The environment during the latest Pleistocene[ edit ] For an introduction to the radiocarbon dating techniques used by archaeologists and geologists, see radiocarbon dating.
Four main passes Grimsel, Furka, St. Gotthard, and Oberalp allow passage from Northern Europe across the Alps to Italy, making Switzerland a country of transit.
The country covers 15, square miles and borders Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein to the east. The Swiss nation is a confederation of 26 member states called cantons, and the nation's capital is Bern, a city that began about and was officially founded in The national flag consists of a square red field with a white equilateral cross at its center.
In Switzerland counted 6. The country is ethnically diverse, indicated by its four language groups. Religiously the Swiss people are nearly evenly divided between Catholics and Swiss Reformed, but there are also small groups of other Christian denominations and other faiths.
The so-called Bundesbrief of documents their alliance.
In it the three regions pledge mutual support to keep internal order and to resist aggression. By13 cantons had united the rural population with the urban elite of artisans and entrepreneurs.
Both groups were intent on gaining and preserving independence from the nobility, a unique development in European history.
The Confederation's defeat at the battle of Marignano in upper Italy in ended the nation's expansion. This loss led to the gradual emergence of armed neutrality, a basic feature of Switzerland's political tradition.
However, the Reformation split the people into Catholic and Swiss Reformed hostile camps and nearly destroyed the Confederation. Inafter five decades of foreign intervention and internal uncertainty, a new constitution was adopted.
The previous system of autonomous states became one federal state, though the people remain the actual sovereign. The Swiss are called upon to vote on numerous issues several times a year.
This process occurs either by constitutional requirement or more often by initiative and referendum which, given a sufficient number of signatories, force the government to submit issues to the popular vote.
The executive branch, called Bundesrat, consists of seven members chosen by Parliament and acts as a unit. The presidency is an honorary position and rotates annually.
In addition, the cantons and over 3, communes Gemeinden have preserved their autonomy and decide numerous issues by popular vote. The Swiss are involved in political decision-making throughout the year on the local, cantonal, and federal level.
Neutrality in foreign affairs and universal military service of men are considered central to the Swiss political tradition, which may have kept the country out of two devastating world wars. Switzerland's economy, however, is fully dependent on the export of quality products and on special expertise in finance as well as the production of machinery, pharmaceuticals, watches, and precision instruments.05Aug03 - Bank watching in Basel All pictures on this page are by Richard Janssen I was on business-travel from city to city in Switzerland.
After the work in Basel I . Theory of Development. by Garry Jacobs, Robert Macfarlane, and N. Asokan [presented to Pacific Rim Economic Conference, Bangkok, Jan , ].
Mysterious and often inexplicable remnants of civilization's history fascinate scientists and archaeologists. People travel worldwide to visit such sites, yet some of the most enigmatic artifacts and structures have been found right here in North America.
The Clovis culture. is a prehistoric Native American culture that first appears in the archaeological record of North America around 13, years ago, at the end of the last ice age..
The culture is named for artifacts found near Clovis, New Mexico, where the first evidence of this tool complex was excavated in Earlier evidence included a mammoth skeleton with a spear-point in its ribs.
The Americas (also collectively called America; French: Amérique, Spanish/Portuguese: América) comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they make up most of the land in Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World.. Along with their associated islands, they cover 8% of Earth's total surface area and % of its land area.
Native American Houses There were many different types of American Indian houses in North America. Each tribe needed a kind of housing that would fit their lifestyle and their climate.