Maximilian of Montgelas

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Maximilian Joseph von Montgelas in the costume of the Hubertus Order (painting by Joseph Hauber , Munich, 1806)
Maximilian Joseph Count von Montgelas at the age of 75 (painting by Eduard von Heuss )

Maximilian Carl Joseph Franz de Paula Hieronymus Freiherr von Montgelas , from 1809 Count von Montgelas , (born September 12, 1759 in Munich ; † June 14, 1838 there ; pronunciation : [ mõʒəˈla ], Bavarian "montschelas") was a Bavarian politician and state reformer 19th century. From 1799 to 1817 he was minister under the elector and later King of Bavaria Maximilian I.

Montgelas was a trained lawyer and historian . The focus of his activities was in the areas of foreign and domestic policy , but his field of activity encompassed all areas of politics except for the military . Influenced by the Enlightenment and the French Revolution and as a declared Bavarian patriot , between 1777 and 1799 he conceived plans for a far-reaching modernization of the administration and politics of Bavaria , which he largely implemented as minister.

Montgelas' government responsibility in Bavaria included the radical implementation of secularization , the equality of Christian denominations , a far-reaching reform of public administration , public finance and taxation and the administration of justice , the two changes of alliance to and from Napoleon Bonaparte and one with it accompanying considerable expansion of the Bavarian state territory , from which the existing state of Bavaria emerged. The “Montgelas system” was characterized by a strong tendency towards centralism .

The Enlightenment made compromises of his early plans for the equality of all citizens, the abolition of the privileges of the nobility , the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the introduction of a modern civil law .



Maximilian III Joseph (painting from the workshop of George Desmarées )

After his sister Josepha, Maximilian Joseph Freiherr von Montgelas was born as the second child of the Bavarian Major General Janus Freiherr von Montgelas in Munich on September 12, 1759. On the father's side, the Montgelas family came from the Savoyard gentry. The mother Ursula, b. Countess Trauner, died six months after his birth. He spent a lot of early childhood with his maternal grandmother in Freising . His father died in 1767. In addition to the father's fortune, relatives and godparents such as the Bavarian Elector Max III made it possible to care for the two orphans . Joseph , to whom Montgelas owes his baptismal name.

From 1764 to 1770 Montgelas attended the college in Nancy in the Duchy of Lorraine , which fell to France in 1766 under the Treaty of Vienna (1738) . There he experienced the transition period after the abolition of the Jesuit order in France in 1764. With the change from the Latin Jesuit college to a teaching institution with a teaching college of secular clergy and learned friars from 1768, practical subjects such as languages, modern history and geography also moved into the classroom.

From 1770 to 1776 he studied law at the University of Strasbourg . There Montgelas heard lectures on constitutional law and history from Christoph Wilhelm Koch, among others . In addition to exploring the past, Koch endeavored to impart experiences for future statesmen. Montgelas later remained connected to him in casual correspondence. For about a year, Montgelas then completed his knowledge with studies on Bavarian law in Munich and at the University of Ingolstadt , where he received a diploma in 1777 "with exceptional praise".

Early work

In the same year he entered the service of the Bavarian Elector Max III as a councilor. Joseph and kept this unpaid position after his death under the successor Karl II. Theodor . He was a member of the Masonic Lodge St Théodore du Bon Conseil in Munich, and in 1785 he became a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . In the same year, the discovery of his membership in the Illuminati order led to increasing conflicts with his employer.

That is why Montgelas decided in 1787 to apply to Karl Theodor for his dismissal and, after their approval, immediately entered the service of the Wittelsbach Duke of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, Charles II August . The Zweibrücken line of the Wittelsbach family was already preparing for their probable inheritance from Pfalzbayern after the death of Karl Theodor, who remained without heir to the throne. The elector tried in vain to accuse Montgelas of complicity in the murder of Karl August's son. But these accusations were opaque and contradicting and Montgelas gained the trust of his new superior Ludwig Freiherr von Esebeck . In Zweibrücken Montgelas was active in foreign policy until 1793 and played a leading role in the lively communication between the duchy and its followers in Bavaria.

The young Archduke Leopold (left) and his brother Emperor Joseph II (painting by Pompeo Batoni , 1769)

From some very personal letters to Maximilian Josef Graf von Seinsheim , from 1787, on Montgelas' recommendation, Zweibrücken envoy to the Reichstag in Regensburg, we learn of active participation in the social life of the court, travel, acquaintances with women and the search for (wealthy) marriage candidates. During his first major foreign policy mission, the election surrender negotiations in Frankfurt in 1790 before the election of Leopold II as German king and Roman emperor , Montgelas worked for the first time more closely with Prince Max Joseph , the younger brother of Karl August, who later became elector and king in Bavaria should be.

In July 1793 Montgelas fought between French and Prussian troops from Zweibrücken to Mannheim, where he was politically eliminated at the instigation of Esebeck's successor Abbé Pierre de Salabert . Salabert was Max Joseph's tutor and later accompanied him - albeit without a political function - to Munich, where he last lived in the Prinz-Carl-Palais until his death in 1807 . Montgelas' return to Zweibrücken prevented the occupation and devastation by the French. Until Karl August's death in 1795, he was without an official political function and payment, as he was accused of Jacobinism at the court . Over the next year, he rose to become his most important political advisor under his successor Max Joseph. He became the head of the opposition within Bavaria and the Zweibrücken court against Karl Theodor, who was completely devoted to Austria.

Minister in Bavaria

Statue of Montgelas in front of his former home (Palais Montgelas) in Munich (aluminum statue by Karin Sander , 2005)

1799 after the death of Karl Theodor and the assumption of office by Max IV. Joseph as Elector in Munich, he was appointed Foreign Minister of Bavaria. Soon his position and competence were so outstanding that, according to modern terms, Montgelas was more of a prime minister. The decisive factor for this is likely to have been that in his time in Zweibrücken he had developed workable theoretical concepts for the reform of Bavaria and was able to cope with a horrific workload quickly and efficiently. Except in state affairs, Montgelas avoided court and court life, but gave receptions himself, at times almost daily, whereby he preferred diplomats, officials, artists, intellectuals and scientists as guests.

Montgelas and the court fled from the French troops under Jean-Victor Moreau in mid-1800 via Landshut and Amberg to Bayreuth in Prussia and only returned to Munich in the spring of 1801 after Moreau withdrew from Bavaria. At first he had living and working rooms in the Munich residence until after his marriage in 1803 with the 20 years younger, attractive Ernestine Countess von Arco, he moved into the palace, which was not only his city apartment until 1817, but at the same time (and also beyond 1817) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs . It was significantly expanded and rebuilt by Montgelas between 1811 and 1813 and is now called Palais Montgelas . Today it is part of the luxury hotel Bayerischer Hof on Promenadeplatz .

Also in 1803 Montgelas acquired a country estate in Bogenhausen , which he used as a summer residence. With the Bogenhausen Bridge, he initiated the construction of the second Munich bridge over the Isar at the site of the later Max Joseph Bridge . In September 1805 the court fled again with Montgelas - this time from the Austrian troops who marched into Bavaria - to Würzburg . He returned to Munich in December 1805 when Bavaria's alliance with France had become public and Napoleon had triumphed against Austria and Russia .

At the end of 1809 Montgelas was raised from baron to count status. In his private life, Montgelas, who had become wealthy, was considered a man of noblesse who also accepted his wife's amorous adventures with poise. From 1810, the political resistance against Montgelas increased steadily under the leadership of Crown Prince Ludwig . During a lengthy diplomatic stay in Paris there were first concrete attempts to persuade Max Joseph to dismiss Montgelas.

After discharge

After his release in 1817, Montgelas built a new city palace on Karolinenplatz , which was destroyed in World War II. From 1807 onwards, Montgelas acquired and resold various estates and proved to be a successful businessman. In 1833 he bought the former court brands Egglkofen , Aham and Gerzen, some of which are still owned by the Montgelas family today (as of 2010) .

The death of his wife in 1820 from tuberculosis deeply affected Montgelas, although the marriage was not free from differences of opinion. After that he withdrew almost completely from public appearances and devoted himself personally to raising his eight children. In the last years of his life he suffered from chronic colds, gout , colic and sciatica . On June 14, 1838, Montgelas died at the age of 79, at about a quarter two o'clock in the night with the sacraments of death, in his city palace in Munich, the funeral was on June 16, 1838. He was buried in the crypt of Aham Castle.

Montgelas has built a library of over 13,000 volumes in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek , which provides an insight into his personal areas of interest. In literary terms, ancient classics, works of the French and German Enlightenment and older English poets dominate; Schiller and Goethe are only represented by late complete editions. Due to his studies and his activities, there are naturally rich collections of historical works and legal topics, but also religious literature and scientific works.


Ernestine von Montgelas, b. Arco .

