The 26 cantons of Switzerland German : Kanton , French : canton , Italian : cantone , Romansh : chantun are the member states of the Swiss Confederation. Each canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy, formerly also Ort from before , or Stand "estate", from c. The term Kanton has been widely used since the 19th century. The number of cantons was increased to 19 with the Act of Mediation , with the recognition of former subject territories as full cantons. The Federal Treaty of increased the number to 22 due to the accession of former Old Swiss Confederacy Associates.

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The 26 cantons of Switzerland German : Kanton , French : canton , Italian : cantone , Romansh : chantun are the member states of the Swiss Confederation. Each canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy, formerly also Ort from before , or Stand "estate", from c.

The term Kanton has been widely used since the 19th century. The number of cantons was increased to 19 with the Act of Mediation , with the recognition of former subject territories as full cantons. The Federal Treaty of increased the number to 22 due to the accession of former Old Swiss Confederacy Associates. The canton of Jura acceded as the 23rd canton with its secession from Bern in The term canton , now also used as the English term for administrative subdivisions of other countries, originates in French usage in the late 15th century recorded in Fribourg in , [4] from a word for "edge, corner", at the time the literal translation of Early Modern High German ort.

In the Old Swiss Confederacy, the term Ort plural: Orte was in use from the early 15th century as a generic term for the member cantons. The formulaic Stette und Waldstette for the members of the early confederacy is recorded in the midth century, used interchangeably with Stett und Lender "cities and lands", "city cantons and rural cantons" until the late 15th century.

Abolished in the Helvetic Republic, the term was revived in and remains in use today. The French term canton adopted into German after , and then only in occasional use until the early 19th century: prominent usage of Ort and Stand gradually disappeared in German-speaking Switzerland from the time of the Helvetic Republic.

Only with the Act of Mediation of did German Kanton become an official designation, retained in the Swiss Constitution of Some cantons formally describe themselves as republics in their constitutions. Though they were technically part of the Holy Roman Empire , they had become de facto independent when the Swiss defeated Emperor Maximilian I in in Dornach.

In the early modern period, the individual confederate allies came to be seen as republics ; while the six traditional allies had a tradition of direct democracy in the form of the Landsgemeinde , the urban states operated via representation in city councils, de facto oligarchic systems dominated by families of the patriciate.

The old system was abandoned with the formation of the Helvetic Republic following the French invasion of Switzerland in The cantons of the Helvetic Republic had merely the status of an administrative subdivision with no sovereignty.

The Helvetic Republic collapsed within five years, and cantonal sovereignty was restored with the Act of Mediation of The status of Switzerland as a federation of states was restored, at the time including 19 cantons the six accessions to the early modern Thirteen Cantons being composed of former associates and subject territories: St.

The process of "Restoration", completed by , returned most of the former feudal rights to the cantonal patriciates , leading to rebellions among the rural population. The Liberal Radical Party embodied these democratic forces calling for a new federal constitution. This tension, paired with religious issues "Jesuit question" escalated into armed conflict in the s, with the brief Sonderbund War. The victory of the radical party resulted in the formation of Switzerland as a federal state in The cantons retained far-reaching sovereignty, but were no longer allowed to maintain individual standing armies or international relations.

As the revolutions of in Western Europe had failed elsewhere, Switzerland during the later 19th century and with the exception of the French Third Republic , until the end of World War I found itself as an isolated democratic republic, surrounded by the restored monarchies of France , Italy , Austria-Hungary and Germany.

The Swiss Federal Constitution [12] declares the cantons to be sovereign to the extent that their sovereignty is not limited by federal law. Each canton has its own constitution , legislature , executive , police and courts. Most of the cantons' legislatures are unicameral parliaments , their size varying between 58 and seats.

A few legislatures also involve or did involve general popular assemblies known as Landsgemeinden ; the use of this form of legislature has declined: at present it exists only in the cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus. The cantonal executives consist of either five or seven members, depending on the canton. The cantons retain all powers and competencies not delegated to the Confederation by the federal constitution or law: most significantly the cantons are responsible for healthcare , welfare , law enforcement, public education , and retain the power of taxation.

Each canton defines its official language s. Cantons may conclude treaties not only with other cantons but also with foreign states respectively Articles 48 and 56 of the Federal Constitution. The cantonal constitutions determine the internal organisation of the canton, including the degree of autonomy accorded to the municipalities , which varies but almost always includes the power to levy taxes and pass municipal laws; some municipalities have their own police forces.

As at the federal level, all cantons provide for some form of direct democracy. Citizens may demand a popular vote to amend the cantonal constitution or laws, or to veto laws or spending bills passed by the parliament.

