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What makes Switzerland a Neutral Country?

Why is Switzerland considered to be a neutral country?

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Switzerland was known to have always been sought after by its surrounding countries. Its territory with a total land area of 41,285 square kilometers (15,940 square miles) is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. This explains why the country was comprised of several ethnic groups and has four official languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh. Next to Sweden, Switzerland is the second oldest neutral country in the world and has never gone to war again since 1815.

The commitment to side no one in future wars makes the country neutral. It may have no ally country but national security is assured. Its army and people will not die of war and its government doesn’t have to struggle on whatever damages a war may cause. If countries may be at war, it is business as usual for Switzerland as it can still trade with any countries that may be in conflict with another.

In 1798, Switzerland was invaded by France which paved the way to a new government called Helvetic Republic. Subsequently, it was also conquered by Russia and Austria who happened to be France’s rivals in another war. In 1803, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte brought back its sovereignty. Though Napoleon was defeated, the Swiss was optimistic not to be conquered by another force again.

It was in 1815 that Switzerland was declared a neutral country through the Congress of Vienna, a convention of European countries conferring on several disagreements during the French Revolution. However, it once nullified its neutrality when it joined the League of Nations in 1920s and 1930s with headquarters located in Geneva, Switzerland. After accomplishing its obligations, it has re-claimed neutrality again. It was only in 2002 that Switzerland decided to join the United Nations and until now it remained a neutral nation.

It was believed that Swiss neutrality was not completely executed since its private banks assisted German officers during the Holocaust and its arms industry helped the Axis powers in World War II. The Eizenstat report of 1997, an investigation by Stuart Eizenstat as per President Clinton’s directive, was unable to prove Switzerland’s involvement.

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