Switzerland - History
Switzerland developed slowly over many centuries. This country shares a lot of its history and of its culture with its neighbors Germany, France, Italy and Austria. Switzerland in 1291 was a league of cantons in the Holy Roman Empire. French revolutionary troops occupied the country in 1798 and named it the Helvetic Republic, but Napoleon in 1803 restored its federal government. It was only in 1848 that Switzerland became a more centralized federal state. This favored its economic development.