Other than in the instances of general popular assemblies in Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus, democratic rights are exercised by secret ballot. The right of foreigners to vote varies by canton, as does whether Swiss citizens living abroad and registered to vote in a canton can take part in cantonal voting.

Swiss citizens are citizens of a particular municipality the place of origin and the canton in which that municipality is part. Cantons therefore have a role in and set requirements for the granting of citizenship naturalisation , though the process is typically undertaken at a municipal level and is subject to federal law. Switzerland has only one federal public holiday 1 August ; public holidays otherwise vary from canton to canton. The cantons are listed in their order of precedence given in the federal constitution.

The two-letter abbreviations for Swiss cantons are widely used, e. CH-SZ , for example, is used for the canton of Schwyz. Six of the 26 cantons are traditionally, but no longer officially, called "half-cantons" German : Halbkanton , French : demi-canton , Italian : semicantone , Romansh : mez-chantun. In two instances Basel and Appenzell this was a consequence of a historic division, whilst in the case of Unterwalden a historic mutual association, resulting in three pairs of half-cantons.

The other 20 cantons were, and in some instances still are [46] —though only in a context where it is needed to distinguish them from any half-cantons—typically termed "full" cantons in English.

The historic half-cantons, and their pairings, are still recognizable in the first article of the Swiss Federal Constitution of by being joined to their other "half" with the conjunction "and":. The constitutional revision retained the traditional distinction, on the request of the six cantonal governments, as a way to mark the historic association of the half-cantons to each other. The design of the coins was altered to show 23 stars, including Jura, beginning with the batch. The design has remained unchanged since, and does not reflect the official number of "26 cantons" introduced in With their original circumstances of partition now a historical matter, the half-cantons are since equal to the other cantons in all but two respects: [56].

Between and the canton of Schwyz divided into half-cantons: Inner Schwyz and the break-away Outer Schwyz ; in this instance the half-cantons were forced by the Confederation to settle their disputes and re-unite.

In the 20th century, some Jurassic separatists suggested a new canton of Jura to be divided into half-cantons of North Jura and South Jura. The enlargement of Switzerland by way of the admission of new cantons ended in The latest formal attempt considered by Switzerland was in from Vorarlberg but subsequently rejected. A few representatives submitted in a parliamentary motion to consider enlargement although it was widely seen as anti-EU rhetoric rather than a serious proposal.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Member states of the Swiss Confederation. Appenzell Innerrhoden. Appenzell Ausserrhoden. Liechten- stein. Further information: Flags and coats of arms of cantons of Switzerland. See also: List of cantonal executives of Switzerland and List of cantonal legislatures of Switzerland. Main article: Territorial evolution of Switzerland. Switzerland portal. At the head of the list are the three city cantons that were considered preeminent in the Old Swiss Confederacy ; the other cantons are listed in order of accession to the Confederation.

This traditional order of precedence among the cantons has no practical relevance in the modern federal state, in which the cantons are equal to one another, although it still determines formal precedence among the cantons' officials see Swiss order of precedence.

Actual anglicized forms have been used, for example Basle. Retrieved 24 June Suisse rom. Old French canton "corner, angle" is a loan from Occitan , first recorded in the 13th century, in Occitan adopted from North Italian cantone , where the sense "portion of territory" alongside "edge, corner" developed from by the early 11th century TFLi. From c. Swiss Federal Council. Retrieved 11 November Archived from the original on 30 April Retrieved 21 December Standesfarben were used to identify the historical cantons when the full banner was not available for display, although there is overlap; Unterwalden and Solothurn share the same colours, as do Basel and Appenzell, and with the accession of the modern cantons, Valais and Basel-City, and St.

Gallen and Thurgau. Swiss Armed Forces , Fahnenreglement , Reglement Retrieved 22 August Retrieved 22 October Mai , Bundesverfassung der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft vom September in German ; author's translation. Schweizer in Ehrenzeller , Art. Journal of Peace Research. Sage Publications. Retrieved 11 July Subdivisions of Switzerland.

Basel-Landschaft Bern Fribourg Geneva. Schwyz Solothurn St. Gallen Thurgau. Ticino Uri Valais Vaud. Regions Cantons Districts Municipalities list former. Outline Index. First-level administrative divisions in European countries. States with limited recognition. Table of administrative divisions by country. Geography portal Politics portal Switzerland portal.


Cantons of Switzerland

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Flags and arms of cantons of Switzerland



Die 26 Kantone der Schweiz



File:Kantone der Schweiz.svg


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