Maximilian II of Bavaria
Overview
 
Maximilian II of Bavaria ( 28 November 1811 – 10 March 1864) was king of Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 from 1848 until 1864. He was son of Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I was a German king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.-Crown prince:...

 and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen was a queen of Bavaria.She was a daughter of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, and Duchess Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, eldest daughter of Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.-Biography:In 1809, she was on the list of...

.
After studying at Göttingen
Göttingen
Göttingen is a university town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.-General information:...

 and Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and travelling in Germany, Italy and Greece, he was introduced by his father into the council of state (1836). From the first he showed a studious disposition, declaring on one occasion that had he not been born in a royal cradle his choice would have been to become a professor.
Encyclopedia
Maximilian II of Bavaria ( 28 November 1811 – 10 March 1864) was king of Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 from 1848 until 1864. He was son of Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I of Bavaria
Ludwig I was a German king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.-Crown prince:...

 and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen was a queen of Bavaria.She was a daughter of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, and Duchess Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, eldest daughter of Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.-Biography:In 1809, she was on the list of...

.

Crown Prince

After studying at Göttingen
Göttingen
Göttingen is a university town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.-General information:...

 and Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and travelling in Germany, Italy and Greece, he was introduced by his father into the council of state (1836). From the first he showed a studious disposition, declaring on one occasion that had he not been born in a royal cradle his choice would have been to become a professor. As crown prince, in the chateau of Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau is a village in the municipality of Schwangau, Ostallgäu district, Bavaria, Germany.It is located between Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau and is visited by about 2 million people annually, where they start tours to the former royal palaces.The village is dominated...

 near Füssen
Füssen
Füssen is a town in Bavaria, Germany, in the district of Ostallgäu situated from the Austrian border. It is located on the banks of the Lech river. The River Lech flows into the Forggensee...

, which he had rebuilt with excellent taste, he gathered about him an intimate society of artists and men of learning and devoted his time to scientific and historical study.

King

When the abdication of Ludwig I (20 March 1848) called him suddenly to the throne, his choice of ministers promised a liberal regime.
Although, however, from 1850 onwards his government tended in the direction of absolutism, he refused to become the tool of the clerical reaction, and even incurred the bitter criticism of the Ultramontanes by inviting a number of celebrated men of learning and science (e.g. Geibel
Emanuel Geibel
Emanuel von Geibel , German poet and playwright, was born at Lübeck, the son of a pastor in the city.He was originally intended for his father's profession and studied at Bonn and Berlin, but his real interests lay not in theology but in classical and romance philology. In 1838 he accepted a...

, Liebig
Justus von Liebig
Justus von Liebig was a German chemist who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry, and worked on the organization of organic chemistry. As a professor, he devised the modern laboratory-oriented teaching method, and for such innovations, he is regarded as one of the...

 and Sybel
Heinrich von Sybel
Heinrich Karl Ludolf von Sybel , German historian, came from a Protestant family which had long been established at Soest, in Westphalia....

) to Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, regardless of their religious views.

Maximilian II responded also to the demands of the people for a united German state, by attending the Frankfurt Assembly which intended to create such a state. The progress of the revolution, however, gave him pause. In 1849 an uprising in the Bavarian Palatinate was broken down with the support of Prussian forces. The king strenuously opposed the unionist plans of the Frankfurt Parliament
Frankfurt Parliament
The Frankfurt Assembly was the first freely elected parliament for all of Germany. Session was held from May 18, 1848 to May 31, 1849 in the Paulskirche at Frankfurt am Main...

, refused to recognize the imperial constitution devised by it, and assisted Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 in restoring the federal diet and in carrying out the federal execution in Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

 and Holstein
Holstein
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is part of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany....

. In the aftermath of the failure of the Frankfurt Assembly, Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 continued to debate of which monarchy had the inherent right to rule Germany. The dispute between Austria and the Electoral Prince of Hesse-Kassel
Hesse-Kassel
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel or Hesse-Cassel was a state in the Holy Roman Empire under Imperial immediacy that came into existence when the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided in 1567 upon the death of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. His eldest son William IV inherited the northern half and the...

 (or Hesse-Cassel) was used by Austria and its allies (including Bavaria) to promote the isolation of Prussia in German political affairs. This diplomatic insult almost led to war when Austria, Bavaria and other allies moved troops through Bavaria towards Hesse-Kassel in 1850. However, the Prussian army backed down and accepted the principle of dual leadership. This event was known as the Punctation of Olmütz
Punctation of Olmütz
The Punctation of Olmütz , also called the Agreement of Olmütz, was a treaty between Prussia and Austria, dated 29 November 1850, by which Prussia abandoned the Erfurt Union and accepted the revival of the German Confederation under Austrian leadership....

 but also known as the "Humiliation of Olmütz" by Prussia. This event solidified the Bavarian kingdom's alliance with Austria against Prussia.

