Switzerland is a lesser Belgium or Netherlands, her avenues for expansion are limited, but her initial position is strong, good armies, defensible mountainous terrain, naecesnt industries and a position of neutrality which most Great Powers will respect.
Expansion will require hard work trading techs for land, but is possible.
Elevation to the Second Rank is a good aim for the Swiss.
The main problem of Swiss is lacking of port.
First, reelect the government, and raise the tax to maximum, full research, minimum crime fighting, defense spending and army maintenance.
After reelect, raise the poor tax to around 95% and rich tax to 100% to kill the riches.
Before 1845, Convert 1 and then 2 big clerk, and use full research expense, to target iron railroad. Expand railroad as much as possible. It will turn you into Great Power in 10 year. Declare war to a -100 prestige Uncivilized country. Keep holding the war. Then Swiss can get 3 DP at least.
Around 1845, Sonderbund Rebellion happens, deplot the 2 units, and hold down all rebel by 3 day war.
Around 1847, The Sonnderbund Rebellion Ends, then finish the reform you like as soon as population is low. Better to make change of militancy for all population -ve. Then make good relation with Austria. Let them give you Military pass. Attack Italy small country to get port and small population, I prefer not to annex the factory, only convert small big population on Italy to craftsman, keep small empty slot on local factory, after Italian immgrate to Swiss. Convert the first one to labour. After the operation, hopefully there will be one Italian labour or farmer and one Italian craftsman on every Swiss province. Which will increase the income by much. This method can apply to other culture of population also. Use your DP to keep good relation with france, Austria and German. The target is small unallied Italy or German countries and Oversea countries, no need to fight big countries on beginning.
Now, the route to the world is opened, the rest is up to you.
The Swiss start off isolated and with a small national population, no port, and unless you want to attack a major your only option is heading to annex the Italian states.
Max education and defense but put military spending to half or less, they're not going to play a roll in this plan any time soon. Also don't import anything for that fabric factory because you will never pull a profit from it. don't delete the fabric factory because you don't want your clerks to go anywhere else.
Now some will call what I offer next as Gamey but seeing as you are land locked in the middle of Europe I don't see it as so. Max your relations with Austria for two reasons. 1) you will get a ally 2)To your east Austria has a group of three provinces that are non-national and full of Italians... Trade tech for it seeing as you won't have a lot of money. buy the three provinces and now you have a Seaport and if you are lucky a lot of manpower with some factories. Depending on how far you want to trade tech for you can continue down the coast of Austria until you meet the OE.
A downside to having all these new pops is that you don't have any Lim. or Full citizenship parties. you have radical liberals and you have Socialists , both of which can put you into interesting government forms which will negate your high plurality and cause higher militancy. I chose to stick it out with the plain Liberals seeing as most of the pops you will take over have a good mix of craftsmen , clerks, capitalists, and more soldiers than you need.
Also demobilize all of your Swiss soldiers so you won't lose your small National population in wars and can create clerks
Seems like Austria and all of the Italians states have a lot of soldiers sitting around. I chose to wait till they matured to 40k , split them, and then took the new 10k pop and demobilized them seeing as I didn't need the manpower but could use more money. Easy to hit over 500 manpower if you don't demobilize some of them.
Sardinia-Piedmont I left alone seeing as they are often in a alliance with France. Ally with them because it can be nice with both Austria and SP as a buffer on both sides. When it comes to the rest of the world max relations with everyone and anyone in europe. Russia, Prussia, and Austria will guarantee your independence and I have had France and Sardinia-Piedmont if you keep high relations.
Once you start hitting the 1860's start employing some troops and maybe a ship or two to prevent a sea invastion while you take the boot. Make sure you check alliances of the smaller nations. If they are allied to each other it can get messy. If you can get your military in a good enough shape you can take out the papal states and two sicilies in two step annexations but most likely you will need to do this in two seperate wars. Keep in mind that terrain plays a large factor in these battles so break down your troops and allow them to be cycled.
When you have taken over all of their provinces in the war negotiate and take all but three provinces (including their capital) and humiliate them. This will keep your badboy low.
In 5 years you will face a handicap nation with only three provinces with a limited amount of troops. Declare war for the cost of 1 presteige , occupy the three territories , and annex. Keep track of your badboy ( press F12 and then type in "Badboy") because nothing is worse than unifying Italy and then having Badboy wars destroy your nation.