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2022-02-06 12:35:18

How has Switzerland managed to remain neutral for 200 years?

How has Switzerland managed to remain neutral for 200 years?

Over the long history of the existence of states, each of them has passed through wartime, and more than once. The struggle was most often for the conquest of foreign territories, and victory and fame personified the superiority of one country over another. However, among a large number of states there were those who preferred to live in peace and tranquility. An excellent example among them is Switzerland: for more than 200 years, the Swiss Confederation did not take part in wars.

The last military conflict in Switzerland

The last military conflict in which Switzerland participated was the conflict of the League of Cambrai in 1508-1516 . In this struggle, the Swiss lost, in just two days the French killed more than 10,000 Swiss soldiers.

Large losses forced the country's leadership to abandon in the future from participation in any military operations and declare military neutrality. At the moment, the Swiss Confederation does not take sides during the showdown on the world stage.

Reorganization of Europe

Before Napoleon Bonaparte came to power, the Swiss lived peacefully. The new Emperor of France created the Helvetic Republic on the site of the Old Confederation in order to gain full control over the country during the revolutionary regime. The Swiss lived in fear until 1814, when a pan-European conference was convened, as a result of which the Holy Alliance and the Vienna System of International Relations were created, as well as the Paris Peace Treaties. At the end of the Congress of Vienna, Switzerland acquired a universally recognized neutrality, other countries were forbidden to attack it. So far, no country has dared to go against the rules of the peace treaty. So it is not surprising that the Swiss did not participate in the First and Second World Wars.

However, even in the presence of neutrality, the military is located on the border of the country, which protects the state. The Swiss government does not rule out the risk that someone could violate the agreement.

More than 200 years of peace

After the conflict of the Cambrai League, Switzerland was not attacked. One of the reasons is the reluctance of other states to violate the terms of the treaty, the second is the mountains. Almost 70% of Switzerland is mountainous. The peaks act as an insurmountable barrier for enemies, creating a more advantageous position for the Swiss to observe the enemy.

During the Great Patriotic War, Hitler's plans included the seizure of Switzerland, despite the mountainous terrain and the Vienna Agreements. There are a couple of reasons why he abandoned this thought:

  1. Swiss banks kept the money and jewelry of Hitler and his entourage.
  2. The Swiss remained neutral by giving Hitler a loan of 150 million Swiss marks, providing passage through the Alps to German military equipment and sending Swiss doctors to the front.

Switzerland is still proud of its neutrality. At the moment, it is a world bank that has concentrated the most assets of wealthy people of all countries.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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