Swiss culture area
The most cosmopolitan immigrants to early Texas with the least reason for coming, were the Swiss. Only an incurably adventurous and enterprising nature could have led them to leave the prosperous and well-ordered society of their homeland in the early part of the 19th century to brave the wilds of Texas. Switzerland was the rival of England in spinning and weaving, was already the banking center of Europe, and had a worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of precision instruments. The tiny country was a well-knit federation with free compulsory education, social security and welfare programs for its workers, and well-established traditions of civil and religious freedom. The Academy of Geneva (later the University) was respected as a world center of intellectual activity. Still, the Swiss came to Texas from the very early days, never in great numbers but always in a steady stream. Many of them prospered, and some revisited their homeland and persuaded friends to emigrate. Wherever they settled, whether in the German and French communities where their familiarity with the language was helpful, or in the Anglo-American areas, the Swiss added a cosmopolitan influence and cultural enrichment to the frontier society. Their skills contributed much to Texas’s prosperity and progress.