Switzerland, formally known as the Swiss Confederation comprises twenty-six cantons. Switzerland is located in western Europe and shares boundaries with France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Italy and Austria. Switzerland has been a state since 1848 when the Swiss Federal Constitution was adopted.
Various languages are spoken in Switzerland, to include German, French, Italian and Romansch which are all classified as official languages of Switzerland. Switzerland has a population of about 8 million, according to 2012 estimates. The largest cities in Switzerland, namely Zürich and Geneva are located in the most populated region of Plateau.
Switzerland has a temperate climate. However different regions may experience their own unique climate, which gives rise to varied fauna and flora in different areas of Switzerland. Switzerland is known for a weather phenomenon referred to as foehn wind whereby a dry wind travels down ward mountain ranges. Most rain is experienced in the Alps regions, making there the wettest area of Switzerland.
Switzerland is considered one of the wealthiest countries internationally in terms of GDP per capita, with Zurich and Geneva being classified as the places with the most elevated standard of level on an international scale. Switzerland’s economy ranks 19th biggest economy internationally in terms of nominal gross domestic product.
Switzerland has a very rich historical background. In 1798, Switzerland was taken over by the revolutionary government of France. During this time a new constitution was handed down to the Swiss and led to the centralization of government and the abolition of canton in Switzerland. Soon after this, Switzerland was invaded by Austrian and Russian armies. This led to the signing of the Act of Mediation, which re established self government and the reintroduction of cantons, since the Swiss had shied away from supporting the French during the invasion. During the First and Second World Wars, Switzerland remained neutral and did not undergo invasion.
In 1848 Switzerland introduced its first Federal Constitution, which was replaced in 1999 by a new constitution. The federal structure of Switzerland has however been maintained despite the introduction of a modern Constitution. Switzerland has a legislature which has two chambers. These are the Council of States and the National Council. There are forty-six representatives making up the Council of States and two-hundred members in the national Council. The representatives of the Council of States each represent a canton of Switzerland.
Switzerland is a tranquil country with a very developed financial centre which attracts businesses internationally. Switzerland offers diverse landscapes and makes a great place for vacationing.