|Maximilian III Joseph|
Portrait by Georg Desmarées
|Elector of Bavaria|
|Born||28 March 1727|
|Died||30 December 1777 50) (aged|
|Spouse||Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony|
|House||House of Wittelsbach|
|Father||Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Mother||Maria Amalia of Austria|
Maximilian III Joseph, "the much beloved", (28 March 1727 – 30 December 1777) was a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire and Duke of Bavaria from 1745 to 1777.
Born in Munich, Maximilian was the eldest son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII and his wife, Maria Amalia of Austria, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I. Upon his father's death in January 1745, he inherited a country in the process of being invaded by Austrian armies (see War of the Austrian Succession). The 18-year-old Maximilian Joseph wavered between the Peace-party, led by his mother Maria Amalia and Army Commander Friedrich Heinrich von Seckendorff and the War-party, led by Foreign Minister General Ignaz Count of Törring and the French envoy Chavigny. After the decisive defeat in the Battle of Pfaffenhofen on 15 April Maximilian Joseph quickly abandoned his father's imperial pretenses and made peace with Maria Theresa in the Treaty of Füssen, in which he agreed to support her husband, Grand Duke Francis Stephen of Tuscany, in the upcoming imperial election.
In 1747, Maximilian married his first cousin, Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony, but the marriage remained childless. During the Seven Years' War Bavarian forces then fought on the Habsburg side. Maximilian Joseph's sister Maria Josepha of Bavaria was married in 1765 to Maria Theresa's son Emperor Joseph II. But long-term weakening of Prussia was not in the Bavarian interest, as that country offered the only counterweight to the Habsburg monarchy. Maximilian Joseph tried, as far as possible, to keep Bavaria out of the wars. Apart from militia troops, he sent only a small force of 4,000 men to join the Austrian army. In 1758/1759 (only a year and half into the war), he withdrew Bavarian auxiliary troops from Austrian service. Together with the Wittelsbach Elector Charles Theodore of the Palatinate he enforced the neutrality of the Empire during the conflict.
Maximilian Joseph was a progressive and enlightened ruler who did much to improve the development of his country. He encouraged agriculture, industry, and exploitation of the mineral wealth of the country, and abolished the Jesuit censorship of the press. In 1747 the Nymphenburg Porcelain Factory was established, while the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis was written in 1756. In 1759, he founded Munich's first academic institution, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. During the severe famine in 1770 Maximilian sold some of the crown jewels to pay for grain imports to relieve hunger. In that year, he also issued an edict against the extravagant pomposity of the Church which contributed to the end of the era of Bavarian rococo. He also forbade the Oberammergau Passion Play. In 1771 the elector regulated general school attendance. In December 1777 Maximilian Joseph rode in his carriage through Munich; on the ride, as he passed one of the tower clocks, the mechanism broke, and the clock struck 77 times. Commenting to the passengers, Max Joseph decided this was an omen, and that his years had run out. Within days, he was stricken with a strange disease. None of his 15 doctors could diagnose it, but by Christmas, it had become clear that it was a particularly virulent strain of smallpox, called "purple small pox" at the time.
By the last day of the month he was dead without leaving an heir. Maximilian III Joseph is buried in the crypt of the Theatinerkirche in Munich.
As the last of the junior branch of the Wittelsbach dynasty which derived from Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor and had ruled Bavaria since early 14th century, Maximilian's death led to a succession dispute and the brief War of the Bavarian Succession. He was succeeded by his distant cousin, the Elector Palatine Charles Theodore from the senior branch of the dynasty.
Maximilian's widow Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony and Maximilian's sister Duchess Maria Antonia of Bavaria as well as Maria Anna of Palatinate-Sulzbach, the widow of the former Bavarian crown prince Duke Clement Francis of Bavaria negotiated with Max's reluctant heir and intervened together with Frederick II. of Prussia and the new elector's supposed successor, Charles II August, Duke of Zweibrücken, to secure Bavaria's independence from Austria. The Prussian king had to threaten both the emperor and Bavaria itself with war. Austria had already invaded portions of the duchy immediately after the Elector's death and the new elector had less than any interest in his new realm. Instead, Charles Theodore, much to public annoyance, repeatedly tried to change it for Further Austria or the Austrian Netherlands, even better, for proximity to his Palatinian homelands.
Maximilian III Joseph ordered in 1751 François de Cuvilliés to construct the splendid rococo Cuvilliés Theatre and in 1755 the Stone Hall of Nymphenburg Palace. He also ordered to decorate some rooms of the New Schleissheim Palace in rococo style.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was received by Maximilian III Joseph, who was like his sister Maria Antonia Walpurgis of Bavaria skilled in music and composed, but due to a need for strict frugality no post could be offered. In 1775 La finta giardiniera , an Italian opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, received its first performance at the Salvatortheater in Munich.
