deposits. During this period an arm of the Mediterranean spread up the valley of the Rhone. It reached its maximum extension during the middle portion of the Miocene period, when it appears to have stretched continuously along the outer border of the Alps from the present Golfe du Lion into Austria; but at an earlier and a later date it was represented in Switzerland only by a series of brackish-water lagoons or fresh-water lakes.
Climate.-In Switzerland, where the height above sea-level ranges from 581 ft. (Lago Maggiore) to 15,217 ft. (Monte Rosa), we naturally find very many climates, from the regions of olives, vines, oaks and beeches, pines and firs, to those of the high mountain pastures, rhododendrons, and of eternal snow. It has been reckoned that, while in Italian Switzerland winter lasts only three months, at Glarus (1578 ft.) it lasts four, in the Engadine (5945 to 3406 ft.) six, on the St Gotthard (6936 ft.) eight, on the Great St Bernard (81 i I ft.) nine, and on the St Theodule Pass (10,899 ft.) practically always. The highest mean annual temperature (J3° F.) in Switzerland is naturally that at Lugano (909 ft.), while at Bevers (5610 ft., Upper Engadine) the lowest mean temperature in winter is -14° F., but the highest in summer is 77° F., an immense difference. At Montreux the annual mean is 50°, at Sion, Basel, Geneva and Coire about 49°, at Zurich 48°, at Bern and Lucerne 47.5 at St Gall 45°, at Davos 37.5°, at Sils-Maria 34.5 and on the Great St Bernard 29°. Of course many factors, such as the shape of the ground, the sheltered position of the place, the degree of exposure to sunshine, counterbalance the mere height at which the town is situated.
The snow-clad Alps of course have the heaviest rainor snow-fall in Switzerland, this being estimated at 89.7 in. per annum. The greatest actually recorded rainfall (87.3 in.) was on the San Bernardino Pass (6769 ft.), while the lowest (21.7 in.) was at Sierre (1767 ft., Valais). At Lugano the average annual rainfall is 65.4 in., on the Great St Bernard 48.7 in., at Lucerne 45.6 in., at Montreux 42.6 in., at Sils-Maria 37 in., at Bern and Davos 36.6 in., and at Basel, Coire and Geneva about 32.7 in. It has been shown by careful observations that the rainor snow-fall is greatest as we approach the Alps, whether from the north or the south, the flanks of the great ranges and the valleys opening out towards the plains receiving much more rain than the high Alpine valleys enclosed on all sides by lofty ridges. Thunderstorms generally vary in frequency with the amount of rainfall, being most common near the great ranges, and often very local. The floods caused by excessive rainfall are sometimes very destructive, as in 1834, 1852 and 1868, while the same cause leads to landslips, of which the most remarkable have been those of the Rossberg above Goldau (1806), at Evionnaz (1835) and at Elm (1881). The Fohn is the most remarkable local wind.
PEOPLE]
For all these reasons Switzerland has many varieties of climate; and, while, owing to the distribution of the rainfall, the Ticino and Aar valleys are very fertile, the two great trenches between the main chain and its north outlier, though warm, are less productive, as the water comes from the rivers and not from the skies.

People

The first estimate of the population of Switzerland with any pretence to accuracy was that of 1817, which put the number at 1,687,900. The first regular census took place in 1836 to 1838, but was therefore not synchronous, while it was also not very systematic - the number was put at 2,190,258. That of 1850 was better organized, while in 1860 the census was declared decennial, a slight alteration being made as to that of 1888 for practical reasons. The following was the number of the population usually resident (the number of those actually present was also taken, but all detailed subdivisions refer only to the residents): in 1850, 2,392,740; in 1860, 2,510,494; in 1870, 2,655,001; in 1880, 2,831,787; in 1888, 2,917,754; and in 1900, 3,315,443. The density per square mile was as follows: 150 in 1850; 157 in 1860; 159 in 1870; 177 in 1880; 182 in 1888; and 207 in 1900. The increase in the whole of the country from 1850 to 1900 was 39%. Thirteen cantons showed an increase lower than this average, the lowest of all being Aargau, Glarus and Lucerne; while in Bern the increase of the towns did not counterbalance the diminution in the country districts. The nine cantons which increased above the average rate did so either owing to special circumstances (e.g. the construction of the Simplon railway in the Valais), or because their industries were very flourishing (e.g. St Gall), or because they contain great towns (e.g. Zurich). The highest rates of increase were shown by Geneva (107% increase) and the half canton of Urban Basel (278% increase). As to the actual distribution of the population, the Alpine regions are the sparsest generally (with the exception of the Outer Rhodes of Appenzell), the Jura region has a much higher ratio, while the densest region of all is the Swiss plateau. The strong attraction of the towns is shown by the facts that between 1850 and 1900 the population of the nineteen largest nearly tripled, while, in 1900, of the 187 " political districts " in Switzerland 41 showed a decrease, and they were all exclusively rural.
The shifting of the population within the country is also proved when we note that in 1900 but 38.5% of the Swiss citizens inhabited their commune of birth, though the proportion was 64% in 1850. If we consider the different cantons, we find that in 1900 31.5% (in 1850 but 26.4%) lived in another commune within their canton of birth, while 18.4% (as against 6.6% in 1850) dwelt in a canton other than their canton of birth. To sum up, in 1850, out of the 25 cantons and half cantons, no fewer than 21 had a majority of citizens living in their commune of birth, while in 1900 the number was but 11, and those all rural cantons. Of the 3164 communes (or civil parishes) in Switzerland, only 21 in 1900 had a population exceeding 10,000, while 20 had under 50 inhabitants. If we look at the height of the communes above the sea-level, we find that there were but 3 (with a population of 463 souls) above 1900 metres (2 953 ft.), while 68 (with a total population of 188 ,394) were below 300 metres (984 ft.). The number of inhabited houses rose from 347,3 2 7 in 1860 (the number was not taken in 1850) to 434,084 in 1900, while that of separate households mounted from 485,087 in 1850 (528,105 in 1860) to 728,920 in 1900.
The non-Swiss element of the population increased from 3% in 1850 to 11.6% in 1900, and its number from 71,570 in 1850 to 3 8 3,4 2 4 in 1900. The Germans are the most numerous, next in order come Italians, French and Austrians. In 1900 there were 3535 British subjects resident in Switzerland, and 1 559 citizens of the United States. Of course most of the non-Swiss are found in the towns, or in rural districts where any great railway line is being constructed.
The emigration of Swiss beyond seas was but 1691 in 1877, though it rose in 1883 to 13,502 (the maximum as yet attained). Then the number fell pretty steadily till 18 99 (2493), then rose again, and in 1906 was 5296. About 89% go to the United States, and about 6% to the Argentine Republic (mainly from the French-speaking cantons). Bern, Zurich, Ticino, the town of Basel and St Gall are the chief cantons which furnish emigrants.
In the matter of religion, the Protestants formed 59. 3% in 1850 and 57.8% in 1900, and the Roman Catholics (including the " Christian " or " Old " Catholics, who arose in 1874) 40.6% and 41.6% respectively, while the Jews increased from 1% in 1850 to 4% in 1900 - the remainder (other religions or none) being 2% in 1860 (not reckoned separately in 1850) and in 1900. Ten and a half cantons have a majority of Protestants, while in the rest the " Catholics " have the upper hand. The same proportion prevailed in 1850, save that then Geneva had a Protestant majority, whereas in 1870 already the balance had shifted, owing to the number of immigrants from France and Italy.
As to languages habitually spoken, Switzerland presents a very variegated picture. By the Federal Constitutions of 1848 (art. 109) and 1874 (art. 116), German, French and Italian are recognized as " national languages," so that debates in the Federal parliament may be carried on in any of the three, while Federal laws, decrees, &c., appear also in the three. The old historical dialects of Romonsch and Ladin (nearly confined to the canton of the Grisons, q.v.) enjoy no political recognition by the Confederation, are largely maintained by artificial means in the shape of societies founded for their preservation, and are not even in the majority (which is German) in the Grisons. Of the other 21 cantons, all have a German-speaking majority save 6 - French prevails in Fribourg, Vaud, the Valais, Neuchatel and Geneva, and Italian in Ticino. Since the census of 1880, when detailed inquiries as to language were made for the first time, there has been a certain amount of shifting, as is shown by the following figures. German was spoken by 71.3 of the population in 1880, by 71.4 in 1888 and by 69.8 in 1900; the figures for French are respectively 21.4, 21.8 and 22, and for Italian 5.7, 5.3 and 6.7, while Romonsch fell from 1.4 to 1.3 and 1.2%. " Other languages " were 2, 2 and 3%. Thus in 1900 there were nearly 70% of Germanspeaking persons, as against nearly 30% who spoke one or other of the Romance tongues. The most interesting cases are the cantons of Fribourg (q.v.) and the Valais (q.v.), in which French is advancing at the expense of German.

Chief Political Divisions and Towns

When considering Switzerland it must never be forgotten that, strictly speaking, the only political " divisions " are the 187 " districts " into which the cantons are divided (Bern has 30, Vaud 19 and St Gall 15, no others having over 15). These are administrative districts, created for political purposes. The cantons themselves are not " divisions " but sovereign states, which have formed an alliance for certain purposes, while they are built up out of the 3164 " communes," which are really the political units. Of the 22 cantons,' 3 are subdivided - Unterwalden (from before 1291) into Obwalden and Nidwalden, and Appenzell (since 1 597) into the Outer Rhodes and the Inner Rhodes, while Basel (since 1833) forms urban Basel (the city) and rural Basel (the country districts). The Swiss political capital is Bern (by virtue of a Federal law of 1848), while the Federal Supreme Tribunal is (since its foundation in 1874) at Lausanne, and the Federal Polytechnic School (since it was opened in 1855) at Zurich.
In 1900 there were 19 towns in Switzerland which had a population exceeding 10,000 souls, all having increased very much within the 50 previous years. The following are the six largest, the figures for 1850 being enclosed within brackets: Zurich, 150,703 (35,483); Basel, 109,161 (27,844); Geneva, 104,796 (42,127), Bern, 64,227 (27,558); Lausanne, 46,732 (17,108), and La Chaux de Fonds, 35,968 (13,659). Thus Geneva was first in 1850, but only third in 1900. Thirteen of these nineteen towns are cantonal capitals, though La Chaux de Fonds, Winterthur, Bienne, Tablat (practically a suburb of St Gall), Le Lode and Vevey are not, while no fewer than twelve cantonal capitals (Sion, Bellinzona, Aarau, Altdorf, Schwyz, Frauenfeld, Glarus, Liestal, Sarnen, Stans, Appenzell and Zug) are below this limit. It is reckoned that while the 19 Swiss towns having over 10,000 inhabitants had in 1850 a population of 255,722, that number had swollen in 1900 to 742,205.

Communications

The carriage roads of Switzerland were much improved and increased in number after a strong Federal government was set up in 1848, for it largely subsidized cantonal undertakings. In the course of the 19th century many splendid roads were carried over the Alpine passes, whether within or leading from Swiss territory; in the latter case with financial aid from Italy (or till 1859 Austria, as the mistress of the Milanese). The earliest in date was that over the Simplon (1800-1807), while others were opened respectively over the Furka (7992 ft.) in 1867, to the top of the Great St Bernard (8111 ft.) in 1893, over the Grimsel (7100 ft.) in 1895, and over the Klausen Pass (6404 ft.) in 1900. The highest carriage road entirely within Switzerland is that over the Umbrail Pass (8242 ft.), opened in 1901, and leading from the Swiss upper Munster valley to close to the Stelvio.
The first Swiss lake over which a steamer plied regularly was that of Geneva (1823), followed by Constance (1824), Lago Maggiore (1826), Neuchatel (1827), Thun (1835), Lucerne (1835) and ' The cantons are - Aargau, Appenzell, Basel, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Glarus, Grisons, Lucerne, Neuchatel, St Gall, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Soleure, Thurgau, Ticino, Unterwalden, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug, Zurich (see separate articles).
Brienz (1839). The first railway opened within Switzerland was that (14 m. long) from Zurich to Baden in Aargau (1847), though the S wiss bit of that from Basel to Strassburg had been opened in 1844. From 1852 to 1872 the cantons granted concessions for the building of railways to private companies, but from 1872 onwards the conditions were other and the lines were constructed under. Federal supervision. In the 'fifties and 'sixties many lines were built, but not always according to sound financial principles, so that in 1878 the great " National Railway " became bankrupt. Hence the idea of the state purchase of the chief lines made considerable progress, so that in 1898 such a scheme was accepted by the Swiss people. Accordingly in 1901 most of the great lines became Federal railways, and the Jura-Simplon in 1903, while the Gotthard line became Federal in 1909. This state ownership only applies to the main lines, not to the secondary lines or to the mountain cog-wheel railways (of which the first was that from Vitznau up the Rigi, 1871) now so widespread throughout the country. The highest point as yet attained in Switzerland by a mountain railway is the Eismeer station (10,371 ft.) of the line towards the Jungfrau. Many tunnels have been pierced through the Swiss Alps, such as the St Gotthard (1882), the Albula (1903) and the Simplon (1906). The highest line carried over a Swiss pass is that over the Little Scheidegg (6772 ft.).
Indicstries. a. Of the Land. If we look at the annual turnover there is no doubt that the principal Swiss industry is that of the entertainment of foreign visitors, for its gross receipts are larger than those of any other branch. It appears from the official statistics that in 1905 its gross receipts amounted to rather over £7,500,000 (as against about £4,500,000 in 1894, and rather over £2,000,000 in 1880), the net profit being nearly £1,500,000 (as against £656,000 and nearly £300,000 respectively), while in 1905 the capital invested in this industry was rather over £31,000,000 (as against £20,750,000 and £12,750,000 respectively). In 1905 there were in Switzerland 1924 hotels (of which 402 were in Bern and 358 in the Grisons) specially built for the accommodation of foreign visitors, containing 124,068 beds, and employing 33,480 servants (the numbers for 1894 and 1880 are 1693 and 1002, 88,634 and 58,137, and 23,997 and 16,022 respectively). Part of this increase is due to the fashion of visiting Switzerland in winter for skating, tobogganing, skiing, &c.
Of the actual " productive " soil about two-thirds is devoted to arable or pasturage purposes, but the latter branch is by far the more important, occupying about 83% of this two-thirds, for Switzerland is much more a pastoral than an agricultural country. In 1906 the number of cattle was officially put at 1 ,497,9 0 4 (as against 1,340,375 in 1901 and 993,291 in 1866). In summer they are supported on the numerous mountain pastures or " alps " (see Alps, 2), which number 4778, and are of an estimated capital value of rather over £3,000,000, while in winter they are fed on the hay mown on the lower meadows or purchased from outside. Two main breeds of cattle are found in Switzerland, the dun race (best represented by the cattle of Schwyz) and the dappled race (of which the Simme valley beasts are of the red and white kind, and those of the Gruyere of the black and white variety). The best Swiss cheeses are those of the Emmenthal a.nd of the Gruyere, while the two principal condensed milk factories (Nestle at Vevey and that at Cham) are now united. It should be noted that the proportion of the land devoted to pastoral pursuits increases, like the rainfall, from the west and north-west to the east and north-east, so that it is highest (nearly 90%) in Appenzell and St Gall. As regards other domestic animals, the number of swine increased from 304,428 in 1866 to 566,974 in 1896 (the maximum recorded), but in 1906 fell to 548,355. The number of goats has remained pretty steady (359,913 in 1906 to 375,482 in 1866, the maximum, 416,323, being attained in 1886), but that of sheep has decreased from 447,001 in 1866 to 209,443 in 1906.
It is stated that but 14% of the " productive " area of Switzerland is corn-growing, this proportion being however doubled in Vaud. Hence for its food supply the country is largely dependent on its imports, the home supply sufficing for 153 days only. Tobacco is grown to a certain extent, especially near Payerne in the Broye valley (Vaud) and in Ticino, while more recently beetroot has been cultivated for the purpose of manufacturing sugar. Fruit and vegetables are made into jams and concentrated foods at Lenzburg and Kemptthal, while kirschwasser (cherry brandy) is made in Zug. Forests cover about 282% of the " productive " area of Switzerland. They are now well cared for, and produce considerable profits.
Vineyards in Switzerland now cover 108.7 sq. m., though the area is steadily decreasing owing to the competition of foreign cheap wines. The only cantons which have over 10% of their area thus planted are Vaud (25%), Ticino (20%), Zurich (17%) and the Valais (10.7%). Among the best Swiss wines are those of La Cote, Lavaux and Yvorne (all in Vaud), and Muscat, Fendant and Vin du Glacier (all in the Valais). Those grown near Neuchatel, at the northern end of the lake of Zurich, near Baden (Aargau), and along the Swiss bank of the Rhine, are locally much esteemed.
Among the raw mineral products of Switzerland the most important is asphalt, which is worked by an English company in the Val de Travers (Neuchatel). Various metals (even including gold and silver) exist in Switzerland, but are hardly worked at all, save iron (Delemont), copper (Val d'Anniviers) and argentiferous lead (Lotschenthal). True coal is wholly absent, but lignites occur here and there, and are sometimes worked (e.g. at Kapfnach, Zurich). Anthracite is found in the Valais, while peat is worked in many parts. Salt was first found at Bex (Vaud) in 1544, and the mines are still worked. But far more important are the saline deposits along the Rhine, from near Basel to Coblenz (at the junction of the Rhine and the Aar), which were discovered at Schweizerhall in the year 1836, at Kaiseraugst in 1844, at Rheinfelden in 1845 and at Ryburg in 1848. Marble, sandstone and granite are worked in various spots for building purposes. Marl, clay and limestone are also found, and are much used for the manufacture of various kinds of cement. There are said to be 620 mineral springs in Switzerland, the best known being those at Baden in Aargau and at Schinznach (both sulphur), Schuls-Tarasp and St Moritz, Stachelberg, Ragatz and Pfafers, Leukerbad and Weissenburg. The most important slate quarries are those in the canton of Glarus. The relative importance of the Swiss industries concerned with the land is best shown by the census taken in 1900 as to the occupations of the inhabitants. No fewer than 1,035,010 (about one-third of the total population) were engaged in pastoral or agricultural pursuits, as against 19,334 employed in market gardening, 18,233 in various matters touching the forests, 12,785 in the vineyards and 12,323 in extracting minerals (of these 8004 were employed in stone or marble quarries).

Manufactures

The same census also shows the relative importance of the chief branches of manufacture in Switzerland - textile industries 270,114 (of which 88,457 were in the silk branch and 63,853 in that of cotton), watchmaking 115,617, embroidery 8 9,55 8, besides 74,148 engaged in the manufacture of machinery. Eastern Switzerland is the industrial portion of the land, though watchmaking and some minor industries are carried on in the Jura. The textile industries are by far the most important in Switzerland, Zurich and its neighbourhood being the main centre both for silk (this branch was revived by the Protestant exiles from Italy in the 16th century) and cotton, while St Gall, Appenzell and Thurgau are mainly devoted to embroidery, and Basel to the silk ribbon and floss silk departments. The watchmaking industry has been established in Geneva since the end of the 16th century, and spread in the early 18th century to the Neuchatel portion of the Jura (centre La Chaux de Fonds and Le Locle). Musical boxes are chiefly made at Ste Croix in the Vaud section of the Jura, while Geneva is famous for its jewelry and goldsmiths' work. The growth of the manufacture of machines is much more recent, having originally been a mere adjunct of the textile industry, and developed in order to secure its independence of imports from England. Its centres are in and around Zurich, Winterthur, St Gall and Basel. Among other products and industries are chocolate (Suchard, Cailler, Sprungli, Tobler, Peter, Maestrani, &c.), shoemaking (SchOnenwerd), straw plaiting (Aargau and Gruyere), wood carving (Brienz in the Bernese Oberland since 1825), concentrated soups and meats (Maggi's factory is at Kemptthal near Winterthur), aniline dyes (Basel), aluminium (Neuhausen in Schaffhausen).

