Morgarten as historical phenomenon

The generally accepted view of Swiss history has it commencing with the victories of the Old Confederacy over the Habsburgs in the 14th century. This view sees the Battle of Morgarten as the "mother of all Swiss battles" – a confrontation that set the course for liberation and freedom (Weltwoche No. 1.12, p. 38). It represented, the story continues, the first real test of the Old Confederacy of 1291 and an affirmation of the political independence of the Forest Cantons.

This view reflects a 19th century understanding of history. It is a fact that very many questions surrounding Morgarten remain unanswered to this day, and a whole raft of aspects can only be guessed at or assumed as probable. What is clear is that the Battle of Morgarten has to be seen in its wider context, which includes what came before and what happened immediately afterwards.

The project "Morgarten 2015 – A 700-Year Historical Adventure" is seeking to do more than disseminate the latest research findings of historical scholarship. It also sets out, in the light of current academic practices, to evaluate and reinterpret not only the battle event itself, but also political and sociocultural events in the Middle Ages and the effect they have had and continue to have. Aided by interdisciplinary strategies and new methodical approaches, the project is looking to close as many gaps in existing knowledge as possible and thus contribute to a more balanced, holistic picture of the Morgarten phenomenon.