Maximilian von Montgelas was married to Ernestine von Arco (born July 5, 1779 in Oberköllnbach , † June 17, 1820 in Lucca ) daughter of Count Ignatz von Arco (1741-1812). The couple had the following children:

  • Caroline Auguste Franzisca (1804–1860) ∞ Baron Max von Freyberg, Ministerialrat, Chairman of the Reich Archives
  • Maximilian (1807–1870) ∞ Elisabeth J. Watts-Russel
  • Maria Rupertine Ernestine (1808-1822)
  • Maria Amalia (1810-1875)
  • Maria Hortensia (1811–1895)
  • Theresia (1812–1872)
  • Ludwig (1814–1892), Bavarian envoy to St. Petersburg and Berlin
  • Heinrich Rudolf Max Eduard (1817–1847)

the Age of Enlightenment

In the middle of the eighteenth century, the heyday of the Enlightenment was reached, which at that time had a significant influence on many ruling princes and the Christian churches in addition to large sections of the educated population. However, many educational principles were still a long way from being implemented in everyday practice. Promoting the implementation of Enlightenment ideals was one of the maxims that shaped Montgelas' work for decades.

The Enlightenment saw the limits of state power such as freedom of conscience (freedom of religion) and the right to protection of the private legal sphere of every individual citizen as indispensable. He imagined the outcome of state power from associations of interests of families, and later of the nation as a whole, and turned decisively against the absolutist divine right, in which he was close to John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau .

"The work of enlightened absolutism [...] showed what revolutionary things could be achieved at that time when a monarch or a minister supported by his prince tackled fundamental reforms."

In addition, for a short time he raved about the freedom of the ancient Germans. Right from the start, his political credo focused on the rights of the princes vis-à-vis the Roman Catholic Church, which he completely subordinated to state sovereignty in organizational and secular questions . The implementation of his reform plans lay in the hands of local administrators and judges such as Freiherr Joseph von Widnmann , who were familiar with the problems of the rural population.

Montgelas tirelessly obtained detailed information on events and legal relationships that affected Bavaria and developed concepts for concrete measures that could be taken to improve the situation after the government took over. He also attentively observes the Bavarian landscape (the entirety of the estates ) and, obsessed with detail, collected all historical files on their legal status.

"Knowing the particular local conditions, judging people on the basis of this knowledge and modifying their own (planned) operations according to these conditions - this is, in my opinion, the real policy and the masterpiece of the administration."

While he initially viewed the landscape as a welcome ally against Karl Theodor in the struggle for the territorial preservation of Bavaria, this attitude changed around the time of the French Revolution in 1789, as he now saw them primarily as an obstacle to state sovereignty.

As a councilor in Munich, Montgelas worked in the following areas: in the criminal senate (highest court for criminal and civil matters), in finance, in state church law and from 1780 in the book censorship college. The latter championed enlightenment tendencies and pursued anti-enlightenment and revolutionary writings. He prepared a draft for new instructions for censorship in Bavaria, which, however, had no consequences. He also paid special attention to the historical ecclesiastical sovereignty of the House of Wittelsbach over the Roman Catholic Church.

Foreign policy in Zweibrücken

In Zweibrückener services Montgelas was shortly before his death by Johann Christian von Hofen rock added. Under Hofenfels' successor, the Minister Ludwig Freiherr von Esebeck, and alongside Anton Freiherr von Cetto, he was responsible for foreign policy for Berlin, Munich and Regensburg between 1787 and 1792. He also dealt with the collection of documents about the Bavarian administration and legal claims of Bavaria, its finances and economy. He made a special effort to maintain contacts with supporters of the House of Zweibrücken in Bavaria. The special political role of the small duchy (almost 100,000 inhabitants) resulted from the agnatic consensus laid down in the Wittelsbach house contract , which required the approval of all Wittelsbach lines to make decisions such as taking on national debts and changing territories and regulating mutual succession. This brought a significant amount of attention to the insignificant duchy, which Montgelas tried to use for his native Bavaria:

"Prevention of all Austrian intentions in Bavaria, all possible exchange wishes of Karl Theodor, on the other hand a neutrality policy based on Prussia and the Princes' League and - up to the beginning of the revolution - also on France."

In dealing with his direct superior Esebeck in Zweibrücken, Montgelas developed his feeling for the treatment of noble potentates:

“One has to take into account the sensitivity of the higher-ranking people to minor things. This sometimes gives them the right to speak openly to them important truths in great matters. That is my principle, which I have always followed and with which I have done well so far. "

At the latest after Adam Weishaupt's intentions with the Illuminati became publicly known through the printing of the order papers found in Munich , Montgelas, like many former members, finally and completely distanced himself from the order, but maintained contact with former Illuminati if he was convinced of their human worth was.

"The well-being of the Palatinate house, that of my fatherland, the well-understood service to my master [French. 'mon maître' as an expression for the employer] will always occupy me. This is the dominant call of my heart: a feeling that will never change and that neither the malice nor the slander that I experience from many of my compatriots will ever induce me to give up. "

Prussia remained the most reliable ally in the troubled early years of the French Revolution (until around 1793). Attempts to influence Munich politics in the interests of Bavarian interests were in vain.

Montgelas made his first appearance on the foreign policy stage at the election surrender negotiations after the death of Joseph II in 1790. "Montgelas always has the whole of European politics in mind, from France to Russia, from Sweden to Turkey", even if he is tactically Bavarian Aims such as Austria's renunciation of sovereignty over the Bohemian fiefs in the Upper Palatinate. With the support of Prussia, he achieved the prevention of all future exchange plans concerning Bavaria and the sanctioning of the Wittelsbach house contracts by recognizing the Peace of Teschen , which ended the Bavarian War of Succession. Together with Prussia, he also submitted proposals for mediating the imperial knighthood .

French Revolution

In addition to the Enlightenment, the most important formative experience of Montgelas was the French Revolution of 1789 and its development in the following years. He experienced the first peasant unrest in Germany up close, especially in areas near the border, as early as 1789, even if Zweibrücken itself remained calm.

At the beginning, his attitude showed agreement in principle: "But the revolution will always have done something really good, to have dampened despotism and to have recognized certain principles." Montgelas demanded employment for civil service based on merit and not on origin.

“More equal representation, extension of the essential human rights to all classes of society, equal tax liability without any difference, these are the wise sacrifices that I do not cease to admonish them (the privileged classes of Bavaria). They are dictated by justice and commanded by circumstances. "

In a detailed discussion of a draft by Joseph August von Toerring , he developed his proposal for a state parliament in a letter to Seinsheim to the idea of ​​legislation by a national assembly as a two-chamber system. At that time he wanted to add a second chamber to the nobility and clergy in one chamber, made up of representatives from the estates and markets, which should be elected by all citizens of the community and supplemented by members of the small peasant owners. The basic idea was a national assembly based on total tax payments and the proportion of the population. The sovereign should no longer be able to enact laws without the consent of the National Assembly, but on the other hand Montgelas also adheres to the consent of the prince, thus demanding a right of veto for him.

However, Montgelas soon expressed specific fears about (possible) undesirable developments: “The extreme is never good. Medium tenuere beati. ”He was particularly afraid of the harmful effects of possible external interventions. The escape of Louis XVI. according to Varennes, he considered it a grave mistake because it made it impossible to work towards a constitutional monarchy. "[...] I will mourn the [...] misfortune that it will bring upon humanity - that humanity who will always be the sure and innocent victim of those fits of ambition, vanity and greed of those who actually should work for the common good. ”Instead of unconditional opposition to France, Montgelas wished“ [...] that our princes should be just diligent, thrifty, and that the French teachings should not be lost. ”

Like many German principalities, Zweibrücken had real estate in France and assets in French capital and land rents. Montgelas pleaded for practical negotiations with France on specific interests (such as the Alsatian possessions of Zweibrücken) instead of general, implausible threatening gestures: "The point [...] is to find out [...] whether this revolution can bring us an advantage or not it is more appropriate to benefit from the new order of things [...] ”.

It is almost a summary of his later principles as a Bavarian minister, an outlook on his program of a revolution from above , when he wrote to Seinsheim: “Frankly, I love the philanthropic framework of the new form of government. I applaud the ruin of the clergy, the unrestricted freedom of conscience, the equality of taxation, the permanent legislature, the precautions taken to secure personal freedom. I do not love the abolition of the nobility, the humiliation of the throne [...] "

From 1792, French troops moved through Pfalzbayern. On February 9, 1793, Karl August left his Karlsberg Palace , after valuables had already been brought to Mannheim. Montgelas' superior Esebeck was arrested by the French. Out of a sense of duty, Montgelas stayed in Zweibrücken, which was temporarily defended by Prussian troops, and saved paintings, furniture and files. He mediated between the French and the local authorities. In May 1793 around 12,000 French and Prussian troops faced each other in the Duchy of Zweibrücken. The small country could barely feed the troops: “Everyone is in need.” Montgelas was successful in preventing excesses of the French as a mediator.

Karl August in Mannheim and his minister Abbé Pierre de Salabert remained inactive. In July 1793, Montgelas struggled between French and Prussian troops to Mannheim to finally receive instructions from his court. But there, Salabert, an incompetent courtier in the eyes of Montgela, who only had his own influence with Karl August in mind, ended up with him from all business without devoting himself enough to these business. After his release, Esebeck also gained no influence at court.

