Switzerland: Taking the Plunge

Ever since its birth in 1291, when three Alpine cantons banded together for protection against Germany, Switzerland has treasured its strict neutrality in world affairs.* As early as 1674 the Swiss Diet officially pronounced the concept to be the country's guiding principle. The one time that Switzerland was forced to join an outside conflict—by leaping to the Austro-British side against Napoleon in 1815 six days before Waterloo—Swiss soldiers sent into France lost interest, turned around and went home. Neutral in two world wars this century. Switzerland is today not even a member of the United Nations.

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