Between 1865 and the 1920s, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy formed the Latin Monetary Union; the prices of all four currencies were linked to the price of silver.
The Swiss franc was part of the Bretton Woods exchange rate system that was established in the aftermath of World War Two and lasted until the early 1970s.
The currency's exchange rate was tied to the price of gold until a referendum in May 2000.
Switzerland is known for its neutrality: It has not participated in an armed conflict since 1815.
The country's official name is the Swiss Confederation, which dates back to 1291; the abbreviation "CHF" is derived from the Latin name of the country, "Confoederatio Helvetica," with the "F" standing for "franc." The Swiss franc was officially recognized as Switzerland's currency in May of 1850, when it replaced several currencies issued by the different cantons.
Switzerland is comprised of 26 different cantons, and there are four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh.
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