In autumn 1793, Montgelas was accused of collaborating with the Jacobins, among other things. From then on he was only used clandestinely as an advisor by employees of Karl August. The old allegations against the Illuminati, which had no longer existed for six years, were also revived from Munich. Even the death of Karl August on April 1, 1795 and the successor to his younger brother Max Joseph initially did not change his outlawed situation:

“During all this time, Herr von Montgelas was in the deepest disgrace. You dared not pronounce your name; he was accused of Jacobinism, of Illuminati [...] He had asked for use in the Salabert area, but neither the deceased nor the new duke wanted to give their consent. He was turned away, which he never forgot. He had, however, retained a certain influence in the business [...]. "

It was not until Max Joseph was appointed Real Government Councilor with a seat and vote at our ducal government college on July 11, 1795 that he was given official powers again. After Mannheim was conquered by the French, he was transferred to Heidelberg, where he tried to regulate the affairs of the Reformed Church of the Palatinate, which had become virulent through Karl August's policy.

After the reconquest of Mannheim by the Austrians at the end of 1795 (after Prussia had declared itself neutral towards France in the Treaty of Basel and left it with possessions on the left bank of the Rhine), Salabert was arrested by them and, after his release in 1797, was no longer employed as a minister by Max Joseph. Max Joseph found exile in Ansbach, Prussia since 1791. When the French marched into Bavaria in late summer 1796, Max Joseph's entitlement to succeed Karl Theodor was again in danger. Max Joseph therefore decided to send Cetto to the Paris directorate as a special envoy. He suggested Montgelas as his representative. The Prussian Reichstag envoy Count Johann Eustach von Görtz and the respected representative of the Bavarian Landscape Ordinance Johann Maximilian Graf von Preysing recommended Montgelas because of his expertise.

The political program

Montgelas made extensive use of historical sources such as relevant literature, contracts and archives for his work. He himself meticulously archived all processes related to his activities. Eberhard Weis calls him an applied historian. In contrast, his respective thinking in the course of time can only be deduced from a few memoranda (or drafts for them), letters and, most recently, from his memoirs. About sixty treatises (some of them only drafts) and expert opinions have been received from Montgelas from before 1799, others are only mentioned in his letters. Only a few of the writings that are important and characteristic of Montgelas's thought and work are listed here.

Document from 1778

Only in a copy by Karl Ernst von Gravenreuth from the period from 1796 to 1799, when he was the private secretary of Max Joseph, is a sketch of radical plans for the abolition of manorial rule that Franz Karl von Hompesch , Ignaz Graf Arco and Montgelas worked out in 1778. which would have resulted in the liberation of the peasants . To alleviate the oppressive situation of the farmers, the assumption of all manorial rights of the monasteries , towns and markets by the state was considered, which was to be financed by the establishment of a Bavarian mortgage bank. This should have paid the old owners five percent interest on the expropriated assets annually and financed themselves from the income from the new state property . However, the project remained unpublished and initially had no further consequences.

Mémoire sur les droits des Ducs de Bavière en matière ecclésiastique 1789

Montgelas spent a lot of time and effort on the - ultimately unsuccessful - attempts in 1788 and 1790 to fill the vacant Freising Bishop's chair with a candidate suitable for Zweibrücken. The financially bankrupt diocese seemed to him a good candidate for the abolition of the prince-bishop's secular power of rule (see mediatization ) and the Wittelsbachers also wanted to move the bishopric to Munich. For this purpose, Montgelas worked out a design by Esebeck.

In terms of the program, Montgelas dealt with the memorandum, which was substantiated in detail with historical sources and events

"To strengthen and concentrate state sovereignty, to suppress the rights of ecclesiastical institutions and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in favor of the state, in a certain sense to incorporate the church into the state and, thirdly, to confiscate the imperial direct and indirect possession of ecclesiastical institutions."

Montgelas drew the following conclusion:

"[...] Due to the nature, territorial sovereignty and constitution of the empire, the House of Pfalzbayern has an unrestricted right to the extension of that comprehensive sovereignty which its predecessors in the Duchy of Bavaria once over the people and goods of the local clergy in their states have exercised, and there is no legal obstacle to preventing this House from enjoying the privileges that it had only given up through voluntarily granted, revocable privileges. "

Mémoire présenté à Mgr le Duc le 30 septembre 1796

In the program font , also known for short as the Ansbacher Memoire , Montgelas initially devoted himself to the principles of contemporary management. He emphasized the need to introduce a division of responsibilities with regulated responsibilities between the ministries. He called for the posts to be filled with intelligent, hard-working and capable personalities, that is, according to merit and not according to tradition. He saw an appropriate salary for civil servants, including adequate survivors' benefits, as essential. This point was aimed against the common practice (not only) under Karl Theodor of assigning high posts primarily to the wealthy. “If, by a rare chance, a poor-born citizen has succeeded in making his way up, he is dependent on making sure that he gets his money's worth and using unfair means to get what he wants the government had withheld out of unjustified thrift. "

The ministers should be allowed to surround themselves with employees of their own confidence who submitted to their authority. By filling vacant positions with the most qualified and best-trained applicants, the continuity of the administration is ensured in particular when there is a change of minister. This point went against the practice of preferring nobles to the civil service, often irrespective of their qualifications and expertise.

Important key points of the memorandum were the implementation of the same tax obligation without exceptions for all classes, religious tolerance, the elimination of grievances in the judiciary, a reorganization of the middle administrative level, combined with a reorganization of the central archive and the provincial archives, the reorganization of shareholder services for landlords, a reform of the legislation, especially in civil and criminal law, reform and improvement of the education system, starting with schools up to universities, introduction of compulsory education , introduction of freedom of press and publication and abolition of censorship. “Today it has been proven that it is the gross ignorance of the peoples, and not the reasonable and state-of-the-art education that is imparted to them, which causes revolutions and overthrows empires. The more enlightened people are, the more they love their duty and stand by a government that really strives for their happiness. "

Montgelas proposed that the administration be divided into five ministries: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Spiritual Affairs and the Ministry of War. For each of the first four ministries, he defined responsibilities, personnel and made suggestions for filling the ministerial post. Only at the War Ministry did he declare that he was not responsible to his 'maître', since Max Joseph was a colonel in the French regiment Royal d'Alsace until he was 33 and the military was his personal hobby. Montgelas' proposals for reform were underpinned where possible by historical examples from other countries and possibly also by references to other memoranda (e.g. a lost one from 1788 or 1789 by Joseph August Graf von Törring-Gronsfeld ).

The main features of this memorandum were largely implemented from 1799 when the Bavarian administration was reorganized. This was least true of Montgelas' extensive remarks on the Ministry of Spiritual Affairs (which was also responsible for education and from which the Ministry of the Interior emerged in 1806 with the addition of responsibility for the police). Montgelas suggested limiting the political and legal powers of the Roman Catholic Church, but only in cases in which he could bring legal claims to the field, and dissolving the mendicant orders . In the other cases he preferred the approach of amicably agreed reforms. Montgelas saw the clergy like many, especially Catholic enlightenmentists , as fundamentally useful for the education of the people.

Minutes for the Rohrbach house contract from 1797

A few months before the conclusion of a house contract with Duke Wilhelm von Birkenfeld, Montgelas made a record of the previous negotiations, which he had significantly influenced. The house contract was post-dated to 1796 and is therefore also known as the Ansbach house contract from 1796 , since Max Joseph married Princess Karoline von Baden for a second time in early 1797 , who wanted to be excluded from political participation because of her pro-Austria attitude. In addition to securing the claims of the Wittelsbachers to their ancestral territory, it was also about the concrete implementation of some points of the Ansbach memoir , such as dealing with state property or the abolition of hereditary entitlement to office in the state. There was also a new regulation on borrowing and repayment by the state.

Compte rendu au roi from 1817

Montgela's report to his king after his overthrow in 1817 is an important source of Montgela's actions as a minister, as it depicts the domestic politics of Bavaria subjectively, but undoubtedly largely correct in terms of content, since its addressee Max Joseph knew the facts described from his own experience.

Memorandum to the Carlsbad Decisions of 1819

In this memorandum, which was probably written for Max Joseph in 1819, Montgelas opposed the restrictions on the press and freedom of expression laid down in the Karlovy Vary resolutions and pleaded not to implement them in Bavaria, which was also done with the support of Zentner and Crown Prince Ludwig . Montgelas warned of Metternich's influence on Bavarian domestic politics and the constitution.


The memorials are a foreign policy justification of Montgelas' which he put together after his dismissal. Unlike the compte rendu , however, they tend to contain distortions and very subjective expressions of opinion by Montgelas. According to Montgela's will, they were only allowed to be published after the death of all persons appearing in them.

Preparation for the takeover of government in Bavaria

On September 10, 1796, Max appointed Joseph Montgelas as Real Secret Legation Councilor . Montgelas' sensitivity to human treatment and restless political activity in his new position soon made him the Duke's chief political advisor. Just twenty days after his appointment, on September 30, 1796, he presented the Ansbach memoire .

