On the way to becoming a federal state (1815–1848)

Statue of Guillame-Henri Dufour on horseback
Guillame-Henri Dufour © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

In 1815, after their victory over Napoleon, the European powers wanted to partially restore pre-revolutionary conditions. This occurred in Switzerland with the Federal Pact of 1815, which gave the cantons almost full autonomy. The system of ruling cantons and subjects, however, remained abolished. The liberals instituted a series of constitutional reforms to alter these conditions: in the most important cantons in 1830 and subsequently at federal level in 1848. However, the advent of the federal state was preceded by a phase of bitter disputes, coups and Switzerland’s last civil war, the Sonderbund War, in 1847.

On the way to becoming a federal state (1815-1848) (PDF, 283.1 kB, English)