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=== General History ===
The total land mass of Switzerland is about 41,300 Kilometers.  Switzerland is a landlocked country and borders Germany, Italy, France and Austria.  Switzerland is a beautiful country with Mountains known as the Alps.  These mountains which go through the country from east to west cover more the half of Switzerland. Another mountain range, The Jura range runs north to south covering another tenth of the country.
The Swiss Confederation was founded on August 1, 1291 with the joining of the cantons of Unterwalden, Uri and Schwyz.  The cantons of Luzern, Zürich and Bern  joined making a much more powerful confederation.  Switzerland was officially recognized as an independent nation in the year 1648 with the Treaty of Westfalia.  It became a federal state in 1848 at which time they also adopted a constitution.  During the two World Wars, Switzerland remained neutral.
Switzerland saw the beginnings of Calvinism and the Zwingli  reformation period of the 16th century.  About half of the population is Roman Catholic with the remaining belonging to many different Protestant faiths.  There is a very small Jewish population.
==== Canton Bern ====
Cantonal population 994,000. German speakers: 80.5%; French speakers: 14.4%, Protestants: 79.9%. It is the second largest canton in Switzerland: 2,657 square miles.<br>
The Family History Libary has some books regarding the history of Switzerland.&nbsp; Helpful titles include:
Bonjour, E., Offler, H.S. and Potter, G.R. <u>A Short History of Switzerland.</u>&nbsp; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974. FHL call number 949.4h2b 1974.
Ammann, Hektor and Schib, Karl.&nbsp; <u>Historischer Atlas der Schweiz/Atlas Historique de la Suisse/Atlante storica della Svizzera</u>.&nbsp; Aarau: Verlag H.R. Sauerländer &amp; Co. 1951.&nbsp; FHL call number Q949.4 E3a.&nbsp; This atlas contains good historical maps for various time periods.
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