From 1790 to 1799, Montgelas negotiated several times about a settlement of the religious conditions in the Palatinate that would satisfy all three Christian denominations “on the solid basis of tolerance and reason”. At first, Montgelas wanted to prevent a lawsuit before the Reichshofrat in Vienna, and instead to solve the issues without outside interference, which failed. After the dismissal of the complaint, from 1797 he aimed above all for the Reformed Church of the Palatinate, like the Catholic and Lutheran churches, to be free in teaching, but otherwise subject to state organs and church law. The electoral religious declaration was only made in 1799 after Montgelas took office in Munich under his first Minister for Spiritual Affairs, Count Morawitzky, and Georg Friedrich Zentner conducted the negotiations . It laid the foundation for a legal equality of all Christian denominations in Bavaria. When it comes to the relationship between church and state, Montgelas' views were very similar to the model of the sovereign church regiment of the Protestant states.

In exile, the landless Duke Max Joseph conducted a large number of diplomatic activities under Montgelas' guidance, which were connected with the fact that Karl Theodor turned out to be increasingly unwilling to act in Munich. More and more members of the Bavarian administration secretly oriented themselves to the concepts of Max Joseph and Montgelas. It was only from there that between 1796 and 1799 the impetus to look after Bavaria's interests through active participation in political events came. Above all, the concern was to keep Bavaria as an independent state capable of living and acting in these troubled times.

In 1797 Austria recognized the Rhine as the eastern border of France in secret additions to the peace of Campo Formio . During this time, after the loss of the Palatinate area on the left bank of the Rhine to France, Montgelas formulated the concept of making Old Bavaria by rounding off areas into a coherent middle state in the German Empire that did not share borders with practically all major Western European powers like the previously fragmented possessions of the Wittelsbach family - which of course made any diplomacy much more difficult. The political goal was to maintain the ability to act between the power blocs of France, Austria, Prussia and Russia. At the same time, Montgelas also sees the acceptance and support of the state by its citizens in a contiguous state as easier to achieve than in a fragmented state territory.

Throughout the German Empire, the demands for compensation for secular princes for losses on the left bank of the Rhine through “general and complete secularization” became ever stronger, which Montgelas now also joined. The reasons no longer provided him with arguments based on constitutional law, but rather the interests of Bavaria in compensation, especially against similar claims from Austria (Passau and Salzburg) and Prussia (Würzburg and Bamberg). In this regard, however, the efforts of Max Joseph and important Bavarian circles met with fierce resistance from Karl Theodor, who initially believed in a return of the possessions on the left bank of the Rhine and later had ideas to swap Bavaria for Baden , Milan or the Austrian Netherlands (roughly today's Belgium) attached.

In view of the weakness of neutral Prussia, Montgelas turned to France as an important power factor in support against Austrian claims to Bavarian vital interests such as salt production in the Berchtesgaden-Traunstein area, which included old supply contracts from Salzburg-Hallein. The salt trade was an essential source of income for the then Bavarian state, as Montgelas meticulously calculated for his duke. Napoleon had initially promised Austria the areas east of the Inn , but Talleyrand in the Rastatt congress prevented the fulfillment of this agreement, which would have strengthened an opponent of France without consideration and significantly weakened a possible ally. For France, Bavaria was a buffer state to Austria without being able to threaten France significantly. Ultimately, Montgelas was successful because the opinion also prevailed in the board of directors that medium-sized states in Germany that were coherent in terms of area had the best chance of a stable reorganization of Europe in the interests of France.

As to the Congress of Rastatt from 1797 looming danger, France and Austria that still on the westward shift of the Austrian border could agree to Bayern at the Inn, Montgelas was in this sense successfully in Paris, Rastatt and the French ambassador in Munich representations , but at the same time developed alternative plans together with Zentner to compensate Bavaria in the south by connecting Tyrol and Vorarlberg to the Inn or in the north through a corridor in the Main area to the remaining areas of the Palatinate on the right bank of the Rhine. Montgelas feared for Bavaria: “The example of Poland is frightening [...] It is necessary that the middle states come to themselves and get used to taking their fate into their own hands through courage and thrift; otherwise they will be devoured by the big fish [...] ”. The reduction of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the occupation of Venice and Savoy (the homeland of his ancestors) by France provided him with further examples of what could also threaten Bavaria at that time.

During this time, Montgelas also had to take care of the financing of his income-free Duke Max Joseph. In addition to the expenses for the duke, his diplomatic apparatus and his agents in Bavaria, this also included the gifts to diplomats that were customary at that time and that people wanted to receive weighed. Montgelas' contacts with bankers established at the time were to serve him well later in the emergency of the Bavarian state finances. Other support came from the Bavarian estates and from appanages Karl Theodors, who, because of the agnatic consensus, had to rely on the consent of Max Joseph when taking on public debt in Bavaria, for example. From 1797, Max Joseph lived again in Rohrbach and Mannheim in Karl Theodor's remaining possessions on the right bank of the Rhine.

When the 73-year-old elector's health deteriorated noticeably, Montgelas relied on a delaying tactic that he often used in opaque situations until the situation was clarified. Specifically, in the second half of 1798 it was about the delayed approval of the sale of court grounds, the leasing of the wheat beer breweries and the sale of the tithe due to lengthy weighing of reasons and counter-reasons . The funds to be approved were no longer to benefit Karl Theodor, who was diverting state funds on a large scale for himself, to care for his illegitimate children and favorites, as well as for favored institutions and even for payments to Austria, and which resulted from the Austrian occupation with around a hundred thousand soldiers heavily polluted state was missing.

Montgelas' efforts, supported by countless mémoires, to involve the sociable and talkative bon vivant Max Joseph in the necessities of diplomacy proved difficult. Time and again, Max Joseph's spontaneous talkativeness led to diplomatic misinterpretations, which Montgelas then had to try to dispel. Also at a meeting with Karl Theodor in Munich in May 1798, Max Joseph left prematurely and thereby thwarted almost important agreements with Karl Theodor, who politically practically only dealt with Vienna and tried one last time to eliminate the inconvenient Montgelas. It was not until around 1805 that Max Joseph committed significantly less serious missteps on the diplomatic floor.

Politics in Bavaria 1799–1817

When Karl Theodor died on February 16, 1799 after suffering a stroke a few days earlier, there were almost 110,000 Austrian troops in Bavaria. The approximately 17,000 men of Bavarian troops , generally classified as of little use, were scattered all over the country and integrated into the Austrian units. The fact that Austria did not try to gain direct access to Bavaria in this situation was due to the general political situation (Prussia and Russia opposed diplomatically, other states had also opposed Austria) and probably also to the second coalition war that had begun , the outcome of which Austria wanted to wait for. In the last attempts by the Austrian ambassador in Munich, Count Josef Johann August von Seilern, who was still on his deathbed, the signatures of Karl Theodor under agreements favorable to Austria (probably assignment agreements or comparable testamentary clauses) -year-old Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Este , a Habsburg woman, vigorously thwarted. Max Joseph was therefore able to inherit his difficult legacy without incident.

King Maximilian I Joseph

Between 1796 and 1817 there was a very close collaboration between Max Joseph and Montgelas. Montgelas's conception of the state was characterized by an almost reverent attitude towards the sovereign, who formally alone had to make and answer for all decisions. Conversely, Max Joseph supported Montgelas almost unconditionally against all critics and intrigues during this time. Due to the very different dispositions and personalities of the two men, there can be no doubt that the theoretical conceptions were predominantly based on Montgelas. However, Montgelas consistently left the concrete decisions to his prince, whom he merely advised on the form. It is therefore often difficult, when making concrete decisions, to ultimately tell with certainty which facts Max Joseph was personally responsible for and which were due to Montgelas' attitude. This is especially true for some difficult fundamental decisions that were marked by long hesitation and hesitation.

Foreign minister


One day after Max Joseph's arrival in Munich, on February 21, 1799, Montgelas was appointed as the successor to Matthäus von Vieregg as Minister of Foreign Affairs and the State House . His ministerial colleagues were: as finance minister Franz Karl Freiherr von Hompesch , who chaired the meetings of the State Council until the beginning of 1800, as minister of clergy and school affairs Heinrich Theodor Topor Graf von Morawitzky and as minister of justice Johann Friedrich von Hertling . After Hompesch's death in 1800, Morawitzky took over the finance ministry on a provisional basis and Montgelas rose to be by far the most influential minister. Eberhard Weis describes Montgelas' successful strategy with Max Joseph:

“His frequent long tactics, his waiting for the last possible moment before a decisive statement on important questions, his endeavor to have written instructions from the monarch at such moments in order to protect himself in the event of failure, all of these were among his characteristics Administration. He first had to carefully prepare the monarch for important decisions, give him the feeling that he had recognized the right thing himself, that he had made the decision independently, even against the will of his minister. "

Within a year, Montgelas succeeded in eliminating most of Austria's informants at court, who had reported in detail on events in the Secret State Conference (that is the name of the meeting of the ministers with Max Joseph and initially also Wilhelm in Bavaria) and the ministries in Vienna.

With Russia, the hasty dissolution of the Order of Malta by Prince Wilhelm ( Tsar Paul I had been its Grand Master since 1798) had to be normalized again immediately after the death of Karl Theodor, which Montgelas did by withdrawing the dissolution of the order and Bavaria joining the anti-French coalition in the treaty von Gatchina succeeded on October 1, 1799, which on the other hand resulted in the unfavorable necessity of a break with France and the recall of Cetto from Paris. However, a guarantee of the Bavarian acquis and its claims for compensation for the lost areas on the left bank of the Rhine could be achieved by Russia. In two subsidy agreements with England, Bavaria received payments for a troop reinforcement and also guarantees of its territorial possessions.