Commerce

Switzerland is naturally adapted for free trade for it depends on the outside world for much of its food-stuffs and the raw materials of its manufactures. After the adoption of the Federal Constitution of 1848, customs duties within the land were abolished, while moderate duties only were levied on imports, the sum increasing as the articles came more or less within the category of luxuries, but being lowest on necessaries of life. Down to 1870 Switzerland was all but entirely on the side of free trade. Since that time it has been becoming more and more protectionist. This change was due in part to the increased tariffs levied in Germany and France, and in part to the strong pressure exercised by certain branches of the Swiss manufacturing industries, while treaties of commerce have been made with divers countries. Hence in 1903 the Swiss people adopted the principle of a greatly increased scale of duties, the detailed tariff of the actual sums levied on the various articles coming into force on the 1st of January 1906. These higher duties were meant to serve as a weapon for obtaining better terms in future commercial treaties, but were finally increased still more at the instigation of certain of the great manufacturers, so that Switzerland became decidedly a protectionist country. In 1901 the receipts from the customs duties were about £1,858,000, while in 1905 they were £2,541,000, and in 1907 rather more (£2,894,000).
Excluding goods in transit, the total value of imports rose from about £36,500,000 in 1895 to about £55,000,000 in 1905, while between the same dates the exports rose from about £26,500,000 to £38,750,000 - in other words, the unfavourable balance of trade had increased from £10,000,000 in 1895 to £16,250,000 in 1905.
The increase during the same period in the case of the four great articles of export from Switzerland was as follows: silk from nearly £8,500,000 to rather over £10,000,000, embroideries from nearly £3,000,000 to £5,000,000, watches from £3,500,000 to £5,250,000, and machinery from rather under £1,000,000 to £2,250,000.
GOVERNMENT]

Government

The Swiss Confederation must be carefully distinguished from the 22 cantons of which it is composed, and which are sovereign states, save in so far as they have given up their rights to the Federal government. These cantons themselves are built up of many political communes, or Gemeinden, or civil parishes, which are the real political units of the country (and not merely local subdivisions); for any one desiring to become naturalized a Swiss must first become (by purchase or grant) a member of a commune, and then, if his burghership of the commune is confirmed by the cantonal authorities, he obtains also, simultaneously, both cantonal and Federal citizenship.
a. Now in Switzerland there are 3164 political communes (municipalites or Einwohnergemeinden). These are composed of all male Swiss citizens over twenty years of age, of good character and resident in the commune for at least three months. The meeting of these persons is called the assemblee generate or Gemeindeversammlung, while the executive council chosen by it is the conseil municipal or Gemeinderat, the chief person in the commune (elected by the larger meeting) being termed the syndic or maire, the Gemeindepriisident or the Gemeindeanzmann. This kind of commune includes all Swiss residents (hence the German name) within its territorial limits, and has practically all powers of management of local affairs, including the carrying out of cantonal and Federal laws or decrees, save and except matters relating to the pastures and forests held in common. This class of commune dates only from the time of the Helvetic republic (1798-1802), and its duties were largely increased after the liberal movement of 1830; the care of the highways, the police, the schools, the administration of the poor law being successively handed over to it, so that it became a political body. As regards Swiss citizens belonging to cantons other than that in which they reside, the Federal Constitution of 1848 (art. 41) gave them rights of voting there in cantonal and Federal matters, but not in those relating exclusively to the commune itself. The Federal Constitution of 1874 (art. 43) gives to such persons as those named above (establis or Niedergelassenen - that 'is, ' permanent settlers) all voting rights, Federal, cantonal and communal (save as below), the two last named after a stay of three months. Temporary residents being Swiss citizens (e.g. labourers, servants, students, officials not being communal officials) are called residents or Aufenthalter, and are in most cantons considered to be as such incapable of voting in communal matters until after a residence of three months, though some cantons require a longer sojourn. Foreign residents are included under this class of Aufenthalter. The burgher communes (communes bourgeoises or Burgergemeinden), now principally of historical interest, having for the most part gradually merged with the other class of communes, were originally simply the communities that dealt with the management of the " lands subject to common user " or Allmend (mainly summer pastures and forests), but gradually obtained, by purchase or otherwise, the manorial rights, the burghers then being themselves the lords of the manor (as at Brixham in Devonshire). But when after the Reformation, owing to the suppression of the monasteries, the care of the poor was imposed by the Federal Diet, in 1551, on the several communes, these naturally aided only their own members, a course which gave rise to a " communal burghership, " a system designed to prevent persons from gaining a " settlement " in any commune to which they did not properly belong. Thus all nonburgher residents, permanent or temporary, were excluded from any share in the enjoyment of the lands subject to common user, or in their management, and remained complete outsiders, though paying local rates. With the increased facilities of communication and the rise of a shifting industrial population such restrictions became invidious and unfair, particularly after the introduction, under the Helvetic republic, of a Federal citizenship, superior to cantonal citizenship, and after the communes became more and more burdened with public duties, so that the amount of the rates equalled, if it did not exceed, the sums produced by the " common lands." To avoid some of these inconveniences " political communes " were set up, consisting practically of all Swiss permanent residents. But the relation between these and the old Burgergemeinden (the burghers of which only have rights of user over the common lands) was very delicate, and has been settled (if settled at all) in various fashions. In some cases the older communes simply merged with the newer, the ownership of the common lands thus passing from one to the other class. In other cases the Burgergemeinden still exist as distinct from the " political communes," but solely for purposes (enjoyment, management, &c.) relating to the common lands, and thus form a sort of privileged community inside the larger and now more generally important community. In some cases the common lands have been divided in varying proportions between the two classes of communes, the Burgergemeinden thus continuing to exist solely as regards that part of the common lands which they have retained. In other cases the common lands, whether before or after 1798, have passed into the possession of a small number of the burghers, who form a close corporation, the revenues of which are enjoyed by the members as such, and not as citizens - in short are subject to no public obligations or burdens save rates and taxes.
b. The twenty-two cantons (three are subdivided - Unterwalden, Appenzell and Basel - into two halves) are divided into " administrative districts " (187 in number), which are ruled by prefects, in the French fashion, appointed by the cantonal authorities. These are the true local divisions in the country. Each canton has its own legislature, executive and judiciary. The older cantons have in some cases (Uri, Unterwalden, Appenzell and Glarus) preserved their ancient democratic assemblies (or Landesgemeinden), in which each burgher appears in person, and which usually meet once a year, on the last Sunday in April or the first Sunday in May, always (weather permitting) in the open air. These annual assemblies elect annually a sort of standing committee, and also the chief magistrate or Landammann, as well as the judiciary. In the other eighteen cantons the legislature (Gross Rat or grand conseil) is composed of representatives chosen by the cantonal voters in proportion, varying in each canton, to the population. They are thus local parliaments rather than mere county councils. The executive (Regierungsrat or conseil d'etat) is elected everywhere (save Fribourg, the Valais and Vaud) by a popular vote, this plan having gradually superseded election by the cantonal legislature. All the cantons (save Fribourg) have the referendum and initiative, by which the electors can exercise control over their elected representatives. The cantonal judiciary is chosen by the people.
c. In 1848 the Federal government was reorganized according to the plan adopted in the United States, at any rate so far as regards the legislature (Bundesversammlung or assemblee federate). This is composed of two houses: (1) the Stdnderat or conseil des etats, to which each canton, great or small, sends two representatives (generally chosen for varying terms by the people,, but, in 1907, still by the cantonal legislature in Bern, Fribourg,, Neuchatel, St Gall, the Valais and Vaud), this house being like the American Senate; (2) the Nationalrat or conseil national,. composed of representatives (at present 167 in number) elected within the cantons in the proportion of 1 to every 20,000 (or fraction over 10,000) of the population, and holding office for three years, before the expiration of which it cannot be dissolved.. The two houses are on an absolutely equal footing, and bills are introduced into one or the other simply because of reasons of practical convenience. The Federal parliament meets, at least, once a year, in Bern, the Federal capital. The Federal executive (Bundesrat or conseil federal) was set up in 1848 and is composed of seven members, who are elected for three years by the two houses of the Federal legislature, sitting together as a congress, but no two members may belong to the same canton. The Federal parliament annually names the president (Bundespreisident or president de la confederation) and the vice-president, so that the former is really but the chairman of a committee, and not in any way like the American president. The Federal president always holds the foreign portfolio (the " political department "), the other portfolios being annually redistributed among the other members, but all decisions proceed from the council as a whole. The Federal councillors cannot be at the same time members of either house of the Federal parliament, though they may speak or introduce motions (but not vote) in either house. The Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgericht or tribunal federal) was created by the Federal Constitution of 1874 and is (since 1904) composed of 19 full members (plus 9 substitutes), all elected by the two houses of the Federal parliament, sitting together and holding office for six years; the Federal parliament also elects every two years the president and vice-president of the Federal tribunal. Its seat is at Lausanne. Its jurisdiction extends to disputes between the Confederation, the cantons, and private individuals, so far as these differences refer to Federal matters. An appeal lies in some cases (not too clearly distinguished) to the Federal council, and in some to the two houses of the Federal legislature sitting together. As to the referendum and initiative (whether as to the revision of the constitution or as to bills) see Referendum.
It was natural that, as the members of the Swiss Confederation were drawn closer and closer together, there should arise the idea of a Federal code as distinguished from the manifold cantonal legal systems. The Federal Constitution of 1874 conferred on the Federal authorities the power to legislate on certain defined legal subjects, and advantage was taken of this to revise and codify the Law of Obligations (1881) and the Law of Bankruptcy (1889). The success of these attempts led to the adoption by the Swiss people (1898) of new constitutional articles, extending the powers of the Federal authorities to the other departments of civil law and also to criminal law. Drafts carefully prepared by commissions of specialists were slowly considered during nearly two years by the two houses of the Federal parliament, which finally adopted the civil code on the 10th of December 1907, and it was expected that by 1912 both a complete Federal civil code and a complete Federal criminal code would come into operation.
Before 1848 there was scarcely such a thing as Federal finances for there was no strong central Federal authority. As the power of those authorities increased, so naturally did their expenditure and receipts. In 1849 the receipts were nearly £ 240,000, as against an expenditure of £260,000. By 1873 each had risen to rather over £1,250,000, while in 1883 they just overtopped £ 2,000,000 sterling each, and in 1900 the receipts were just over £4,000,000 sterling, as against an expenditure of nearly £4,000,000. The figures for 1907 are £5,75 0, 000 as against just over £5,500,000, and are the highest yet recorded. The funded Federal debt rose from a modest £150,000 in 1849 to rather over £2,000,000 in 1891, and rather over £4,000,000 in 1903, standing in 1905 at £3,250,000.
By the Federal Constitution of 1848 the post office was made a Federal attribute, and the first Federal law on the subject was passed in 1849 (postage stamps within the country in 1850, for foreign lands in 1854, and post-cards in 1870), while a Federal law of 1851 extended this privilege to the electric telegraph, so that in 1852 the first line was opened with thirty-four offices. In the Federal Constitution of 1874 both branches are declared to fall within the jurisdiction of the Confederation, while in 1878 this privilege was extended to the newly invented telephone. Inviolability of communications in all three cases is guaranteed.
In 1891 the Swiss people accepted the principle of a state bank with a monopoly of note issue. A first scheme was rejected by a popular vote in 1897, but a second was more successful in 1905. The " Swiss National Bank " was actually opened on the 20th of June 1907, its two chief seats being at Zurich and at Bern. It has a capital of £ 2,000,000 sterling, divided into 100,000 shares. Two-fifths of this capital is reserved to the cantons in proportion to their population in 1900, and two-fifths were taken up by public subscription in June 1906. The remaining fifth was reserved to the existing thirty-six banks in Switzerland (all founded between 1834 and 1900), which have hitherto enjoyed the right of issuing notes. It was stipulated that within three years of the opening of the National Bank all notes issued by these thirtysix banks must be withdrawn, and many had by 1907 taken this course in anticipation.
There is no " established Swiss Church " recognized by the Federal Constitution, but there may be one or more " established churches " in any canton. The Federal Constitution of 1874 guarantees full religious liberty and freedom of worship, not being contrary to morals and the public peace, as well as exemption from any compulsory church rates (arts. 49 and 50). But it repeats, with fresh pricks (art. 51), the provision of the Constitution of 1848 by which the Jesuits and all affiliated religious orders are forbidden to settle in Switzerland, extending this prohibition to any other orders that may endanger the safety of the state or the public peace. It also introduces a new article (No. 52) forbidding the erection of new religious orders or new monasteries or the re-establishment of old ones, and also a new clause (last part of art. 50) by which the erection of new bishoprics on Swiss soil is subject to the approval of the Federal authorities. The Jesuit article was due to the " Sonderbund " War of 1847, and the rest of this exceptional legislation to the " Kulturkampf " which raged in Switzerland in 1872-1874. The Protestants form rather over three-fifths of the population, but have the majority in 102 of the 22 cantons only. In the German-speaking cantons they are Zwinglians, and in the French-speaking cantons Calvinists, though in neither case of the original and orthodox shade. The Protestants alone are " established " in the Outer Rhodes of Appenzell; while the Romanists alone are " established " in 72 cantons (Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zug, Ticino, the Valais, and the Inner Rhodes of Appenzell), but only jointly in the 3 other cantons (Fribourg, St Gall and Soleure) in which they are in a majority. In June 1907 Geneva decided on the complete separation of church and state, and now stands alone in Switzerland in not having any " established church " at all (previously it had two - Protestants and Christian Catholics). In the other 21 cantons, the Protestants and Romanists are jointly " established " in 112 i as are the Protestants and the Christian Catholics in i 2, in which the Christian Catholics take the place of the Romanists. Thus out of the 21 cantons with " established churches " (Landeskirchen or eglises nationales) the Protestants are solely or jointly " established " in 131, and the Romanists in 19 (not in Bern, Urban Basel and the Outer Rhodes of Appenzell), while the Christian Catholics are recognized in 7 cantons, in two of which (Basel and Neuchatel) they are also " endowed." The case of Neuchatel is particularly striking, as it has three " established churches " (Protestants, Romanists and Christian Catholics), while there the Jewish rabbis, as well as the pasteurs of the Free Evangelical Church, are exempt from military service. Besides a few parishes in Bern there are also three " Evangelical Free Churches " (Eglises libres), viz. in Vaud (since 1847), in Geneva (since 1848) and in Neuchatel (since 1873). The Romanists have five diocesan bishops in Switzerland - Sion (founded in the 4th century), Geneva (4th century), Basel (4th century, but reorganized in 1828), Coire (5th century), Lausanne (6th century), and St Gall (till 1824 part of the bishopric of Constance, and a separate see since 1847). There are besides the sees of Lugano (erected in 1888 for Italian Switzerland - till then in Milan or Como - but united for the present to the see of Basel, though administered by a suffragan bishop) and Bethlehem (a see inartibus, annexed in 1840 to the abbacy of St Maurice in the Valais). The Christian Catholics (who resemble the Old Catholics in Germany) split off from the Romanists in 1874 on the question of papal infallibility (in Bern and Geneva politics also played a great part), and since 1876 have had a bishop of their own (consecrated by the German Old Catholic, Bishop Reinkens), who resides in Bern, but bears no diocesan title. The Christian Catholics (who in the census are counted with the Romanists) are strongest in Bern, Soleure and Geneva, while their number in 1906 was estimated variously at from twenty to thirty-four thousand - they have 38 parishes (Po being in French-speaking Switzerland) and some 57 pastors. There are still a few monasteries in Switzerland which have escaped suppression. The principal are the Benedictine houses of Disentis (founded in the 7th century by the Irish monk Sigisbert), Einsiedeln (q.v.; Loth century) and Engelberg (q.v.; 12th century) as well as the houses of Austin Canons at St Maurice (held by them since 1128, though the house was founded by Benedictines in the 6th century) and on the Great St Bernard (11th century).

Education

Education of all grades is well cared for in Switzerland, and large sums are annually spent on it by the cantons and the communes, with substantial grants from the Confederation (these last in 1905 were about £224,000), so far as regards primary and higher education. Four classes of educational establishments exist.
a. In the case of the primary education, the Confederation has the oversight (Federal Constitution of 1874, art. 27), but the cantons the administration. It is laid down that in the case of the public primary schools four principles must be observed by the cantons: the instruction given must be sufficient, it must be under state (i.e. lay) management (ecclesiastics as such can have no share in it), attendance must be compulsory, and the instruction must be gratuitous, while members of all religions must be able to frequent the schools without offence to their belief or consciences (this is interpreted to mean that the general instruction given must be undenominational, while if any denominational instruction is given attendance at it must not be made compulsory). By an amendment to the Federal Constitution adopted in 1902 the Confederation is empowered to make grants in aid in the case of primary schools, while a Federal law of 1903, regulating such grants to be appropriated solely to certain specified purposes, provides that the term " primary schools " shall include continuation schools ii attendance is compulsory. The cantons organize primary education in their territories, delegating local arrangements (under the control of a cantonal inspector) to a committee (Schulkommission) elected ad hoc in each commune, so that it is not a committee of the communal council. The general principles laid down by the Confederation are elaborated into laws by each canton, while the communal councils pass by-laws. Hence there is a great variety in details between canton and canton. The school age varies from 6 to 16 (for younger scholars there are voluntary kindergarten schools or ecoles enfantines), and attendance during this period is compulsory, it not being possible to obtain exemption by passing a certain standard. Two-thirds of the schools are " mixed "; in the towns, however, boys are often separated from girls. The teachers (who must hold a cantonal certificate of efficiency) are chosen by the Schulkommission from among the candidates who apply for the vacant post, but are elected and paid by the communal council. Religious tests prevail as to teachers, who must declare the religion they profess, and are required to impart the religious instruction in the school, this being compulsory on the children professing the religion that is in the majority in that particular commune - consequently a Protestant teacher would never be appointed in a Romanist school or vice versa. The religious teaching occupies an hour (always at the beginning of the school hours) thrice a week, while special dogmatic instruction is imparted by the pastor, outside the school-house as a rule, or in a room specially set apart therein. The pastor is ex officio president of the Schulkommission, while the religious teaching in school is based on a special " school Bible," containing short versions of the chief events in Bible history. The exact curriculum (code) is prescribed by the canton, and also the number of hours during which the school must be open annually, but the precise repartition of these is left to the local Schulkommission. The attendance registers kept by the teachers are submitted to the Schulkommission, which takes measures against truant children or negligent parents by means of a written warning, followed (if need be) by a summons before a court. The treasurer of the Schulkommission receives and distributes the money contributions of the cantons (including the grant in aid from the Confederation) and also of the communes, or of benevolent private individuals. The school hours are as a rule four hours (from 7 a.m. in summer and 8 a.m. in winter) in the morning and (in the winter) three hours in the afternoon, but on two afternoons in the week there is a sewing school for the girls, the boys being then free. There are no regular half-holidays. Private schools are permitted, but receive no financial aid from the outside, while the teacher must hold a certificate of efficiency as in the state schools, must adopt the same curriculum, and is subject to the by-laws made by the Schulkommission. On the other hand he is not bound by any conscience clause and can charge fees. A cantonal inspector examines each school (of either class) annually and reports to the cantonal educational authorities, who point out any deficiencies to the local Schulkommission, which must remedy them. There is no payment by results, nor do the money contributions (from any source) depend on the number of attendances made, though of course they are more or less in proportion to the number of scholars attending that particular school. Some favour the idea of making the primary schools wholly dependent financially on the Confederation. This course has obvious conveniences, but a first attempt was defeated in 1882, and the scheme is still opposed, mainly on the ground that it would seriously impair the principle of cantonal sovereignty, and immensely strengthen the power of the Federal educational authorities. By the law of 1903 the quota of the Federal subvention was fixed at sixpence per head of the resident population of each canton, but in the case of 62 cantons (the poorer ones) an extra twopence was added.
b. The secondary schools are meant on the one side to help those scholars of the primary schools who desire to increase their knowledge though without any idea of going on to higher studies, and on the other to prepare certain students for entrance into the middle schools. The attendance everywhere is optional, save in the city of Basel, where it is compulsory. These schools vary very much from canton to canton. The course of studies extends over two to four years, and students are admitted at ages from ten upwards. The curriculum includes the elements of the classical and modern languages, of mathematics, and of the natural sciences. They receive no Federal subvention, but are supported by the cantons and the communes. In 1905 the cantons contributed £ 20,000 less than the communes to the total cost of about £234,000.
c. Under the general name of middle schools (Mittelschulen or ecoles moyennes) the Swiss include a variety of educational establishments, which fall roughly under two heads: I. Technical schools (like those at Bienne and Winterthur) and schools for instruction in various professions (commerce; agriculture, forestry and the training colleges for teachers).
2. Grammar schools, colleges and cantonal schools, which in some cases prepare for the universities and in some cases do not.
The expenses of both classes fall mainly on the cantons (in 1905 about £300,000 to £130,000 from the communes), who for the former class (including certain departments of the second) receive a grant in aid from the Confederation - in 1905 about £84,500.
d. As regards the higher education the Federal Constitution of 1874 (art. 27) empowered the Confederation to erect and support, besides the existing Federal Polytechnic School (opened at Zurich in 1855, having been founded by virtue of art. 22 of the Federal Constitution of 1848), a Federal university (this has not yet been done) and other establishments for the higher education (see c. I above). This clause would seem to authorize the Confederation to make grants in aid of the cantonal universities, but as yet this has not been done, while the cantons are in no hurry to give up their local universities. There are seven full universities in Switzerland - Basel (founded in 1460), Zurich (1833), Bern (1834), Geneva (1873, founded in 1559 as an academie), Fribourg (international Catholic, founded in 1889), Lausanne (1890, founded in 1537 as an academie) and Neuchatel (existed 1840-1848, refounded in 1866, and raised from the rank of an academie to that of a university in 1909). There is besides a law school at Sion (existed 1807-1810, refounded in 1824). In general they each (save Sion, of course) have four faculties - theology, medicine, law and philosophy. Fribourg and Neuchatel both lack a medical faculty, while Zurich and Bern have distinct faculties for veterinary medicine, and Zurich a special one for dentistry (in Geneva there is a school of dentistry), while Geneva and Neuchatel support observatories. The theological faculty is in every case Protestant, save that in Fribourg there is only a Romanist faculty (192 students in 1907), while Bern has both a Protestant faculty and also a Christian Catholic faculty (II students in 1907), but no Romanist faculty, despite the fact that the Romanists (mainly in the Bernese Jura) form about one-sixth of the population, while there are not very many Christian Catholics. These eight academical institutions were maintained by the cantons at a cost in 1905 of. about £155,000, while in the winter session of 1906 the total number of matriculated students (of whom 3784 were nonSwiss) was 6444 (of whom 1904 were women - Fribourg does not receive them), besides 2077 " hearers" - in all 8521. The largest institution was Bern (1626 matriculated students) and the smallest Neuchatel (163). The Federal Polytechnic School is fixed at Zurich and now comprises seven departments - architecture, engineering, industrial mechanics, industrial chemistry, agriculture and forestry, training of teachers in mathematics, physics and the natural sciences, and military science, besides a department for philosophy and political science. It enjoys a very high reputation and is much frequented by non-Swiss, who in the winter session of1905-1906numbered 522 out of the 1325 matriculated students (women are not admitted). In 1905 the cost of the maintenance of the school (which falls entirely upon the Confederation) was about £56,000.

