of the treaty of Lunéville for the territory ceded on the left bank of the Rhine, should be carried out at the expense of the Empire in the manner most agreeable to Bavaria (de Martens, Recueil, vol. vii. p. 365). In 1803, accordingly, in the territorial rearrangements consequent on Napoleon’s suppression of the ecclesiastical states, and of many free cities of the Empire, Bavaria received the bishoprics of Würzburg, Bamberg, Augsburg and Freisingen, part of that of Passau, the territories of twelve abbeys, and seventeen cities and villages, the whole forming a compact territory which more than compensated for the loss of her outlying provinces on the Rhine. Montgelas’ ambition was now to raise Bavaria to the rank of a first-rate power, and he pursued this object during the Napoleonic epoch with consummate skill, allowing fully for the preponderance of France—so long as it lasted—but never permitting Bavaria to sink, like so many of the states of the confederation of the Rhine, into a mere French dependency. In the war of 1805, in accordance with a treaty of alliance signed at Würzburg on the 23rd of September, Bavarian troops, for the first time since Charles VII., fought side by side with the French, and by the treaty of Pressburg, signed on the 26th of December, the principality of Eichstädt, the margraviate of Burgau, the lordship of Vorarlberg, the countships of Hohenems and Königsegg-Rothenfels, the lordships of Argen and Tetnang, and the city of Lindau with its territory were to be added to Bavaria. On the other hand Würzburg, obtained in 1803, was to be ceded by Bavaria to the elector of Salzburg in exchange for Tirol. By the 1st article of the treaty the emperor acknowledged the assumption by the elector of the title of king, as Maximilian I. The price which Maximilian had reluctantly to pay for this accession of dignity was the marriage of his daughter Augusta with Eugène Beauharnais.
For the internal constitution of Bavaria also the French alliance had noteworthy consequences. Maximilian himself was an “enlightened” prince of the 18th-century type, whose tolerant principles had already grievously offended his clerical subjects; Montgelas was a firm believer in drastic reform “from above,” and, in 1803, had discussed with the rump of the old estates the question of reforms. But the revolutionary changes introduced by the constitution proclaimed on the 1st of May 1808 were due to the direct influence of Napoleon. A clean sweep was made of the medieval polity surviving in the somnolent local diets and corporations. In place of the old system of privileges and exemptions were set equality before the law, universal liability to taxation, abolition of serfdom, security of person and property, liberty of conscience and of the press. A representative assembly was created on paper, based on a narrow franchise and with very limited powers, but was never summoned.
In 1809 Bavaria was again engaged in war with Austria on the side of France, and by the treaty signed at Paris on the 28th of February 1810 ceded southern Tirol to Italy and some small districts to Württemberg, receiving as compensation parts of Salzburg, the quarters of the Inn and Hausrück and the principalities of Bayreuth and Regensburg. So far the policy of Montgelas had been brilliantly successful; but the star of Napoleon had now reached its zenith, and already the astute opportunist had noted the signs of the coming change. The events of 1812 followed; in 1813 Bavaria was summoned to join the alliance against Napoleon, the demand being passionately backed by the crown prince Louis and by Marshal Wrede; on Treaty of Ried. the 8th of October was signed the treaty of Ried, by which Bavaria threw in her lot with the Allies. Montgelas announced to the French ambassador that he had been compelled temporarily to bow before the storm, adding “Bavaria has need of France.” (For Bavaria’s share in the war see Napoleonic Campaigns.)
Immediately after the first peace of Paris (1814), Bavaria ceded to Austria Tirol and Vorarlberg; by the congress of Vienna it was decided that she was to add to these the greater part of Salzburg and the quarters of the Inn and Hausrück, receiving as compensation, besides Würzburg and Relations with Austria. Aschaffenburg, the Palatinate on the left bank of the Rhine and certain districts of Hesse and of the former abbacy of Fulda. But with the collapse of France the old fear and jealousy of Austria had revived in full force, and Bavaria only agreed to these cessions (treaty of Munich, April 16th, 1816) on Austria promising that, in the event of the powers ignoring her claim to the Baden succession in favour of that of the line of the counts of Hochberg, she should receive also the Palatinate on the right bank of the Rhine. The question was thus left open, the tension between the two powers remained extreme, and war was only averted by the authority of the Grand Alliance. At the congress of Aix (1818) the question of the Baden succession was settled in favour of the Hochberg line, without the compensation stipulated for in the treaty of Munich; and by the treaty of Frankfort, signed on behalf of the four great powers on the 20th of July 1819, the territorial questions at issue between Bavaria and Austria were settled, in spite of the protests of the former, in the general sense of the arrangement made at Vienna. A small strip of territory was added, to connect Bavaria with the Palatinate, and Bavarian troops were to garrison the federal fortress of Mainz.
Meanwhile, on the 1st of February 1817, Montgelas had been dismissed; and Bavaria had entered on a new era of constitutional reform. This implied no breach with the European policy of the fallen minister. In the new German Constitution of 1818. confederation Bavaria had assumed the rôle of defender of the smaller states against the ambitions of Austria and Prussia, and Montgelas had dreamed of a Bavarian hegemony in South Germany similar to that of Prussia in the north. It was to obtain popular support for this policy and for the Bavarian claims on Baden that the crown prince pressed for a liberal constitution, the reluctance of Montgelas to concede it being the cause of his dismissal. On the 26th of May 1818 the constitution was proclaimed. The parliament was to consist of two houses; the first comprising the great hereditary landowners, government officials and nominees of the crown; the second, elected on a very narrow franchise, representatives of the small land-owners, the towns and the peasants. By additional articles the equality of religions was guaranteed and the rights of Protestants safeguarded, concessions which were denounced at Rome as a breach of the Concordat, which had been signed immediately before. The result of the constitutional experiment hardly justified the royal expectations; the parliament was hardly opened (February 5th, 1819) before the doctrinaire radicalism of some of its members, culminating in the demand that the army should swear allegiance to the constitution, so alarmed the king, that he appealed to Austria and Germany, undertaking to carry out any repressive measures they might recommend. Prussia, however, refused to approve of any coup d’état; the parliament, chastened by the consciousness that its life depended on the goodwill of the king, moderated its tone; and Maximilian ruled till his death as a model constitutional monarch. On the 13th of October 1825, he was succeeded by his son, Louis I., an enlightened patron of the arts and sciences, who transferred the university of Landshut to Munich, which, by his magnificent taste in building, he transformed into one of the most beautiful cities of the continent. The earlier years of his reign were marked by a liberal spirit and the reform, especially, of the financial administration; but the revolutions of 1831 frightened him into reaction, which was accentuated by the opposition of the parliament to his expenditure on building and works of art. In 1837 the Ultramontanes came into power with Karl von Abel (1788-1859) as prime minister. The Jesuits now gained the upper hand; one by one the liberal provisions of the constitution were modified or annulled; the Protestants were harried and oppressed; and a rigorous censorship forbade any free discussion of internal politics. The collapse of this régime was due, not to popular agitation, but to the resentment of Louis at the clerical
- See Recès de la députation de l’empire ... du 25 févr, 1803, &c., § II. vol. vii. p. 453 of G. F. de Martens, Recueil des Traités, &c. (Gottingue, 1831).
- Text in de Martens’ Recueil, viii. p. 388.