Present-day Switzerland has its origins in the "everlasting Confederation" entered into by
the three earliest cantons, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, in 1291. After the victory of Morgarten in 1315 over the Habsburgs, further cities and regions acceded to the Confederation: Lucerne in 1332, Zurich in 1351, Glarus and Zug in 1352, Berne in 1353. These "eight
ancient cantons" became the nucleus of the Swiss Confederation, which by 1513 had expanded to 13 cantons.
In 1499 the Confederation broke away from the German Empire,
but this was not recognised legally until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Gradually, further territories joined the Confederation. Following a major civil war came the transition
from a confederation of states to a federal state. In 1848 the Swiss electorate adopted a
new constitution and Berne was chosen as the federal capital.
Today Switzerland consists of 26 cantons. Women were not granted the right to vote and
elect representatives until 1971. In 1992 the Swiss electorate rejected accession to the
European Economic Area (EEA). Since 2002 Switzerland has been a member of the UN.
Switzerland's history: www.geschichte-schweiz.ch