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History of Switzerland

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Table of contents:

  1. The growing phase of Switzerland (1291 - 1815)
  2. The more recent history of Switzerland (1815 - today)
  3. Link collection related to the history of Switzerland

1. The growing phase of Switzerland (1291 - 1815):

Year Fact
1291 The 3 Cantons Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden - the so called "Ur-Kantone" unite against the surrounding aggressors. A citizen of each Canton swears on August, 1st 1291 on a small mountain named "Rütli": "We will be a one and only nation of brothers ...". This leads to the term "Eidgenossenschaft" (confederation).
1332 Luzern joins the Swiss Federation.
1351 Zürich joins the Swiss Federation.
1352 Glarus and Zug join the Swiss Federation.
1353 Bern joins the Swiss Federation - 8 Cantons form the "acht alten Orte" (eight old Cantons).
1460 Foundation of the university of Basel which later became the first university of Switzerland.
1481 Fribourg and Solothurn join the Swiss Federation.
1500 Beginning of a new area called "Renaissance", people become interested in science.
1501 Basel and Schaffhausen join the Swiss Federation.
1513 Appenzell joins the Swiss Federation.
1522 Beginning of the "Reformation".
1648 Declaration of Independence - Switzerland becomes an independant Nation.
1803 Sankt Gallen, Graubünden, Thurgau, Ticino, Aargau and Vaud join the Swiss Federation.
1812 The Swiss Federation declares its neutrality.
1815 Valais, Neuchâtel and Genéve join the Swiss Federation - Switzerland gets its final boundaries.
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2. The more recent history of Switzerland (1815 - today):

Year / Date Fact
1848 The Swiss Federation changes from a Union of States to a Confederation. Its first "Bundesverfassung" (Federal Constitution) is set up.
1864 Foundation of the International Red Cross (IKRK).
1872 Start of the construction of the railway across the alps ("Gotthardbahn").
1882 Opening of the "Gotthardbahn".
1932 Swiss physician Auguste Piccard sets record when he reaches a height of 16'940 m with his balloon. This was the first ballon equipped with a preassure cabin.
1-Feb-1959 Vaud (VD) was the first canton to give women the vote, followed by Neuchâtel (NE) (27-Sep-1959) and Genève (GE) (6-Mar-1960).
1960 Jacques Piccard (son of Auguste Piccard mentioned above) sets record when he dives together with American Don Walsh in a Bathyscaphe (special type of submarine) called "Trieste" as low as 10'916 m below sea level.
1971 Swiss people vote for the women's suffrage.
1978 Some villages leave the Canton Bern (BE) and found the new Canton Jura (JU).
2-Oct-1984 The "Vereinigte Bundesversammlung" (combined federal assembly) elected Elisabeth Kopp as the first woman as member of the "Bunderat" (executive authority). Ms. Kopp had to step back on 12.1.1989 due to some possible illegal activities of her husband.
30-Apr-1989 Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AR) was the last canton to give women the vote; Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI) had to be forced by the "Bundesgericht" (Swiss federal court) to give women the vote (27-nov-1990).
1992 Swiss people vote against becoming a member of the EEA (European Economic Area).
31-Jul-1992 Claude Nicollier (born 2-Sep-1944) takes off on board of the space shuttle Atlantis (ST-46) and becomes the first Swiss in space.
10-Mar-1993
Ruth Dreifuss The "Vereinigte Bundesversammlung" (combined federal assembly) elected Ruth Dreifuss as the second woman as member of the "Bunderat" (executive authority).
2-Dec-1993 Claude Nicollier's second journey on board of a space shuttle. The mission of Endeavour (STS-61) is seen as the most difficult one so far, the repair of the Hubble space telescope. It is Claude Nicollier's task to catch the telescope with the robotic arm of the space shuttle.
1999 Ruth Dreifuss became the first female president of the "Bundesrat" ("Bundesratspräsidentin").
11-Mar-1999
Ruth Metzler The "Vereinigte Bundesversammlung" (combined federal assembly) elected Ruth Metzler as the third woman as member of the "Bunderat" (executive authority). Ruth Metzler is only 34 years young !
20-Mar-1999
route of Breitling-orbiter 3 Swiss Scientist Bertrand Piccard (son of Jacques Piccard mentioned above) and British co-pilot Brian Jones have become the first balloonists to circumnavigate the globe with a non-stop, non-refuelled flight. It has taken the team 19 days, 21 hour and 55 minutes to travel the 46'759 km on board of Breitling-Orbiter 3.
18-Apr-1999 Swiss people accept a new "Bundesverfassung" (Federal Constitution) on a vote.
21-May-2000 The Swiss people accept the bilateral contracts with the European Union, see www.europa.admin.ch for further information.
3-Mar-2002 Finally, Switzerland is to join the United Nations. Today, both the people and cantons have accepted the popular initiative on Swiss membership of the United Nations.
10-Sep-2002 Switzerland was declared a full member of the United Nations as recommended by UN's Security Council.
2-Mar-2003
SUI 75 - Alinghi Team Alinghi - lead by the Swiss Ernesto Bertarelli - wins the 31st America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand after a 5:0 victory over Team New Zealand. Team Alinghi makes history by bringing the America's Cup to Europe for the first time in 152 years.
28-Jan-2009
ZSC Lions Zürich's ice hockey team ZSC Lions wins the final of the Champions Hockey League against the Russian team Metallurg Magnitogorsk. This is the biggest success of a Swiss club team in Europe ever. On their way to the finals, the ZSC Lions won against teams from Sweden, Czech Republic and Finland. ZSC Lions - Winner of the Champions Hockey League
08-Feb-2009 The Swiss people approves the continuation and extension of the bilateral agreements about the free movement of persons between Switzerland and the European Union, see www.europa.admin.ch for further information.
29-Sep-2009
ZSC Lions Zürich's ice hockey team ZSC Lions wins the Victoria Cup against the Chicago Blackhawks from the US National Hockey League. This is the first victory of a Swiss team against a team from the NHL ever. ZSC Lions - Winner of the Victoria Cup 2009
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3. Link collection related to the history of Switzerland:

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