Switzerlandofficially the Swiss Confederationis a country in Europe. While V5 spel slar nya rekord Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately eight-and-a-half million people concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: The establishment V5 spel slar nya rekord the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, "V5 spel slar nya rekord" from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy.
Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation ; it has not been in a state of war internationally since and did not join the United Nations until Nevertheless, it an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world.
However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh.
Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy and Alpine symbolism. Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. The English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzeran obsolete term for the Swisswhich was in use during the 16th to 19th centuries.
The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War ofused alongside the term for "Confederates", Eidgenossen literally: The Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced gradually after the formation of the federal state inharking back to the Napoleonic
V5 spel slar nya rekord Republicappearing on coins frominscribed on the Federal Palace in and after used in the official seal. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetiia Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era.
Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach. Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th centuryforming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries.
The oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back aboutyears. One of the most important tribal groups in the Swiss region was the Helvetii. Steadily harassed by the Germanic tribesin 58 BC the Helvetii decided to abandon the Swiss plateau and migrate to western Galliabut Julius Caesar 's armies pursued and defeated them at the Battle of Bibractein today's eastern France, forcing the tribe to move back to its original homeland.
The area occupied by the Helvetii—the namesakes of the later Confoederatio Helvetica —first became part of Rome's Gallia Belgica province and then of its Germania Superior province, while the eastern portion of modern Switzerland was integrated into the Roman province of Raetia.
Sometime around the start of the Common Era, the Romans maintained a large legionary camp called Vindonissanow a ruin at the confluence of the Aare and Reuss rivers, near the town of Windischan outskirt of Brugg. The first and second century AD was an age of prosperity for the population living on the Swiss plateau. Several towns, like AventicumIulia Equestris and Augusta Raurica, reached a remarkable size, while hundreds of agricultural estates Villae rusticae were founded in the countryside. Around AD, the fall of the Agri Decumates territory north of the Rhine transformed today's Switzerland into a frontier land of the Empire.
Repeated raids by the Alamanni tribes provoked the ruin of the Roman towns and economy, forcing the population to find shelter near Roman fortresses, like the Castrum Rauracense near Augusta Raurica.
The Empire built another line of defence at the north border the so-called Donau-Iller-Rhine-Limesbut at the end of the fourth century the increased Germanic pressure forced the Romans to abandon the linear defence concept, and the Swiss plateau was finally open to the settlement of Germanic tribes.
In the Early Middle Agesfrom the end of the 4th century, the western extent of modern-day Switzerland was part of the territory of the Kings of the Burgundians. The Alemanni settled the Swiss plateau in the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps in the 8th century, forming Alemannia. Modern-day Switzerland was therefore then divided between the kingdoms of Alemannia and Burgundy.
Throughout the rest of the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries the Swiss regions continued under Frankish hegemony Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties. But after its extension under Charlemagnethe Frankish Empire was divided by the Treaty Verdun in With the extinction of its male line in the Kyburg dynasty fell in AD ; then the Habsburgs under King Rudolph I Holy Roman Emperor in laid claim to the Kyburg lands and annexed them extending their territory to the eastern Swiss plateau.
The Old Swiss Confederacy was an alliance among the valley communities of the central Alps. The Confederacy, governed by nobles and patricians of various cantons, facilitated management of common interests and ensured peace on the important mountain trade routes.
The Federal Charter of agreed between the rural communes of UriSchwyz V5 spel slar nya rekord, and Unterwalden is considered the confederacy's founding document, even though similar alliances are likely to have existed decades earlier. The expansion led to increased power and wealth for the confederation. The Old Swiss Confederacy had acquired a reputation of invincibility during these earlier wars, but expansion of the confederation suffered a setback in with the Swiss defeat in the Battle of Marignano.
This ended the so-called "heroic" epoch of Swiss history. It was not until more than one hundred years after these internal wars that, inunder the Peace of WestphaliaEuropean countries recognised Switzerland's independence from the Holy Roman Empire and its neutrality. During the Early Modern period of Swiss history, the growing authoritarianism of the patriciate families combined with a financial crisis in the wake of the Thirty Years' War led to the Swiss peasant war of In the V5 spel slar nya rekord to this struggle, the conflict between Catholic and Protestant cantons persisted, erupting in further violence at the First War of Villmergeninand the Toggenburg War or Second War of Villmergenin Inthe revolutionary French government conquered Switzerland and imposed a new unified constitution.
The new regimeknown as the Helvetic Republic, was highly V5 spel slar nya rekord. It had been imposed by a foreign invading army and destroyed centuries of tradition, making Switzerland nothing more than a French satellite state. The fierce French suppression of the Nidwalden Revolt in September was an example of the oppressive presence of the French Army and the local population's resistance to the occupation.
When war broke out between France and its rivals, Russian and Austrian forces invaded Switzerland. The Swiss refused to fight alongside the French in the name of the Helvetic Republic. In Napoleon organised a meeting of the leading Swiss politicians from both sides in Paris.
The result was the Act of Mediation which largely restored Swiss autonomy and introduced a Confederation of 19 cantons. In the Congress of Vienna fully re-established Swiss independence and the European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality.
Switzerland's borders have not changed since, except for some minor adjustments. The restoration of power to the patriciate was only temporary.
