Switzerland emerged as an independent country in the 14th and 15th centuries, when the states or cantons formed a confederation to defeat first their Habsburg overlords and then their Burgundian neighbors. After a period of French domination (1798–1815) the Swiss Confederation’s neutrality was guaranteed by the other European powers. Neutral in both world wars, Switzerland emerged as an international financial center and as the headquarters of several international organizations such as the Red Cross
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