Army

The Swiss army is a purely militia force, receiving only periodical training (so far as regards men between 20 and 48 years of age), based upon the principle of universal compulsory personal military service. Till 1848 the cantons alone raised, armed, equipped and trained all military units and nominated the officers. By the Federal Constitution of 1848 (art. 20) the Confederation was entrusted with the training of the engineers, the artillery and the cavalry, with the education of instructors for all other arms, and with the higher training of all arms, while it was empowered to found military schools, to organize general military manoeuvres, and to supply a part of the war materiel. The Confederation, too, was given the supervision of the training of the infantry, as well as the furnishing, the construction and the maintenance of all war materiel, which the cantons were bound to supply to the Confederation. The Federal Constitution of 1874 marked an advance on that of 1848 as to the following points. The principle of universal military service and the organization of the Federal army were developed according to the proportion of the population capable of bearing arms (in contradistinction to the 1848 system, art. 19, of fixed contingents in the proportion of 3 to every loo men of the population of each canton); the entire military training and arming of these men and the cost of their uniform and equipment were taken over by the Confederation, which, too, supervised the military administration of the cantons. The uniform, equipment and weapons of the men were to be free of cost to them, while compensation was due from the Confederation to the families of those killed or permanently injured in the course of their military service, as well as to the invalids themselves. There thus remained to the cantons the raising of all the infantry units and of most of the cavalry and artillery units as well as the nomination of the officers of all arms; all these acts were subject to the supervision of the Confederation and had to be in accordance with Federal laws and regulations. An attempt made in 1895 to extend still further the sphere of action of the Confederation in military matters was rejected by a vote of the Swiss people. Thus the present system rests partly on the 1874 Constitution, and partly on the new military law, passed by the Federal parliament on the 12th of April 1907.
a. The 1874 Constitution forbids the maintenance of any standing army (art. 13), and also (art. II) the practice (formerly very widespread) of hiring out contingents of mercenary soldiers by the Confederation or the cantons to foreign powers (" military capitulations "). The Federal government can, at or without the request of any canton, repress any disturbances within Switzerland by means of Federal troops, the cantons being bound to allow these free passage over their territory (arts. 16-17). By art. 18 every Swiss male citizen is subject to the obligation of personal military service (the families of those killed or permanently injured in the course of active Federal service as well as the invalids themselves are provided for by the Confederation), and the tax for those exempted is to be fixed by a Federal law, while every recruit receives free of cost his first uniform, equipment and weapons. Art. 16 provides that the Confederation has control of the Federal army and of the war metteriel, the cantons being only allowed certain defined rights within their respective territories. By art. 20 the limits of the jurisdiction of the Confederation and of the cantons are defined. The Confederation has the sole right of legislation in military matters, but the execution of these laws is in the hands of the cantons, though under Federal supervision, while all branches of military training and arming are handed over to the Confederation; on the other hand, the cantons supply and keep up the equipment and the uniforms of the soldiers, though these expenses are reimbursed by the Confederation according to a certain scale fixed by Federal regulations to be made later on. Art. 21 enacts that, where military considerations do not stand in the way, the military units are to be formed of men of the same canton, but the actual raising of these units and the maintenance of their numbers, as well as the nomination and the promotion of the officers, belong to the cantons, subject to certain general principles to be laid down by the Confederation. Finally, the Confederation has (art. 22) the right of using or acquiring military drill grounds, buildings, &c., belonging to the cantons on payment of moderate compensation according to principles to be laid down in a Federal law. It will thus be seen that the Swiss army is by no means wholly in the hands of the Federal authorities, the cantons still having a large share in its management, though the military department of the Federal executive has the ultimate control and pays most of the military expenses. In fact it has been said in jest that the coat of a soldier belongs to his canton and his rifle to the Confederation.
b. After much discussion and careful consideration of the opinions of many experts, the Federal law of 1907 was enacted, by which more uniformity was introduced into administrative matters and the whole system remodelled, of course according to the general principles formulated in the Federal Constitution of 1874 and summarized under a. The following is a bird's-eye view of the actual organization of the Swiss army. Every Swiss male citizen is bound to render personal military service between the ages of twenty and fortyeight. Certain classes are exempt, such as high Federal officials, clergymen (not being military chaplains), officials of hospitals and prisons, as well as custom-house officials and policemen and officials of public means of communication, but in the latter case only those whose services would be indispensable in time of war, e.g. post office, telegraph, telephone, railway and steamer employes (all exempted before 1907) - custom-house men, policemen and the officials last named must have had a first period of training before they are exempt. Those who are totally disqualified for any reason must, till the age of forty, pay an extra tax of 6 francs a head, plus 12 francs on every woo francs of their net property, and 12 francs on every 100 francs of their net income, the maximum tax that can be levied in any particular case being 3000 francs a year (property under woo francs and the first 600 francs of income are free from this tax, which is only levied as to its half in case of the men in the Landwehr): this tax is equally divided between the Confederation and the cantons, its total yield in 1905 being about £171,000. The cantonal authorities muster in certain fixed centres their young men of twenty years, who must appear personally in order to submit themselves at the hands of the Federal officials to a medical examination, a literary examination (reading, arithmetic, elementary Swiss geography and history, and the composition of a short written essay), as well as (since 1905) pass certain elementary gymnastic tests (a long jump of at least 8 ft., lifting at least four times a weight of about 37 lb in both hands at once, and running about 80 yds. in under 14 seconds), different marks being given according to the degree of proficiency in these literary and gymnastic departments. Those falling below a certain standard - bodily, mental or muscular - are exempted, but may be " postponed " for not more than four years, in hopes that before that date the desired standard will be attained. If not totally disqualified (in that case they pay a tax) they may be incorporated not in the territorial army, but in the auxiliary forces (e.g. pioneers, hospital, commissariat, intelligence and transport departments). The cantons (under Federal supervision) see that the lads, while still at school, receive a gymnastic training, while the Confederation makes money grants to societies which aim at preparing lads after leaving school for their military service, whether by stimulating bodily training or the practice of rifle shooting, in which case rifles, ammunition and equipment are supplied free - in all these cases the attendance of the lads is purely voluntary. In some cantons the young men, between the ages of eighteen and twenty, are required to attend a night school (in order to rub up their school knowledge) for sixty hours a winter for two winters, the teacher being paid by the Confederation and the lads being under military law. Naturally the lads from the large towns and the more prosperous cantons do best in the literary examination and those who belong to gymnastic societies in the gymnastic tests, though sheer bodily untrained strength avails much in the lifting of weights. In 1906 26,808 young men of twenty years of age were examined (this is exclusive of older men then first mustered). Of this number 1 4, 0 45 (52.4%) were at once enrolled as recruits, 3497 (13%) were " postponed " for one or two years, and 9266 (34.6%) were exempted wholly - these ratios vary but little, for the standard is kept rather high, partly owing to con siderations of expense, so that a young fellow of twenty who becomes a " recruit " at once may be taken to be distinctly above the average in bodily and mental qualities. By the new law of 1907 the army is divided into three (not, as previously, four) classes - the Auszug or elite (men from twenty to thirty-two), the Landwehr (men between thirty-three and forty) and the Landsturm or reserve (men between forty-one and forty-eight). The recruits serve for different periods during their first year according to the arm of the service into which they are incorporated - infantry and engineers sixty-five days, artillery and garrison troops seventy-five days and cavalry ninety days, while those in the auxiliary troops serve but sixty days. Soldiers in the Elite are called out seven times during their term of service for a period of eleven days a year (fourteen days for the artillery and garrison troops), while the Landwehr is only called out once for a training period of eleven days. Cavalry men serve ten years in the Elite (no service in the Landwehr), and during that period are called out eight times for a training period of eleven days a year. Between the ages of twenty and forty each soldier must attain a certain proficiency in marksmanship (at least 30 points out of 90 in 10 shots), while there is an annual inspection (by cantonal officials) of arms, uniform and equipment. The Confederation also makes money grants to rifle societies, which in 1906 numbered 3732, had 220,951 members (all soldiers between twenty and forty must be members), and received Federal grants to the amount of about £13,500. Rifle and uniform become the full property of the soldier after he has completed his full term of service. Officers serve in the Elite till thirty-eight years of age, and in the Landwehr till forty-four (in the case of officers on the staff the service lasts till forty-eight years of age), while they remain in the Landsturm till fifty-two years of age. The Swiss army is made up (according to the new law of 1907) of a staff, composed of all the commanding officers on active service from the rank of major upwards (in this as in all the following cases the actual number is to be fixed by a Federal law), the general staff, the army service corps (post office, telegraph, railways, motor cars, chaplains, police, courts of justice, secretaries, &c., and the auxiliary services), while the soldiers proper are divided into a number of classes - infantry (including sharpshooters and cyclists), cavalry, artillery (including the mountain batteries), engineers (including sappers and railway labourers), garrison troops, the medical, veterinary (veterinary surgeons and farriers), commissariat and transport services (drivers and leaders of laden horses and mules). On the first of January 1907 (still under the old system) the numbers of the Swiss army were as follows: the Elite had 139,514 (of which 104,263 were infantry, 5183 cavalry, 18 ,544 artillery and 5567 engineers), and the Landwehr 93,163 (including 67,955 infantry, 4378 cavalry, 13,332 artillery and 4313 engineers) - making thus a total of 232,677 men between the ages of twenty and forty-four years of age (17,221 infantry, 9561 cavalry, 31,866 artillery and 9880 engineers). To this total must be added 44, 2 94 men in the armed Landsturm (forty-five to fifty years of age) and 262,138 auxiliary troops (pioneers, workmen in military establishments, medical, commissariat and transport departments, police, firemen, clerks, and men at a military depot). The total of the Landsturm and the auxiliary services is 306,432, so that a grand total is 539,109 men (under the old system officers served in the Landwehr till forty-eight, and in the Landsturm till fifty-five). The total expenses of the Swiss army rose from £928,000 in 1896 to £1,400,000 in 1906. Rifles are manufactured in Bern, ammunition at Thun and at Altdorf, uniforms are macie in Bern, and the cavalry remount depot is at Thun, which is also the chief artillery centre of Switzerland. There is a department for military science at the Federal Polytechnic School at Zurich, one section being meant for students in general, and the other specially for officers. (W. A. B. C.) History The Swiss Confederation is made up of twenty-two small states, differing from each other in nearly every point - religious, political, social, industrial, physical and linguistic; yet it forms a nation the patriotism of whose members is universally acknowledged. History alone can supply us with the key to this puzzle; but Swiss history, while thus essential if we could thoroughly grasp the nature of the Confederation, is very intricate and very local. A firm hold on a few guiding principles is therefore most desirable, and of these there are three which we must always bear in mind. (I) The first to be mentioned is the connexion of Swiss history with that of the Empire. Swiss history is largely the history of the drawing together of bits of each of the imperial kingdoms (Germany, Italy and Burgundy) for common defence against a common foe - the Habsburgs; and, when this family have secured to themselves the permanent possession of the Empire, the Swiss League little by little wins its independence of the Empire, practically in 1499, formally in 1648. Originally a member of the Empire, the Confederation becomes first an ally, then merely a friend. (2) The second is the German origin and nature of the Confederation. Round a German nucleus (the three Forest districts) there gradually gather other German districts; the Confederation is exclusively German (save partially in the case of Fribourg, in which after its admission in 1481 Teutonic influences gradually supplanted the Romance speech); and it is not till 1803 and 1815 that its Frenchand Italian-speaking " subjects " are raised to political equality with their former masters, and that the Romonschspeaking Leagues of Raetia (Graubunden) pass from the status of an ally to that of a member of the Confederation. (3) Swiss history is a study in federalism. Based on the defensive alliances of 1291 and 1315 between the three Forest districts, the Confederation is enlarged by the admission of other districts and towns, all leagued with the original three members, but not necessarily with each other. Hence great difficulties are encountered in looking after common interests, in maintaining any real union; the Diet was merely an assembly of ambassadors with powers very strictly limited by their instructions, and there was no central executive authority. The Confederation is a Staatenbund, or permanent alliance of several small states. After the break-up of the old system in 1798 we see the idea of a Bundesstaat, or an organized state with a central legislative, executive and judiciary, work its way to the front, an idea which is gradually realized in the Constitutions of 1848 and 1874. The whole constitutional history of the Confederation is summed up in this transition to a federal state, which, while a single state in its foreign relations, in home matters maintains the more or less absolute independence of its several members.
Swiss history falls naturally into five great divisions: (I) the origins of the Confederation - up to 1291 (for the legendary origin see Tell, William); (2) the shaking off dependence on the Habsburgs - up to 1 394 (1474); (3) the shaking off dependence on the Empire - up to 1499 (1648); (4) the period of religious divisions and French influence - up to 181 4; (5) the construction of an independent state as embodied in the Constitutions of 1848 and 1874.
I. On the Ist of August 1291 the men of the valley of Uri (honzines vallis Uraniae), the free community of the valley of Schwyz (universitas vallis de Switz), and the association of the men of the lower valley or Nidwalden (communitas hominum intrasnontanorum vallis inferioris) - Obwalden or the upper valley is not mentioned in the text, though it is named on the Early seal appended - formed an Everlasting League for History of the purpose of self-defence against all who should the Three attack or trouble them, a league which is expressly the protests of the abbey tenants, who feared the rapidly rising power of that family, and perhaps also the desire of the German king to obtain command of the St Gotthard Pass (of which the first authentic mention occurs about 1236, when of course it could only be traversed on foot), led to the recall of the grant in 1231, the valley being thus restored to its original privileged position, and depending immediately on the king. (b) In Schwyz (first mentioned in 972) we must distinguish between the districts west and east of Steinen. In the former the land was in the hands of many nobles, amongst whom were the Habsburgs; in the latter there was, at the foot of the Mythen, a free community of men governing themselves and cultivating their land in common; both, however, were politically subject to the king's delegates, the counts of the Zurichgau, who after 1173 were the ever-advancing Habsburgs. But in 1240 the free community of Schwyz obtained from the emperor Frederick II. a charter which removed them from the jurisdiction of the counts, placing them in immediate dependence on the king, like the abbey men of Uri. In a few years, however, the Habsburgs contrived to dispense with this charter in practice. (c) In Unterwalden things were very different. The upper valley (Obwalden or Sarnen), like the lower (Nidwalden or Stans), formed part of the Zurichgau, while in both the soil was owned by many ecclesiastical and lay lords, among them being the Habsburgs and the Alsatian abbey of Murbach. Hence in this district there were privileged tenants, but no free community, and no centre of unity, and this explains why Obwalden and Nidwalden won their way upwards so much more slowly than their neighbours in Uri and Schwyz. Thus the early history and legal position of these three districts was very far from being the same. In Uri the Habsburgs, save for a brief space, had absolutely no rights; while in Schwyz, Obwalden and Nidwalden they were also, as counts of the Zurichgau, the representatives of the king.
The Habsburgs had been steadily rising for many years from the position of an unimportant family in the Aargau to that of a powerful clan of large landed proprietors in Swabia and Alsace, and had attained a certain political importance as counts of the Zurichgau and Aargau. In one or both qualities the cadet or Laufenburg line, to which the family estates in the Forest districts round the Lake of Lucerne had fallen on the division of the inheritance in 1232, seem to have exercised their legal rights in a harsh manner. In 1240 the free men of Schwyz obtained protection from the emperor, and in 1244 we hear of the castle of New Habsburg, built by the Habsburgs on a promontory jutting out into the lake not far The League P y 1 g of 1291. from Lucerne, with the object of enforcing their real or pretended rights. It is therefore not a matter for surprise that when, after the excommunication and deposition of Frederick II. by Innocent IV. at the Council of Lyons in 1245, the head of the cadet line of Habsburg sided with the pope, some of the men of the Forest districts should rally round the emperor. Schwyz joined Sarnen and Lucerne (though Uri and Obwalden supported the pope); the castle of New Habsburg was reduced to its present ruined state; and in 1247 the men of Schwyz, Sarnen and Lucerne were threatened by the pope with excommunication if they persisted in upholding the emperor and defying their hereditary lords the counts of Habsburg. The rapid decline of Frederick's cause soon enabled the Habsburgs to regain their authority in these districts. Yet these obscure risings have an historical interest, for they are the foundation in fact (so far as they have any) of the legendary stories of Habsburg oppression told of and by a later age. After this temporary check the power of the Habsburgs continued to increase rapidly. In 1273 the head of the cadet line sold all his lands and rights in the Forest districts to the head of the elder or Alsatian line, Rudolph, who a few months later was elected to the imperial throne, in virtue of which he acquired for his family in 1282 the duchy of Austria, which now for the first time became connected with the Habsburgs. Rudolph recognized the privileges of Uri but not those of Schwyz; and, as he now united in his own person the characters of emperor, count of the Zurichgau, and landowner in the Forest districts (a name occurring first in the 14th century), such a union of offices might Lands. stated to be a confirmation of a former one (antiquam confederationis formam juramento vallatam presentibus innovando). This league was the foundation of the Swiss Confederation.
What were these districts? and why at this particular moment was it necessary for them to form a defensive league? The legal and political conditions of each were very different. (a) In 853 Louis the German granted (inter alia) all his lands (and the rights annexed to them) situated in the pagellus Uraniae to the convent of Sts Felix and Regula in Zurich (the present Fraumunster), of which his daughter Hildegard was the first abbess, and gave to this district the privilege of exemption from all jurisdiction save that of the king (Reichsfreiheit), so that though locally within the Zurichgau it was not subject to its count, the king's deputy. The abbey thus became possessed of the greater part of the valley of the Reuss between the present Devil's Bridge and the Lake. of Lucerne, for the upper valley (Urseren) belonged at that time to the abbey of Disentis in the Rhine valley, and did not become permanently allied with Uri_ till 1410. The privileged position of the abbey tenants gradually led the other men of the valley to " commend " themselves to the abbey, whether they were tenants of other lords or free men as in the Schachenthal. The meeting of all the inhabitants of the valley, for purposes connected with the customary cultivation of the soil according to fixed rules and methods, served to prepare them for the enjoyment of full political liberty in later days. The important post of " protector " (advocatus or vogt) of the abbey was given to one family after another by the emperor as a sign of trust; but when, on the extinction of the house of Zaringen in 1218, the office was granted to the Habsburgs, be expected to result in a confusion of rights. On the 16th of April 1291 Rudolph bought from the abbey of Murbach in Alsace (of which he was " advocate ") all its rights over the town of Lucerne and the abbey estates in Unterwalden. It thus seemed probable that the other Forest districts would be shut off from their natural means of communication with the outer world by way of the lake. Rudolph's death, on the 15th of July of the same year, cleared the way, and a fortnight later (August r) the Everlasting League was made between the men of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden (the words et vallis superioris, i.e. Obwalden, were inserted, perhaps between the time of the drawing up of the document, the text of which does not mention Obwalden, and the moment of its sealing on the original seal of Nidwalden) for the purpose of self-defence against a common foe. We do not know the names of the delegates of each valley who concluded the treaty, nor the place where it was made, nor have we any account of the deliberations of which it was the result. The common seal - that great outward sign of the right of a corporate body to act in its own name - appears first in Uri in 1243, in Schwyz in 1281, in Unterwalden not till this very document of 1291; yet, despite the great differences in their political status, they all joined in concluding this League, and confirmed it by their separate seals, thereby laying claim on behalf of their union to an independent existence. Besides promises of aid and assistance in the case of attack, they agree to punish great criminals by their own authority, but advise that, in minor cases and in all civil cases, each man should recognize the "judex " to whom he owes suit, engaging that the Confederates will, in case of need, enforce the decisions of the " judex." At the same time they unanimously refuse to recognize any " judex " who has bought his charge or is a stranger to the valleys. All disputes between the parties to the treaty are, as far as possible, to be settled by a reference to arbiters, a principle which remained in force for over six hundred years. " Judex " is a general term for any local official, especially the chief of the community, whether named by the lord or by the community; and, as earlier in the same year Rudolph had promised the men of Schwyz not to force upon them a " judex " belonging to the class of serfs, we may conjecture from this very decided protest that the chief source of disagreement was in the matter of the jurisdictions of the lord and the free community, and that some recent event in Schwyz led it to insist on the insertion of this provision. It is stipulated also that every man shall be bound to obey his own lord " convenienter," or so far as is fitting and right. The antiqua confoederatio mentioned in this document was probably merely an ordinary agreement to preserve the peace in that particular district, made probably during the interregnum (1254-1273) in the Empire.
2. In the struggle for the Empire, which extended over the years following the conclusion of the League of 1291, we find that the Confederates supported without exception the anti-Habsburg candidate. On the 16th of October 12 9 1 Uri and Schwyz allied themselves 1315. with Zurich, and joined the general rising in Swabia against Albert, the new head of the house of Habsburg. It soon failed, but hopes revived when in 1292 Adolf of Nassau was chosen emperor. In 1297 he confirmed to the free men of Schwyz their charter of 1240, and, strangely enough, confirmed the same charter to Uri, instead of their own of 1231. It is in his reign that we have the first recorded meeting of the " Landsgemeinde " (or legislative assembly) of Schwyz (1294). But in 1298 Albert of Habsburg himself was elected to the Empire. His rule was strict and severe, though not oppressive. He did not indeed confirm the charters of Uri or of Schwyz, but he did not attack the ancient rights of the former, and in the latter he exercised his rights as a landowner and did not abuse his political rights as emperor or as count. In Unterwalden we find that in 1304 the two valleys were joined together under a common administrator (the local deputy of the count) - a great step forward to permanent union. The stories of Albert's tyrannical actions in the Forest districts are not heard of till two centuries later, though no doubt the union of offices in his person was a permanent source of alarm to the Confederation. It was in his time too that the " terrier " (or list of manors and estates, with enumeration of all quit rents, dues, &c., payable by the tenants to their lords) of all the Habsburg possessions in Upper Germany was begun, and it was on the point of being extended to Schwyz and Unterwalden when Albert was murdered (1308) and the election of Henry of Luxemburg roused the free men to resist the officials charged with the survey. Despite his promise to restore to the Habsburgs all rights enjoyed by them under his three predecessors (or maintain them in possession), Henry confirmed, on the 3rd of June 1309, to Uri and Schwyz their charters of 1297, and, for some unknown reason, confirmed to Unterwalden all the liberties granted by his predecessor, though as a matter of fact none had been granted. This charter, and the nomination of one royal bailiff to administer the three districts, had the effect of placing them all (despite historical differences) in an identical political position, and that the most privileged yet given to any of them - the freedom of the free community of Schwyz. A few days later the Confederates made a fresh treaty of alliance with Zurich; and in 1310 the emperor placed certain other inhabitants of Schwyz on the same privileged footing as the free community. The Habsburgs were put off with promises; and, though their request (1311) for an inquiry into their precise rights in Alsace and in the Forest districts was granted, no steps were taken to carry out this investigation. Thus in Henry's time the struggle was between the Empire and the Habsburgs as to the recognition of the rights of the latter, not between the Habsburgs and those dependent on them as landlords or counts.
