Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
The Historical Dictionary of Switzerland is an encyclopedia on the history of Switzerland that aims to take into account the results of modern historical research in a manner accessible to a broader audience. The encyclopedia is published by a foundation under the patronage of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Swiss Historical Society and is financed by national research grants. Besides a staff of 35 at the central offices, the contributors include 100 academic advisors, 2500 historians and 100 translators; the encyclopedia is being edited in three national languages of Switzerland: German and Italian. The first of 13 volumes was published in 2002; the last volume was published in 2014. The 36,000 headings are grouped in: Biographies Articles on families and genealogy Articles on places Subject articles The on-line edition has been available since 1998, it makes accessible, for free, but no illustrations. It lists all 36,000 topics that are to be covered. Lexicon Istoric Retic is a two volume version with a selection of articles published in Romansh.
It includes articles not available in the other languages. The first volume was published in 2010, the second in 2012. An on-line version is available. Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz, Schwabe AG, Basel, ISBN 3-7965-1900-8 Dictionnaire historique de la Suisse, Editions Gilles Attinger, Hauterive, ISBN 2-88256-133-4 Dizionario storico della Svizzera, Armando Dadò editore, Locarno, ISBN 88-8281-100-X Lexicon Istoric Retic, Kommissionsverlag Desertina, Chur, ISBN 978-3-85637-390-0, ISBN 978-3-85637-391-7 Media related to Historical Dictionary of Switzerland at Wikimedia Commons DHS/HLS/DSS online edition in German and Italian Lexicon Istoric Retic online edition in Romansh
Canton of Vaud
The canton of Vaud is the third largest of the Swiss cantons by population and fourth by size. It is located in the French-speaking western part of the country; the capital and biggest city is Lausanne designated "Olympic Capital" by the International Olympic Committee and hosts many international sports organizations. Other main cities are Montreux; as of 2017 the canton has a population of 793,129. Along the lakes, Vaud was inhabited in prehistoric times; the Celtic tribe of the Helvetii inhabited the area. The tribe was defeated by Caesar's troops in 58 BC and as a consequence the Romans settled the area; the towns of Vevey and Lausanne are two of the many towns established by the Romans. In 27 BC the state of Civitas Helvetiorum was established around the capital of Avenches. There are still many. Between the 2nd and the 4th century the area was invaded by Alemannic tribes, in the 5th century the Burgundians occupied the area; the Merovingian Franks replaced the Burgundians. Their occupancy did not last long either, in 888 the area of the canton of Vaud was made part of the Carolingian Empire.
In 1032 the Zähringens of Germany defeated the Burgundians. The Zähringens themselves were succeeded in 1218 by the counts of Savoy, it was only under the counts of Savoy that the area was given political unity, establishing the Barony of Vaud. A part stretching from Attalens to the River Sarine, in the north, was absorbed by the canton of Fribourg; as the power of the Savoys declined at the beginning of the 15th century the land was occupied by troops from Bern. By 1536 the area was annexed. Reformation was started by co-workers of John Calvin like Pierre Viret, including a famous debate at the cathedral of Lausanne; the Bernese occupiers were not popular amongst the population. In 1723, Major Abraham Davel led a revolt against Bern, in protest at what he saw as the denial of political rights of the French-speaking Vaudois by the German-speaking Bernese, was subsequently beheaded. Inspired by the French Revolution, the Vaudois drove out the Bernese governor in 1798 and declared the Lemanic Republic.
Vaud nationalists like Frédéric-César de La Harpe had called for French intervention in liberating the area and French Revolutionary troops moved in, taking over the whole of Switzerland itself in the process and setting up the Helvetic Republic. Under Napoleon I, it became the canton of Léman. Unrest about the abolition of feudal rights and taxes led to increased discontent, which culminated in the revolt of the Bourla-papey in Spring 1802 followed by the Stecklikrieg that brought the end of the entire Helvetic Republic. In 1803, Vaud joined the re-installed Swiss confederation. In spite of Bernese attempts to reclaim Vaud, it has remained a sovereign canton since. In the 19th century, the canton of Vaud was an outspoken opponent of the Sonderbund Catholic separatist movement, which led to intervention in 1847 by 99,000 Swiss Federal troops under General Henri Dufour against 79,000 separatists, in what is called the Sonderbund War. Separation was prevented at the cost of few lives; the current constitution dates from 14 April 2003, replacing the one from 1885.
