Daniela Fidelle Regis
POS 192 A
Officially known as The Swiss Confederation, Switzerland is a federal republic in Western-Central Europe, bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Even though it’s official name is The Swiss Confederation, Modern Switzerland is a federal directorial republic, made up of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is known for its neutrality, dating back to the Reformation. It has never been involved with war on an international level. It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but is not one of the 28 member states of the European Union or the European Economic Area. Switzerland pursues an active foreign policy and is usually involved in peace-building processes all over the world. The Red Cross was founded here, along with numerous international organizations, including the second largest UN office located in Geneva.
Divided into three main geographic regions, the famous Swiss Alps are found in the south and south east, the Swiss Plateau along the east-west axis of the country, and the Jura Mountains on the north west side of the plateau. Switzerland is also divided between 26 cantons that are sovereign. The country is also divided by language: German, Italian, French, and Romansh.
Switzerland has been around for about 728 years. Regardless of the small population, she is known for being unscathed and independent through the two world wars. Switzerland survived as a successfully neutral and independent small nation in the heart of a war-torn Europe. What was once a poor region of mountain farmers, Switzerland emerged as a model case of successfully finding a profitable niche in world markets.
Following the Vienna Congress in 1815, when much of the pre-revolutionary old order was restored in Europe, nobody could have foreseen that Switzerland would become one of the first democracies and a small nation state. Switzerland is one of the oldest democratic states in Europe. It has a democracy where citizens participate in both the election of its parliament and government, and the ratification of parliamentary decisions of major importance.
When the Sonderbund War of 1847 broke out after seven Catholic cantons of Lucerne, Fribourg, Valais, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden and Zug, formed the Sonderbund to protect their interest against a centralization of power, the Radicals tried to use their control of the government and ordered the disbandment of the Sonderbund. The brief civil war resulted in the dissolution of the Sonderbund. Apart from small riots, this civil war was the last armed conflict in the Swiss territory. (Remak and McPherson xx). The repercussion was the adoption of a federal constitution in 1848. Twenty six years later, it was amended. It established the control of cantonal governments and the political, economic, and social improvement that...