In his German policy Maximilian was guided by the desire to maintain the union of the princes, and hoped to attain this as against the perilous rivalry of Austria and Prussia by the creation of a league of the "middle" and small states - the so-called Trias. In 1863, however, seeing what he thought to be a better way, he supported the project of reform proposed by Austria at the Furstentag of Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

. Attempts by Prussia to reorganize the loose and un-led German Confederation, were opposed by Bavaria and Austria while taking part in its own discussions with Austria and other allies in 1863 in Frankfurt without Prussia and its allies attending. The failure of this proposal, and the attitude of Austria towards the Confederation
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

 and in the Schleswig-Holstein Question
Schleswig-Holstein Question
The Schleswig-Holstein Question was a complex of diplomatic and other issues arising in the 19th century from the relations of two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein , to the Danish crown and to the German Confederation....

, disillusioned him; but before he could deal with the new situation created by the outbreak of the war with Denmark he died suddenly at Munich, on 10 March 1864. He is buried in the Theatinerkirche in Munich.

Cultural legacy

Maximilian offered Paul Heyse and other writers from North Germany large stipends.
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

 visited "King Max" (as he called him) in his castle Starnberg
Starnberg
The city of Starnberg is in Bavaria, Germany, some 30 km south-west of Munich. It lies at the north end of Lake Starnberg, in the heart of the "Five Lakes Country", and serves as capital of the district of Starnberg...

, and write of him as a young, highly amiable man. The King, having read his novels and fairy tale
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

s, let Andersen know that he was deeply impressed by The Improvisator, En Digters Bazar, The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
"The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince...

and Paradisets Have. During the visit Andersen also read The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling
"The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until, much to his delight , he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all...

.
Later Andersen visited the King at the Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau is a village in the municipality of Schwangau, Ostallgäu district, Bavaria, Germany.It is located between Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangau and is visited by about 2 million people annually, where they start tours to the former royal palaces.The village is dominated...

 castle.

King Maximilian II was the principal of the Maximilianstrasse and the Bavarian National Museum
Bavarian National Museum
The Bavarian National Museum in Munich is one of the most important cultural history museums in Europe.-Building and History:...

 in Munich. Compared to his father Maximilian preferred a new architectural style with strong reference to the Gothic Revival architecture
Gothic Revival architecture
The Gothic Revival is an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England...

 which would combine the best features of historical models combined with then modern building technology.
The hiking path in Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany.- Geography :Upper Bavaria is located in the southern portion of Bavaria, and is centered around the city of Munich. It is subdivided into four regions : Ingolstadt, Munich, Bayerisches Oberland , and Südostoberbayern...

 called Maximiliansweg
Maximiliansweg
Maximiliansweg is a long-distance hiking path through the Bavarian Alps , which connects Lindau to Berchtesgaden. The trail is about 350km in distance and is largely congruous with long-distance path E4...

 is named after him, as he made a longer hike in the Bavaria alps in the summer of 1858.

Private life and family

Maximilian was a man of amiable qualities and of intellectual attainments far above the average, but as a king he was hampered by constant ill health, which compelled him to be often abroad, and when at home to live much in the country. By his wife, Marie Friederike Franziska Hedwig
Marie of Prussia
Marie of Prussia was Queen of Bavaria and the mother of Kings Ludwig II and Otto of Bavaria.-Life:Born and raised in Berlin, she was the daughter of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, a younger brother of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, and his wife Landgravine Marie Anna of Hesse-Homburg...

, daughter of Prince William of Prussia
Prince Wilhelm of Prussia
Prince Wilhelm of Prussia was the son of Frederick William II of Prussia and Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt.- Life :...

, whom he married in 1842, he had two sons, Ludwig II of Bavaria
Ludwig II of Bavaria
Ludwig II was King of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before his death. He is sometimes called the Swan King and der Märchenkönig, the Fairy tale King...

 and Otto of Bavaria
Otto of Bavaria
Otto , was King of Bavaria from 1886 to 1913. He was the son of Maximilian II and his wife, Marie of Prussia, and younger brother of Ludwig II...

, both of whom became king, declared insane and deposed.

Ancestors


External links

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