Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/408

This page needs to be proofread.




nate is di\-ided by spurs of tlio Vosges into an easterly and a westerly half, both parts ha\-ing a fruitful soil. The chief rivers are the Danube and the Rhine. The former enters the country at Uhn and leaves it at Passau. Under ordinary conditions it is navigable for large craft below Katisbon. Its tributaries in Bavaria from the south are the lUer, a stream rich in fish, the Lech, the Isar, and the Inn; from the north its tributaries are the Wornitz, the Altmiihl, the Regen, and the Vils. For a distance of about fifty- three miles the Rhine forms the boimdary between the Rhenish Palatinate and Baden. The three Franconian provinces lie in the valley of the Main, a stream bordered by vineyards and much used for commerce beyond Bamberg. Tliree flourishing Ba- varian cities are situated on its banks: Schwein- furt, Wiirzburg, and Aschaffenburg. The southern tributaries of the Main, which leave Bavarian territory near Ostheim, are the Regnitz and the Tauber; the nortliern are the Rodach and the Saale. Only a small part of Lake Constance belongs to Bavaria, but there are mmierous lakes in Swabia and a still larger number in Upper Bavaria. Many of these bodies of water are noted for their picturesque scenery, such as the Ammersee, Alpsee, Wiirmsee, Tegernsee, Konigssee, and especially Chiemsee, known as the "Lake of Bavaria. It also contains much mineral wealth: iron, coal, granite, basalt, and salt, of which last there is a large yield of excellent quality. There are numbers of mineral springs, some of which are known throughout the world. Farming in lower Bavaria and cattle-breeding in Swabia. L'pper Bavaria, and Middle Franconia are the chief occupations, while the wines of Franconia and the Palatinate and the fruit and vegetables of Bamberg have a high reputation. Industrial life centres in Nuremberg, Fiirth, Augsburg, and Lud- wigshafen. As a centre of art Munich holds, without question, the highest rank in Germany. The railway lines have a length of about 3,700 miles, to which additions are constantly being made.

No expense is spared in advancing education. In 1903-04 the common schools cost over 87,500,000. The Bavarian troops are equipped with the same arms as the other divisions of the Imperial German army but wear a different uniform. They are commanded by native generals and consist of three army corps which are divided as follows: 23 infantry regiments, 11 cavalry regiments, 14 artillery regiments, 2 chnascur regiments, 3 battalions of pioneers, 3 trans- portation battalions, and 1 railway battalion. In- cluding all the reserves the Bavarian army numbers over 200,000 men. The annual cost of the army is §20,000.000.

II. Early Histori/. — The early history of Bavaria varies according to the province in question; the races that now live peacefully together under the rule of the Wittelsbach dynasty were once constantly engaged in bloody feuds. A thousand years ago the Bavarian domain included what is now l^pper and Lower Austria and the Alpine pro\nnces of the TjTol and StjTia. (See Austro-Hin'g.\iuan Mox- ARCHV.) The Palatinate was united ■nith Bavaria proper through its rulers; on the extinction (1778) of the younger (Bavarian) branch of the Wittelsbach line the elder (Palatinate) branch became the reign- ing house of electoral Bavaria. Before the changes caused by the French Revolution and the disappear- ance of the Holy Roman Empire (1803 and 1819) those parts of Franconia and Swabia which now belong to Bavaria enjoyed a more or less independent existence, such as Ansbach-BajTeuth, the Arch- bishoprics of Wiirzburg, Bamberg. Eichstatt, Augs- burg, etc., the free cities of Augsburg, Nuremberg, Schweinfurt, Kempten, etc., the principalities of Castell and Oettingen. the possessions of the Counts of Orttenburg, Giech, etc. Only the most important

periods in the history of the Duchy and, later, Elect- orate of Bavaria can be touched on in this article.

The Boiarii, apparently, were either related to the Marcomanni or else identical with that people who, after the Romans had been driven out of the region in the fifth century, began to spread from the right bank of the Danube and gradually extended their control as far as the River Lech and deep into the Alpine region. The chiefs of the Boiarii belonged to the family of the Agilolfings who chose Ratisbon at an early date as their capital. Duke Garibald I, who lived in the middle of the sixth century, seems to have had the power of a sovereign. His daughter, Theodelinda, became Queen of the Langobardi. Her brother, Tassilo I, was, however, obliged to acknowledge the supremacy of the Franks which his son, Garibald II, was able to throw off for a time (about 630). But this independence was of short duration. The Franks under Charles Martel a^ain subdued his descendants. When Tassilo II, who had done much to further the spread of Christianity and ci^^lization in the direction of Eastern Europe, sought to regain his lost independence he was deposed and sent to a monastery.

Bavaria now became a Frankish province ruled by representatives of the Frankish king (794). It came into greater prominence when Louis the German, who had received the eastern part of the Frankish kingdom by the Treaty of Verdun (843). made his residence in Bavaria. His grandson Arn\ilf , Duke of Carinthia, was crowned emperor in 890. One of his relatives, Margrave Luitpold, who fell in a battle (906) against the Magj'ars, is regarded as the first of the line of Scheyren-Wittelsbach. I'pon the extinction of the Carlovingian dynasty Arnulf, son of Leopold, claimed the position of a sovereign prince. This involved him in war with Henry I the Saxon, King of Germany, whose partly successful attempt to conquer Arnulf was completed by Otto I. After the deposition of Eberhard I, the elder son of Duke Arnulf (939), Bavaria no longer had native- born rulers but Saxons, Franconians, and members of the Welf family who ruled as vassals of the king with the title of duke. Not imtil Emperor Fred- erick I, in 1180, rewarded Otto of Wittelsbach for his courage by granting him Bavaria did a genuine Bavarian ascend the throne of his fathers. Otto and his energetic successors laid the foundation of the future importance of Bavaria.

In 1214 the Rhine Palatinate was united to Bavaria. Louis II (1253-94) was succeeded by his son Louis III (known as Emperor Louis IV of the Holy Roman Empire) who, by an agreement in 1329 at Pa\-ia, took Bavaria proper, lea%-ing to Rudolph, his brother, the Rhine Palatinate. The large possessions which Louis III secured for his family (Holland, Brandenburg, the Tyrol, etc.) were lost to his successors by discord and successive partitions. Albert IV, however, reunited the countrj- into one domain and secured it against further division by his law of 1506. His son William IV (1508-50) and his grandson Albert V (1550-79) prevented Lutheran and Anabaptist doctrines from entering Bavarian territory. During the reign of William V (1579-98) and still more during the reign of MaximiHan I (1598-1651), Bavaria stood at the head of the counter-Reformation and the Catholic League. To these two rulers it w:is due that the progress of the Reformation was checked, and that some of the territory which had been affected by it was restored to the Church. The Emperor Ferdinand II granted Duke Maximilian of Bavaria for his loyalty the electoral dignity (1623). Bavaria paid a bitter price for its new position in the devastations of the Thirty Years' War. Ferdinand Maria (1651-79) sought to restore the prosperity of the country, but affairs were thrown into confusion during the reigns