On Henry's death in 1313 the electors hesitated long between Frederick the Handsome of Habsburg and Louis of Bavaria. The men of Schwyz seized this opportunity for making a wanton attack on the great abbey of Einsiedeln, with which they had a long-standing quarrel as to rights of pasture. The abbot caused them to be excommunicated, and Frederick (the choice of the minority of the electors), who was the hereditary " advocate " of the abbey, placed them under the ban of the Empire. Louis, to whom they appealed, removed the ban; on which Frederick issued a decree by which he restored to his family all their rights and possessions in the three valleys and Urseren, and charged his brother Leopold with the execution of this order. The Confederates hastily concluded alliances with Glarus, Urseren, Arth and Interlaken to protect themselves from attack on every side. Leopold collected a brilliant army at the Austrian town of Zug in order to attack Schwyz, while a body of troops was to take Unterwalden in the rear by way of the Brunig Pass. On the 15th of November 1315, Leopold with from 15,000 to 20,000 men moved forward along the shore of the Lake of Aegeri, intending to assail the town of Schwyz by climbing the slopes of Morgarten above the south-eastern end of the lake. There they were awaited by the valiant band of the Confederates from 1300 to 1500 strong. The march up the rugged and slippery slope threw the Austrian army into disarray, which became a rout and mad flight when huge boulders and trunks of trees were hurled from above by their foes, who charged down and drove them into the lake. Leopold fled in hot haste to Winterthur, and the attack by the Brunig was driven back by the men of Unterwalden. On the 9th of December 1315 representatives of the victorious highlanders met at Brunnen, on the Lake of Lucerne, not far from Schwyz, and renewed the Everlasting League of 1291. In their main lines the two documents are very similar, the later being chiefly an expansion of the earlier. That of 1315 is in German (in contrast to the 1291 League, which is in Latin), and has one or two striking clauses largely indebted to a decree issued by Zurich on the 24th of July 1291. None of the three districts or their dependents is to recognize a new lord without the consent and counsel of the rest. (This is probably meant to provide for an interregnum in or disputed election to the Empire, possibly for the chance of the election of a Habsburg.) Strict obedience in all lawful matters is to be rendered to the rightful lord in each case, unless he attacks or wrongs any of the Confederates, in which case they are to be free from all obligations. No negotiations, so long as the " Lander" have no lord, are to be entered on with outside powers, save by common agreement of all. Louis solemnly recognized and confirmed the new league in 1 3 16, and in 1 3 18 a truce was concluded between the Confederates and the Habsburgs, who treat with them on equal terms. The lands and rights annexed belonging to the Habsburgs in the Forest districts are fully recognized as they existed in the days of Henry of Luxemburg, and freedom of commerce is granted. But there is not one word about the political rights of the Habsburgs as counts of the Zurichgau and Aargau. This distinction gives the key to the whole history of the relations between the Confederates and Habsburgs; the rights of the latter as landowners are fully allowed, and till 1801 they possessed estates within the Confederation; it is their political rights which were always contested by the Swiss, who desired to rule themselves.
As early as 1320 we find the name " Switzerland " (Sweicz) (derived from Schwyz, which had always been the leader in the struggle) applied to the three Forest cantons, and in of Eight 1352 extended to the Confederation as a whole. But it was not till after Sempach (1386) that it came into popular use, the historian J. von Muller (1785) fixing the distinction between " Schweiz " (for the country) and " Schwyz " (for the canton), and it did not form the official name of the Confederation till 1803. (Officially in the middle ages and later the Confederation was named " les Ligues de la Haute Allemagne," or, as Commines, late in the 15th century, puts it, " les vieilles Ligues d'Allemagne qu'on appelle Suisses," while from c. 1452 onwards the people were called " Swiss "). This is in itself a proof of the great renown which the League won by its victory at Morgarten. Another is that as years go by we find other members admitted to the privileges of the original alliance of the three Forest districts. First to join the League (1332) was the neighbouring town of Lucerne, which had grown up round the monastery of St Leodegar or Leger (whence the place took its name), perhaps a colony, certainly a cell of the great house of Murbach in Alsace, under the rule of which the town remained till its sale in 1291 to the Habsburgs. This act of Lucerne was opposed by the house of Austria, but, despite the decision of certain chosen arbitrators in favour of the Habsburg claims, the town clung to the League with which it was connected by its natural position, and thus brought a new element into the pastoral association of the Forest districts, which now surrounded the entire Lake of Lucerne. Next, in 1351, came the ancient town of Zurich, which in 1218, on the extinction of the house of Zaringen, had become a free imperial city in which the abbess of the FraumUnster (the lady of Uri) had great influence, while in 1336 there had been a great civic revolution, headed by Rudolph Brun, which had raised the members of the craft gilds to a position in the municipal government of equal power with that of the patricians, who, however, did not cease intriguing to regain their lost privileges, so that Brun, after long hesitation, decided to throw in the lot of the town with the League rather than with Austria. In this way the League now advanced from the hilly country to the plains, though the terms of the treaty with Zurich did not bind it so closely to the Confederates as in the other cases (the right of making alliances apart from the League being reserved though the League was to rank before these), and hence rendered it possible for Zurich now and again to incline towards Austria in a fashion which did great hurt to its allies. In 1352 the League was enlarged by the admission of Glarus and Zug. Glarus belonged to the monastery of Sackingen on the Rhine (founded by the Irish monk Fridolin), of which the Habsburgs were " advocates," claiming therefore many rights over the valley, which refused to admit them, and joyfully received the Confederates who came to its aid; but it was placed on a lower footing than the other members of the League, being bound to obey their orders. Three weeks later the town and district of Zug, attacked by the League and abandoned by their Habsburg masters, joined the Confederation, forming a transition link between the civic and rural members of the League. The immediate occasion of the union of these two districts was the war begun by the Austrian duke against Zurich, which was ended by the Brandenburg peace of 1352, by which Glarus and Zug were to be restored to the Habsburgs, who also regained their rights over Lucerne. Zug was won for good by a bold stroke of the men of Schwyz in 1364, but it was not till the day of Nafels (1388) that Glarus recovered its lost freedom. These temporary losses and the treaty made by Brun of Zurich with Austria in 1356 were, however, far outweighed by the entrance into the League in 1353 of the famous town of Bern, which, founded in 1191 by Berthold V. of Zaringen, and endowed with great privileges, had become a free imperial city in 1218 on the extinction of the Zaringen dynasty. Founded for the purpose of bridling the turbulent feudal nobles around, many of whom had become citizens, Bern beat them back at Dornbuhl (1298), and made a treaty with the Forest districts as early as 1323. In 1339, at the bloody fight of Laupen, she had broken the power of the nobles for ever, and in 1352 had been forced by a treaty with Austria to take part in the war against Zurich, but soon after the conclusion of peace entered the League as the ally of the three Forest districts, being thus only indirectly joined to Lucerne and Zurich. The special importance of the accession of Bern was that the League now began to spread to the west, and was thus brought into connexion for the first time with the French-speaking land of Savoy. The League thus numbered eight members, the fruits of Morgarten, and no further members were admitted till 1481, after the Burgundian War. But, in order thoroughly to understand the nature of the League, it must be remembered that, while each of the five new members was allied with the original nucleus - the three Forest districts - these five were not directly allied to one another: Lucerne was allied with Zurich and Zug; Zurich with Lucerne, Zug and Glarus; Glarus with Zurich; Zug with Lucerne and Zurich; Bern with no one except the three original members. The circumstances under which each entered the League can alone explain these very intricate relations.
After a short interval of peace the quarrels with Austria broke out afresh; all the members of the League, save the three Forest districts and Glarus, joined (1385) the great union of the south German cities; but their attention was soon called to events nearer home. Lucerne fretted much under the Austrian rule, received many Austrian subjects among her citizens, and refused to pay custom duties to the Austrian bailiff at Rothenburg, on the ground that she had the right of free traffic. An attack on the custom-house at Rothenburg, and the gift of the privileges of burghership to the discontented inhabitants of the little town of Sempach a short way off, so irritated Leopold III. (who then held all the possessions of his house outside Austria) that he collected an army, with the intention of crushing his rebellious town. Lucerne meanwhile had summoned the other members of the League to her aid, and, though Leopold's feint of attacking Zurich caused the troops of the League to march at first in that direction, they discovered their mistake in time to turn back and check his advance on Lucerne. From 1500 to 1600 men of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, and Lucerne opposed the 6000 which made up the Austrian army. The decisive fight took place on the 9th of July 1386, near Sempach, on a bit of sloping meadow-land, cut up by streams and hedges, which forced the Austrian knights to dismount. The great heat of the day, which rendered it impossible to fight in armour, and the furious attacks of the Confederates, finally broke the Austrian line after more than one repulse and turned the day (see Winkelmed). Leopold, with a large number of his followers, was slain, and the Habsburg power within the borders of the Confederation finally broken. Glarus at once rose in arms against Austria, but it was not till the expiration of the truce made after Sempach that Leopold's brother, Albert of Austria, brought an army against Glarus, and was defeated at Nafels (not far from Glarus) on the 9th of April 1388, by a handful of Glarus and Schwyz men In 1389 a peace for seven years was made, the Confederates being secured in all their conquests; an attempt made in 1 393 by Austria by means of Schuno, the chief magistrate of Zurich and leader of the patrician party, to stir up a fresh attack failed owing to a rising of the burghers, who sympathized with the Confederates, and on the 16th of July 1394 the peace was prolonged for twenty years (and again in Political 1412 for fifty years), various stipulations being made of by which the long struggle of the League against the Habsburgs was finally crowned with success.
By the peace of 1394 Glarus was freed on payment of £200 annually (in 1395 it bought up all the rights of Sackingen); Zug too was released from Austrian rule. Schwyz was given the advocatia of the great abbey of Einsiedeln; Lucerne got the Entlebuch (finally in 1405), Sempach and Rothenburg, Bern and Soleure were confirmed in their conquests. Above all, the Confederation as a whole was relieved from the overlordship of the Habsburgs, to whom, however, all their rights and dues as landed proprietors were expressly reserved; Bern, Zurich and Soleure guaranteeing the maintenance of these rights and dues, with power in case of need to call on the other Confederates to support them by arms. Though the house of Habsburg entertained hopes of recovering its former rights, so that technically the treaties of 1389, 1 394 and 1412 were but truces, it finally and for ever renounced all its feudal rights and privileges within the Confederation by the " Everlasting Compact " of 1474.
It is probable that Bern did not take any active share in the Sempach War because she was bound by the treaty of peace made with the Austrians in 1368; and Soleure, allied with Bern, was doubtless a party to the treaty of 1394 (though not yet in the League), because of its sufferings in 1382 at the hands of the Kyburg line of the Habsburgs, whose possessions (Thun, Burgdorf, &c.) in 1384 fell into the hands of the two allies.
We may mention here the foray (known as the English or Gugler War) made in 1375 by Enguerrand de Coucy (husband of Isabella, daughter of Edward III. of England) and his freebooters (many of them Englishmen and Welshmen), called " Gugler " from their pointed steel caps, with the object of obtaining possession of certain towns in the Aargau (including Sempach), which he claimed as the dowry of his mother Catherine, daughter of the Leopold who was defeated at Morgarten. He was put to rout in the Entlebuch by the men of Bern, Lucerne, Schwyz and Unterwalden in December 1375. This victory was commemorated with great rejoicings in 1875.
3. The great victory at Sempach not merely vastly increased the fame of the Everlasting League but also enabled it to extend struggles in both its influence and its territory. The 15th century is the period when both the League and St its several members took the aggressive, and the the Valais. expansion of their power and lands cannot be better seen than by comparing the state of things at the beginning and at the end of this century. The pastoral highlands of Appenzell (Abbatis Cella) and the town of St Gall had long been trying to throw off the rights exercised over them by the great abbey of St Gall. The Appenzellers, especially, had offered a stubborn resistance, and the abbot's troops had been beaten back by them in 1403 on the heights of Vogelinseck, and again in 1405 in the great fight on the Stoss Pass (which leads up into the highlands), in which the abbot was backed by the duke of Austria. The tales of the heroic defence of Uri Rotach of Appenzell, and of the appearance of a company of Appenzell women disguised as warriors which turned the battle, are told in connexion with this fight, but do not appear till the 17th and 18th centuries, being thus quite unhistorical, so far as our genuine evidence goes. Schwyz had given them some help, and in 1411 Appenzell was placed under the protection of the League (save Bern), with which in the next year the city of St Gall made a similar treaty to last ten years. So too in1416-1417several of the " tithings " of the Upper Valais (i.e. the upper stretch of the Rhone valley), which in 1388 had beaten the bishop and the nobles in a great fight at Visp, became closely associated with Lucerne, Uri and Unterwalden. It required aid in its final struggle (1418-19) against the great house of Raron, the count-bishop of Sitten (or Sion), and the house of Savoy, which held the Lower Valais - the Forest districts, on the other hand, wishing to secure themselves against Raron and Savoy in their attempt to conquer permanently the Val d'Ossola on the south side of the Simplon Pass. Bern, however, supported its burgher, the lord of Raron, and peace was made in 1420. Such were the first links which bound these lands with the League; but they did not become full members for a long time - Appenzell in 1513, St Gall in 1803, the Balais in 1815.
Space will not allow us to enumerate all the small conquests made in the first half of the 15th century by every member of the League; suffice it to say that each increased and rounded off its territory, but did not give the conquered lands any political rights, governing them as " subject lands," often very harshly. The same phenomenon of lands which had won their own freedom playing the part of tyrant over other lands which joined then more or less by their voluntary action is seen on a larger scale in the case of the conquest of the Aargau, and in the first attempts to secure a footing south of the Alps.
In 1412 the treaty of 1394 between the League and the Habsburgs had been renewed for fifty years; but when in 1415 Duke Frederick of Austria helped Pope John XXII. to escape from Constance, where the great oecumenical council was then sitting, and the emperor Sigismund placed the duke under the ban of the Empire, summoning all members of the Empire to arm against him, the League hesitated, because of their treaty of 1412, till the emperor declared that all the rights and lands of Austria in the League were forfeited, and that their compact did not release them from their obligations to the Empire. In the name, therefore, of the emperor, and by his special command, the different members of the League overran the extensive Habsburg possessions in the Aargau. The chief share fell to Bern, but certain districts (known as the Freie Aemter) were joined together and governed as bailiwicks held in common by all the members of the League (save Uri, busied in the south, and Bern, who had already secured the lion's share of the spoil for herself). This is the first case in which the League as a whole took up the position of rulers over districts which, though guaranteed in the enjoyment of their old rights, were nevertheless politically unfree. As an encouragement and 'a reward, Sigismund had granted in advance to the League the right of criminal jurisdiction (haute justice or Blutbann), which points to the fact that they were soon to become independent of the Empire, as they were of Austria.
As the natural policy of Bern was to seek to enlarge its borders. at the expense of Austria, and later of Savoy, so we find that Uri, shut off by physical causes from extension in other directions, as steadily turned its eyes towards the south. In 1410 the valley of Urseren was finally joined to Uri; though communications were difficult, and carried on only by means of the " Stiebende Brucke," a wooden bridge suspended by chains over the Reuss, along the side of a great rocky buttress (pierced in 1707 by the tunnel known as the Urnerloch), yet this enlargement of the territory of Uri gave it complete command over the St Gotthard Pass, long commercially important, and now to serve for purposes of war and conquest. Already in 1403 Uri and Obwalden had taken advantage of a quarrel with the duke of Milan as to custom dues at the market of Varese to occupy the long narrow upper Ticino valley on the south of the pass called the Val Leventina; in 1411 the men of the same two lands, exasperated by the insults of the local lords, called on the other members of the League, and all jointly (except Bern) occupied the Val d'Ossola, on the south side of the Simplon Pass. But in 1414 they lost this to Savoy, and, with the object of getting it back, obtained in1416-1417the alliance of the men of the Upper Valais, then fighting for freedom, and thus regained (1416) the valley, despite the exertions of the great Milanese general Carmagnola. In 1419 Uri and Obwalden bought from its lord the town and district of Bellinzona. This rapid advance, however, did not approve itself to the duke of Milan, and Carmagnola reoccupied both valleys; the Confederates were not at one with regard to these southern conquests; a small body pressed on in front of the rest, but was cut to pieces at Arbedo near Bellinzona in 1422. A bold attempt in 1425 by a Schwyzer, Peter Rissi by name, to recover the Val d'Ossola caused the Confederates to send a force to rescue these adventurers; but the duke of Milan intrigued with the divided Confederates, and finally in 1426, by a payment of a large sum of money and the grant of certain commercial privileges, the Val Leventina, the Val d'Ossola and Bellinzona were formally restored to him. Thus the first attempt of Uri to acquire a footing south of the Alps failed; but a later attempt was successful, leading to the inclusion in the Confederation of what has been called "Italian Switzerland." The original contrasts between the social condition of the different members of the League became more marked when the period of conquest began, and led to quarrels and ill The First feeling in the matter of the Aargau and the Italian Civil War. conquests which a few years later ripened into 1 a civil war, brought about by the dispute as to the succession to the lands of Frederick, count of Toggenburg, the last male representative of his house. Count Frederick's predecessors had greatly extended their domains, so that they took in not only the Toggenburg or upper valley of the Thur, but Uznach, Sargans, the Rhine valley between Feldkirch and Sargans, the Prattigau and the Davos valley. He himself, the last great feudal lord on the left bank of the Rhine, had managed to secure his vast possessions by making treaties with several members of the League, particularly Zurich (1400) and Schwyz (x417) - from 1428 inclining more and more to Schwyz (then ruled by Ital Riding), as he was disgusted with the arrogant behaviour of Stussi, the burgomaster of Zurich. His death (April 30, 1436) was the signal for the breaking out of strife. The Prattigau and Davos valley formed the League of the Ten Jurisdictions in Raetia (see below), while Frederick's widow sided with Zurich against Schwyz for different portions of the great inheritance which had been promised them. After being twice defeated, Zurich was forced in 14 4 0 to buy peace by certain cessions (the " Hufe ") to Schwyz, the general feeling of the Confederates being opposed to Zurich, so that several of them went so far as to send men and arms to Schwyz. Zurich, however, was bitterly disappointed at these defeats, and had recourse to the policy which she had adopted in 1356 and 1 393 - an alliance with Austria (concluded in 1442), which now held the imperial throne in the person of Frederick III. Though technically within her rights according to the terms on which she had joined the League in 1351, this act of Zurich caused the greatest irritation in the Confederation, and civil war at once broke out, especially when the Habsburg emperor had been solemnly received and acknowledged in Zurich. In 1443 the Zurich troops were completely defeated at St Jakob on the Sihl, close under the walls of the city, Stussi himself being slain. Next year the city itself was long besieged. Frederick, unable to get help elsewhere, procured from Charles VII. of France the despatch of a body of Armagnac free lances (the Ecorcheurs), who came, 30,000 strong, under the dauphin Louis, plundering and harrying the land, till at the very gates of the free imperial city of Basel (which had made a twenty years' alliance with Bern), by the leper house of St Jakob on the Birs (Aug. 26, 1444), the desperate resistance of a small body of Confederates (1200 to 150o), till cut to pieces, checked the advance of the freebooters, who sustained such tremendous losses that, though the victors, they hastily made peace, and returned whence they had come. Several small engagements ensued, Zurich long declining to make peace because the Confederates required, as the result of a solemn arbitration, the abandonment of the Austrian alliance. At length it was concluded in 1450, the Confederates restoring almost all the lands they had won from Zurich. Thus ended the third attempt of Austria to conquer the League by means of Zurich, which used its position as an imperial free city to the harm of the League, and caused the first civil war by which it was distracted.
These fresh proofs of the valour of the Confederates, and of the growing importance of the League, did not fail to produce Constitution important results. In 1452 the " Confederates of of the the Old League of Upper Germany" (as they styled League, themselves) made their first treaty of alliance with c. 1450. France, a connexion which was destined to exercise so much influence on their history. Round the League there began to gather a new class of allies (known as " Zugewandte Orte," or associated districts), more closely joined to it, or to certain members of it, than by a mere treaty of friendship, yet not being admitted to the rank of a full member of the League. Of these associates three, the abbot (r451) and town of St Gall (1454), and the town of Bienne (Biel), through its alliance (1352) with Bern, were given seats and votes in the Diet, being called socii; while others, known as confoederati, were not so closely bound to the League, such as the Valais (1416-1417), Schaffhausen (1454), Rottweil (1463), Muhlhausen (1466), (to the class of confoederati belonged in later times Neuchatel 1406-1501), the Three Leagues of Raetia (1497-1498), Geneva (1519-1536), and the bishop of Basel (1579). Appenzell, too, in 1452, rose from the rank of a " protected district " into the class of associates, outside which were certain places " protected " by several members of the League, such as Gersau (1359), the abbey of Engelberg (c. 1421), and the town of Rapperswil (1464). The relation of the " associates " to the League may be compared with the ancient practice of " commendation ": they were bound to obey orders in declaring war, making alliances, &c. In 1439 Sigismund succeeded his father Frederick in the Habsburg lands in Alsace, the Thurgau, and Tirol and, being much irritated by the constant encroachments of the Confederates, in particular by the loss of Rapperswil (1458), declared war against them, but fared very badly. In 1460 the Confederates overran the Thurgau and occupied Sargans. Winterthur was only saved by an heroic defence. Hence in 1461 Sigismund had to give up his claims on those lands and renew the peace for fifteen years, while in 1467 he sold Wintherthur to Zurich. Thus the whole line of the Rhine was lost to the Habsburgs, who retained (till 1801) in the territories of the Confederates the Frickthal only. The Thurgovian bailiwicks were governed in common as " subject " lands by all the Confederates except Bern. The touchiness of the now rapidly advancing League was shown by the eagerness with which in 1468 its members took up arms against certain small feudal nobles who were carrying on a harassing guerrilla warfare with their allies Schaffhausen and Muhlha.usen. They laid siege to Waldshut, and to buy them off Sigismund in August 1468 engaged to pay 10,000 gulden as damages by the 24th of June 1469; in default of payment the Confederates were to keep for ever the Black Forest, and Waldshut, one of the Black Forest towns on the Rhine. A short time before (1467) the League had made treaties of friendship with Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, and with the duke of Milan. All was now prepared for the intricate series of intrigues which led up to the Burgundian War - a great epoch in the history of the League, as it created a common national feeling, enormously raised its military reputation, and brought about the close connexion with certain parts of Savoy, which finally (1803-1815) were admitted into the League.
Sigismund did not know where to obtain the sum he had promised to pay. In this strait he turned to Charles the Bold (properly the Rash), duke of Burgundy, who was The then beginning his wonderful career, and aiming at Burgundian restoring the kingdom of Burgundy. For this purpose War. Charles wished to marry his daughter and heiress to Maximilian, son of the emperor, and first cousin of Sigismund, in order that the emperor might be induced to give him the Burgundian crown. Hence he was ready to meet Sigismund's advances. On the 9th of May 1469 Charles promised to give Sigismund 50,000 florins, receiving as security for repayment Upper Alsace, the Breisgau, the Sundgau, the Black Forest, and the four Black Forest towns on the Rhine (Rheinfelden, Sackingen, Laufenburg and Waldshut), and agreed to give Sigismund aid against the Swiss, if he was attacked by them. It was not unnatural for Sigismund to think of attacking the League, but Charles's engagement to him is quite inconsistent with the friendly agreement made between Burgundy and the League as late as 1467. The emperor then on his side annulled Sigismund's treaty of 1468 with the Swiss, and placed them under the ban of the Empire. Charles committed the mortgaged lands to Peter von Hagenbach, who proceeded to try to establish his master's power there by such harsh measures as to cause the people to rise against him.
The Swiss in these circumstances began to look towards Louis XI. of France, who had confirmed the treaty of friendship made with them by his father in 1452. Sigismund had applied to him early in 1469 to help him in his many troubles, and to give him aid against the Swiss, but Louis had point-blank refused. Anxious to secure their neutrality in case of his war with Charles, he made a treaty with them on the 13th of August 1470 to this effect. All the evidence goes to show that Sigismund was not a tool in the hands of Louis, and that Louis, at least at that time, had no definite intention of involving Charles and the Swiss in a war, but wished only to secure his own flank.
