Liechtenstein is a sovereign state whose history dates back to 3 May 1342 when Count Hartmann III became ruler of the county of Vaduz. Additions were later made to the count’s domains and by 1434 the territory reached its present boundaries. It consists of the two former counties of Schellenberg and Vaduz, (until 1806 immediate fiefs of the Holy Roman Empire). The former in 1699 and the latter in 1712 came into the possession of the house of Liechtenstein. On 23 Jan. 1719 the Emperor Charles VI constituted the two counties as the Principality of Liechtenstein. In 1862 the constitution established an elected diet which was to participate in the legislative process. After the First World War, Liechtenstein severed its treaties with Austria in 1919 and turned towards Switzerland, adopting Swiss currency in 1921. Liechtenstein has been represented abroad by Switzerland since 1919. On 5 Oct. 1921 a new constitution based on that of Switzerland extended democratic rights. It also stated that the head of government must be a Liechtenstein citizen.
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