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Old 27.05.2011, 16:50
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Swiss current political system and its history

Since the time I reached Zurich and explored Swiss, I have always wondered how manage things so well...some people say it is a small county...less population...strict laws...deciplined public, etc...

But according to me, there must have been a huge effort in the background to bring swiss to present state how is it (I heard it is 700 yrs old democracy!)

I would like to understand this from various background, mainly political. any body with his ideas are invited to share some info, books, articles,etc..
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Old 27.05.2011, 17:41
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

In Summary:

around 1200 AD, a group of Catholic Alemmanic (the origin of the language spoken in Germanic CH) farmers decided to draw an alliance with each other. They basically wanted to farm and sell to each other without being controlled by anybody. the country was under the Holy Roman rule but not really -de jure. These farmers were well-trained against invasion & were mountain dwellers. They got greedy & began invading the near-by farmlands adding in more cantons. It wasn't really a democracy. Each group of farmers did not intervene in the others' business; thats all. It eventually grew larger adding in the likes of Basel & Bern etc until they hit a wall against french & Italian armies. At the time, CH was known as a mercenary state; they were vicious fighters claiming any piece of land in their way -later naming a canton. The Helvetic Republic was an invention of Napoleon -centralized sort of thing.

1800s: Swiss saw how wars ripped Europe apart; they chose to remain neutral yet supplied mercenaries to anyone with money.

1840s: Civil unrest and war due to religious differences.
1850s: revolutions through out Europe; Swiss draw a constitution inspired by the American one to circumvent any further unrest.

Neutrality: contrary to popular belief, CH was never as neutral as we say it is. It kinda plays on both sides.

2000s: lots of foreigners and migrant workers flock to CH eventually forming the notorious englishforum.ch which will assist in rewriting the history of CH & its future.
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Old 27.05.2011, 19:51
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

A very important aspect of the founding years was the fact that, around 1234, what is now Canton Uri built and opened a relatively safe way from Lake Lucerne up to the very important Gotthard Pass, which soon became one of the most important routes for crossing the Alps. Of course those farmers had every reason to keep that first-class asset in their own hands.

As for mercenaries - the peak was in the 16th century. For centuries the Swiss were THE infantry everyone in Europe feared. In the early 19th century, the phenomenon was practically dead, but got an, albeit very brief, revival due to the fact that Napoleon forced the then Helevtic Republic to draft young men for military service on behalf of the French.

The civil war of 1847 was not much more than a pub brawl. It lasted less than three weeks and claimed about 150 lives. The first Federal Constitution came into effect 1848.

In the 21st century, the activities of englishforum.ch were one of the main reasons why the SVP, a party with somewhat xenophobic tendencies, gained momentum and became the biggest force in the federal parliament.
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Old 27.05.2011, 20:56
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

welcome back Captain!

I can't argue much with him you know, he knows both the history & geography of MI & CH better than I
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Old 27.05.2011, 21:27
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

(to the Joker dude)

Swiss mercenaries pretty much ceased to exist after 1515, your dates are WAY off.

Tom
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Old 27.05.2011, 23:23
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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(to the Joker dude)

Swiss mercenaries pretty much ceased to exist after 1515, your dates are WAY off.

Tom
Not correct. Actually, the defeat at the battle of Marignano (1515) was the beginning of the peak. The English Wikipedia article doesn't make that sufficiently clear, but the German one sure does.
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Old 28.05.2011, 01:32
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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(to the Joker dude)

Swiss mercenaries pretty much ceased to exist after 1515, your dates are WAY off.

Tom
Stew, they didn't. Captain pretty much said it all:"...the defeat at the battle of Marignano (1515) was the beginning of the peak.''

Captain: yes, with 150 casualties it was brawl in comparison to the rest of Europe; it was rather insignificant. I stand corrected.

Side note: there may be some negativity in my summary of Swiss history but don't you forget that they still look good in comparison with the French Italians Germans Brits Americans etc...
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Old 28.05.2011, 02:42
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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In Summary:

around 1200 AD, a group of Catholic Alemmanic (the origin of the language spoken in Germanic CH) farmers decided to draw an alliance with each other. They basically wanted to farm and sell to each other without being controlled by anybody. the country was under the Holy Roman rule but not really -de jure. These farmers were well-trained against invasion & were mountain dwellers. They got greedy & began invading the near-by farmlands adding in more cantons. It wasn't really a democracy. Each group of farmers did not intervene in the others' business; thats all. It eventually grew larger adding in the likes of Basel & Bern etc until they hit a wall against french & Italian armies. At the time, CH was known as a mercenary state; they were vicious fighters claiming any piece of land in their way -later naming a canton. The Helvetic Republic was an invention of Napoleon -centralized sort of thing.

1800s: Swiss saw how wars ripped Europe apart; they chose to remain neutral yet supplied mercenaries to anyone with money.

1840s: Civil unrest and war due to religious differences.
1850s: revolutions through out Europe; Swiss draw a constitution inspired by the American one to circumvent any further unrest.

Neutrality: contrary to popular belief, CH was never as neutral as we say it is. It kinda plays on both sides.