Sigismund in the next few years tried hard to get from Charles the promised aid against the Swiss (the money was paid punctually enough by Charles on his behalf), who put him off with various excuses. Charles on his side, in 1471-1472, tried to make an alliance with the Swiss, his efforts being supported by a party in Bern headed by Adrian von Bubenberg. Probably Charles wished to use both Sigismund and the Swiss to further his own interests, but his shifty policy had the effect of alienating both from him. Sigismund, disgusted with Charles, now inclined towards Louis, whose ally he formally became in the summer of 1473 - a change which was the real cause of the emperor's flight from Treves in November 1473, when he had come there expressly to crown Charles. The Confederates on their side were greatly moved by the oppression of their friends and allies in Alsace by Hagenbach, and tried in vain (January 1474) to obtain some redress from his master. Charles's too astute policy had thus lost him both Sigismund and the Swiss. They now looked upon Louis, who, thoroughly aware of Charles's ambition, and fearing that his disappointment at Treves would soon lead to open war, aimed at a master stroke - no less than the reconciliation of Sigismund and the Swiss. This on the face 'of it seemed impracticable, but common need and Louis's dexterous management brought it to pass, so that on the 30th of March 1474 the Everlasting Compact was signed at Constance, by which Sigismund finally renounced all Austrian claims on the lands of the Confederates, and guaranteed them in quiet enjoyment to them; they, on the other hand, agreed to support him if Charles did not give up the mortgaged lands when the money was paid down. The next day the Swiss joined the league of the Alsatian and Rhine cities, as also did Sigismund. Charles was called on to receive the money contributed by the Alsatian cities, and to restore his lands to Sigismund. He, however, took no steps. Within a week the oppressive bailiff Hagenbach was captured, and a month later (May 9, 1 474) he was put to death, Bern alone of the Confederates being represented. On the 9th of October the emperor, acting of course at the instance of Sigismund, ordered them to declare war against Charles, which took place on the 25th of October. Next day Louis formally ratified his alliance with the Confederates, promising money and pensions, the latter to be increased if he did not send men. Throughout these negotiations and later Bern directs Swiss policy, though all the Confederates are not quite agreed. She was specially exposed to attack from Charles and Charles's ally (since 1468) Savoy, and her best chance of extending her territory lay towards the west and south. A forward policy was thus distinctly the best for Bern, and this was the line supported by the French party under Nicholas von Diesbach, Adrian von Bubenberg opposing it, though not with any idea of handing over Bern to Charles. The Forest districts, however, were very suspicious of this movement to the west, by which Bern alone could profit, though the League as a whole might lose; then, too, Uri had in 1440 finally won the Val Leventina, and she and her neighbours favoured a southerly policy - a policy which was crowned with success after the gallant victory won at Giornico in 1478 by a handful of men from Zurich, Lucerne, Uri and Schwyz over 12,000 Milanese troops. Thus Uri first gained a permanent footing south of the Alps, not long before Bern won its first conquests from Savoy.
The war in the west was begun by Bern and her allies (Fribourg, Soleure, &c.) by marauding expeditions across the Jura, in which Hericourt (November 1474) and Blamont (August 1475) were taken, both towns being held of Charles by the " sires " de Neuchatel, a cadet line of the counts of Montbeliard. It is said that in the former expedition the white cross was borne (for the first time) as the ensign of the Confederates, but not in the other. Meanwhile Yolande, the duchess of Savoy, had, through fear of her brother Louis XI. and hatred of Bern, finally joined Charles and Milan (January 1475), the immediate result of which was the capture, by the Bernese and friends (on the way back from a foray on Pontarlier in the free county of Burgundy or Franche-Comte), of several places in Vaud, notably Grandson and Echallens, both held of Savoy by a member of the house of Chalon, princes of Orange (April 1475), as well as of Orbe and Jougne, held by the same, but under the count ,of Burgundy. In the summer Bern seized on the Savoyard district of Aigle. Soon after (October - November 1 475) the same energetic policy won for her the Savoyard towns of Morat, Avenches, Estavayer and Yverdon; while (September) the Upper Valais, which had conquered all Lower or Savoyard Valais, entered into alliance with Bern for the purpose of opposing Savoy by preventing the arrival of Milanese troops. Alarmed at their success, the emperor and Louis deserted (June - September) the Confederates, who thus, by the influence of Louis and Bernese ambition, saw themselves led on and then abandoned to the wrath of Charles, and very likely to lose their new conquests. They had entered on the war as " helpers " of the emperor, and now became principals in the war against Charles, who raised the siege of Neuss, made an alliance with Edward IV. of England, received the surrender of Lorraine, and hastened across the Jura (February 1476) to the aid of his ally Yolande. On the 21st of February Charles laid siege to the castle of Grandson, and after a week's siege the garrison of Bernese and Fribourgers had to surrender (Oct. 28), while, by way of retaliation for the massacre of the garrison of Estavayer in 1475, of the 412 men two only were spared in order to act as executioners of their comrades. This hideous news met a large body of the Confederates gathered together in great haste to relieve the garrison, and going to their rendezvous at Neuchatel, where both the count and town had become allies of Bern in 1406. An advance body of Bernese, Fribourgers and Schwyzers, in order to avoid the castle of Vauxmarcus (seized by Charles), on the shore of the Lake of Neuchatel, and on the direct road from Neuchatel to Grandson, climbed over a wooded spur to the north, and attacked (March 2) the Burgundian outposts. Charles drew back his force in order to bring down the Swiss to the more level ground where his cavalry could act, but his rear misinterpreted the order, and when the main Swiss force appeared over the spur the Burgundian army was seized with a panic and fled in disorder. The Swiss had gained a glorious victory, and regained their conquest of Grandson, besides capturing very rich spoil in Charles's camp, parts of which are preserved to the present day in various Swiss armouries. Such was the famous battle of Grandson. Charles at once retired to Lausanne, and set about reorganizing his army. He resolved to advance on Bern by way of Morat (or Murten), which was occupied by a Bernese garrison under Adrian von Bubenburg,. and laid siege to it on the 9th of June. The Confederates had now put away all jealousy of Bern, and collected a large army. The decisive battle took place on the afternoon of the 22nd of June, after the arrival of the Zurich contingent under Hans Waldmann. English archers were in Charles's army, while with the Swiss was Rene, the dispossessed duke of Lorraine. After facing each other many hours in the driving rain, a body of Swiss, by outflanking Charles's van, stormed his palisaded camp, and the Burgundians were soon hopelessly beaten, the losses on both sides (a contrast to Grandson) being exceedingly heavy. Vaud was reoccupied by the Swiss (Savoy having overrun it on Charles's advance); but Louis now stepped in and procured the restoration of that region to Savoy, save Grandson, Morat, Orbe and Echallens, which were to be held by the Bernese jointly with the Fribourgers, Aigle by Bern alone - Savoy at the same time renouncing all its claims over Fribourg. Thus French-speaking districts first became permanently connected with the Confederation, hitherto purely German, and the war had been one for the maintenance of recent conquests, rather than purely in defence of Swiss freedom. Charles tried in vain to raise a third army; Rene recovered Lorraine, and on the 5th of January 1477, under the walls of Nancy, Charles's wide-reaching plans were ended by his defeat and death, many Swiss being with Rene's troops. The wish of the Bernese to overrun Franche-Comte was opposed by the older members of the Confederation, andj finally, in 1479, Louis, by very large payments, secured the abandonment of all claims on that province, which was annexed to the French crown.
These glorious victories really laid the foundation of Swiss nationality; but soon after them the long-standing jealousy between the civic and rural elements in the Confederation nearly broke it up. This had always the hindered common action save in the case of certain pressing questions. In 1370, by the " Parsons' ordinance " (Pfaffenbrief), agreed on by all the Confederates except Bern and Glarus, all residents whether clerics or laymen, in the Confederation who were bound by oath to the duke of Austria were to swear faith to the Confederation, and this oath was to rank before any other; no appeal was to lie to any court spiritual or lay (except in matrimonial and purely spiritual questions) outside the limits of the Confederation, and many regulations were laid down as to the suppression of private wars and keeping of the peace on the high roads. Further, in 1393, the " Sempach ordinance " was accepted by all the Confederates and Soleure; this was an attempt to enforce police regulations and to lay down " articles of war " for the organization and discipline of the army of the Confederates, minute regulations being made against plundering - women, monasteries and churches being in particular protected and secured. But save these two documents common action was limited to the meeting of two envoys from each member of the Confederation and one from each of the " socii " in the Diet, the powers of which were greatly limited by the instructions brought by each envoy, thus entailing frequent reference to his government, and included foreign relations, war and peace, and common arrangements as to police, pestilence, customs duties, coinage, &c. The decisions of the majority did not bind the minority save in the case of the affairs of the bailiwicks ruled in common. Thus everything depended on common agreement and good will. But disputes as to the divisions of the lands conquered in the Burgundian War, and the proposal to admit into the League the towns of Fribourg and Soleure, which had rendered such good help in the war, caused the two parties to form separate unions, for by the latter proposal the number of towns would have been made the same as that of the " Lander," which these did not at all approve. Suspended a moment by the campaign in the Val Leventina, these quarrels broke out after the victory of Giornico; and at the Diet of Stans (December 1481), when it seemed probable that the failure of all attempts to come to an understanding would result in the disruption of the League, the mediation of Nicholas von der Flue (or Bruder, Klaus), a holy hermit of Sachseln in Obwalden, though he did not appear at the Diet in person, succeeded in bringing both sides to reason, and the third great ordinance of the League - the " compact of Stans " - was agreed on. By this the promise of mutual aid and assistance was renewed, especially when one member attacked another, and stress was laid on the duty of the several governments to maintain the peace, and not to help the subjects of any other member in case of a rising. The treasure and movables captured in the war were to be equally divided amongst the combatants, but the territories and towns amongst the members of the League. As a practical proof of the reconciliation, on the same day the towns of Fribourg and Soleure were received as full members of the Confederation, united with all the other members, though on less favourable terms than usual, for they were forbidden to make alliances, save with the consent of all or of the greater part of the other members. Both towns had long been allied with Bern, whose influence was greatly increased by their admission. Fribourg, founded in 1178 by Berthold IV. of Zaringen, had on the extinction of that great dynasty (1218) passed successively by inheritance to Kyburg (1218), by purchase to Austria (1277), and by commendation to Savoy (1452); when Savoy gave up its claims in 1477 Fribourg once more became a free imperial city. She had become allied with Bern as early as 1243, but in the ,4th and 15th centuries became Romance-speaking, though from 1483 onwards German gained in strength and was the official language till 1798. Soleure (or Solothurn) had been associated with Bern from 1295, but had in vain sought admission into the League in 1411. Both the new members had done much for Bern in the Burgundian War, and it was for their good service that she now procured them this splendid reward, in hopes perhaps of aid on other important and critical occasions.
The compact of Stans strengthened the bonds which joined the members of the Confederation; and the same centralizing tendency is well seen in the attempt (1483-1489) of Hans Waldmann,. the burgomaster of Zurich, to assert the rule of his city over the neighbouring country districts, to place all power in the hands of the gilds (whereas by Brun's constitution the patricians had an equal share), to suppress all minor jurisdictions, and to raise a uniform tax. But this idea of concentrating all powers in the hands of the government aroused great resistance, and led to his overthrow and execution. Peter Kistler succeeded (1470) better at Bern in a reform on the same lines, but less sweeping.
[HISTORY
The early history of each member of the Confederation, and of the Confederation itself, shows that they always professed to belong to the Empire, trying to become immediately dependent on the emperor in order to prevent oppression by middle lords, and to enjoy practical liberty. The Empire itself had now become very much of a shadow; cities and princes were gradually asserting their own independence, sometimes breaking away from it altogether. Now, by. the time of the Burgundian War, the Confederation stood in a position analogous to that of a powerful free imperial city. As long as the emperor's nominal Empire. rights were not enforced, all went well; but, when Maximilian,. in his attempt to reorganize the Empire, erected in 1495 at Worms an imperial chamber which had jurisdiction in all disputes between members of the Empire, the Confederates were very unwilling to obey it - partly because they could maintain peace at home by their own authority, and partly because it interfered with their practical independence. Again, their refusal to join the " Swabian League," formed in 1488 by the lords and cities of South Germany to keep the public peace, gave further offence, as well as their fresh alliances with France. Hence a struggle was inevitable, and the occasion by reason of which it broke out was the seizure by the Tyrolese authorities. in 1499 of the Munsterthal, which belonged to the " Gotteshausbund," one of the three leagues which had gradually arisen in Raetia. These were the " Gotteshausbund " in 1367 (taking in all the dependents of the cathedral church at Chur living in the Oberhalbstein and Engadine); the " Ober " or " Grauer Bund " in 1395 and 1424 (taking in the abbey of Disentis and many counts and lords in the Vorder Rhein valley, though its name is not derived, as often stated, from the " grey coats " of the first members, but from " grawen " or " grafen," as so many counts formed part of it); and the " League of the Ten Jurisdictions " (Zehngerichtenbund), which arose in the Frattigau and Davos valley (1436) on the death of Count Frederick of Toggenburg, but which, owing to certain Austrian claims in it, was not quite so free as its neighbours. The first and third of these became allied in 1450, but the formal union of the three dates only from 1524, as documentary proof is wanting of the alleged meeting at Vazerol in 1471, though practically before 1524 they had very much in common. In 1497 the Ober Bund, in 1498 the Gotteshausbund, made a treaty of alliance with the Everlasting League or Swiss Confederation, the Ten Jurisdictions being unable to do more than show sympathy, owing to Austrian claims, which were not bought up till 1649 and 1652. Hence this attack on the Munsterthal was an attack on an " associate " member of the Swiss Confederation, Maximilian being supported by the Swabian League; but its real historical importance is the influence it had on the relations of the Swiss to the Empire. The struggle lasted several months, the chief fight being that in the Calven gorge (above Mals; May 22, 1499), in which Benedict Fontana, a leader of the Gotteshausbund men, performed many heroic deeds before his death. But, both sides being exhausted, peace was made at Basel on the 22nd of September 1499. By this the matters in dispute were referred to arbitration, and the emperor annulled all the decisions of the imperial chamber against the Confederation; but nothing was laid down as to its future relations with the Empire. No further real attempt, however, was made to enforce the rights of the emperor, and the Confederation became a state allied with the Empire, enjoying practical independence, though not formally freed till 1648. Thus, 208 years after the origin of the Confederation in 1291, it had got rid of all Austrian claims (1394 and 1474), as well as all practical subjection to the emperor. But its further advance towards the position of an independent state was long checked by religious divisions within, and by the enormous influence of the French king on its foreign relations.
With the object of strengthening the northern border of the Confederation, two more full members were admitted in 150rBasel and Schaffhausen - on the same terms as Fribourg and Soleure. The city of Basel had originally been ruled by its bishop, but early in the 14th century it became a free imperial city; before 1501 it had made no permanent alliance with the Confederation, though it had been in continual relations with it. Schaffhausen had grown up round the Benedictine monastery of All Saints, and became in the early 13th century a free imperial city, but was mortgaged to Austria from 1330 to 1415, in which last year the emperor Sigismund declared all Duke Frederick's rights forfeited in consequence of his abetting the flight of Pope John XXII. It bought its freedom in 1418 and became an " associate " of the Confederation in 1454.
A few years later, in 1513, Appenzell, which in 1411 had become a " protected " district, and in 1452 an " associate " League member of the Confederation, was admitted as the thirteenth full member; and this remained the Thirteen number till the fall of the old Confederation in 1798. Round the three original members had gathered first five others, united with the three, but not necessarily with each other; and then gradually there grew up an outer circle, consisting of five more, allied with all the eight old members, but tied down by certain stringent conditions. Constance, which seemed called by nature to enter the League, kept aloof, owing to a quarrel as to criminal jurisdiction in the Thurgau, pledged to it before the district was conquered by the Confederates.
In the first years of the 16th century the influence of the Confederates south of the Alps was largely extended. The system of giving pensions, in order to secure the r i ght of enlisting men within the Confederation, and Italy. of capitulations, by which the different members supplied troops, was originated by Louis XI. in 1474, and later followed by many other princes. Though ' a tribute to Swiss valour and courage, this practice had very evil results, of which the firstfruits were seen in the Milanese troubles (1500-1516), of which the following is a summary. Both Charles VIII. (1484) and Louis XII. (1 499 for ten years) renewed Louis XI.'s treaty. The French attempts to gain Milan were largely carried on by the help of Swiss mercenaries, some of whom were on the opposite side; and, as brotherly feeling was still too strong to make it possible for them to fight against one another, Lodovico Sforza's Swiss troops shamefully betrayed him to the French at Novara (1500). In 1500, too, the three Forest districts occupied Bellinzona (with the Val Blenio) at the request of its inhabitants, and in 1503 Louis XII. was forced to cede it to them. He, however, often held back the pay of his Swiss troops, and treated them as mere hirelings, so that when the ten years' treaty came to an end Matthew Schinner, bishop of Sitten (or Sion), induced them to join (1510) the pope, Julius II., then engaged in forming the Holy League to expel the French from Italy. But when, after the battle of Ravenna, Louis XII. became all-powerful in Lombardy, 20,000 Swiss poured down into the Milanese and occupied it, Felix Schmid, the burgomaster of Zurich, naming Maximilian (Lodovico's son) duke of Milan, in return for which he ceded to the Confederates Locarno, Val Maggia, Mendrisio and Lugano (1512), while the Raetian Leagues seized Chiavenna, Bormio and the Valtellina. (The former districts, with Bellinzona, the Val Blenio and the Val Leventina, were in 1803 made into the canton of Ticino, the latter were held by Raetia till 1 797.) In 1513 the Swiss completely defeated the French at Novara, and in 1515 Pace was sent by Henry VIII. of England to give pensions and get soldiers. Francis I. at once on his accession (1515) began to prepare to win back the Milanese, and, successfully evading the Swiss awaiting his descent from the Alps, beat them in a pitched battle at Marignano near Milan (Sept. 13, 1515), which broke the Swiss power in north Italy, so that in 1516 a peace was made with France - the Valais, the Three Raetian Leagues and both the abbot and town of St Gall being included on the side of the Confederates. Provision was made for the neutrality of either party in case the other became involved in war, and large pensions were promised. This treaty was extended by another in 1521 (to which Zurich, then under Zwingli's influence, would not agree, holding aloof from the French alliance till 1614), by which the French king might, with the consent of the Confederation, enlist any number of men between 6000 and r6,000, paying them fit wages, and the pensions were raised to 3000 francs annually to each member of the Confederation. These two treaties were the startingpoint of later French interference with Swiss affairs.
HISTORY]
4. In 1499 the Swiss had practically renounced their allegiance to the emperor, the temporal chief of the world according to medieval theory; and in the 6th century a great number of them did the same by the world's spiritual u chief, the pope. The scene of the revolt was Zurich, and the leader Ulrich Zwingli (who settled in Zurich at the very end of 1518). But we cannot understand Zwingli's career unless we remember that he was almost more a political reformer than a religious one. In his former character his policy was threefold. He bitterly opposed the French alliance and the pension and mercenary system, for he had seen its evils with his own eyes when serving as chaplain with the troops in the Milanese in 1512 and 1515. Hence in 1521 his influence kept Zurich back from joining in the treaty with Francis I. Then, too, at the time of the Peasant Revolt (1525), he did what he could to lighten the harsh rule of the city over the neighbouring rural districts, and succeeded in getting serfage abolished. Again he had it greatly at heart to secure for Zurich and Bern the chief power in the Confederation, because of their importance and size; he wished to give them extra votes in the Diet, and would have given them two-thirds of the " common bailiwicks " when these were divided. In his character as a religious reformer we must remember that he was a humanist, and deeply read in classical literature, which accounts for his turning the canonries of the Grossmunster into professorships, reviving the old school of the Carolinum, and relying on the arm of the state to carry out religious changes (see ZwINGLI). After succeeding at two public disputations (both held in 1523) his views rapidly gained ground at Zurich, which long, however, stood quite alone, the other Confederates issuing an appeal to await the decision of the asked-for general council, and proposing to carry out by the arm of the state certain small reforms, while clinging to the old doctrines. Zwingli had to put down the extreme wing of the Reformers - the Anabaptists - by force (1525-1526). Quarrels soon arose as to allowing the new views in the " common bailiwicks." The disputation at Baden (1526) was in favour of the maintainers of the old faith; but that at Bern (1528) resulted in securing for the new views the support of that great town, and so matters began to take another aspect. In 1528 Bern joined the union formed in December 1527 in favour of religious freedom by Zurich and Constance (Cliristliches Burgrecht), and her example was followed by Schaffhausen, St Gall, Basel, Bienne and Muhlhausen (1528-1529). This attempt virtually to break up the League was met in February 1529 by the offensive and defensive alliance made with King Ferdinand of Hungary (brother of the emperor) by the three Forest districts, with Lucerne and Zug, followed (April 1529) by the " Christliche Vereinigung," or union between these five members of the League. Zurich was greatly moved by this, and, as Zwingli held that for the honour of God war was as necessary as iconoclasm, hostilities seemed imminent; but Bern held back; and the first peace of Kappel was concluded (June 1529), by which the Hungarian alliance was annulled and the principle of " religious parity " (or freedom) was admitted in the case of each member of the League, while in the "common bailiwicks " the majority in each parish was to decide the religion of that parish. This was at once a victory and a check for Zwingli. He tried to make an alliance with the Protestants in Germany, but failed at the meeting at Marburg (October 1529) to come to an agreement with Luther on the subject of the Eucharist, and the division between the Swiss and the German Reformations was stereotyped. Zwingli now developed his views as to the greater weight which Zurich and Bern ought to have in the League. Quarrels, too, went on in the " common bailiwicks," for the members of the League who clung to the old faith had a majority of votes in matters relating to these districts. Zurich tried to cut off supplies of food from reaching the Romanist members (contrary to the wishes of Zwingli), and, on the death of the abbot of St Gall, disregarding the rights of Lucerne, Schwyz and Glarus, who shared with her since 1451 the office of protectors of the abbey, suppressed the monastery, giving the rule of the land and the people to her own officers. Bern in vain tried to moderate this aggressive policy, and the Romanist members of the League indignantly advanced from Zug towards Zurich. Near Kappel, on the 11th of October 1531, the Zurich vanguard under Goldli was (perhaps owing to his treachery) surprised, and despite reinforcements the men of Zurich were beaten, among the slain being Zwingli himself. Another defeat completed the discomfiture of Zurich, and by the second peace of Kappel (November 1531) the principle of " parity " was recognized, not merely in the case of each member of the League and of the " common bailiwicks," but in the latter Romanist minorities in every parish were to have a right to celebrate their own worship. Thus everywhere the rights of a minority were protected from the encroachments of the majority. The " Christliches Burgrecht " was abolished, and Zurich was condemned to pay heavy damages. Bullinger succeeded Zwingli, but this treaty meant that neither side could now try to convert the other wholesale. The League was permanently split into two religious camps: the Romanists, who met at Lucerne, numbered, besides the five already mentioned, Fribourg, Soleure, Appenzell (Inner Rhoden) and the abbot of St Gall (wikh the Valais and the bishop of Basel), thus commanding sixteen votes (out of twenty-nine) in the Diet; the Evangelicals were Zurich, Bern, Schaffhausen, Appenzell (Ausser Rhoden), Glarus. and the towns of St Gall, Basel and Bienne (with Graubunden), who met at Aarau.
Bern had her eyes always fixed upon the Savoyard lands to the south-west, in which she had got a footing in 1475, and now made zeal for religious reforms the excuse for resum- Vaua by ing her advance policy. In 1526, Guillaume Farel, Bern. a preacher from Dauphine, had been sent to reform Aigle, Morat and Neuchatel. In 1532 he came to Geneva, an ancient city of which the rule had long been disputed by the prince-bishop, the burgesses and the house of Savoy, the latter holding the neighbouring districts. She had become in 1519 the ally of Fribourg, in 1526 that of Bern also; and in 1530, by their influence, a peace was made between the contending parties. The religious changes introduced by Farel greatly displeased Fribourg, which abandoned the alliance (1534), and in 1535 the Reformation was firmly planted in the city. The duke of Savoy, however, took up arms against Bern (1536), who overran Gex, Vaud and the independent bishopric of Lausanne, as well as the Chablais to the south of the lake. Geneva was only saved by the unwillingness of the citizens. Bern thus ruled north and south of the lake, and carried matters with a high hand. Shortly after this John Calvin, a refugee from Picardy, was, when passing through Geneva, detained by Farel to aid him, and, after an exile from 1538-1541, owing to opposition of the papal party and of the burghers, who objected to Bernese rule, he was recalled (1541) and set up his wonderful theocratic government in the city, in 1553 burning Servetus, the Unitarian (see Calvin and Servetus), and in 1555 expelling many who upheld municipal liberty, replacing them by French, English, Italians and Spaniards as new burghers, whose names are still frequent in Geneva (e.g. Ca.ndolle, Mallet, Diodati). His theological views led to disputes with the Zurich Reformers, which were partly settled by the Consensus Tigurinus of 1549, and more completely by the Helvetic Confession of 1562-1566, which formed the basis of union between the two parties.
