Friday, October 14, 2011
A study of the ethnically diverse country of Switzerland, shows that political and geographical boundaries have served to keep the peace between the different groups
Switzerland, the very modern symbol of a peaceful country, might have gone another direction, were it not for the way the differing groups (French, German and Italian) and religions (Catholic and Protestant) have been physical grouped within the borders of the small country. Those of German descent make up the largest group, taking up most of the north, central and eastern parts of the country while those with Italian backgrounds live predominately in the south; those of French descent have settled mainly in the west. Not surprisingly, those of the Catholic faith live predominately in the southern and middle parts of the country, due to the influx of those of Italian descent, while those of the Protestant faith live mainly in the rest of the country. In Switzerland, areas of the country are partitioned into what are known as cantons, which are similar to states in other countries except that each has much more autonomy than is usual. Researchers found that the main reason the groups all manage to get along, is because they are separated from one another. Each canton is comprised of almost all the same types of people, essentially ruling themselves, thus, there is very little overlap. The research does shed a rather bright light on the idea that simple separation can lead to peace. Maybe we should try this here in the United States as a way of dealing with our nation's racial problems?