Jean-Victor Moreau

Montgelas experienced hostility not only naturally from supporters of Austria in Bavaria, but from 1800 also vehemently from the opposing side, the supporters of France. Since Moreau's entry into Munich on June 28, 1800 and the favorable impression caused by the disciplined behavior of his troops, the pressure of large sections of the population and influential circles increased that Bavaria should turn away from Austria and seek salvation in an alliance with France . It made a bad impression that the court with Montgelas had fled from the French via Landshut to Amberg. Montgelas was seen as the main obstacle to peace with France. Former Montgelas employees like Käser and Cetto were now among his sharpest critics.

In this first major crisis situation of his term of office, Max Joseph showed himself to be insecure under the great strain and Montgelas also initially tacted. Amazingly, he even explored exchange plans for Bavaria with regard to Austria and England. In fact, he retained his anti-French alliance policy with England and Russia and opposed Moreau to a separate peace between Bavaria and France. In later justifications, Montgelas cited the main reason that in 1800, when the outcome of the war was not yet fully foreseeable and French and Austrian troops were in Bavaria, it was not guaranteed that France would be able to secure Bavaria's existence against all other major European powers.

It was only after the Hohenlinden armistice of September 20, 1800, in which Austria granted France claims to the Bavarian artillery and the Ingolstadt fortress without consultation, that Montgelas changed his policy. He recognized the impending internal political power struggles in Vienna, which could lead to a departure from a policy strictly hostile to France, and from the end of September 1800 explored his room for maneuver in Prussia and England. Russia was about to leave the anti-French coalition. From the end of November 1800 Cetto negotiated again in Paris with France about the Franco-Bavarian situation and compensation claims.

After the devastating defeat of the Austrians in the Battle of Hohenlinden on December 3, 1800 and the Treaty of Luneville , it was too late for a separate peace. However, on August 24, 1801, Cetto concluded a treaty with France that promised Bavaria the Wittelsbacher territories on the right bank of the Rhine and adequate compensation for those on the left bank of the Rhine, which was ratified in September 1801. For the first time, Montgela's tendency to make definitive decisions on existential questions for Bavaria, if at all possible, only emerged once the balance of power between the great powers in Europe could be assessed as clearly as possible. Now he pursued a clear line in foreign policy, which steered more and more towards an alliance with France, in order to extend Austrian intentions to large parts of Bavaria for the compensation of the Grand Duke Ferdinand III. of Toscana for losing its territory to France as a result of the lost battle of Marengo .

In March 1801 Moreau left Bavaria and the court returned to Munich from Bayreuth , where he had last sought refuge. Only now could the urgently needed consolidation of the administration and finances of Bavaria be tackled.


From the end of 1801 concrete negotiations were held between France, Prussia, Russia and Austria about the compensation of Bavaria for the areas on the left bank of the Rhine that had fallen to France. Prussia waived claims to Würzburg and Bamberg , Austria temporarily demanded Bavaria as far as the Lech , but at least hoped for all areas to the right of the Inn, Russia opposed Bavaria to move to Württemberg to compensate for this, and Bavaria also attached importance to the Passau bishopric , the prince abbey Kempten and parts of Swabia . At the end of the tug-of-war there was a plan drawn up by France and Russia, which in 1802 was included in agreements between France and Bavaria and, with the exception of minor corrections, in February 1803 in the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss .

The merit of the establishment of many favorable arrangements for Bavaria undoubtedly went to Cetto, who quickly took advantage of the opportunities presented, while Montgelas was not prepared to rely unilaterally on France and wanted to come to an agreement with Austria. Montgelas was ready to cede the territories east of the Inn to Austria at a time when France was already strongly advising against such concessions. Montgelas' willingness to forego the inner district as a restless borderland is not very convincing in view of the arguments against abandoning an ancestral part of the country with its lucrative salt production facilities and remains opaque, especially since he made clearly false claims such as the support of Prussia for this assignment. Most recently, Max Joseph also turned against Montgelas on June 15, 1802 and agreed with Cetto. After that, Montgelas also swung to this line and, for the very last cession of the Hochstift Eichstätt to Archduke Johann, he obtained the promise that the secular German states could abolish all monasteries and confiscate their property.

With the acquisition of the monasteries of Würzburg , Bamberg , Augsburg and Freising , parts of Swabia and many smaller areas, imperial abbeys and imperial cities , the area that has been part of the state of Bavaria since the Congress of Vienna was already emerging in 1803. In return, however, Max Joseph had to forego the Palatinate on the right bank of the Rhine with Mannheim and Heidelberg in favor of Baden. Because Margrave Karl Friedrich had the Mannheim Palace occupied by troops from Baden prematurely , it almost came to a military conflict because Max Joseph then put Bavarian troops on the march. Montgelas prevented this and achieved an amicable settlement of the conflict with the Baden Minister Georg Ludwig Freiherr von Edelsheim and the transfer of Duke Karl August's painting collection to Munich, where it formed the basis for the later Alte Pinakothek .

Censorship was relaxed significantly in 1799 and abolished in 1803. In the ordinance of June 13, 1803, however, the freedom of the press remained restricted with regard to political articles that had to be examined by the Foreign Ministry before publication. The purpose of this measure was that at that time it was still often assumed that articles reflected the opinion of the government and could therefore have harmful consequences for foreign policy. From around 1808, France, for example, protested more and more against unwanted newspaper reports. During his government, Montgelas regularly used the press to influence public opinion and prompted articles in his favor. In 1815, Montgelas even founded an anonymous newspaper of his own in order to justify Bavaria's politics in their articles, which was discontinued after his fall.

In 1804/05 he was appointed to the head of a commission which, as a reaction to the Napoleonic national armies, also introduced general conscription for Bavaria as a replacement for the mercenary army that had become unfit . From January 7, 1805, eight years of service were in effect, but many groups were exempt. In 1809, compulsory military service was shortened to six years and the exceptions were reduced as a result of the constitution . The responsibility for the conscription lay with Montgelas' Foreign Ministry.

After three peaceful years, the next European war loomed in 1804. Although an alliance with France was advantageous for Bavaria at this point in time and less could be expected from Russia, Prussia and England - Austria continued to behave as an opponent - Montgelas hesitated when it came to a clear turn to Napoleon. He twice advised Max Joseph against traveling to Napoleon (to Mainz and to the coronation of the emperor in Paris), who had openly demonstrated this turn. Besides worrying about how the other European powers would react to such a tie between Bavaria and France, he also had concerns about the durability of Napoleon's successes and rule. Russia was especially important as the second guarantor of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss for Bavaria in the settlement of disputes. A neutral stance like that of Prussia would not have been accepted by the latter or, of course, by Austria.

France, on the other hand, had been pushing for an alliance with Bavaria since the end of 1804 and also strictly rejected the neutrality favored by Max Joseph. Russia and Austria concluded an alliance against France on November 5, 1804. In the following months France and Bavaria secretly agreed on an alliance treaty in which Bavaria a. a. France supported the French claims in Italy and France assured Bavaria of territorial rounding (there were still numerous Austrian and Prussian enclaves in Bavaria in 1805) and Austrian territories in Swabia. It was signed on August 25, 1805 in the Bogenhausen estate of Montgelas, but was postdated to August 24, 1805.

The Austrian troops opened the third coalition war on August 27, 1805 and stood on the Inn in early September 1805. As in 1799/1800, Max Joseph was hardly up to the pressure. The French troops were on their way to Bavaria, but did not arrive there until October 1805. Montgelas and France had to play for time. Max Joseph wrote to the French ambassador Louis-Guillaume Otto, Comte des Mosloy, the negotiator of the Bogenhausen Treaty:

“[...] the Austrians have already laid out their pontoons along the Inn. I expect her to invade Bavaria at any moment. I have no doubt that Buol , the Austrian minister, will ask me whether I want to be for or against her. If I reply that I have signed an alliance with France, my troops and my country will be lost. "

On September 6, 1805, Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg unexpectedly arrived in Nymphenburg with a letter from Emperor Franz II, in which, on behalf of Russia, demanded the incorporation of Bavarian troops into the Austrian army. The next evening, after consulting with Montgelas, Max Joseph signaled to Schwarzenberg that he should discuss his decision and the details with Montgelas. On August 8, 1805, Montgelas demanded from Schwarzenberg that the Bavarian troops should form a corps separate from the Austrian troops, which Schwarzenberg refused. The French ambassador Otto was very upset about the apparent departure from the alliance treaty, but continued to work constructively with Montgelas and both ultimately changed the elector's vote by separate letters, with Montgelas appending a resignation to his memorandum to the elector:

“A very secondary question is the person of the minister, who in this matter only after the precise and repeated orders of your elector. And their formal resolutions acted on each and every point. He is necessarily in a very difficult position vis-à-vis the various powers if such a disclosure takes place (which is inevitable). He will never be able to ever regain the degree of confidence in any of these powers that is necessary to do his service well. This forces him to ask for his transfer to other functions, which will remove him from any contact with foreign policy ... "

On September 8, 1805, Max Joseph replied to the French envoy that he would leave immediately for Würzburg and that he would not conclude any agreements with Austria. A positive side effect of Max Joseph's vacillation was that Austria only now noticed something of Bavaria's planned change of alliance and Bavaria was able to withdraw its troops (around 20,000 men) largely unmolested north of the Danube in the Amberg area from Austrian access.