The canton stretches from Lake Neuchâtel in the north, where it borders the canton of Neuchâtel, to Lake Geneva in the south, where it borders the canton of Geneva, the French department of Haute-Savoie and the canton of Valais. In the Jura mountains in the west, the canton borders the French departments of Ain and Doubs. In the east, it borders the cantons of Bern; the total area is 3,212 square kilometres. Along with the canton of Berne, Vaud is one of the two cantons whose territory extends from the Jura to the Alps, through the three distinct geographic regions of Switzerland; the areas in the south east are mountainous. This region is named the Vaud Alps; the Diablerets massif, peaking at 3,210 metres, is the highest mountain of the canton. Other summits such as the Grand Muveran and the Tour d'Aï are visible from most of the canton; the area hosts several popular skiing destinations such as Villars, Les Diablerets and Leysin. The central area of the canton, in contrast, is hilly. There are plains along the lakes.
In the north, Avenches is in an exclave of the canton surrounded by the canton of Fribourg and Lake Neuchâtel. On the other hand, there are three enclaves of the canton of Fribourg, as well as two enclaves of the canton of Geneva, that are surrounded by the canton of Vaud; the north-western part of the canton is mountainous but in a more modest way with mountains not above 1,500 metres. The Vallée de Joux is one of the most popular destinations in the region and a centre of luxury mechanical Swiss watch manufacturing. Source: Source: ^a FDP before 2009, FDP; the Liberals after 2009 ^ b" *" indicates. ^c Part of the FDP for this election The canton of Vaud is divided into 10 districts: Aigle with capital Aigle Broye-Vully with capital Payerne Gros-de-Vaud with capital Échallens Jura-Nord vaudois with capital Yverdon
Year Without a Summer
The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C. This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere. Evidence suggests that the anomaly was predominantly a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies; this eruption was the largest eruption in at least 1,300 years, exacerbated by the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines. The Year Without a Summer was an agricultural disaster. Historian John D. Post has called this "the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world"; the climatic aberrations of 1816 had the greatest effect on most of New England, Atlantic Canada, parts of western Europe. In the spring and summer of 1816, a persistent "dry fog" was observed in parts of the eastern United States; the fog reddened and dimmed the sunlight, such that sunspots were visible to the naked eye. Neither wind nor rainfall dispersed the "fog".
It has been characterized as a "stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil". The weather was not in itself a hardship for those accustomed to long winters; the real problem firewood. At higher elevations, where farming was problematic in good years, the cooler climate did not quite support agriculture. In May 1816, frost killed off most crops in the higher elevations of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, as well as upstate New York. On June 6, snow fell in Albany, New York, Dennysville, Maine. In Cape May, New Jersey, frost was reported five nights in a row in late June, causing extensive crop damage. Many commented on the phenomenon. Sarah Snell Bryant, of Cummington, wrote in her diary, "Weather backward."At the Church Family of Shakers near New Lebanon, New York, Nicholas Bennet wrote in May 1816, "all was froze" and the hills were "barren like winter". Temperatures went below freezing every day in May; the ground froze on June 9. On June 12, the Shakers had to replant crops destroyed by the cold.
On July 7, it was so cold, everything had stopped growing. The Berkshire Hills had frost again on August 23. A Massachusetts historian summed up the disaster: Severe frosts occurred every month. In the early Autumn when corn was in the milk it was so frozen that it never ripened and was scarcely worth harvesting. Breadstuffs were scarce and prices high and the poorer class of people were in straits for want of food, it must be remembered that the granaries of the great west had not been opened to us by railroad communication, people were obliged to rely upon their own resources or upon others in their immediate locality. In July and August and river ice was observed as far south as northwestern Pennsylvania. Frost was reported as far south as Virginia on August 20 and 21. Rapid, dramatic temperature swings were common, with temperatures sometimes reverting from normal or above-normal summer temperatures as high as 95 °F to near-freezing within hours. Thomas Jefferson, retired from the presidency and farming at Monticello, sustained crop failures that sent him further into debt.