In 1770 Maximilian III Joseph established the precursor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
|Ancestors of Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria|
The House of Wittelsbach is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria.
Charles VII was the Prince-elector of Bavaria from 1726 and Holy Roman Emperor from 24 January 1742 until his death in 1745. A member of the House of Wittelsbach, Charles' reign marked the end of three centuries uninterupted Habsburg imperial rule. He was, though related to the Habsburgs, both by blood and by marriage. After the death of emperor Charles VI in 1740 he claimed the Archduchy of Austria due to his marriage to Maria Amalia of Austria, the niece of Charles VI, and was from 1741 to 1743 as Charles III briefly King of Bohemia. In 1742 he was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire as Charles VII and ruled until his death three years later.
Clemens August of Bavaria was a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty of Bavaria and Archbishop-Elector of Cologne.
Maximilian II, also known as Max Emanuel or Maximilian Emanuel, was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. He was also the last governor of the Spanish Netherlands and duke of Luxembourg. An able soldier, his ambition led to conflicts that limited his ultimate dynastic achievements.
Maximilian I Joseph was Duke of Zweibrücken from 1795 to 1799, prince-elector of Bavaria from 1799 to 1806, then King of Bavaria from 1806 to 1825. He was a member of the House of Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach.
Maximilian I, occasionally called "the Great", a member of the House of Wittelsbach, ruled as Duke of Bavaria from 1597. His reign was marked by the Thirty Years' War during which he obtained the title of a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire at the 1623 Diet of Regensburg.
Charles Theodore reigned as Prince-elector and Count Palatine from 1742, as Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1742 and also as prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria from 1777 to his death. He was a member of the House of Palatinate-Sulzbach, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach.
Ferdinand Maria was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and an elector (Kurfürst) of the Holy Roman Empire from 1651 to 1679.
The Nymphenburg Palace is a Baroque palace situated in Munich's western district Neuhausen-Nymphenburg, in Bavaria, southern Germany. Combined with the adjacent Nymphenburg Palace Park it constitutes one of the premier royal palaces of Europe. Its frontal width of 632 m (2,073 ft) even surpasses Versailles Palace. The Nymphenburg served as the main summer residence for the former rulers of Bavaria of the House of Wittelsbach.
The Peace of Füssen was a peace treaty signed at Füssen, between the Electorate of Bavaria and Habsburg Austria. Signed on 22 April 1745, it ended the participation of Bavaria on the French side in the War of the Austrian Succession.
The Residenz in central Munich is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and is today open to visitors for its architecture, room decorations, and displays from the former royal collections.
The Theatine Church of St. Cajetan is a Catholic church in Munich, southern Germany. Built from 1663 to 1690, it was founded by Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, as a gesture of thanks for the birth of the long-awaited heir to the Bavarian crown, Prince Max Emanuel, in 1662. Now administered by the Dominican Friars, it is also known as the Dominican Priory of St. Cajetan.
The Treaty of Teschen was signed on 13 May 1779 in Teschen, Austrian Silesia, between the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy and the Kingdom of Prussia, which officially ended the War of the Bavarian Succession.
François de Cuvilliés, sometimes referred to as the Elder, was a Belgian-born Bavarian decorative designer and architect. He was instrumental in bringing the Rococo style to the Wittelsbach court at Munich and to Central Europe in general.
Maria Amalia of Austria was Holy Roman Empress, Queen of the Germans, Queen of Bohemia, Electress and Duchess of Bavaria etc. as the spouse of Emperor Charles VII. By birth, she was an archduchess of Austria, the daughter of Emperor Joseph I and Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Maria Amalia had seven children, only four of whom lived through to adulthood, including Maximilian III, Elector of Bavaria.
The Electorate of Bavaria was an independent hereditary electorate of the Holy Roman Empire from 1623 to 1806, when it was succeeded by the Kingdom of Bavaria.
Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony was a daughter of King Augustus III of Poland and his wife Maria Josepha of Austria who became Electress of Bavaria.
Charles II August Christian was Duke of Zweibrücken from 1775 to 1795. A member of the Palatine House of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach, he was the elder brother of the first King of Bavaria, Maximilian I, and of Queen Amalia of Saxony.
Maria Anna Josepha of Bavaria was a Duchess of Bavaria by birth and Margravine of Baden-Baden by marriage. She was nicknamed the savior of Bavaria. She is also known as Maria Josepha and is sometimes styled as a princess of Bavaria.
The imperial election of 1745 was an imperial election held to select the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It took place in Frankfurt on September 13.
Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of BavariaBorn: 28 March 1727 Died: 30 December 1777
| Elector of Bavaria |