By the time of Calvin's death (1564) the old faith had begun to take the offensive; the reforms made by the Council of Trent urged on the Romanists to make an attempt to recover lost ground. Emmanuel Philibert, duke of Savoy, the hero of St Quentin (1557), and one of the greatest generals of the day, with the support of the Romanist members of the League, demanded the restoration of the districts seized by Bern in 1536, and on the 30th of October 1564 the Treaty of Lausanne confirmed the decision of the other Confederates sitting as arbitrators (according to the old constitutional custom). By this treaty Gex, the Genevois and the Chablais were to be given back, while Lausanne, Vevey, Chillon, Villeneuve, Nyon, Avenches and Yverdon were to be kept by Bern, who engaged to maintain the old rights and liberties of Vaud. Thus Bern lost the lands south of the lake, in which St Francis of Sales, the exiled prince-bishop of Geneva (1602-1622), at once proceeded to carry out the restoration of the old faith. In 1555 Bern and Fribourg, as creditors of the debt-laden count, divided the county of Gruyere, thus getting French-speaking subjects. In 1558 Geneva renewed her alliance with Bern, and in 1584 she made one with Zurich. The duke of Savoy made several vain attempts to get hold of Geneva, the last (in 1602) being known as the " escalade." The decrees of the Council of Trent had been accepted fully by the Romanist members of the League, so far as relates to dogma, but not as regards discipline or the relations TheCounter- of church and state, the sovereign rights and juris diction of each state being always carefully reserved. tion. The counter-Reformation, however, or reaction in favour of the old faith, was making rapid progress in the Confederation, mainly through the indefatigable exertions of Charles Borromeo, from 1560 to 1584 archbishop of Milan (in which diocese the Italian bailiwicks were included), and nephew of Pius IV., supported at Lucerne by Ludwig Pfyffer, who, having been (1562-1570) the chief of the Swiss mercenaries in the French wars of religion, did so much till his death (1594) to further the religious reaction at home that he was popularly known as the " Swiss king." In 1574 the Jesuits, the great order of the reaction, were established at Lucerne; in 1 579 a papal nuncio came to Lucerne; Charles Borromeo founded the " Collegium Helveticum " at Milan for the education of fortytwo young Swiss, and the Catholic members of the League made an alliance with the bishop of Basel; in 1581 the Capuchins were introduced to influence the more ignorant classes. Most important of all was the Golden or Borromean League, concluded (Oct. 5, 1586) between the seven Romanist members of the Confederation (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Lucerne, Zug, Fribourg and Soleure) for the maintenance of the true faith in their territories, each engaging to punish backsliding members and to help each other if attacked by external enemies, notwithstanding any other leagues, old or new. This league marks the final breaking up of the Confederation into two great parties, which greatly hindered its progress. The Romanist members had a majority in the Diet, and were therefore able to refuse admittance to Geneva, Strassburg and Muhihausen. Another result of these religious differences was the breaking up of Appenzell into two parts (1597), each sending one representative to the Diet - " Inner Rhoden " remaining Romanist, " Ausser Rhoden " adopting the new views. We may compare with this the action of Zurich in 1555, when she received the Protestant exiles (bringing with them the silk-weaving industry) from Locarno and the Italian bailiwicks into her burghership, and Italian names are found there to this day (e.g. Orelli, Muralt).
In the Thirty Years' War the Confederation remained neutral, being bound both to Austria (1474) and to France (1516), and neither religious party wishing to give the other an excuse for calling in foreign armies. But the troubles in Raetia threatened entanglements. Austria wished to secure the Miinsterthal (belonging to the League of the Ten Jurisdictions), and Spain wanted the command of the passes leading from the Valtellina (conquered by the leagues of Raetia in 1512), the object being to connect the Habsburg lands of Tirol and Milan. In the Valtellina the rule of the Three Raetian Leagues was very harsh, and Spanish intrigues easily brought about the massacre of 1620, by which the valley was won, the Romanist members of the Confederation stopping the troops of Zurich and Bern. In 1622 the Austrians conquered the Prattigau, over which they still had certain feudal rights. French troops regained the Valtellina in 1624, but it was occupied once more in 1629 by the imperial troops, and it was not till 1635 that the French, under Rohan, finally succeeded in holding it. The French, however, wished to keep it permanently; hence new troubles arose, and in 1637 the natives, under George Jenatsch, with Spanish aid drove them out, the Spaniards themselves being forced to resign it in 1639. It was only in 1649 and 1652 that the Austrian rights in the Prattigau were finally bought up by the League of the Ten Jurisdictions, which thus gained its freedom.
In consequence of Ferdinand II.'s edict of restitution (1629), by which the status quo of 1552 was re-established - the highwater mark of the counter-Reformation - the abbot of St Gall tried to make some religious changes in his territories, but the protest of Zurich led to the Baden compromise of 1632, by which, in the case of disputes on religious matters arising in the " common bailiwicks, " the decision was to be, not by a majority of the cantons, but by means of friendly discussion - a logical application of the doctrine of religious parity - or by arbitration.
But by far the most important event in Swiss history in this age is the formal freeing of the Confederation from the empire. Basel had been admitted a member of the League in 1501, two years after the Confederation had been practically freed from the jurisdiction of the imperial Empire. chamber, though the city was included in the new division of the empire into " circles " (1521), which did not take in the older members of the Confederation. Basel, however, refused to admit this jurisdiction; the question was taken up by France and Sweden at the congress of Munster, and formed the subject of a special clause in both the treaties of Westphalia, by which the city of Basel and the other " Helvetiorum cantones " were declared to be " in the possession, or almost in the possession, of entire liberty and exemption from the empire, and nullatenus subject to the imperial tribunals." This was intended to mean formal exemption from all obligations to the empire (with which the Confederation was connected hereafter simply as a friend), and to be a definitive settlement of the question. Thus by the events of 1499 and 1648 the Confederation had become an independent European state, which, by the treaty of 1516, stood as regards France in a relation of neutrality.
In 1668, in consequence of Louis XIV.'s temporary occupation of the Franche Comte, an old scheme for settling the number of men to be sent by each member of the Confederation to the joint army, and the appointment of a council of war in war time, that is, an attempt to create a common military organization, was accepted by the Diet, which was to send two deputies to the council, armed with full political powers. This agreement, known as the Defensionale, is the only instance of joint and unanimous action in this miserable period of Swiss history, when religious divisions crippled the energy of the Confederation.
Throughout the t 7th and 18th centuries the Confederation was practically a dependency of France. In 1614 Zurich for French the first time joined in the treaty, which was renewed in 1663 with special provisions as regards the Protestant Swiss mercenaries in the king's pay and a promise of French neutrality in case of civil war Aristo- in the League. The Swiss had to stand by while cracy. Louis XIV. won Alsace (1648), Franche Comte (1678) and Strassburg (1681). But, as Louis inclined more and more to an anti-Protestant policy, the Protestant members of the League favoured the Dutch military service; and it was through their influence that in 1707 the " states " of the principality of Neuchatel, on the extinction of the Longueville line of these princes, decided in favour of the king of Prussia (representing the overlords - the house of Chalon-Orange) as against the various French pretenders claiming from the Longueville dynasty by descent or by will. In 1715 the Romanist members of the League, in hopes of retrieving their defeat of 1712 (see below), agreed, while renewing the treaty and capitulations, to put France in the position of the guarantor of their freedom, with rights of interfering in case of attack from within or from without, whether by counsel or arms, while she promised to procure restitution of the lands lost by them in 1712. This last clause was simply the surrender of Swiss independence, and was strongly objected to by the Protestant members of the Confederation, so that in 1777 it was dropped, when all the Confederates made a fresh defensive alliance, wherein their sovereignty and independence were expressly set forth. Thus France had succeeded to the position of the empire with regard to the Confederation, save that her claims were practically asserted and voluntarily admitted.
Between 1648 and 1798 the Confederation was distracted by religious divisions and feelings ran very high. A scheme to set up a central administration fell through in 1655, through jealousy of Bern and Zurich, the proposers. In 1656 a question as to certain religious refugees, who were driven from Schwyz and took refuge at Zurich, brought about the first Villemergen War, in which the Romanists were successful, and procured a clause in the treaty asserting very strongly the absolute sovereignty, in religious as well as in political matters, of each member of the League within its own territories, while in the " common bailiwicks " the Baden arrangement (1632) was to prevail. Later, the attempt of the abbot of St Gall to enforce his rights in the Toggenburg swelled into the second Villemergen War (1712), which turned out very ill for the defeated Romanists. Zurich and Bern were henceforth to hold in severalty Baden, Rapperswil, and part of the " common bailiwicks " of the Aargau, both towns being given a share in the government of the rest, and Bern in that of Thurgau and Rheinthal, from which, as well as from that part of Aargau, she had been carefully excluded in 1415 and 1460. The only thing that prospered was the principle Of " religious parity," which was established completely, as regards both religions, within each parish in the " common bailiwick." The Diet had few powers; the Romanists had the majority there; the sovereign rights of each member of the League and the limited mandate of the envoys effectually checked all progress. Zurich, as the leader of the League, managed matters when the Diet was not sitting, but could not enforce her orders. The Confederation was little more than a collection of separate atoms, and it is really marvellous that it did not break up through its own weakness.
In these same two centuries, the chief feature in domestic Swiss politics is the growth of an aristocracy: the power of voting and the power of ruling are placed in the hands of a small class. This is chiefly seen in Bern, Lucerne, Fribourg and Soleure, where there were not the primitive democracies of the Forest districts nor the government by gilds as at Zurich, Basel and Schaffhausen. It was effected by refusing to admit any new burghers, a practice which dates from the middle of the ,6th century, and is connected (like the similar movement in the smaller local units of the " communes " in the rural districts) with the question of poor relief after the suppression of the monasteries. Outsiders (Hintersasse or Niedergelassene) had no political rights, however long they might have resided, while the privileges of burghership were strictly hereditary. Further, within the burghers, a small class succeeded in securing the monopoly of all public offices, which was kept up by the practice of co-opting, and was known as the " patriciate." So in Bern, out of 360 burgher families 6 9 only towards the close of the 18th century formed the ruling oligarchy - and, though to foreigners the government seemed admirably managed, yet the last thing that could be said of it was that it was democratic. In 1749 Samuel Henzi (disgusted at being refused the post of town librarian) made a fruitless attempt to overthrow this oligarchy, like the lawyer, Pierre Fatio at Geneva in 1707. The harsh character of Bernese rule (and the same holds good with reference to Uri and the Val Leventina) was shown in the great strictness with which its subject land Vaud was kept in hand: it was ruled as a conquered land by a benevolent despot, and we can feel no surprise that Major J. D. A. Davel in 1723 tried to free his native land, or that it was in Vaud that the principles of the French Revolution were most eagerly welcomed. Another result of this aristocratic tendency was the way in which the cities despised the neighbouring country districts, and managed gradually to deprive them of their equal political rights and to levy heavy taxes upon them. These and other grievances (the fall in the price of food after the close of the Thirty Years' War, the lowering of the value of the coin, &c.), combined with the presence of many soldiers discharged after the great war, led to the great Peasant Revolt (1653) in the territories of Bern, Soleure, Lucerne and Basel, interesting historically as being the first popular rising since the old days of the 13th and 14th centuries, and because reminiscences of legends connected with those times led to the appearance of the " three Tells," who greatly stirred up the people. The rising was put down at the cost of much bloodshed, but the demands of the peasants were not granted. Yet during this period of political powerlessness a Swiss literature first arises: Conrad Gesner and Giles Tschudi in the 16th century are succeeded by J. J. Scheuchzer, A. von Haller, J. C. Lavater, J. J. Bodmer, H. B. de Saussure, J. J. Rousseau, J. von Muller; the taste for Swiss travel is stimulated by the publication (1793) of the first real Swiss guide-book by J. G. Ebel (q.v.), based on the old Deliciae; industry throve greatly. The residence of such brilliant foreign writers as Gibbon and Voltaire within or close to the territories of the Confederation helped on this remarkable intellectual revival. Political aspirations were not, however, wholly crushed, and found their centre in the Helvetic Society, founded in 1762 by F. U. Balthasar and others.
The Confederation and France had been closely connected for so long that the outbreak of the French Revolution could not fail to affect the Swiss. The Helvetian Club, E the French founded at Paris in 1790 by several exiled Vaudois and Fribourgers, was the centre from which the new ideas were spread in the western part of the Confederation, and risings directed or stirred up. In 1790 the Lower Valais rose against the oppressive rule of the upper districts; in 1791 Porrentruy defied the prince-bishop of Basel, despite the imperial troops he summoned, and proclaimed (November 1792) the " Rauracian republic," which three months later (1793) became the French department of the Mont Terrible; Geneva was only saved (1792) from France by a force sent from Zurich and Bern; while the massacre of the Swiss guard at the Tuileries on the 10th of August 1792 aroused intense indignation. The rulers, however, unable to enter into the new ideas, contented themselves with suppressing them by force, e.g. Zurich in the case of Sta.fa (1795). St Gall managed to free itself from its prince-abbot (1795-1797), but the Leagues of Raetia so oppressed their subjects in the Valtellina that in 1797 Bonaparte (after conquering the Milanese from the Austrians) joined them to the Cisalpine republic. The Diet was distracted by party struggles and the fall of the old Confederation was not far distant. The rumours of the vast treasures stored up at Bern, and the desire of securing a bulwark against Austrian attack, specially turned the attention of the directory towards the Confederation; and this was utilized by the heads of the Reform party in the Confederation - Peter Ochs (1752-1821), the burgomaster of Basel, and Frederic Cesar Laharpe (1754-1838; tutor, 1783-1794, to the later tsar Alexander I.), who had left his home in Vaud through disgust at Bernese oppression, both now wishing for aid from outside in order to free their land from the rule of the oligarchy.
x xv,. 9 Hence, when Laharpe, at the head of some twenty exiles from Vaud and Fribourg, called (Dec. 9, 1797) on the Directory to protect the liberties of Vaud, which, so he said (by a bit of purely apocryphal history), France by the treaty of 1565 was bound to guarantee, his appeal found a ready answer. In February 1798 French troops occupied Miihlhausen and Bienne (Biel), as well as those parts of the lands of the prince-bishop of Basel (St Imier and the Munsterthal) as regards which he had been since 1579 the ally of the Catholic members of the Confederation. Another army entered Vaud (February 1798), when the " Lemanic republic " was proclaimed, and the Diet broke up in dismay without taking any steps to avert the coming storm. Brune and his army occupied Fribourg and Soleure, and, after fierce fighting at Neuenegg, entered (March 5) Bern, deserted by her allies and distracted by quarrels within. With Bern, the stronghold of the aristocratic party, fell the old Confederation. The revolution triumphed throughout the country. Brune (March 16-19) put forth a wonderful scheme by which the Confederation with its " associates " and " subjects " was to be split into three republics - the Tellgau (i.e. the Forest districts), the Rhodanic (i.e. Vaud, the Valais, the Bernese Oberland and the Italian bailiwicks), and the Helvetic (i.e. the northern and eastern portions); but the directory disapproved of this (March 23), and on the 29th of March the " Helvetic republic, one and indivisible," was The proclaimed. This was accepted by ten cantons only as well as (April 12) the constitution drafted Republic. by Ochs. By the new scheme the territories of the Everlasting League were split up into twenty-three (later nineteen, Raetia only coming in in 1799) administrative districts, called " cantons," a name now officially used in Switzerland for the first time, though it may be found employed by foreigners in the French treaty of 1452, in Commynes and Machiavelli, and in the treaties of Westphalia (1648). A central government was set up, with its seat at Lucerne, comprising a senate and a great council, together forming the legislature, and named by electors chosen by the people in the proportion of 1 to every loo citizens, with an executive of five directors chosen by the legislature, and having four ministers as subordinates or " chief secretaries." A supreme court of justice was set up; a status of Swiss citizenship was recognized; and absolute freedom to settle in any canton was given, the political " communes " being now composed of all residents, and not merely of the burghers. For the first time an attempt was made to organize the Confederation as a single state, but the change was too sweeping to last, for it largely ignored the local patriotism which had done so much to create the Confederation, though more recently it had made it politically powerless. The three Forest districts rose in rebellion against the invaders and the new constitutions which destroyed their ancient prerogatives; but the valiant resistance of the Schwyzers, under Alois Reding, on the heights of Morgarten (April and May), and that of the Unterwaldners (August and September), were put down by French armies. The proceedings of the French, however, soon turned into disgust and hatred the joyful feelings with which they had been hailed as liberators. Geneva was annexed to France (April 1798); Gersau, after an independent existence of over 400 years, was made a mere district of Schwyz; immense fines were levied and the treasury at Bern pillaged; the land was treated as if it had been conquered. The new republic was compelled to make a very close offensive and defensive alliance with France, and its directors were practically nominated from Paris. In June - October 1799 Zurich, the Forest cantons and Raetia became the scene of the struggles of the Austrians (welcomed with joy) against the French and Russians. The manner, too, in which the reforms were carried out alienated many, and, soon after the directory gave way to the consulate in Paris (18 Brumaire or Nov. Io, 1799), the Helvetic directory (January 1800) was replaced by an executive committee.
The scheme of the Helvetic republic had gone too far in the direction of centralization; but it was not easy to find the happy mean, and violent discussions went on between the " Unitary " (headed by Ochs and Laharpe) and " Federalist " parties. Many drafts were put forward and one actually submitted to but rejected by a popular vote (June 1802). In July 1802 the French troops were withdrawn from Switzerland by Bonaparte, ostensibly to comply with the treaty of Amiens, really to show the Swiss that their best hopes lay in appealing to him. The Helvetic government was gradually driven back by armed force, and the Federalists seemed getting the best of it, when (Oct. 4) Bonaparte offered himself as mediator, and summoned ten of the chief Swiss statesmen to Paris to discuss The Act matters with him (the " Consulta " - December 1802). Mediation. He had long taken a very special interest in Swiss matters, and in 1802 had given to the Helvetic republic the Frickthal (ceded to France in 1801 by Austria), the last Austrian possession within the borders of the Confederation. On the other hand, he had made (August 1802) the Valais into an independent republic. In the discussions he pointed out that Swiss needs required a federal constitution and a neutral position guaranteed by France. Finally (Feb. 19, 1803) he laid before the Consulta the Act of Mediation which he had elaborated and which they had perforce to accept - a document which formed a new departure in Swiss history, and the influence of which is visible in the present constitution.
Throughout, " Switzerland " is used for the first time as the official name of the Confederation. The thirteen members of the old Confederation before 1798 are set up again, and to them are added six new cantons - two (St Gall and Graubunden or Grisons) having been formerly " associates," and the four others being made up of the subject lands conquered at different times - Aargau (1415), Thurgau (1460), Ticino or Tessin (1440, 1500, 1512), and Vaud (1536). In the Diet, six cantons which had a population of more than 10o,000 (viz. Bern, Zurich, Vaud, St Gall, Graubunden and Aargau) were given two votes, the others having but one apiece, and the deputies were to vote freely within limits, though not against their instructions. Meetings of the Diet were to be held alternately at Fribourg, Bern, Soleure, Basel, Zurich and Lucerne - the chief magistrate of each of these cantons being named for that year the " landamman of Switzerland." The " landsgemeinden," or popular assemblies, were restored in the democratic cantons, the cantonal governments in other cases being in the hands of a " great council " (legislative) and the " small council " (executive) - a property qualification being required both for voters and candidates. No canton was to form any political alliances abroad or at home. The " communes " were given larger political rights, the burghers who owned and used the common lands became more and more private associations. There was no Swiss burghership, as in 1798, but perfect liberty of settlement in any canton. There were to be no privileged classes or subject lands. A very close alliance with France (on the basis of that of 1516) was concluded (Sept. 27, 1803). The whole constitution and organization were far better suited for the Swiss than the more symmetrical system of the Helvetic republic; but, as it was guaranteed by Bonaparte, and his influence was predominant, the whole fabric was closely bound up with him, and fell with him. Excellent in itself, the constitution set forth in the Act of Mediation failed by reason of its setting.
For ten years Switzerland enjoyed peace and prosperity under the new constitution. Pestalozzi and Fellenberg worked out their educational theories; K. Escher of Zurich embanked the Linth, and his family was thence called " von der Linth "; the central government prepared many schemes for the common welfare. On the other hand, the mediator (who became emperor in 1804) lavishly expended his Swiss troops, the number of which could only be kept up by a regular blood tax, while the " Berlin decrees " raised the price of "many articles. In 1806 the principality of Neuchatel was given to Marshal Berthier; Tessin was occupied by French troops from 1810 to 1813, and in 1810 the Valais was made into the department of the Simplon, so as to secure that pass. At home, the liberty of moving from one canton to another (though given by the constitution) was, by the Diet in 1805, restricted by requiring ten years' residence, and then not granting political rights in the canton or a right of profiting by the communal property. As soon as Napoleon's power began to wane (1812-1813), the position of Switzerland became endangered. Despite the personal wishes of the tsar (a pupil of Laharpe's), the Austrians, supported by the reactionary party in Switzerland, and without any real resistance on the part of the Diet, as well as the Russians troops, crossed the frontier on the 21st of December 1813, and on the 29th of December the Diet was induced to declare the abolition of the 1803 constitution, guaranteed, like Swiss neutrality, by Napoleon. Bern headed the party which wished to restore the old state of things, but Zurich and the majority stood out for the nineteen cantons. The powers exercised great pressure to bring about a meeting of deputies from all the nineteen cantons at Zurich (April 6, 1814, " the long Diet "); party strife was very bitter, but on the 12th of September it decided that the Valais, Neuchatel and Geneva should be raised from the rank of " associates " to that of full members of the Confederation (thus making up the familiar twenty-two). As compensation the congress of Vienna (March 20, 1815) gave Bern the town of Bienne (Biel), and all (save a small part which went to Basel) of the territories of the princebishop of Basel (" the Bernese Jura "); but the Valtellina was granted to Austria, and Muhlhausen was not freed from France. On the 7th of August 1815 the new constitution was sworn to by all the cantons save Nidwalden, the consent of which was only obtained (Aug. 30) by armed force, a delay for which she paid by seeing Engelberg and the The Pact of 181.5. valley above (acquired by Nidwalden in 1798) given to Obwalden. By the new constitution the sovereign rights of each canton were fully recognized, and a return made to the lines of the old constitution, though there were to be no subject lands, and political rights were not to be the exclusive privilege of any class of citizens. Each canton had one vote in the Diet, where an absolute majority was to decide all matters save foreign affairs, when a majority of three-fourths was required. The management of current business, &c., shifted every two years between the governments of Zurich, Bern and Lucerne (the three " Vororte "). The monasteries were guaranteed in their rights and privileges; and no canton was to make any alliance contrary to the rights of the Confederation or of any other canton. Provision was made for a Federal army. Finally, the Congress, on the 20th of November 1815, placed Switzerland and parts of North Savoy (Chablais, Faucigny and part of the Genevois) under the guarantee of the Great Powers, who engaged to maintain their neutrality, thus freeing Switzerland from her 300 years' subservience to France, and compensating in some degree for the reactionary nature of the new Swiss constitution when compared with that of 1803.
