most people think of Switzerland they
think of expensive chocolates, expensive
watches, and clocks with birds in them.
Switzerland is of course a lot more than
just a place with watches. Switzerland
occupies an interesting position in Europe,
being completely surrounded by other countries
and at the same time having no access
to a sea or ocean. Switzerland has acted
as a sort of “neutral ground”
in Europe, and has done this specifically
to stay away from politics that would
change the country or influence it towards
some undesired course of action (namely
war). A perfect example of this is how
during the Second World War, when the
German Nazi Party and their forces swarmed
across Europe, Switzerland remained neutral.
By not helping either side the country
deciding to stay out of the war, and therefore
was spared the predations of Nazi warmongering.
When the tide turned it once again did
not help Germany, so no fighting officially
occurred within its borders. Of course
interesting acceptations to Switzerland’s
neutrality have occurred, such as the
storing of stolen war-loot.
is a very mountainous and “fortresses
like” country. It is also very modern,
and has four official national languages
(German, French, English, and Italian).
Switzerland contains some of the world’s
oldest functioning republics, and has
been united since at least 1290. It soon
became famous as a place where one could
hire mercenaries for one’s army,
and a cadre of said mercenaries still
exists as a sort of Palace Guard in the
Vatican City in Rome, Italy. Switzerland
has seen internal wars, and has also been
invaded: Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Switzerland
in 1798 and the Swiss did not regain their
independence until about 1815. Switzerland
decided not to enter the European Union,
and of course has subsequently been surrounded
by the European Union.
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