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History & Background

The Principality of Liechtenstein is located between Switzerland and Austria in the Alps of central Europe. Liechtenstein, one of Europe's smallest countries, was acquired by the Liechtenstein family. Prince Hans Adam of Liechtenstein purchased the Imperial Free Territory of Schellenberg in 1699 and the County of Vaduz in 1712, uniting the two territories in 1719 as the Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein, a member state within the Holy Roman Empire. Compulsory education was mandated in 1805. The responsibility for school construction and financing was given to the municipalities resulting in lack of enforcement and unequal educational opportunities for the principality's residents.

The sovereignty and independence of Liechtenstein was established in 1806, developing from a special relationship between French Emperor Napoleon I and Prince John I of Liechtenstein, an Austrian general. First, Liechtenstein was a member state in Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine and later was in the German Confederation. Liechtenstein escaped Europe's nineteenth century wars of German unification, because the country was tucked between Imperial Austria and neutral Switzerland. In 1842, Prince Aloysius II became the first Prince of Liechtenstein to actually visit his country. During the long reign of Prince John II (1858-1929), Liechtenstein was given a Constitution (1862, revised in 1921), disbanded its army (1868), and ended the principality's long standing customs union with Austria in favor of a customs treaty with Switzerland (1923). Prince Francis I (reigned 1929-1938) was the first Prince of Liechtenstein to regularly visit the country. In 1938, the same year Germany annexed Austria, Prince Francis Joseph II (reigned 1938-1989) became the first reigning prince to permanently reside in Liechtenstein.

After World War II, Liechtenstein joined the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and the European Economic Area to guarantee its continued political and economic independence. Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy with a Prince, Hans Adam II, as Head of State since 1989. Prince Hans Adams represents the country under international law and appoints members of the government, the nation's judges, and civil servants. The Lantag or Parliament, a legislature of 25 delegates elected by the people of Liechtenstein, has authority for the budget, supervises the government's administrative activities, establishes investigating commissions, and recommends legislation.

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceLiechtenstein - History Background, Educational System—overview, Summary