5. The cities at once secured for themselves in the cantonal great councils an overwhelming representation over the neighbouring country districts, and the agreement of 1805 as to migration from one canton to another was Re f orm. t deform. renewed (1819) by twelve cantons. For some time there was little talk of reforms, but in 1819 the Helvetic Society definitely became a political society, and the foundation in 1824 of the Marksmen's Association enabled men from all cantons to meet together. A few cantons (notably Tessin) were beginning to make reforms, when the influence of the July revolution (1830) in Paris and the sweeping changes in Zurich led the Diet to declare (Dec. 27) that it would not interfere with any reforms of cantonal constitutions provided they were in agreement with the pact of 1815. Hence for the next few years great activity in this direction was displayed, and most of the cantons reformed themselves, save the most conservative (e.g. Uri, Glarus) and the advanced who needed no changes (e.g. Geneva, Graubunden). Provision was always made for revising these constitutions at fixed intervals, for the changes were not felt to be final, and seven cantons - Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Soleure, St Gall, Aargau and Thurgau - joined together to guarantee their new free constitutions (Siebener Concordat of March 17, 1832). Soon after, the The Pact of 1815. question of revising the Federal pact was brought forward by a large majority of cantons in the Diet (July 17), whereon, by the league of Sarnen (Nov. 14), the three Forest cantons, with Neuchatel, the city of Basel, and the Valais, agreed to maintain the pact of 1815 and to protest against the separation of Basel in two halves (for in the reform struggle Schwyz and Basel had been split up, though the split was permanent only in the latter case). A draft constitution providing for a Federal administration distinct from the cantons could not secure a majority in its favour; a reaction against reform set in, and the Diet was forced to sanction (1833) the division of Basel into the " city " and " country " divisions (each with half a vote in the Diet), though fortunately in Schwyz the quarrel was healed. Religious quarrels further stirred up strife in connexion with Aargau, which was a canton where religious parity prevailed, later in others. In Zurich the extreme pretensions of the Radicals and freethinkers (illustrated by offering a chair of theology in the university to D. F. Strauss of Tubingen because of his Life of Jesus, then recently published) brought about a great reaction in 1839, when Zurich was the " Vorort." In Aargau the parties were very evenly balanced, and, when in 1840, on occasion of the revision of the constitution, the Radicals had a popular majority the aggrieved clerics stirred up a revolt (1840), which was put down, but which gave their opponents, headed by Augustine Keller, an excuse for carrying a vote in the great council to suppress the eight monasteries in the canton (Jan. 1841). This was flatly opposed to the pact of 1815, which the Diet by a small majority decided must be upheld (April 1841), though after many discussions it determined (Aug. 31, 1843) to accept the compromise by which the men's convents only were to be suppressed, and declared that the matter was now settled. On this the seven Romanist cantons - Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Lucerne, Zug, Fribourg and the Valais - formed (Sept. 13, 1843) a " Sonderbund " or separate league, which (February 1844) issued a manifesto demanding the reopening of the question and the restoration of all the monasteries. Like the Radicals in former years the Romanists went too far and too fast, for in October 1844 the clerical party in Lucerne (in the majority since 1841, and favouring the reaction in the Valais) officially invited in the Jesuits and gave them high posts, an act which created all the more sensation because Lucerne was the " Vorort." Twice (December 1844 and March 1845) parties of free lances tried to capture the city. In December 1845 the Sonderbund turned itself into an armed confederation, ready to appeal to war in defence of the rights of each canton. The Radicals carried Zurich in April 1845 and Bern in February 1846, but a majority could not be secured in the Diet till Geneva (Oct. 1846) and St Gall (May 1847) were won by the same party. On the 20th of July 1847, the Diet, by a small majority, declared that the Sonderbund was contrary to the Federal pact, which on the 16th of August it was resolved to revise, while on the 3rd of September it was decided to invite each canton to expel the Jesuits. Most of the Great Powers favoured the Sonderbund, but England took the contrary view, and the attempt of Metternich, supported by Louis Philippe, to bring about European intervention, on the plea of upholding the treaties of Vienna, was frustrated by the policy of masterly inactivity pursued by Lord Palmerston, who delayed giving an answer till the forces of the Sonderbund had been defeated, a friendly act that is still gratefully remembered in the country. On the 29th of October the deputies of the unyielding cantons left the Diet, which ordered on the 4th of November that its decree should be enforced by arms.. The war was short (Nov. 10-29), mainly owing to the ability of the general, G. H. Dufour (1787-1875), and the loss of life trifling. One after another the rebellious cantons were forced to surrender, and, as the Paris revolution of February 1848, entailing the retirement of Guizot (followed three weeks later by that of Metternich), occupied all the attention of the Great Powers (who by the constitution of 1815 should have been consulted in the revision of the pact), the Swiss were enabled to settle their own affairs quietly. Schwyz and Zug abolished their landsgemeinden," and the seven were condemned to pay the costs of the war (ultimately defrayed by subscription), which had been waged rather on religious than on strict particularist or states-rights grounds. The Diet meanwhile debated the draft constitution drawn up by Johann Conrad Kern (1808-1888) of Thurgau and Henri Druey (1799-1855) of Vaud, which in the summer of 1848 was accepted by fifteen and a half cantons, the minority consisting of the three Forest cantons, the Valais, Zug, Tessin and Appenzell (Inner Rhoden), and it was proclaimed on the 12th of September.
The new constitution inclined rather to the Act of Mediation than to the system which prevailed before 1798. A status of " Swiss citizenship " was set up, closely joined to cantonal citizenship; a man settling in a canton not Constitution p ? g of 1848.
being his birthplace got cantonal citizenship after a residence of at most two years, but was excluded from all local rights in the " commune " where he might reside. A Federal or central government was set up, to which the cantons gave up a certain part of their sovereign rights, retaining the rest. The Federal Legislature (or assembly) was made up of two houses - the Council of States (St y nderat), composed of two deputies from each canton, whether small or great (44 in all), and the National Council (Nationalrat), made up of deputies elected for three years, in the proportion of one for every 20,000 souls or fraction over io,000, the electors being all Swiss citizens. The Federal council or executive (Bundesrat) consisted of seven members elected by the Federal Assembly sitting as a congress; they were jointly responsible for all business, though for sake of convenience there were various departments, and their chairman was called the president of the Confederation. The Federal judiciary (Bundesgericht) was made up of eleven members elected for three years by the Federal Assembly sitting in congress; its jurisdiction was chiefly confined to civil cases, in which the Confederation was a party (if a canton, the Federal council may refer the case to the Federal tribunal), but took in also great political crimes - all constitutional questions, however, being reserved for the Federal Assembly. A Federal university and a polytechnic school were to be founded. All military capitulations were forbidden in the future. Every canton must treat Swiss citizens who belong to one of the Christian confessions like their own citizens, for the right of free settlement is given to all such, though they acquired no rights in the " commune." All Christians were guaranteed the exercise of their religion, but the Jesuits and similar religious orders were not to be received in any canton. German, French and Italian were recognized as national languages.
The constitution as a whole marked a great step forward; though very many rights were still reserved to the cantons, yet there was a fully organized central government. Almost the first act of the Federal Assembly was to exercise the power given them of determining the home of the Federal authorities, and on the 28th of November 1848 Bern was chosen, though Zurich still ranks as the first canton in the Confederation. Soon after 1848 a beginning was made of organizing the different public services, which had now been brought within the jurisdiction of the central Federal authority. Thus in 1849 a uniform letter post service was established, in 1850 a single coinage replaced the intricate cantonal currencies, while all customs duties between cantons were abolished, in 1851 the telegraph service was organized, while all weights and measures were unified (in 1868 the metrical system was allowed, and in 1875 declared obligatory and universal), in 1854 roads and canals were taken in hand, while finally in 1855 the Federal Polytechnic School at Zurich was opened, though the Federal university authorized by the new constitution has not yet been set up. These were some of the non-political benefits of the creation of a Federal central executive. But in 1852 the Federal Assembly decided to leave the construction of railways to private enterprise and so had to buy them up in 1903 at a vastly enhanced price.
By this early settlement of disputes Switzerland was protected from the general revolutionary movement of 1848, and in later years her political history has been uneventful, though she has felt the weight of the great European crises in industrial and social matters.
The position of Neuchatel, as a member of the Confederation (as regards its government only) and as a principality ruled by the king of Prussia, whose rights had been expressly recognized by the congress of Vienna, was uncertain. She had not sent troops in 1847, and, though in 1848 there was a republican revolution there, the prince did not recognize the changes. Finally, a royalist conspiracy in September 1856 to undo the work of 1848 caused great excitement and anger in Switzerland, and it was only by the mediation of Napoleon III. and the other powers that the prince renounced (1857) all his rights, save his title, which his successor (the German emperor) has also dropped. Since that time Neuchatel has been an ordinary member of the Confederation. In1859-1860the cession of Savoy (part of it neutralized in 1815) to France aroused considerable indignation, and in 1862 the long-standing question of frontiers in the Vallee des Dappes was finally arranged with France. In 1871 many French refugees, especially Bourbaki's army, were most hospitably received and sheltered. The growth of the Old Catholics after the Vatican Council (1870) caused many disturbances in western Switzerland, especially in the Bernese Jura. The attack was led by Bishop Eugene Lachat (1819-1886) of Basel, whose see was suppressed by several cantons in 1873, but was set up again in 1884 though still not recognized by Bern. The appointment by the pope of the abbe Gaspard Mermillod (1824-1892) as " apostolic vicar " of Geneva, which was separated from the diocese of Fribourg, led to Monseigneur Mermillod's banishment from Switzerland (1873), but in 1883 he was raised to the vacant see of Lausanne and Geneva and allowed by, the Federal authorities to return, but Geneva refused to recognize him, though he was created a cardinal in 1890. An event of great importance to Switzerland was the opening of the St Gotthard tunnel, which was begun in 1871 and opened in 1882; by it the Forest cantons seem likely to regain the importance which was theirs in the early days of the Confederation.
From 1848 onwards the cantons continually revised their constitutions, always in a democratic sense, though after the Sonderbund War Schwyz and Zug abolished their " landsgemeinden " (1848). The chief point was the introduction of the referendum, by which laws made by the cantonal legislature may (facultative referendum) or must (obligatory referendum) be submitted to the people for their approval, and this has obtained such general acceptance that Fribourg alone does not possess the referendum in either of its two forms. It was therefore only natural that attempts should be made to revise the federal constitution of 1848 in a democratic and centralizing sense, for it had been provided that the Federal Assembly, on its own initiative or on the written request of 50,000 Swiss electors, could submit the question of revision to a popular vote. In 1866 the restriction of certain rights (mentioned above) to Christians only was swept away; but the attempt at final revision in 1872 was defeated by a small majority, owing to the efforts of the anti-centralizing party. Finally, however, another draft was better liked, and on the r9th of April 1874 the Revised new constitution was accepted by the people-141 cantons against 71 (those of 1848 without Tessin, but with Fribourg and Lucerne) and 340,199 votes as against 198,013. This constitution is still in force, and is mainly a revised edition of that of 1848, the Federal power being still further strengthened. Among the more important novelties three points may be mentioned. A system of free elementary education was set up, under the superintendence of the Confederation, but managed by the cantons. A man settling in another canton was, after a residence of three months only, given all cantonal and communal rights, save a share in the common property (an arrangement which as far as possible kept up the old principle that the " commune " is the true unit out of which cantons and the Confederation are built), and the membership of the commune carries with it cantonal and federal rights. The " Referendum " was introduced in its " facultative " form; i.e. all federal laws must be submitted to popular vote on the demand of 30,000 Swiss citizens or of eight cantons. But the " Initiative " (i.e. the right of compelling the legislature to consider a certain subject or bill) was not introduced into the Federal Constitution till 1891 (when it was given to 50,000 Swiss citizens) and then only as to a partial (not a total) revision of that constitution. By the constitutions of 1848 and 1874 Switzerland has ceased to be a mere union of independent states jointed by a treaty, and has become a single state with a well-organized central government, to which have been given certain of the rights of the independent cantons, but increased centralization would destroy the whole character of the Confederation, in which the cantons are not administrative divisions but living political communities. Swiss history teaches us, all the way through, that Swiss liberty has been won by a close union of many small states, and we cannot doubt that it will be best preserved by the same means, and not by obliterating all local peculiarities, nowhere so striking and nowhere so historically important as in Switzerland.
M. Numa Droz (who was for seventeen years-1876 to 1892 - a member of the Federal executive, and twice, in 1881 and in 1887, president of the Swiss Confederation) expressed the opinion shortly before his death in December 1899 (he was born in 1844) that while the dominant note of Swiss politics from 1848 to 1874 was the establishment of a Federal state, that of the period extending from 1874 to 1899 (and this is true of a later period) was the direct rule of the people, as distinguished from government by elected representatives. Whether this distinction be just or not, it is certain that this advance towards democracy in its true sense is due indirectly to the monopoly of political power in the Federal government enjoyed by the Radical party from 1848 onwards: many were willing to go with it some part of the way, but its success in maintaining its close monopoly has provoked a reaction against it on the part of those who desire to see the Confederation remain a Confederation, and not become a strongly centralized state, contrary to its past history and genius. Hence after 1874 we find that democratic measures are not advocated as we should expect by the Radicals, but by all the other political parties with a view of breaking down this Radical monopoly, for it is a strange fact that the people elect and retain Radical representatives, though they reject the measures laid before them for their approval by the said Radical representatives. For these reasons the struggle between Federalists and Centralists (the two permanent political parties in Switzerland), which up to 1874 resulted in favour of the Centralists, has been turning gradually in favour of the Federalists, and that because of the adoption of such democratic institutions as the Referendum and the Initiative.
The general lines on which Swiss politics have run since 1874 may be most conveniently summarized under three headings - the working of the political machinery, the principal political events, and then the chief economical and financial features of the period. But it must be always borne in mind that all the following remarks relate only to Federal politics, those of the several cantons being much more intricate, and of course turning more on purely local differences of opinion.
1. Political Machinery. - The Federal Constitution of 1848 set up a permanent Federal executive, legislature and tribunal, each and all quite distinct from and independent of any cantonal government. This system was a modified revival of the state of things that had prevailed from 1798 to 1803, and was an imitation of the political changes that had taken place in the cantonal constitutions after 1830. Both were victories of the Centralist or Radical party, and it was therefore but natural that this party should be called upon to undertake the Federal government under the new constitution, a supremacy that it has kept ever since. To the Centralists the Council of States (two members from each canton, however large or small) has always been a stumbling-block, and they have mockingly nicknamed it " the fifth wheel of the coach." In the other house of the Federal legislature, the National Council (one member per 20,000, or fraction of over ro,000 of the entire population), the Radicals have always since its creation in 1848 had a majority. Hence, in the Congress formed by both houses sitting together, the Radicals have had it all their own way. This is particularly important as regards the election of the seven members of the Federal executive which is made by such a Congress. Now the Federal executive (Federal Council) is in no sense a cabinet, i.e. a committee of the party in the majority in the legislature for the time being. In the Swiss Federal Constitution the cabinet has no place at all. Each member of the Federal executive is elected by a separate ballot,;'and holds office for the fixed term of three years, during which he cannot be turned out of office, while as yet but a single instance has occurred of the rejection of a Federal councillor who offered himself for re-election. Further, none of the members of the Federal executive can hold a seat in either house of the Federal legislature, though they may appear and speak (but not vote) -in either, while the Federal Council as such has not necessarily any common policy, and never expresses its views on the general situation (though it does as regards particular legislative and administrative measures) in anything resembling the " speech from the Throne " in England. Thus it seems clear that the Federal executive was intended by the Federal Constitution of 1848 (and in this respect that of 1874 made no change) to be a standing committee of the legislature as a whole, but not of a single party in the legislature, or a " cabinet," even though it had the majority. Yet this rule of a single political party is just what has taken place. Between 1848 and the end of 1908, 38 Federal councillors were elected (24 from German-speaking, 12 from French-speaking and 2 from Italian-speaking Switzerland, the canton of Vaud heading the list with 7). Now of these 38 three only were not Radicals, viz. M Paul Ceresole (1870-1875) of Vaud, who was a Protestant Liberal-Conservative, Herren Josef Zemp (1891-1908) and Josef Anton Schobinger (elected 1908), both of Lucerne and Romanist Conservatives, yet the Conservative minority is a large one, while the Romanists form about two-fifths of the population of Switzerland. But despite this predominance of a single party in the Federal Council, no true cabinet system has come into existence in Switzerland, as members of the council do not resign even when their personal policy is condemned by a popular vote, so that the resignation of Herr Welti (a member of the Federal Council from 1867 to 1891), in consequence of the rejection by the people of his railway policy, caused the greatest amazement and consternation in Switzerland.
The chief political parties in the Federal legislature are the Right, or Conservatives (whether Romanists or Protestants), the Centre (now often called " Liberals," but rather answering to the Whigs of English political language, the Left (or Radicals) and the Extreme Left (or the Socialists of varying shades). In the Council of States there is always a Federalist majority, since in this house the smaller cantons are on an equality with the greater ones, each indifferently having two members. But in the National Council (167 elected members) there has always (since 1848) been a considerable Radical majority over all other parties. The Socialists long worked under the wing of the Radicals, but now in every canton (save Geneva) the two parties have quarrelled, the Socialist vote having largely increased, especially in the town of Zurich. In the country the antiRadical opposition is made up of the Conservatives, who are strongest in the Romanist, and especially the Forest, cantons, and of the " Federalists " of French-speaking Switzerland. There is no doubt that the people are really anti-Radical, though occasionally led away by the experiments made recently in the domain of State socialism: they elect, indeed, a Radical majority, but very frequently reject the bills laid before them by their elected representatives.
2. Politics. - The cantons had led the way before 1848, and they continued to do so after that date, gradually introducing reforms all of which tended to give the direct rule to the people. The Confederation was bound to follow this example, though it adopted a far more leisurely pace. Hence, in 1872 a new Federal Constitution was drafted, but was rejected on a popular vote by a small majority, as it was thought to go too far in a centralizing direction, and so encountered the combined opposition of the Conservatives and of the Federalists of Frenchspeaking Switzerland. The last-named party was won over by means of concessions as to military matters and the proposed unification of cantonal laws, civil and criminal, and especially by strong provisions as to religious freedom, since the " Kulturkampf " was then raging in French-speaking Switzerland. Hence a revised draft was accepted in 1874 by a considerable popular majority, and this is the existing Federal Constitution. But it bears marks of its origin as a compromise, and no one party has ever been very eager to support it as a whole. At first all went smoothly, and various very useful laws carrying out in detail the new provisions of the constitution were drafted and accepted. But divisions of opinion arose when it was proposed to reform the military system at a very great expenditure, and also as to the question of the limitation of the right to issue bank-notes, while (as will be seen under 3 below) just at this time grave financial difficulties arose with regard to the Swiss railways, and in consequence of Prince Bismarck's antifree trade policy, which threatened the prosperity of Switzerland as an exporting country. Further, the disturbed political state of the canton of Ticino (or Tessin) became more or less acute from 1873 onwards. There the Radicals and the Conservatives are nearly equally balanced. In 1872 the Conservatives obtained the majority in this canton, and tried to assure it by some certainly questionable means. The Radicals repeatedly appealed to the Federal government to obtain its armed intervention, but in vain. In 1876 the Conservatives at a rifle match at Stabio fired on the Radicals, but in 1880 the accused persons were acquitted. The long-desired detachment of Ticino from the jurisdiction of the foreign dioceses of Como and Milan was effected in 1888 by the erection of a see at Lugano, but this event caused the Radicals to fear an increase of clerical influence. Growing impatient, they finally took matters in their own hands, and in September 1890 brought about a bloody revolution. The partial conduct of the Radical Federal commissioner was much blamed, but after a state trial at Zurich in 1891 the revolutionists were acquitted, although they loudly boasted of their share in this use of force in political matters.
From 1885 onwards Switzerland had some troubles with foreign powers owing to her defence of the right of asylum for fugitive German Socialists, despite the threats of Prince Bismarck, who maintained a secret police in Switzerland, one member of which, Wohlgemuth, was expelled in 1889, to the prince's huge but useless indignation. From about 1890, as the above troubles within and without gradually subsided, the agitation in the country against the centralizing policy of the Radicals became more and more strongly marked. By the united exertions of all the opposition parties, and against the steady resistance of the Radicals, an amendment was introduced in 1891 into the Federal Constitution, by which 50,000 Swiss citizens can by the " Initiative " compel the Federal legislature and executive to take into consideration some point in the Federal Constitution which, in the opinion of the petitioners, requires reform, and to prepare a bill dealing with it which must be submitted to a popular vote. Great hopes and fears were entertained at the time as to the working of this new institution, but both have been falsified, for the Initiative has as yet only succeeded in inserting (in 1893) in the Federal Constitution a provision by which the Jewish method of killing animals is forbidden, and another (in 1908) prohibiting the manufacture or sale of absinthe in the country. On the other hand, it has failed (in 1894) to secure the adoption of a Socialist scheme by which the state was bound to provide work for every able-bodied man in the country, and (also in 1894) to carry a proposal to give to the cantons a bonus of two francs per head of the population out of the rapidly growing returns of the customs duties, similarly in 1900 an attempt to introduce the election of the Federal executive by a popular vote and proportional representation in the Nationalrat failed, as in 1903 did a proposal to make the elections to the Nationalrat depend on the Swiss population only, instead of the total population of the country.
The great rise in the productiveness of the customs duties (see 3 below) has tempted the Swiss people of late years to embark on a course of state socialism, which may be also described as a series of measures tending to give more and more power to the central Federal government at the expense of the cantons. So in 1890 the principle of compulsory universal insurance against sickness and accidents was accepted by a popular vote, in 1891 likewise that of a state or Federal bank, and in 1898 that of the unification of the cantonal laws, civil and criminal, into a set of Federal codes. In each case the Federal government and legislature were charged with the preparation of laws carrying out in detail these general principles. But in 1897 their proposals as to a Federal bank were rejected by the people, though another draft was accepted in 1905, so that the bank (with a monopoly of note issue, a provision accepted by a popular vote in 1891) was actually opened in 1907. At the beginning of 1900 the suspicion felt as to the insurance proposals elaborated by the Federal authorities was so keen that a popular demand for a popular vote was signed by 117,000 Swiss citizens, the legal minimum being only 30,000: they were rejected (May 20, 1900) on a popular vote by a nearly two to one majority. The preparation of the Federal civil and criminal codes has progressed quietly, drafts being framed by experts and then submitted for criticism to special commissions and public opinion, but finally the civil code was adopted by the Federal Assembly in December 1907. By a popular vote in 1887 the Federal authorities were given a monopoly of alcohol, but a proposal to deal similarly with tobacco has been very ill received (though such a monopoly would undoubtedly produce a large amount), and would pretty certainly be refused by the people if a popular vote were ever taken upon it. In 1895 the people declined to sanction a state monopoly of matches, even though the unhealthy nature of the works was strongly urged, and have also resolutely refused on several occasions to accept any projects for the centralizing of the various branches of military administration, &c., though in 1897 the forests high up on the mountains were placed under Federal supervision, while in 190z large Federal grants in aid were made to the cantons towards the expenses of primary education, and in 1908 the supervision of the employment of the power derived from rivers and streams was given to the Confederation. Among other reforms which have recently been much discussed in Switzerland are the introduction of the obligatory referendum (which hitherto has applied only to amendments to the Federal Constitution) and the extension of the initiative (now limited to piecemeal revision of the Federal Constitution) to all Federal laws, &c. The first-named scheme is an attempt to restrain important centralizing measures from being presented as laws (and as such exempt from the compulsory referendum), and not as amendments to the Federal Constitution.
Besides the insurance project mentioned above, two great political questions have engaged the attention of the Swiss.

