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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/100

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MAXIMILIAN


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MAXIMILIAN


the two prccedinf; rulers the Uiiul was Imnlencil with a heavy debt. By curtaihng expemliture and eiilargitiK the revenues, chiefly liy working the sah-niiiies him- self and by increivsing f lie taxes without regard to the complaints of the powerless estates, the finances were not oidy brought into a better condition but it was also possible t<i collect a reserve fund which, in spite of the unusually diftieult coiulitions of the age. was never quite exhausted. .At the same time internal order was maintained by a .series of laws issued in 161(1. Maxi- milian gave great attention to military' matters. No other (leriuan prince of that time possessed an army so well organized and equipjjed. Its commander was the veteran soldier from the Netherlands Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, who, austere himself, knew how to maintain discipline among his troops. The fortifications at Ingolstadt on the Danube were greatly strengthened, and Munich and other towns were sur- rounded by walls anil moats. Well-filled arsenals were es- tablished in different places as preparation for time of need. Opportunity for the use of this armament soon offered itself.

The small free city of Donauworth fell under the imperial ban for violating the religious peace. In exe- cuting the imperial decree Maximihan not only suc- ceeded in bringing this city into subjection to Bavaria but also in re-establishing t lie Catholic Church as the one and onlv religion in it. This led to the forming (1608) of the Protestant Union, an offensive and defensive con- federation of Protestant princes, in opposition to which arose in 1609 the Cath- olic League organizetl by Maximilian. Oddly enough, both coalitions were heailed by princes of the Wittelsbach line: Maximilian I as head of the Ix'ague, Frederick IV of the Palatinate, of the Union. The Thirty Years' War, during which Bavaria suffered terribly, broke out in 1619. Under Tilly's leadership the Bohemian revolt was crushed at the battle of the White Mountain (Weissen Berg) near Prague, 8 November, 1620, and the newly elected King of Bohemia, Frederick V, forced to flee. His allies, the Margrave of Baden and the Duke of Brunswick, were defeated by the forces of Bavaria and the League at Wimpfen and Hiichst (1622), as was also at a later date (1()26) King Chris- tian of Denmark. Conditions, however, changed when Maximilian, through jealousy of the House of Haps- burgh, was led in 1630 to seek the dismissal of the head of the imperial army, Wallenstein. The youthful Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, defeated Tilly, the veteran leader of the army of the League, at Breiten- feld (1631), and in a battle with Gustavus Adolphus near the Lech, 16 April. 1632, Tilly was again van- quished, receiving a wound from which he died two weeks later at Ingolstadt. Although the siege of this city by the Swedes was unsuccessful, Gustavus plun- dered the Bavarian towns and villages, laid waste the country and pillaged Munich.

Maximihan, who since 1623 had been both Elector and ruler of the Upper Palatinate, implored Wallen- stein, now once more the head of the imperial forces, for help in vain until he agreed to place himself and his army under Wallenstein's command. The united forces under Wallenstein took up an entrenched posi-


Maximilian 1 OF Bavari.a.


tion near Nuremberg whirc Wallenstein repulsed the -Swedish attacks; by advancing towards Saxony he even forced them to evacuate Maximilian's territories. The relief to Bavaria, however, was not of long dura- tion. After the death of Gustavus Adolphus at the battle of Liitzcn (1632) Bernhard of Weimar, unmo- lested by Wallenstein, ravaged Bavaria until he re- ceived a crushing defeat at the battle of Niirdlingen (6 Sept., 1634). Even in the last ten years of the war the country was not spared from hostile attacks. Conseciueiitly Maximilian sought by means of a truce with the enemy (1647) to gain for Bavaria an oppor- tunitj- to recover. The desired result, however, not being attained, he united his forces to those of the imperial army, but the allied troops were not sufficient to overthrow the confederated French and Swedes, and Bavaria once more suffered all the terrors of a pitiless invasion. The fighting ended with the capture of the Swedish generals, 6 Oct., 1648, and the Peace of Westphalia was signed at Mimster, 24 Oct. of the same year. The material benefits derived by Maximilian from his attitude in politics were meagre: the Electoral dig- nity, the office of Lord High Steward, and the Upper Palatinate. The abstract gains, on the other hand, ap- pear far greater. Not only since then has Bavaria had the second place among the Catholic principalities of Ger- many, ranking next to Aus- tria, but for centuries a strong l)ulwark was opposed to the advance of Protestant- ism, and the latter was, at times, even driven back. A few years after the Peace of Westphalia and eighteen months after the administra- tion of Bavaria had been transferred to his still minor son Ferdinand Maria, Maxi- milian's eventful and toil- some life closed. He was buried in the church of St. Michael at Munich. A fine equestrian statue, designed by Thorwaldsen and cast bv Stiglmayer, was erected at Munich by King Louis 'I in 1839.

Although there was almost incessant war during his reign, and Bavaria in the middle of tlie seventeenth century was like a desert, nevertheless Maximilian did much for the arts, e. g. by building the palace, the Mariensdule (Mary's Column), etc. Learning also, especially at the University of Ingolstadt, had in this era distinguished representatives. The Jesuit Balde was a brilliant writer both of Latin and German verse, and Father Scheiner, another member of the same orfler, was the first to discover the spots on tlie sun; historians also, such as Heinrich Canisius, Matthiius Rader, etc., produced important works of lasting merit.

Maximilian, however, gave far more attention to the advancement of religion among the people than to art and learning. He founded five Jesuit colleges: Amberg, Burghausen, Landshut, Mindelheim, and Straubing. Besides establishing a monastery for the Minims and one for the Carmelites at Munich, he founded nine monasteries for Franciscans and fourteen for Capuchins who venerate him as one of their great- est benefactors. He also founded at Munich a home for aged and infirm Court officials, and gave 30,000 guldens for the Chinese missions, as well as large sums to the Scotch-English college of the Jesuits at Liege.