Switzerland is landlocked country that is roughly the size of West Virginia. The nation is diverse and prosperous. It is a country rich in culture and cultures of different ethnic backgrounds. Switzerland is also famous for its neutrality though the turmoil of world history.
The country of Switzerland’s geographical position had a huge impact on its history. The many trade routes over the Alps made it a very desirable country for the powerful Europeans through the ages.
In the year 1291, the Swiss Confederation was created. Three rural communities got together and made a pact to protect each other from would-be overlords. This alliance was made up of three cantons - Zurich, Bern, and Lucerne.
Throughout the 16th and 18th centuries, Switzerland remained an armed neutral country through the Reformation. The Reformation was a war between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestants. The Swiss Confederation stayed intact despite the Reformation.
During the 18th century, Switzerland enjoyed peace and prosperity discoveries in scientific agriculture and new industries were created. This included clock making and textiles. However in 1998, French troops invaded Switzerland and broke up the various cantons and made a new centralized Helvetic Republic. For the first and only time in its history, Switzerland was forced to give up its neutral state and provide France with Swiss troops.
After the French and Napoleon were defeated in 1812, with the help of neighboring Austria, Switzerland restored its pre-war cantons.
In the 19th century, Switzerland banking systems had major changes, the construction of railways, electric networks, and industrial expansion needed the help of huge banks and insurance companies. This was the era in which Switzerland’s famous Swiss banks came to birth.
In the 20th Century, Switzerland went through many important changes. In the 1920‘s and 30’s, the economy had its difficulties but later prospered. The standards of living...