Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 03 November 1847 (Sonderbund War): In the early 1840s, Switzerland was still more a  confederation of cantons (Cantons of Switzerland) than a nation state. The leading Radical Party (Free Democratic Party of Switzerland) - which was strong in the Protestant cantons - wished to change this, but was opposed by seven Catholic cantons in the Sonderbund alliance. In 1847, the Sonderbund was defeated in a short civil war (Sonderbund War), allowing for the creation of a federal central government (Switzerland as a federal state) the following year.