Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 3 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.