Now Austria became diplomatically active again and Count Johann Rudolf von Buol-Schauenstein offered Bavaria ever more extensive concessions in the event of a merger. The attitude of Max Joseph was still assessed by diplomatic observers as fluctuating and above all the anti-France and Austria-friendly attitude of the Electress was considered a further factor of uncertainty. The French envoy Otto reported from Würzburg:

“The vast majority of civil servants, the army and the people are on our side. Against us stand the fearfulness of the prince, the softness of the court and, above all, the tears of the Electress. "

Montgelas consulted continuously with Otto, but also with Buol (which Otto probably described as “the softness of the court”) and was still waiting to see whose favor the situation would develop. Max Joseph, however, was now firmly committed to the Bogenhausen treaty with France. After Baden and Württemberg had allied themselves with Napoleon, he ratified it on September 28, 1805, whereby the treaty was officially dated to "Würzburg, September 23, 1805" to make it appear as a result of the Austrian occupation of Bavaria.


After the change of alliance, Montgelas aimed for a sovereign Bavaria and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (HRR). Particularly important to him were the abolition of the imperial knighthood and the sovereignty over the post in Bavaria, which until then had been under Austrian control as Thurn und Taxissche Kaiserliche Reichspost - which meant that confidential information always had to be conveyed with its own courier, since the post office had letters habitually opened. This was opposed by Napoleon's plans for the Rhine Confederation as a strong German alliance alongside Prussia and Austria. Montgelas, on the other hand, only wanted a loose alliance of sovereign German medium-sized states and Württemberg also initially opposed a federation under the protectorate of France. In Bavaria, Crown Prince Ludwig and Gravenreuth in particular opposed this strategy, but failed because of Max Joseph, who was firmly committed to Montgelas and his foreign policy system. However, the realities of power politics and their dependence on France ultimately forced the southern German states of Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria to agree to the French plans. On July 25, 1806, sixteen German medium and small states ratified the Rhine Confederation Act and left the German Empire on August 1, 1806. On August 6, 1806, after an ultimatum from Napoleon, Francis II laid down the imperial crown of the HRR, which officially ended.

For medium-sized states like Bavaria, the Rhine Confederation brought further advantages in terms of rounding off their territories and sovereignty over old imperial structures. For example, Nuremberg and Regensburg now also came to Bavaria. After the defeat of Prussia in the fourth coalition war, most of the states that had previously belonged to the Prussian neutrality zone also joined the Rhine Confederation by 1808 . Due to the different interests of its members and France, the Rhine Confederation never got beyond a military alliance with France. For example, Bavaria expressly enacted its constitution in 1808 in a hurry that was remarkable for Montgelas, in order to forestall a constitutional regulation by the Rhine Confederation.

After the Peace of Schönbrunn , as a result of the fifth coalition war in 1809, details of the European map were changed again. Bavaria had to return western parts of Swabia, including Ravensburg and Ulm, back to Württemberg (the border established at that time has not been changed since then), lost South Tyrol to France and got Würzburg back, with the border to the Schweinfurt area, which was owned by the Habsburg Grand Duke Ferdinand von Würzburg was assumed, was the subject of tough negotiations. Max Joseph stayed in Paris from the end of 1809, and Montgelas joined in mid-January 1810. At the end of February 1810, the king returned to Munich, while Montgelas delayed his departure until the end of May 1810, when the border regulations for Würzburg were established.

More significant than any description of Montgela's activities is the decisive role that he played in Bavarian politics at the time, the paralysis of the administration caused by the absence of the triple minister. From April to May 1810, Max Joseph's calls to return increased.

“Harnier, who had already announced in April that the king will definitely be expecting his minister on April 10th, said that the king could not do without 'the unshakable ease of the minister to see and present things' at the moment. It has never been possible to convince oneself so clearly to what point the minister had succeeded in making himself the soul of the Bavarian government. "

Although Max Joseph even publicly railed against his minister during this time, he at the same time resisted all intrigues against Montgelas.

The impressions that Montgelas received in Paris at the time of Napoleon's marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria and that reinforced the doubts that had arisen since Napoleon's troubles in Portugal and Spain about the continuation of Napoleon's European position of power are significant for the further policy of Bavaria . Since the decree of Trianon on August 5, 1810, Bavaria had to give up its liberal customs regime and levy high import duties on goods from England, America and Spain. The drastic decline in imports and exports caused by the continental blockade turned the population's mood to the disadvantage of France. Montgela's complaints to the Paris government only led to a rapid change of the French ambassador in Bavaria, who acted in a friendly manner to Napoleon. At least Montgelas managed to withdraw a French claim of 11 million guilders for the Innviertel. Montgelas successfully opposed the trade ban with Austria, which was also demanded by France.

From 1810 onwards, Tsar Alexander withdrew from the alliance with France and Bavaria had to interrupt its good relations with Russia. At the beginning of 1811 Napoleon decided to attack Russia, which disregarded the continental blockade. The successor Johann Wilhelm Freiherr von Hompesch in the favor of Ernestine, the Russian envoy Prince Iwan Iwanowitsch Barjatinski left Munich (and Ernestine) contrary to diplomatic customs at the time only in the middle of the war of 1812, which happened only without significant diplomatic annoyance, because Montgelas between the friendly private ones The triangle and official diplomacy knew to strictly differentiate. The breakup plunged Ernestine into a psychosomatic crisis.

Bavaria increasingly had to deploy troops for Napoleon's war preparations and ensure the passage of Napoleonic troops from Italy, which included instructing the Tyroleans to clear the snow on the Brenner in the middle of winter at the beginning of 1812. The Russian campaign cost Bavaria almost its entire army of around 30,000 men and not only increased the tendency of Bavaria to break away from France at Montgelas. Because of the popular mood, which Montgelas and Max Joseph always carefully observed, Montgelas feared unrest, especially in Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Franconia . However, the general conscription allowed the army to be rebuilt quickly. At the beginning of 1813 there were Russian troops in Hofer Land and Montgelas resisted Napoleon's demands to subordinate the newly built troops to him, pointing to the direct threat to Bavaria.


Carl Philipp von Wrede (lithograph by Franz Hanfstaengl , 1828)

In addition to Montgelas, Carl Philipp von Wrede was a driving force behind the apostasy from France, which began in March 1813. Initially, the government and the king sought neutrality for Bavaria with the support of the Crown Prince. While Prussia refused, Austria, under Klemens Wenzel Lothar von Metternich, went very far towards Bavaria and guaranteed an undiminished stock in spite of the reclaiming of territories. However, it quickly became apparent that Austria was about to give up its neutrality and join an alliance with Prussia and Russia against France. The memoranda that Montgelas wrote in this context show that from May 1813 onwards, Montgelas considered a change of front between Bavaria and Napoleon necessary. Napoleon's military successes in the first half of 1813 did not only raise concerns among Montgelas, but also made it impossible for him to convince Max Joseph of the necessity of a change of alliance. Unlike the Crown Prince, who unsuccessfully called for a change of front, Montgelas chose his well-known method of lengthy weighing of the pros and cons of all the circumstances to be considered and only hinted at his own convictions indirectly.

Clemens Wenzel von Metternich (painting by Thomas Lawrence approx. 1820–1825)

After Austria entered the war against France on August 11, 1813, Austrian and Bavarian troops again faced each other on the Inn, but the Austrian general Prince von Reuss and Wrede negotiated incessantly. Nevertheless, it became more and more difficult to convey Max Joseph's ever new demands for an exact guarantee of the compensation for the return of the Austrian territories to the Allies. The first sign of the change of alliance was a note to Russia, which carefully indicated appropriate considerations and was sent after the defeat of Michel Ney at Dennewitz in mid-September 1813 became known. Thereafter, on September 20, 1813, Max Joseph agreed to a declaration of neutrality, which contained the break with France, but was no longer accepted as sufficient by the Allies in the situation at the time. On September 27, 1813, Metternich ultimately demanded Bavaria's immediate change of alliance to the side of the Allies. On October 7, 1813, a renewed ultimatum brought Reuss to invade Bavaria the next day and Wredes and Montgelas' concentrated several hours of persuasion in his Bogenhausen property to finally sign the negotiated draft contract against his conviction.

On October 8, the Treaty of Ried was signed, with which Bavaria left the Confederation of Rhine and joined the war against Napoleon on the side of the Allies. When Max Joseph and Montgelas stayed at the Allied headquarters in Mainz in mid-November, the treaty with Austria, Russia and Prussia was ratified. It also contained the agreement of a lasting peace between Austria and Bavaria - a reorientation of Austrian politics initiated by Metternich, in which Max Joseph could not believe due to the formative experiences of his earlier years: “With all this we only gain in becoming independent from France , whereby we come under the Austrian yoke again. "

The Battle of Leipzig was followed by a period of reshaping Europe lasting several years, which was initially marked by disagreement among the Allies about how to proceed against France. It was not until the end of 1813 that they decided to invade France, with Wrede adopting a driving stance after quickly occupying some of the areas claimed by Bavaria. After Napoleon's defeat and the Peace of Paris in May 1814, the Paris Treaty between Bavaria and Austria came about on June 3, 1814, in which Bavaria received Würzburg (again) and Aschaffenburg in return for the cession of Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Bavarian claims to Mainz were left open in the form of a joint administration, since Prussia also made claims to it.

