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Prussian Switzerland

Few people know that Prussia once ruled a part of Switzerland. Back in 1707 Neuchatel’s ruler, Princess Marie died with out an heir apparent so the people of Neuchatel got the rare privilege of choosing their next ruler from a slate of 15 claimants. The Canton is on the French border and the people speak French but unlike the French who were Catholic the Neuchatelers were Protestant so they picked the King of Prussia to be their prince. A distant protestant king would protect them from the French Catholics while not unduly intruding on their every day lives or so they thought. In time the heavy handed Prussian style began to chafe and by 1830 the revolutionary spirit which swept Europe also moved the Neuchatelers to revolution in 1831. Prussian troops quickly quashed that idea but rather than having to station troops there to maintain law and order indefinitely Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III abdicated his rule as their prince. The Prussian troops sent to put down this nearly bloodless revolution got a service medal like the one illustrated below. The 25 mm medal is silver and only 7,006 were struck making it a fairly scarce medal.