History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can anyone tell me what was the role of Alps and Alpine region in Swiss development of Switzerland?

share|improve this question
Welcome to the site. An upvote to get you going. – Tom Au Dec 8 '11 at 0:39
up vote 13 down vote accepted

The Alpine Mountains were HUGE in the development of Switzerland.

There is a reason that Switzerland contains French, German, and Italian speaking regions. These regions were the main area in each linguistic group that could successfully resist the feudal lords of what later became the "countries" of France, Germany, and Italy. The polyglot members of the so-called Confederation of Helvetia basically banded together for mutual protection from these lords, in their own common interest.

At a time when the stirrup gave a huge advantage to cavalry over infantry, thereby allowing rich, mounted, knights to terrorize and "enserf" poor peasants, the mountainous Alps gave the infantry of "Switzerland" the wherewithal to fight back against attempts to force them into serfdom (as was the case for the mountains of Greece and Rome before them).

share|improve this answer
"and Greece" should be "of Greece" I can't edit yet. – Dale Dec 9 '11 at 20:39

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.