Switzerland: Historical Overview                               

  • Archeology shows that Stone Age hunters have been living in Switzerland already before the last Ice Age.

 

  • Switzerland's official Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica goes back to a Celtic tribe called the Helvetians.

 

  • The majority of Switzerland's “native” population settled during the Germanic Migration of Nations that set an end to the Roman Empire in Western Europe at about 400 AD.

 

  • The Old Swiss Confederacy was founded in the first days of August in the year 1291. Hence Switzerland's national holiday is celebrated on August first.

 

  • Switzerland was officially accepted as an independent nation by its neighbors in the 1648 European Peace Treaty.

 

  • The Swiss Revolution and the Helvetic Republic ended the rule of a small number of privileged families and cities throughout the country.

 

  • Today's borders and Switzerland's neutrality were defined at the Vienna Congress of 1815 ending the Napoleonic Wars.

 

  • Switzerland's modern Federal Constitution dates back to 1848. Revisions were made 1874 and 1999.

 

  • Switzerland was originally established as a protective alliance to fend off possible attacks on freedom by feudal lords.

 

  • In 1971, women gained the right to vote in federal elections.

 

  • In 2015, diplomats from China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US met in Lausanne to discuss Iran’s nuclear program.