SWITZERLAND, a republican country of central Europe, comprising the Swiss Confederation, and bounded N. by the German Empire, E. by Austria (except where the principality of Liechtenstein intervenes), S. by Italy, and W. by France.
- (1) The origins of the Confederation—up to 1291 (for the legendary origin see Tell, William);
- (2) the shaking off dependence on the Habsburgs—up to 1394 (1474);
- (3) the shaking off dependence on the Empire-up to 1499 (1648);
- (4) the period of religious divisions and French influence—up to 1814;
- (5) the construction of an independent state as embodied in the Constitutions of 1848 and 1874.