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Switzerland 2
By Peter B-Saba

  1. 1291

    Old Swiss Confederacy

    "Three valleys in Central Switzerland unite against the counts of Habsburg and fight for autonomy. Cities join the confederacy. They conquer territories in northern and southern Switzerland."

  2. 1523


    "Swiss Reformers Zwingli and Calvin even more radical than Luther in Germany. Calvin’s doctrine has influenced denominations in many other countries."

  3. 1536

    Ancien Regime

    "Switzerland is a loose confederacy of 13 cities and small valley communities dominating the rest of the country. A few families control state affairs. Several rebellions put down by military force: repressed aspects of history in a country so proud of it’s tradition of democracy."

  4. 1798

    Helvetic Republic

    "Revolution in Switzerland. Farmers in occupied territories become free citizens. Centralistic parliamentary republic according to French model. Occupation by French troops and some battles of Napoleon vs. Austria and Russia in Switzerland."

  5. 1803


    "Civil war brings Helvetic Republic to an end. French emperor Napoleon enforces a constitution negociated under his “mediation”."

  6. 1815


    "Confederacy reestablished, however with 22 cantons [member states]. Liberals in minority position."

  7. 1830


    "Second French Revolution (1830 also boosts liberals in Switzerland. Some federal states with liberal governments and new constitutions. The conservative catholic governments of some cantons [federal states] set up a secret Special Alliance [“Sonderbund”] against the liberal gover"

  8. 1848

    Federal State

    "New Federal Constitution combining elements of the U.S. constitution (Federal State with central and cantonal [state] governments and parliaments) and of French revolutionary tradition. The Principles of this constitution are still valid today."

  9. 1933

    Spiritual Defense

    "Hitler in Germany is soon seen as a danger to Switzerland’s independence. Thousands of German refugees (jews, intellectuals) accepted. Socialists and trade unions seek cooperation with liberal employers against fascist threat."

  10. 1945


    "Recent history is characterized by political stability, economic progress, increased social security and a new openness and tolerance."

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