Jura (jŏrˈə, Fr. zhüräˈ, Ger. yōˈrä) [key], canton (1993 pop. 68,300), 3,256 sq mi (840 sq km), NW Switzerland. In the Jura Mts., bordered by the Swiss cantons of Bern on the south and Solothurn in the east and by France in the north and west. Its capital is Delémont, and its chief rivers are the Doubs and Birs. Agricultural products, horses, and cattle are the major economic concerns. The traditional watchmaking industry has long been important in the Jura region; textiles and tobacco are also manufactured. The region that now comprises Jura had been part of Bern canton until dissension between Roman Catholics (largely French-speaking) and Protestants (largely German-speaking) led to requests for an independent canton of Jura. The vote came in 1978, and the following year Jura became Switzerland's 23d canton. The region was a prince bishopric of the Holy Roman Empire from 999 until the Congress of Vienna in 1815. It had had close ties to the Swiss Confederation since the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and in 1815 it was made part of Bern canton.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.