Timeline of Swiss history

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This is a timeline of Swiss history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Switzerland and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Switzerland.

Centuries: 13th · 14th · 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th · 21st

13th century

Year Date Event
1291 August The three Waldstätte of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden signed the Federal Charter of 1291 establishing the Old Swiss Confederacy, a confederation for mutual defense and the adjudication of disputes.

14th century

Year Date Event
1307 8 November The leaders of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden swore the Rütlischwur, an oath of unity and common defense, on the Rütli above Lake Lucerne.[1]

15th century

16th century

17th century

18th century

19th century

Year Date Event
1843 June The first Schweizerisches Gesangsfest, a singing festival, was held in Zürich.
1847 3 November Sonderbund War: In the midst of a political crisis, troops from Uri, a member of the Sonderbund, a separate alliance of Catholic cantons of Switzerland, seized the Gotthard Pass between the northern and southern halves of the country.
1848 12 September A new constitution was issued establishing Switzerland as a federal state with a bicameral Federal Assembly.
1874 19 April The constitution was revised to establish free public education and the optional referendum, and to make it easier for Swiss citizens to move between cantons.[2]
1877 19 June The Aare flooded, causing significant damage.[2]

20th century

Year Date Event
1920 10 January The League of Nations, an intergovernmental organization established for the purposes of collective security and international arbitration, came into existence, with Switzerland among its founding members.[3]
1958 12 July The Swiss government announced its intention to develop and build a nuclear arsenal.
1963 6 May Switzerland joined the Council of Europe, a body dedicated to the promotion of good governance and human rights in Europe.
1971 7 February A referendum granting women the right to vote in federal elections was approved with sixty-six percent of the vote.
1978 24 September A referendum approved the secession of the French-speaking canton of Jura from the mostly German-speaking canton of Bern.[4]

21st century

Year Date Event
2002 10 September Switzerland joined the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization devoted to the preservation of world peace and economic development.


  1. ^ Benjamin Vincent (1910), "Switzerland", Haydn's Dictionary of Dates (25th ed.), London: Ward, Lock & Co. – via HathiTrust 
  2. ^ a b George Henry Townsend (1877), "Switzerland", Manual of Dates (5th ed.), London: Frederick Warne & Co. 
  3. ^ Leo Schelbert (2014). "Chronology". Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4422-3352-2. 
  4. ^ "Switzerland Profile: Timeline", BBC News, retrieved September 2015  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
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