Uri, whose name derives from the Celtic word "Ure"(bull), is one of the three founding members of Switzerland. It signed the declaration of the confederation in 1291 together with the other centrally located cantons of the country, Schwyz and Nidwalden. Thus, the confederation of these three cantons was established and laid the foundation of Switzerland.
It participated in the battle of Sempach against the Habsburger in 1386. The catholic canton opposed the protestant reformation and was member of the special alliance in 1847, which was a catholic separatist alliance defeated by the Swiss Confederation in 1847 during the Swiss Confederation War.