This ended the so-called "heroic" epoch of Swiss history. After obtaining suffrage at the federal level, women quickly rose in political significance, with the first woman on the seven member Federal Council executive being Elisabeth Kopp , who served from —,  and the first female president being Ruth Dreifuss in In , the revolutionary French government conquered Switzerland and imposed a new unified constitution. With the extinction of its male line in the Kyburg dynasty fell in AD ; then the Habsburgs under King Rudolph I Holy Roman Emperor in laid claim to the Kyburg lands and annexed them extending their territory to the eastern Swiss plateau. On 18 April the Swiss population and the cantons voted in favour of a completely revised federal constitution. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii , a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era.
Several towns, like Aventicum , Iulia Equestris and Augusta Raurica, reached a remarkable size, while hundreds of agricultural estates Villae rusticae were founded in the countryside. Giving credit to those who favoured the power of the cantons the Sonderbund Kantone , the national assembly was divided between an upper house the Council of States , two representatives per canton and a lower house the National Council , with representatives elected from across the country. One of the three cantons presiding over the Tagsatzung former legislative and executive council , Bern was chosen as the federal capital in , mainly because of its closeness to the French-speaking area. Swiss people from all strata of society, whether Catholic or Protestant, from the liberal or conservative current, realised that the cantons would profit more if their economic and religious interests were merged. But after its extension under Charlemagne , the Frankish Empire was divided by the Treaty of Verdun in In the Early Middle Ages , from the end of the 4th century, the western extent of modern-day Switzerland was part of the territory of the Kings of the Burgundians. In , Switzerland joined the League of Nations , which was based in Geneva , on condition that it was exempt from any military requirements. Between and , Switzerland was bombed by the Allies causing fatalities and property damage. Article 11 of the constitution forbade sending troops to serve abroad, with the exception of serving the Holy See , though the Swiss were still obliged to serve Francis II of the Two Sicilies with Swiss Guards present at the Siege of Gaeta in , marking the end of foreign service. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of , used alongside the term for "Confederates", Eidgenossen literally: In the other colours are shown the subject territories. It was not until more than one hundred years after these internal wars that, in , under the Peace of Westphalia , European countries recognised Switzerland's independence from the Holy Roman Empire and its neutrality. When war broke out between France and its rivals, Russian and Austrian forces invaded Switzerland. In , the Paul Scherrer Institute was founded in his name to explore the therapeutic uses of neutron scattering technologies. Early history of Switzerland and Switzerland in the Roman era The oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about , years. The fierce French suppression of the Nidwalden Revolt in September was an example of the oppressive presence of the French Army and the local population's resistance to the occupation. An early draft was rejected by the population in but modifications led to its acceptance in Some Swiss cantons approved this in , while at the federal level it was achieved in   and, after resistance, in the last canton Appenzell Innerrhoden one of only two remaining Landsgemeinde in Referendums were made mandatory for any amendment of this constitution. This ended the so-called "heroic" epoch of Swiss history. This constitution provided for a central authority while leaving the cantons the right to self-government on local issues. Financial problems with the defence budget and ethical considerations prevented the substantial funds from being allocated, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of was seen as a valid alternative. It had been imposed by a foreign invading army and destroyed centuries of tradition, making Switzerland nothing more than a French satellite state. Switzerland's borders have not changed since, except for some minor adjustments. The Swiss military strategy was changed from one of static defence at the borders to protect the economic heartland, to one of organised long-term attrition and withdrawal to strong, well-stockpiled positions high in the Alps known as the Reduit. Thus, while the rest of Europe saw revolutionary uprisings , the Swiss drew up a constitution which provided for a federal layout , much of it inspired by the American example. In , the constitution was revised with unusually strong elements of direct democracy , which remain unique even today.
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