In 1523/25 the city of Zurich decided to start the Reformation. Most of the cities followed, in 1528 the territorially important Bern. Zwingli’s Reformation reached far into southern Germany. The five places (Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zug) organized the Catholic resistance. In the confessional Second Kappel War, the Reformed cantons were defeated in the Battle of Kappel am Albis (October 11th, 1531) and had to submit to the 2nd Landfrieden von Kappel (November 20th, 1531). Although he left each canton to make its own decision about the denomination, he created a Catholic hegemony by safeguarding and privileging the old faith in the common rulers and by the Catholic majority in the diet. From then on there were two blocs that have largely shaped the denominational geography of the country in an almost unchanged composition to this day: Catholic Switzerland (five places plus Freiburg im Üechtland as well as Solothurn, Wallis, Abbey of Sankt Gallen, Rottweil, Ennetbergische Vogteien) and the Reformed Switzerland (Zurich, Bern, Basel, Schaffhausen, the city of Sankt Gallen, Biel, Mulhouse, Neuchâtel, Geneva). Glarus, Appenzell, Graubünden, Toggenburg and most of the common people on this side of the Alps. Reformed Switzerland was numerically and economically stronger. The defeat of Kappel am Albis (2nd Kappel War, 1531) did not mean the end of the Reformation. Geneva where G. Farel and J. Calvin worked, were able to make themselves politically and denominationally free and keep themselves under the protection of Bern.
In the Confessio Helvetica posterior of 1566 (Confessio Helvetica) the Swiss Zwinglians and Calvinists united to form a religious community. The city republics had organized themselves as “reformed salvation communities” where state and church were in political equilibrium. The reformed reorganization was soon followed by the Catholic one, inspired by the Council of Trent. It was v. a. K. Borromeo, who as Archbishop of Milan was responsible for Ticino, who organized the Counter-Reformation movement; Capuchin monasteries and Jesuit schools were newly founded, and the nunciature in Lucerne created a direct link to the Holy See. In the golden covenant from 1586, supplemented by an alliance with Spain (1587), the Catholic cantons united even more closely. Despite all the religious differences through which external political tensions also found their way into the Swiss Confederation, the will for federal cooperation remained strong enough to maintain the federal system. Only the politically and denominationally torn Graubünden was drawn into the Thirty Years’ War in 1620–39. The Thirteen Old Places developed precisely during this European war its fundamental neutrality, to protect them in 1647 a first, yet regionally limited contingent order of the army renewed (1668 and expanded; Defensionale) came about. Neutrality proved itself in all European wars of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was first declared in the Dutch War in 1674 as a declaration of neutrality for the hands of the warring powers with simultaneous military deployment to occupy the border (principle of armed neutrality).
In the Peace of Westphalia (1648), the mayor of Basel, Johann Rudolf Wettstein, succeeded as the ambassador of the Confederation to obtain their release (“exemption”) from the Reichsverband. The de facto sovereign position as a European state was recognized under international law. In terms of foreign policy, according to computerannals, Switzerland remained unchallenged. It was still considered a defensive, somewhat peculiar republic of republics and thus a unique one. Domestically, however, there was no lack of tension. After the Thirty Years ‘War, as a result of the post-war economic crisis, there was a clash between the rulers and the subjects of the city cantons, the “Swiss Peasants’ War” of 1653: unsuccessful uprising of the property farmers in the Central Plateau against the increasingly vigorous administrative centralism of the cities. Though severe punishment followed, From now on the authorities had to proceed more cautiously in economic legislation and be careful not to openly violate old customs. Much more common than social unrest were religious unrest. As a rule, they remained regionally restricted, but it occurred in both of them Villmerger Kriegen (1656 and 1712) on the open all-federal civil war between the leading Reformed cantons of Zurich and Bern and the Catholic Five Places. The decision was made both times near Villmergen in Aargau, for the first time on January 24, 1656 in favor of the Five Places – which made it possible to extend the difficult-to-maintain conditions of the 2nd Kappel Peace in the 3rd Land Peace (March 7, 1656) – then 1712, when in the 4th Landfrieden on August 11, 1712, Zurich and Bern now consistently implemented parity in the common lords and wrested the three strategically most important of these areas from Catholic control.
Industrialization began in reformed Switzerland in the 17th century: the textile industry spread from the old centers of Zurich, Sankt Gallen and Basel as home industry. Neuchâtel and Geneva developed textile v. a. Jewelry and watch industry. These branches of industry settled in the barren foothills of the Alps and the Jura, where the landless lower rural strata (the “Tauners”) found a better livelihood. Until then, military service and emigration were almost the only ways to escape poverty. The cities developed into export trade and business centers with connections all over the world. Bern began a successful investment policy due to the agricultural wealth of a well-ordered territory, for the economic improvement of which much was done. The economic turnaround, however, had social consequences: New layers of rural entrepreneurs now formed, whose development was hampered by urban guild legislation and urban political and social privileges. Unrest in town and country was the result, but these were never coordinated and simply defended old traditions. An exception was the Republic of Geneva, where the magistrate matriculate in the 17./18. Century was at times in open battle with the new entrepreneurial class. The intellectual emancipation ran parallel to the economic and social emancipation. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation had a major impact on the country, whose orthodoxy was undisputed. The high schools that have existed since the Reformation in Zurich, Bern, Lausanne and Geneva together with the somewhat older University of Basel (1460) were places of pure (Reformed) teaching. The Catholic schools (Lucerne, Solothurn, Freiburg im Üechtland, Sitten, Brig, Porrentruy) were firmly in the hands of the Jesuits. Newer thought methods first made their way in Geneva, where there was also a reorientation of Protestant theology (“reasonable orthodoxy”), which eventually extended to the whole of Reformed Switzerland. At the same time, the new mathematics and natural sciences prevailed (Bernoulli family, where there was also a reorientation of Protestant theology (“reasonable orthodoxy”), which eventually extended to the whole of Reformed Switzerland. At the same time, the new mathematics and natural sciences prevailed (Bernoulli family, where there was also a reorientation of Protestant theology (“reasonable orthodoxy”), which eventually extended to the whole of Reformed Switzerland. At the same time, the new mathematics and natural sciences prevailed (Bernoulli family, J. J. Scheuchzer et al.). A. von Haller was outstandingas a physician, natural scientist and poet. The moral philosophy first appeared as a Christian-oriented natural law, after various changes it was finally turned pedagogically by J. H. Pestalozzi and his successors. J. J. Bodmer in Zurich and J.-J. Rousseau inside and outside Geneva aroused Swiss humanitarian patriotism, which the historian Johannes von Müller gave a pre-romantic stamp.