2000s: lots of foreigners and migrant workers flock to CH eventually forming the notorious englishforum.ch which will assist in rewriting the history of CH & its future.
A) at that time, long before the reformation, most of Europe was Roman Catholic

B) What became Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden had got, under the rule of Habsburg/AG grown up Emperor Rudolf II, considerable autonomy rights. But, when he died, his Aachen grown-up son, Emperor Albrecht I, cancelled all those rights. This lead to the rebellions of the 1290ies

C) The empire organized an army to reconquer the territory but lost out on the Morgarten in 1315

D) some imperial bureaucrats concluded that Luzern had participated in an anti-Imperial conspiracy and wanted to punish and destroy Luzern. This became known in Luzern, and so, Luzern joined the new federation, becoming the first city of what then gradually became a political force

C) somewhat later, similar chaps of the Empire concluded that Zürich and Bern had to be stripped of their role as "Free Imperial City" and either be forced to join the Hansa or be put under the rule of a bishop. This became known in Zürich and Bern, and so, in 1351 the revolutionaries in Zürich had their day with ZH joining the federation, being swiftly followed by Bern in 1353 .

D) Cantons like Schaffhausen followed in joining, and areas like the later Cantons of Aargau and Thurgau were conquered

E) Bern wanted to push towards the Lake of Geneva, possibly in pursuit of some good wines and conquered what much later became the Kanton Waadtland / Canton de Vaud

F) Geneva, fearing the power of both Savoie and Burgundy (Burgundy later swallowed by the Grand-Duchy of Paris (later Kingdom of France) and Savoie (later to become the Kingdom of Savoie-Piemonte-Sardinia) then were two fully independent countries of relevance), went into an ALLIANCE with Bern. This alliance developed and in 1815 resulted in Geneva joining the CH confederation

G) Uri,Schwyz and Unterwalden, learning about internal problems in the Principality of Lombardia (Milano) caught the chance and in a co-ordinated military action conquered some northern slices of Lombardia, which after centuries of UR/SZ/UW rule later became the Canton of Ticino

H) The Union of the "Grigioni/Graubünden", in fear of powerful neighbours, at a certain time joined CH to be protected

I) a Bernese army at one convenience conquered a slice of Burgundy which now is the Canton of Jura
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Old 28.05.2011, 12:35
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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Since the time I reached Zurich and explored Swiss, I have always wondered how manage things so well...some people say it is a small county...less population...strict laws...deciplined public, etc...

But according to me, there must have been a huge effort in the background to bring swiss to present state how is it (I heard it is 700 yrs old democracy!)

I would like to understand this from various background, mainly political. any body with his ideas are invited to share some info, books, articles,etc..
I read this book after my first trip to Switzerland in 2006. I wanted to know more about the country. It is a bit dated, but it discusses the political system in detail, even how one would vote; language issues (even internal dialect issues and how French, italian, and German speakers have quite a different take on the use of dialects and their relationship with France, Italy, and Germany); general prominent historic event; and also types of industry and their histories.
"Why Switzerland?", by Jonathan Steinberg

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Old 28.05.2011, 13:54
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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In the 21st century, the activities of englishforum.ch were one of the main reasons why the SVP, a party with somewhat xenophobic tendencies, gained momentum and became the biggest force in the federal parliament.
HAHAHAhaha
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Old 28.05.2011, 23:17
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

Thanks to all, very informative and interesting. In theory, could places still apply to be part of CH?
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Old 29.05.2011, 00:24
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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Thanks to all, very informative and interesting. In theory, could places still apply to be part of CH?
"In 1918 a referendum was held in Büsingen in which 96% of voters chose to become part of Switzerland. However, it never happened as Switzerland could not offer anything suitable in exchange, and consequently Büsingen has remained an exclave of Germany ever since. Later attempts were rejected by Switzerland.
The exclave of Büsingen am Hochrhein was formally defined in 1967 through negotiations between West Germany and Switzerland. At the same time, the German exclave of Verenahof, consisting of just three homes and fewer than a dozen people, became part of Switzerland in exchange for a similar area of land transferred to Germany. It now belongs to the Swiss municipality of Büttenhardt."

The others would have to let leave you too...
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Old 29.05.2011, 09:16
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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Thanks to all, very informative and interesting. In theory, could places still apply to be part of CH?
as Switzerland is the most competitive and wealthiest place on earth... http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5294528.shtml

...its only obvious some neighbouring areas would like to join the confederacy. In polls people favour its direct democracy, standard of living, EU and war absence.
"69% of Baden Würtemberg(D) population think belonging to Switzerland would be more attractive than to Germany."
"between 42% and 46% of the population of Vorarlberg(A), Savoie(F), Haut-Savoie(F), Como(I) and Varese(I) think Switzerland is more attractive than their home country"
http://www.stuttgarter-nachrichten.d...012433204.html

The 21st is the imperalism century of Switzerland, it has just started to explore some colonies...
http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/a...ngliedern.html
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/23529806

Switzerland in 2100:



(footnote: its up to you to decide if this post is either a bad joke or a good thought impulse )
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Old 29.05.2011, 22:21
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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Thanks to all, very informative and interesting. In theory, could places still apply to be part of CH?

In principle yes. If for example the Vorarlberg or Southern Alsace wanted to join, people here would vote in favour
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Old 29.05.2011, 22:24
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Re: Swiss current political system and its history

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as Switzerland is the most competitive and wealthiest place on earth... http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5294528.shtml

...its only obvious some neighbouring areas would like to join the confederacy. In polls people favour its direct democracy, standard of living, EU and war absence.
"69% of Baden Würtemberg(D) population think belonging to Switzerland would be more attractive than to Germany."
"between 42% and 46% of the population of Vorarlberg(A), Savoie(F), Haut-Savoie(F), Como(I) and Varese(I) think Switzerland is more attractive than their home country"
http://www.stuttgarter-nachrichten.d...012433204.html

The 21st is the imperalism century of Switzerland, it has just started to explore some colonies...
http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/a...ngliedern.html
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/23529806

Switzerland in 2100:



(footnote: its up to you to decide if this post is either a bad joke or a good thought impulse )
Not just the SVP ! EVERYBODY !!!
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