a. State Purchase of the Railways

In 1891 the purchase of the Central railway was rejected by a popular vote, but in 1898, by the aid of various baits thrown out, the people were induced to accept the principle of the purchase by the Confederation of the five great Swiss railway lines - three in 1901, viz. the Central, the North-Eastern, and the United Swiss lines; one (the Jura-Simplon) in 1903, and one (the St Gotthard line) in 1909, this delay being due to international conventions that still have some years to run. Further, very important economical consequences, e.g. as to strikes, may be expected to result from the transformation of all railway officials of whatever grade into state servants, who may naturally be expected to vote (as in other cases) for their employers, and so greatly increase the strength of the Centralist political party.

b. The " Double Initiative.

This phrase denotes two purely political reforms that have been coupled together, though in reality they are by no means inseparable. One is the introduction of proportional representation (within the several cantons) into the elections for the National Council of the Federal parliament, the object being thus to secure for several large minorities a number of M.P.'s more in accordance with the size of those minorities in the country than is now possible under the regime of pure majorities: naturally these minorities would then receive a proper share of political power in the senate house, instead of merely exerting great political influence in the country, while if they were thus strengthened in the legislature they would soon be able to claim the right of naming several members of the Federal executive, thus making both legislature and executive a mirror of the actual political situation of the country, instead of the preserve of one political party. The other reform is the election of the members of the Federal executive by popular vote, the whole body of voters voting, not by cantons, but as a single electoral constituency. This would put an end to the " lobbying " that goes on previously to the election of a member of the executive by the two houses of the Federal parliament sitting jointly in Congress; but, on the other hand, it might stereotype the present system of electing members of the executive by the majority system, and so reduce large minorities to political impotence. The " double initiative " scheme was launched in the beginning of 1899, and by the beginning of the following July secured more than the requisite number of signatures (50,000), the first-named item having been supported by nearly 65,000 citizens, and the second item by 56,000. Hence the Federal parliament was bound to take these two reforms into formal consideration, but in June 1900 it rejected both, and this decision was confirmed by a popular vote taken in the following November.
3. Economics and Finance. - Soon after the adoption of the Federal Constitution of 1874 the economical and financial state of the Confederation became very unsatisfactory. The great financial crisis in Vienna in 1873 was a severe blow to Swiss commerce, which had taken a very great start after the FrancoGerman War of 1870-71. In the later 'seventies, too, the financial position of some of the great Swiss railway lines was very unfavourable: the bankruptcy of the National line ruined for the time (till a Federal loan at a very low rate of interest was forced upon them) the four Swiss towns which were its guarantors; the North-Eastern line had to beg for a " moratorium " (a legal delay of the period at which it had to pay its debts) from the Federal government; the Bern-Lucerne line was actually put up to auction, and was bought by the canton of Bern. Further, the expenses of constructing the St Gotthard railway vastly exceeded all estimates, and in 1876 over ioo,000,000 francs more were required. Hence the subventions already granted had to be increased. Germany (which gave originally 20,000,000 francs) and Italy (original contribution 45,000,000 francs) each promised 10,000,000 francs more; the St Gotthard company itself gave 12,000,000. and the two Swiss railway lines interested (Central and North-Eastern) added 1,500,000 to the 20,000,000 they had already agreed to give jointly with the cantons interested in the completion of this great undertaking. But these latter refused to add anything to their previous contributions, so that finally the Federal government proposed that it should itself pay the 6,500,000 francs most urgently required. This proposal aroused great anger in east and west Switzerland, but the matter was ultimately settled by the Confederation paying 4,500,000 francs and the interested cantons 2,000,000, the latter gift being made dependent on a grant of 4,500,000 francs by the Federal government for new tunnels through the Alps in east and west Switzerland, and of 2,000,000 more for the Monte Cenere tunnel between Bellinzona and Lugano. This solution of a most thorny question was approved by a popular vote in 1879, and the St Gotthard line was successfully completed in 1882. Gradually, too, the other Swiss railway lines, attained a state of financial equilibrium, owing to the more careful management of new directors and managers. The completion of the Simplon tunnel (1906), the commencement (1906) of that beneath the Lotschen Pass, and the rival claims of projected tunnels under the Spliigen Pass (q.v.), besides the struggle for or against a tunnel under the Faucille (supported by Geneva almost alone), show that railway politics play a very prominent part in Swiss national life. They are, too, complicated by many local rivalries, which in this country are of greater importance than elsewhere because of the considerable share of power still legally belonging to the cantons. Another kindred question (owing to the rapid development of electric traction in Switzerland) is the equitable proposal (accepted in 1908) that the utilization of the immense force supplied by the many rivers and torrents in Switzerland should become a Federal monopoly, so as to secure to the Confederation the control over such important sources of revenue as otherwise might easily be unscrupulously exploited by private companies and firms.
Switzerland, by reason of natural conditions, is properly a free trade country, for it exports far more than it imports, in order to supply the demand for objects that it cannot itself produce. But Prince Bismarck's protectionist policy in 1879 was imitated by France, Austria and Italy, so that Switzerland was gradually shut in by a high wall of tariffs. Hence in 1891 the Swiss people approved, in sheer self-defence, a great increase of the customs duties, and in 1903 sanctioned a further very considerable advance in these duties, so that it is now a thoroughly Protectionist country, despite its obvious natural disadvantages. The huge increase in revenue naturally led to increased expenditure, which took the form of lavish subventions to all sorts of cantonal objects, magnificent Federal buildings, most useful improvements in the post and telegraph services, and extensive and lamentable construction of military fortifications in Uri and the Valais against some unknown foe. In 1894 it was proposed to distribute part of this new wealth in giving a bonus to the cantons at the rate of 2 francs per head of the population, but this extravagant proposal (nicknamed the " Beutezug ") was rejected, owing to the cool common sense of the Swiss people, by a majority of over two to one. These prosperous circumstances, however, contributed mainly to the adoption or suggestion of various measures of state socialism, e.g. compulsory sick insurance, Federal subvention to primary schools, purchase of the five great Swiss railway lines, giving a right to every ablebodied man to have work at the expense of the state, subventions to many objects, &c. (W. A. B. C.) Literature There is no such thing as a Swiss national vernacular literature properly speaking, this being explained by the diversity between the states of which it is composed, which has not favoured any common intellectual life. But there are four branches which make up a literature of Switzerland, distinguished according to the language in which the works in each are composed. As the Confederation, from its foundation in 1291 till 1798, was exclusively composed (with a partial exception in the case of Fribourg) of German-speaking districts, the real Swiss. vernacular literature (if any one branch is to be dignified by that name) is in German, though in the 18th century French became the fashionable language in Bern and elsewhere, while the influence of the Frenchspeaking " allies " and subject lands was more marked than before. Hence the German branch is by far the more important and more national, while the French branch is not really Swiss till after 1815, when these regions took full rank as cantons. Thus Geneva and Lausanne in the 18th century, with their respective brilliant societies, were only " Swiss " in so far as Geneva was an " ally " and Vaud a " subject land." The Italian and Romonsch-Ladin branches are of not sufficient importance to deserve more than a passing notice.

a. German Branch

It is noticeable that while the original League of 1291 (like the earlier charters of liberties to the first members of the Confederation) is drawn up in Latin, all later alliances among the cantons, as well as documents concerning the whole Confederation (the Parsons' Ordinance of 1370, the Sempach Ordinance of 1393, and the Compact of Stans 1481) and all the Recesses of the Diets are compiled in German. Though such political documents are not " literature," yet they show that these early pre-Reformation alliances rested on the popular consent, and so were expressed in vernacular German rather than in clerkly Latin. But this vigorous popular life found other channels in which to develop its energy. First in order of date are the Minnesingers, the number of whom in the districts that ultimately formed part of the medieval Swiss Confederation are said to have exceeded thirty. Zurich then (as now) was the chief literary centre of the Confederation. The two Manesses (father and son) collected many of their songs in a MS. that has happily come down to us and is preserved in Paris. The most prominent personage of this circle of the muses was Master John Hadlaub, who flourished in the second half of the 13th and the first quarter of the 14th centuries. Next we have a long series of war songs, celebrating the marvellous victories of the early Swiss. One of the earliest and most famous of these was composed by Hans Halbsuter of Lucerne to commemorate the glorious fight of Sempach (1386), not far from his native town. There are other similar songs for the victory of Na.fels (1388) and those of Grandson and Morat (both 1476) in the Burgundian War, while in the 14th century the Dominican friar Ulrich Boner of Bern versified many old fables. Still more important are the historical chronicles relating to different parts of Switzerland. Thus in the 14th century we have Christian Kuchimeister's continuation of the annals of the famous monastery of St Gall, in the early 15th century the rhymed chronicle of the war between the Appenzellers and the abbot of St Gall, and rather later in the same century the chronicles of Conrad Justinger of Bern and Hans Frund (d. 1469) of Lucerne, besides the fantastical chronicle of Strattligen and a scarcely less fanciful poem on the supposed Scandinavian descent of the"men of Schwyz and of Ober Hasle, both by Eulogius Kiburger (d. 1506) of Bern. I