The negotiator for Bavaria was Wrede, who considered himself to be diplomatically inexperienced, but had been suggested by Montgelas. Presumably Montgelas already assumed that the final reorganization of Europe would take a long time to complete and he was also burdened by his previous France-friendly attitude. Strategically, he agreed with Metternich at this time that a counterweight should be created against Prussia and Russia by restoring a strong France. Montgelas gave exact instructions to Wrede, who was loyal to him during this time. From 1814 the impetuous Crown Prince Ludwig tried to influence Bavarian politics, but was initially held back by his father.

Delegates of the Congress of Vienna (contemporary copper engraving (colored) by Jean Godefroy after the painting by Jean-Baptiste Isabey )

Wrede also initially represented Bavaria at the Congress of Vienna ; In contrast to Max Joseph, Montgelas avoided Vienna and only provided him with detailed instructions from Munich. As reasons for this decision he named among other things the resentment after his earlier alliance policy with France, the necessity to have to worry about the consolidation of the Bavarian finances and his health. In his memoirs, he describes his refusal at the time as a mistake. The fact that he did not give in to Max Joseph's urgent request to support him with his expertise in the confusing diplomatic tug of war may have been one of the reasons for his later dismissal. Due to Montgela's reluctance to act, other people came to the fore such as Wrede, Rechberg , Zentner and Adam von Aretin , which contributed significantly to the weakening of his position of power.

During and after the Congress of Vienna, Montgelas' adherence to the idea of ​​an internationally sovereign Bavaria stood in stark contrast to the policy of the great powers, who wanted to dictate a sustainable peace to Europe, as well as to the first attempts at a German federal solution with limited sovereignty of its individual states. Although the German-national trend initially only flowed into the German Federal Act of June 8, 1815, it still corresponded to a burgeoning romantic-nationalist attitude among the population. Although Rechberg was ultimately able to anchor the sovereignty of the individual states in the German Confederation because of Metternich's interest in weakening Prussia, he received Montgelas' hesitant instructions on how to conduct negotiations much too late and often only after the content of the negotiations had long since progressed.

The main problematic point of the still open Bavarian territorial claims was that its national territory had to remain territorially contiguous. In the meantime, a Bavarian-Austrian draft treaty dated April 23, 1815, approved by the great powers, provided that Bavaria was to receive areas in western Germany for the Inn and Hausruck districts and Salzburg, which, however, would have had to cede Baden, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt. The territorial connection was ultimately not enforceable in view of the political realities and power relations and led to an increasing annoyance of the other powers towards Bavaria.

During Napoleon's return from Elba , Rechberg took over the role of delegate from Wrede, who returned to the troops. The final agreement with Austria took place in direct negotiations with Rechberg and Montgelas in Munich and under ultimate threats from the great powers. In the meantime, in January 1816 in Milan, Crown Prince Ludwig also tried in vain to obtain major concessions for Bavaria in direct talks with Emperor Franz I. Most recently, Bavaria received the Palatinate on the left bank of the Rhine, areas around Fulda and border areas with Hesse and Bohemia for the areas in the east ceded to Austria. Montgelas knew that this contract would provoke criticism in Bavaria and there was a bizarre argument with Rechberg about who should sign the contract, which ultimately resulted in the two signing this Munich contract on April 14, 1816 .

With his lack of understanding of the historical shifts, Montgelas became increasingly isolated and in conflict with other politicians in Bavaria. "You absolutely want the German nation to become a strong people, and if you want to make it into this, you would begin to lead it through the furnace of annihilation." Bavaria's policy was therefore not only met with suspicion by its southern German neighbors. He only approved the German Federal Act because he needed the support of the great powers for the Bavarian territorial demands. He hoped to be able to influence the German Bund in the Bundestag in Frankfurt am Main sufficiently in his favor and did not believe that it would last for long.

In the last years of his reign, Montgelas flirted with a rapid rapprochement with France and hoped (in vain) to support an independent Bavarian policy from Russia. Conversely, he feared the dominance of Austria and Prussia in the German Confederation. Significantly, he left many decisions to his subordinate Rechberg in the more realistic aspects of the German Confederation. When Rechberg was seconded as wedding envoy to Vienna at the end of 1816 to marry the daughter of Max Joseph's Princess Karoline Charlotte Auguste with Emperor Franz I (it was his fourth and last marriage) and the diplomatically inexperienced administrative officer Ignaz Freiherr von Gruben took his place in Frankfurt, it was revealed a complete isolation of Bavaria on the diplomatic parquet of Germany and Europe. In the last few weeks of his term in office, however, a rapprochement between Montgelas and Metternich began to develop, which led to some concessions from Metternich to Bavaria and which then became the basis of the normal relations between the two states. During these months the growing number of opponents of Montgela under the leadership of Crown Prince Ludwig had more and more good arguments at hand to convince the king of the need to dismiss Montgela. At the end of 1816, all the assessments of diplomats accredited in Munich showed that Montgelas was attacked from all sides and was only able to keep his offices thanks to the support of Max Joseph.

Financial policy

Secularization, mediatization

The attitude that Montgelas showed towards secularization from 1799 onwards had little in common with his scrupulous statements on state church law from 1789 in the 118-page Mémoire sur les droits des Ducs de Bavière en matière ecclésiastique . He did not play a leading role in the processes that began in 1802 with the dissolution of the monasteries of the mendicant orders in Bavaria, but because he soon became the decisive figure in Max Joseph's cabinet and especially since the elector did little without first obtaining his opinion he naturally had a major influence on it.

Montgelas decided what was presented to the elector and suppressed at least once verifiably critical reports from the ministries in a joint meeting. He mostly sided with the radical anti-clerical enlighteners who were the driving force behind the implementation. He supported Hundreds, with whom he personally did not have a good relationship. There are only late statements by Montgelas on this subject, e.g. B. in the Compte rendu , in which he fundamentally defends the events, but also the orally handed down assertion that hundredweight was actually the driving force. However, Hundreds played a large part in Montgelas's fall and these late statements are likely to have been influenced by it.

In the case of the Imperial Deputation, it was the Bavarian representatives who, in accordance with Montgelas' instructions, pushed for the complete abolition of all estate monasteries and also pursued this against France and Russia. From 1799 onwards, Montgela's attitude was almost entirely dominated by the solution to Bavaria's current financial problems, whose budget was only about half covered by income. Other arguments in favor of rapid secularization were put forward when needed. However, he also pursued longer-term political goals such as the smashing of the estates (the most important of which had been the prelate class ) or the liberation of the peasants from manorial rule .

With the ratification by Emperor Franz II. , The main Reichsdeputation Hauptschluss came into force on April 27, 1803. In §35, as Bavaria strived for, he granted the German states the right to abolish the estates and monasteries. However, nowhere was this right exercised so vehemently than in Bavaria and Württemberg. The negative example of a similar hasty approach in France at the beginning of the French Revolution stood before everyone as a warning. In fact, in Bavaria, the systematic preparations for the abolition of the estates cloisters began as early as the beginning of 1803, i.e. before the decision and ratification of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss. Apparently, Montgelas has z. B. prevented the securing of valuable paintings in favor of their quick sale.

The commission formed to carry out the secularization could be dissolved in 1805. Even then it became clear that secularization had brought little additional income to the state, as it also had to take over the debts of the abolished monasteries and to provide for the population in the areas that previously the monasteries as employers and in education were responsible. The opposition of Crown Prince Ludwig zu Montgela (not only) on the question of secularization contributed to the fact that his achievements for Bavaria were initially rather obscured and that he was for a long time a very controversial figure in Bavarian history.

Minister of Finance 1803–1806

As early as 1799, a special agreement with the Duchy of Neuburg revealed how Montgelas intended to implement his reform policy. The core of the Palatinate-Neuburgian deputation decision on the neural and governmental relationships of October 5, 1799 was a taxation of property without exceptions for everyone as well as certain consumption taxes with no trade tax and capital taxes. Regulations were set in favor of the farmers, such as the freezing of land taxes to the landlords as well as the abolition of compulsory guilds and permission for non-Catholics to purchase land. As a compromise with the old landscape, Neuburg received its own regional directorate (regional administration), which was initially headed by members of the old estates. Nevertheless, the implementation turned out to be difficult because, for example, a functioning cadastral system for recording property was initially completely lacking and could only be built up slowly, but also because of increasing resistance from conservative circles of the estates.

After Franz Karl von Hompesch's death in 1800, Montgelas took over the supervision of the finance ministry, which was also provisionally headed by the aged Morawitzky. So Montgelas had great influence down to the last detail on the fact that after the takeover of a highly indebted state from around 1803 the salaries of state officials could be paid on time.

In the implementation of tax fairness, Montgelas naturally faced the landscape ordinance and land estates , which he was able to play off against each other as well as the different parliamentary groups against each other. While the referendary Utzschneider initially hoped to promote tax justice by convening a state parliament, Montgelas energetically delayed it from 1799 onwards because of the unpredictability of such a meeting.