On September 13, a Virginia newspaper reported that corn crops would be one half to two-thirds short and lamented that "the cold as well as the drought has nipt the buds of hope". A Norfolk, Virginia newspaper reported: It is now the middle of July, we have not yet had what could properly be called summer. Easterly winds have prevailed for nearly three months past... the sun during that time has been obscured and the sky overcast with clouds. Regional farmers did succeed in bringing some crops to maturity, but corn and other grain prices rose dramatically; the price of oats, for example, rose from 12¢ per bushel in 1815 to 92¢ per bushel in 1816. Crop failures were aggravated by an inadequate transportation network: with few roads or navigable inland waterways and no railroads, it was expensive to import food. Low temperatures and heavy rains resulted in failed harvests in Ireland. Families in Wales traveled long distances begging for food. Famine was prevalent in north and southwest Ireland, following the failure of wheat and potato harvests.
In Germany, the crisis was severe. With the cause of the problems unknown, people demonstrated in front of grain markets and bakeries, riots and looting took place in many European cities, it was the worst famine of 19th-century Europe. The effects were widespread and lasted beyond the winter. In western Switzerland, the summers of 1816 and 1817 were so cold that an ice dam formed below a tongue of the Giétro Glacier high in the Val de Bagnes. Despite engineer Ignaz Venetz's efforts to drain the growing lake, the ice dam collapsed catastrophically in June 1818. In China, the cold weather killed trees, rice crops, water buffalo in the north. Floods destroyed many remaining crops; the monsoon season was disrupted. In India, the delayed summer monsoon caused late torrential rains that aggravated the spread of cholera from a region near the Ganges in Bengal to as far as Moscow. In Japan, still exercising caution after the cold weather related Great Tenmei famine of 1782–1788, the cold damaged crops, but no crop failures were repo
Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals and plants in their environment. A person who studies natural history is called natural historian. Natural history is not limited to it, it involves the systematic study of any category of natural organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; the meaning of the English term "natural history" has narrowed progressively with time. In antiquity, "natural history" covered anything connected with nature, or which used materials drawn from nature, such as Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, which covers astronomy, geography and their technology and superstition, as well as animals and plants. Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two main divisions: the humanities and divinity, with science studied through texts rather than observation or experiment.
The study of nature revived in the Renaissance, became a third branch of academic knowledge, itself divided into descriptive natural history and natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences; the two were associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, early papers in both were read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences – both founded during the seventeenth century. Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden; the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, many of the modern definitions emphasize a particular aspect of the field, creating a plurality of definitions with a number of common themes among them.
For example, while natural history is most defined as a type of observation and a subject of study, it can be defined as a body of knowledge, as a craft or a practice, in which the emphasis is placed more on the observer than on the observed. Definitions from biologists focus on the scientific study of individual organisms in their environment, as seen in this definition by Marston Bates: "Natural history is the study of animals and Plants – of organisms.... I like to think of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual – of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities" and this more recent definition by D. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner: "The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior, their relationships with other species"; this focus on organisms in their environment is echoed by H. W. Greene and J. B. Losos: "Natural history focuses on where organisms are and what they do in their environment, including interactions with other organisms.
It encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do". Some definitions go further, focusing on direct observation of organisms in their environment, both past and present, such as this one by G. A. Bartholomew: "A student of natural history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants and animals directly; because organisms are functionally inseparable from the environment in which they live and because their structure and function cannot be adequately interpreted without knowing some of their evolutionary history, the study of natural history embraces the study of fossils as well as physiographic and other aspects of the physical environment". A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a descriptive component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene: "Descriptive ecology and ethology". Several authors have argued for a more expansive view of natural history, including S. Herman, who defines the field as "the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments.
