Central Switzerland

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Central Switzerland
Central Switzerland map
Cantons : Canton lucerneCanton lucerne Lucerne

Canton of UriCanton of Uri Uri

Canton of SchwyzCanton of Schwyz Schwyz

Canton of ObwaldenCanton of Obwalden Obwalden

Canton of NidwaldenCanton of Nidwalden Nidwalden

Canton of ZugCanton of Zug train

Official languages : German
Surface: 4,484  km²
Residents: 810,549 (September 30, 2018)
Population density : 181 inhabitants per km²

The central Switzerland or central Switzerland ( French centrale Suisse , Italian Svizzera centrale , Romansh Svizra Centrala ) is one of seven major regions of Switzerland. It includes the cantons of Lucerne , Uri , Schwyz , Obwalden , Nidwalden and Zug and is located north of the Alpine ridge. The urban center is Lucerne .

The historical area of ​​the original cantons , also known as original Switzerland or Waldstätte , is to be separated from Central Switzerland . This only includes the cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden (Obwalden and Nidwalden).

Differences to other Swiss regions

Central Switzerland differs not only geographically, but also historically, religiously, in the mentality of its inhabitants and politically from the other regions. Central Switzerland, especially the original cantons , sees itself as the cradle of the Swiss Confederation ( Federal Letter of 1291). In contrast to the Central Plateau, the Reformation was unable to penetrate here , so these cantons have remained Catholic to this day. This has restricted the connection to the immediately adjacent parts of the Central Plateau since the Reformation. The feeling of isolation was exacerbated by the wars of religion in the 17th century.

In the 19th century, the central Swiss cantons fought bitterly against the establishment of the federal state of the modern Confederation and wanted to maintain the conventional, loose state union with a strong position of the Catholic Church. This culminated in the mutual agreement of the Sonderbund , whose dissolution ordered by the liberal cantons even led to a civil war in 1847 . The cantons of Central Switzerland, who were far outnumbered, lost this Sonderbund War after a few weeks.

The new liberal ideas with basic rights also found it difficult to establish themselves, especially in the cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Ob- / Nidwalden. The extreme example here is probably Nidwalden, which in 1815 even refused to join the old confederation restored by conservative forces after the fall of Napoleon and had to be forced to do so by conservative federal troops. While the July revolution in Paris of 1830 rubbed off on most Swiss cantons in such a way that the aristocratic or guild regimes were finally replaced by bourgeois constitutions and governments, this date left no lasting traces, at least in the cantons of original Switzerland. In 1844, the conservative Nidwalden government banned the press of the minority liberal opposition without any consequences. The canton of Uri, on the other hand, only received its first liberal constitution in 1850, after the founding of the federal state.

As a result, Central Switzerland became the stronghold of today's federalist and catholic CVP . The victorious liberal cantons viewed the Central Swiss as insecure cantons and largely excluded them from the establishment of the modern state. The Catholic Conservatives, for their part, went to the so-called "Ghetto". This contrast was first expressed in 1848, when the Federal Assembly established the capital of the new state not in the centrally located Lucerne , but in Bern (see also: The question of the capital of Switzerland ). Central Switzerland was only included in the second half of the 19th century, when the establishment of (semi-) direct democracy meant that the ruling circles in Bern increasingly had to compromise with their opponents and, in 1891, Josef Zemp was the first to be recognized by them as a representative of the Central Switzerland entered the Federal Council.

In the last decades of the 20th century, the denominational contrast to the rest of Switzerland has eased. At the same time, economic rifts emerged, as the cantons of Zug, Schwyz and Nidwalden in particular developed into wealthy tax havens, while Obwalden and Uri in particular lost their economic ties. Nonetheless, Central Switzerland, which had remained conservative - especially the Canton of Schwyz - increasingly formed the center of the "naysayers" who were sharply opposed to all political and social opening tendencies and, with their five negative professional votes in referendums , rejected some federal proposals despite the small population.

Web links

Wiktionary: Zentralschweiz  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Central Switzerland  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
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Individual evidence

  1. Permanent resident population by nationality category, age and canton, 3rd quarter of 2018. In: bfs.admin.ch. Federal Statistical Office FSO, accessed on January 28, 2019 .