Battle of Morgarten 1315, Switzerland History, Medieval Infantries, House of Habsburg, Free peasants, Pact of Brunnen 1315


In 1315 Leopold I of the Habsburg family led an army invaded the early Swiss states of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. Leopold’s army was typical feudal force and included many knights on horseback. The Swiss states were largely free peasants who were developing infantry tactics, and the conflict with the Habsburgs was in part a social conflict. In one of the most stunning and lopsided military victories in history, the Swiss overwhelmed and routed Leopold’s army at the Pass at Morgarten. Within days, the victorious Swiss states concluded the Pact of Brunnen which was a major step in cooperation between the Swiss states that later led to the creation of Switzerland.

Original Publication Citation

Winkler, A. (2008). The Battle of Morgarten in 1315: An Essential Incident in the Founding of the Swiss State. Swiss American Historical Society Review, 44(3), 3 - 25.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Masthof Press




Harold B. Lee Library