Yet however minor the Sonderbundskrieg appears compared with other European riots and wars in the 19th century, it nevertheless had a major impact on both the psychology and the society of the Swiss and of Switzerland. The "V5 spel slar nya rekord" convinced most Swiss of the need for unity and strength towards its European neighbours. Swiss people from all strata of society, whether Catholic or Protestant, from the liberal or conservative current, realised that the cantons would profit more if their economic and religious interests were merged.
Thus, while the rest of Europe saw revolutionary uprisingsthe Swiss drew up a constitution which provided for a federal layoutmuch of it inspired by the American example. This constitution provided for a central authority while leaving the cantons the right to self-government on local issues.
Giving credit to those who favoured the power of the cantons the Sonderbund Kantonethe national assembly was divided between an upper house the Council of Statestwo representatives per canton and a lower house the National Councilwith representatives elected from across the country.
V5 spel slar nya rekord made mandatory for any amendment of this constitution. A system of single weights and measures was introduced and in the Swiss franc became the Swiss single currency. Article 11 of the constitution forbade sending troops to serve abroad, with the exception of serving the Holy Seethough the Swiss were still obliged to serve Francis II of the Two Sicilies with Swiss Guards present at the Siege of Gaeta inmarking the end of foreign service.
An important clause of the constitution was that it could be re-written completely if this was deemed necessary, thus enabling it to evolve as a whole rather than being modified one amendment at a time. This need soon proved itself when the rise in population and the Industrial Revolution that followed led to calls to modify the constitution accordingly. An early draft was rejected by the population in but modifications led to its acceptance in It also established federal responsibility for defence, trade, and legal matters.
Inthe constitution was revised with unusually strong elements of V5 spel slar nya rekord democracywhich remain unique even today.
Switzerland was not invaded during either of the world wars. InSwitzerland joined the League of Nationswhich was based in Genevaon condition that it was exempt from any military requirements. The Swiss military strategy was changed from one of static defence at the borders to "V5 spel slar nya rekord" the economic heartland, to one of organised long-term attrition and withdrawal to strong, well-stockpiled positions high in the Alps known as the Reduit. Switzerland was an important base for espionage by both sides in the conflict and often mediated communications between the Axis and Allied powers.
Switzerland's trade was blockaded by both the Allies and by the Axis. Economic cooperation and extension of credit to the Third Reich varied according to the perceived likelihood of invasion and the availability of other trading partners.
Concessions reached a peak after a crucial rail link through Vichy France was severed inleaving Switzerland together with Liechtenstein entirely isolated from the wider world by Axis controlled territory. Over the course of the war, Switzerland interned overrefugees  and the International Red Crossbased in Geneva, played an important part during the conflict.
Strict immigration V5 spel slar nya rekord asylum policies as well as the financial relationships with Nazi Germany raised controversy, but not until the end of the 20th century. During the war, the Swiss Air Force engaged aircraft of both sides, shooting down 11 intruding Luftwaffe planes in May and Junethen forcing down other intruders after a change of policy following threats from Germany.
Over Allied bombers and their crews were interned during the war. Between andSwitzerland was bombed by the Allies causing fatalities and property damage. Allied forces explained the bombings, which violated the 96th Article of War"V5 spel slar nya rekord" from navigation errors, equipment failure, weather conditions, and errors made by bomber pilots.
The Swiss expressed fear and concern that the bombings were intended to put pressure on Switzerland to end economic cooperation and neutrality with Nazi Germany. After the war, the Swiss government exported credits through the charitable fund V5 spel slar nya rekord as the Schweizerspende and also donated to the Marshall Plan to help Europe's recovery, efforts that ultimately benefited the Swiss economy.
During the Cold WarSwiss authorities considered the construction of a Swiss nuclear bomb. Inthe Paul Scherrer Institute was founded in his name to explore the therapeutic uses of neutron scattering technologies. Financial problems with the defence budget and ethical considerations prevented the substantial funds from being allocated, and the Nuclear
V5 spel slar nya rekord Treaty of was seen as a valid alternative.
All remaining plans for building nuclear weapons were dropped by Switzerland was the last Western republic to grant women the right to vote. Some Swiss cantons approved this inwhile at the federal level it was achieved in   and, after resistance, in the last canton Appenzell Innerrhoden one of only two remaining Landsgemeinde in After obtaining suffrage at the federal level, women quickly rose in political significance, with the first woman on the seven member Federal Council executive being Elisabeth Koppwho served from to and the first female president being Ruth Dreifuss in Switzerland joined the Council of Europe in On 18 April the Swiss population and the cantons voted in favour of a completely revised federal constitution.
In Switzerland became a full member of the United Nations, leaving the Vatican City as the last widely recognised state without full UN membership. An application for membership in the European Union was sent in May V5 spel slar nya rekord, but not advanced since the EEA was rejected in December  when Switzerland was the only country to launch a referendum on the EEA.
There have since been several referendums on the EU issue; due to opposition from the citizens, the membership application has been withdrawn. Nonetheless, Swiss law is gradually being adjusted to conform with that of the EU, and the government has signed a number of bilateral agreements with the European Union. Switzerland, together with Liechtensteinhas been completely surrounded by the EU since Austria's entry in It contains three basic topographical areas: The majority of the Swiss population live in the Swiss Plateau.
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