It is concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, stresses identification, life history, distribution and inter-relationships. It and appropriately includes an esthetic component", T. Fleischner, who defines the field more broadly, as "A practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy"; these definitions explicitly include the arts in the field of natural history, are aligned with the broad definition outlined by B. Lopez, who defines the field as the "Patient interrogation of a landscape" while referring to the natural history knowledge of the Eskimo. A different framework for natural history, covering a similar range of themes, is implied in the scope of work encompassed by many leading natural history museums, which include elements of anthropology, geology and astronomy along with botany and zoology, or include both cultural and natural components of the world; the pl
Glaciology is the scientific study of glaciers, or more ice and natural phenomena that involve ice. Glaciology is an interdisciplinary Earth science that integrates geophysics, physical geography, climatology, hydrology and ecology; the impact of glaciers on people includes the fields of human anthropology. The discoveries of water ice on the Moon, Mars and Pluto add an extraterrestrial component to the field, referred to as "astroglaciology". A glacier is an extended mass of ice formed from snow falling and accumulating over a long period of time. Areas of study within glaciology include the reconstruction of past glaciation. A glaciologist is a person. A glacial geologist studies glacial deposits and glacial erosive features on the landscape. Glaciology and glacial geology are key areas of polar research. Glaciers can be identified by the relationship to the surrounding topography. There are two general categories of glaciation which glaciologists distinguish: alpine glaciation, accumulations or "rivers of ice" confined to valleys.
Alpine – ice flows down the valleys of mountainous areas and forms a tongue of ice moving towards the plains below. Alpine glaciers tend to make the topography more rugged, by adding and improving the scale of existing features such as large ravines called cirques and ridges where the rims of two cirques meet called arêtes. Continental – an ice sheet found today, only in high latitudes, thousands of square kilometers in area and thousands of meters thick; these tend to smooth out the landscapes. Accumulation, where the formation of ice is faster than its removal. Wastage or ablation, where the sum of melting and evaporation is greater than the amount of snow added each year. Snow line, the area that marks the transition from the accumulation to the ablation zone and vice versa; when a glacier is experiencing an input of precipitation that exceeds the output, the glacier is advancing. Conversely, if the output from evaporation, sublimation and calving exceed the glaciers precipitation input the glacier is receding.
This is referred to as an interglacial period. During periods where ice is advancing at an extreme rate, 100 times faster than what is considered normal, it is referred to as a surging glacier. During times in which the input of precipitation to the glacier is equivalent to the ice lost from calving and melting of the glacier, there is a steady-state condition. Within the glacier, the ice has a downward movement in the accumulation zone and an upwards movement in the ablation zone. Ablation wastage of the glacier through ice melting and iceberg calving. Ablation zone Area of a glacier in which the annual loss of ice through ablation exceeds the annual gain from precipitation. Arête an acute ridge of rock where two cirques meet. Bergschrund crevasse formed near the head of a glacier, where the mass of ice has rotated and torn itself apart in the manner of a geological fault. Cirque, corrie or cwm bowl shaped depression excavated by the source of a glacier. Creep adjustment to stress at a molecular level.
Flow movement in a constant direction. Fracture brittle failure under the stress raised when movement is too rapid to be accommodated by creep, it happens for example. Horn spire of rock known as a pyramidal peak, formed by the headward erosion of three or more cirques around a single mountain, it is an extreme case of an arête. Plucking/Quarrying where the adhesion of the ice to the rock is stronger than the cohesion of the rock, part of the rock leaves with the flowing ice. Tarn a post-glacial lake in a cirque. Tunnel valley The tunnel, formed by hydraulic erosion of ice and rock below an ice sheet margin; the tunnel valley is. Movement of the glacier is slow, its velocity varies from a few centimeters per day to a few meters per day. The rate of movement depends upon the numbers of factors which are listed below: Temperature of the ice Gradient of the slope Thickness of the glacier Subglacial water dynamics Outwash sand/gravel from front of glaciers, found on a plain Kettles block of stagnant ice leaves a depression or pit Eskers steep sided ridges of gravel/sand caused by streams running under stagnant ice Kames stratified drift builds up low steep hills Varves alternating thin sedimentary beds of a proglacial lake.
Summer conditions deposit more and coarser material and those of the winter and finer. Till-unsorted deposited by receding/advancing glaciers, forming moraines, drumlins Moraines material deposited at the end. Drumlins smooth elongated hills composed of till. Ribbed moraines large subglacial elongated hills transverse to former ice flow. International Glaciological Society International Association of Cryospheric Sciences Irish Sea Glacier List of glaciers Cryosphere Benn, Douglas I. and David J. A. Evans. Glaciers and Glaciation. London. ISBN 0-340-58431-9 Greve and Heinz Blatter. Dynamics of Ice Sheets