"In order to show the landscape regulation that his electoral highness does not fear the assembly of the Bavarian nation, but will, on the contrary, go to meet it with pleasure if favorable circumstances arise," a commission of a few qualified councilors should be set up under the direction of the entire ministry Set up traineeships that study the necessary materials to prepare for a state parliament, discuss the possible items for discussion in a state parliament and submit a draft for a new declared state freedom. "

At the end of 1803, with the approval of the landscape ordinance, Montgelas achieved that the foundations for convening a state parliament, which went back to the Middle Ages, should be carefully studied, after which the matter was exhausted for years in historical discussions. With the change of alliance in 1805, the landscape became increasingly meaningless, with the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 and the creation of a new constitution for Bavaria, the landscape became extinct. In 1807 it was decided to abolish the tax privileges of the nobility (whom Montgelas had called "Gewürm").

In 1806 a son of the former finance minister, Johann Wilhelm von Hompesch zu Bolheim, took over the ministry, which he headed in close cooperation with Montgelas. The fact that Hompesch was in a relationship with Ernestine and lived in the Palais Montgelas didn't affect the collaboration either. Hompesch built this ministry into an effective instrument for the consolidation of public finances and, in the implementation of the details, proved to be much more effective and consistent than Montgelas, who was more a man of grand concepts than of the details of their execution. The fact that Bavaria still had more expenses than income was due to the warlike times and the costs of territorial expansion, which were often initially associated with the assumption of high debts and only slowly brought in income. In 1807 the tax privileges of the nobility were abolished. In the period after 1811, however, the nobility was again increasingly preferred for tax purposes.

Minister of Finance 1809–1817

After the death of Johann Wilhelm von Hompesch at the end of 1809, Montgelas nominally took over the Ministry of Finance for the second time in personal union, which was effectively headed by trainee Johann Heinrich Schenk , who was appointed its general director.

By centralizing the financial authorities, Montgelas managed to achieve systematic and reliable recording of the state's financial situation by 1811. Nevertheless, Bavaria (like Austria at the same time ) was close to national bankruptcy several times . In the budget year 1808/09, income of 25.6 million guilders (abbreviated to fl.) Was set against expenditure of 37.5 million fl. And the Bavarian state had to take on Montgelas' debts during the entire reign of Montgelas, which was often difficult and with help from Montgelas' previous contacts with bankers . During the time of Montgelas the transition to the systematic financing of national debt by banks instead of wealthy creditors took place. The abolition of the landscape, considered creditworthy, in 1807 exacerbated the debt problems, because the state was initially considered less creditworthy than its landowners . Under Max Joseph it never succeeded, even in the later peacetime, in limiting the expenditures for the military to what was necessary.

After the reforms by Montgelas, state revenues were based on the property tax , the Dominikal tax (taxation of landlord income), a house tax and the trade tax . There was also a family protection allowance for men who were not covered by other taxes. For the reliable assessment of property tax in Bavaria from 1814, the cadastre was put on a reliable basis through extensive surveying measures.

Montgelas temporarily employed Utzschneider, who was dismissed in 1801 for Jacobin activities, in the financial sector again, but in 1814 he was dismissed again due to serious differences between the two men. When there was a conflict of interest between domestic and financial policy, Montgelas usually preferred the domestic aspects. He also enforced social aspects against his financial administration, as Max Joseph did increasingly when he interfered with suggestions from his ministers. To a certain extent, Bavaria’s financial hardship may have contributed to the fact that from 1809 onwards some planned reforms were not continued or even partially reversed.

In economic policy, Bavaria abolished internal tariffs at an early stage and initially relied on low import tariffs to promote the economy , but went back to higher protective tariffs around 1810, following the French example. In general, Montgelas' economic policy held a middle position between liberalism (as introduced by Prussia at this time) and state intervention, for example in certain prices (including those of basic foodstuffs ) and wages. But private property was inviolable for Montgelas. Montgelas also promoted the salt production, which he classified as important at an early stage, through the renewal and expansion of the salt pipelines and new salt pans in Rosenheim and Reichenhall .

It was significant for financial and domestic policy that Montgelas forced the authorities to collect extensive and unadorned statistics about their areas of activity. Such a survey took place in the entire national territory in 1809/10 and 1811/12, the purpose of which was to be able to identify the successes and weaknesses of the changes made. Nationally standardized questionnaires were used, which included financial, economic, population and health policy issues. The general commissioners commissioned with the survey also had to answer questions about which measures they B. considered expedient in dealing with the guilds. As early as 1804 Bavaria had lifted compulsory guilds, but made the establishment of a business dependent on a state license.

After the end of the Napoleonic wars, Bavaria was still in a structural financial crisis, in which expenses exceeded income by several million guilders. A public debt repayment commission was not set up until 1811, which at least enabled a complete overview of the budget deficits. When Wrede wanted to increase Bavaria's military spending from about six to ten million florins in the peacetime with just over twenty million florins in revenue, Montgelas insisted on reducing the military budget and in mid-1816 came into sharp opposition to Wrede, who with the help of the Army wanted to pursue Bavarian great power plans. Montgelas called for military spending to be under the control of the Treasury.

An ordinance dated July 17, 1816, described by the Russian envoy Friedrich von der Pahlen as "fraudulent bankruptcy", withdrew mortgage protection from some lottery bonds and led to the collapse of several banks as a result of the fall in the price of these government bonds, with numerous investors losing money. While none of the papers of Montgela's house banker Seligmann-Eichthal were affected, the banker Simon Spiro , who was hostile to him, had been paid for deliveries to the army with the papers concerned and went bankrupt. This affair quickly became common knowledge and turned public opinion against Montgelas. It was not until shortly after Montgelas' dismissal that the measure was corrected under the new Finance Minister, Count Lerchenfeld, in February 1817.

The bad harvests of 1816 as a result of several years of global cooling caused by the eruption of the Tambora volcano in 1815 led to a further reduction in tax income and additional expenses to supply the needy population. However, while other states such as Prussia, Electorate Hesse and Württemberg quickly took effective measures, the actions of the Bavarian administration under Montgelas had a confused effect: the intermediate authorities were supposed to keep supplies ready for emergencies, but reported that there were no such supplies; the basic taxes were supposed to be paid in grain, but the harvests often did not produce the necessary grain. In mid-1816 the price of grain had risen to three times the previous year's figure, which Montgelas dismissed as a “consequence of speculation”; At the end of 1816 riots broke out in some western cities in Bavaria. In November 1816 the export duties for grain were increased drastically (Bavaria had meanwhile returned to its liberal customs policy before the Rhine Confederation), but Montgelas delayed the implementation of the purchase of grain in Russia approved by Max Joseph at the end of 1816 for formal reasons. His self-justifications in the compte rendu and the memorabilia show that he did not grasp the real extent of the crisis even later.

Domestic politics


During the presence of French troops in Bavaria from 1799 to 1802, as in all of southern Germany, groups of economically influential citizens and intellectuals emerged who sought a Jacobin overthrow and the introduction of a southern German republic based on the French model ( Napoleon's consulate from late 1799). They wrote anonymous republican pamphlets and tried in vain after Moreau's invasion of Munich in 1800 to win his support. Max Joseph and Montgelas reacted calmly and apart from the expulsion of some foreigners from among the activists, not only did nothing happen, but leading figures who later professed their Jacobinism were assigned to higher positions in the state according to their abilities, true to Montgelas' principle of tolerance in ideological questions.

Following the example of the Electoral Palatinate Declaration of Religion of May 9, 1799, religious tolerance and parity of Christian denominations were decreed by edicts and religious services, freedom of settlement and equal rights for Protestants were guaranteed. These regulations took into account the fact that the Altbaiern , which had been strictly Catholic since the time of Wilhelm IV. Had a non-Catholic share of around 25% due to the Palatinate influx and its area growth until 1803.

Between 1802 and 1809 concordat negotiations took place with the Roman Catholic Church, with which Montgelas pursued the goal of ending ecclesiastical influence on the state and the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the state after the introduction of the French model of the Concordat of 1801 to regulate denominational parity. Specifically, it was about the delimitation of the secular from the spiritual jurisdiction, the educational role of the pastors, with regard to whom pastors were also regarded as state officials, the abolition of the Munich nuncio introduced by Karl Theodor , the new endowment of the bishops ' chairs after the secularization with the right of Appointment of bishops by the elector and the reorganization of the dioceses in accordance with the state borders. These negotiations failed because the Curia rejected religious tolerance and demanded that Bavaria's church policy be withdrawn. Pope Pius VII threatened a 'damnation bull' in 1804.

After Bavaria became independent in 1806, the Curia continued to raise the unacceptable demand for the repeal of all laws and ordinances contradicting canon law, and later hardened its position. From 1807 a new situation arose due to Napoleon's efforts to change the Confederation of the Rhine and thereby also to achieve a concordat for the entire Confederation of the Rhine. After these efforts became irrelevant in 1808 and 1809 due to the next coalition war, it was not until 1814 that there were new considerations to regulate the relationships between the state and the Roman Catholic Church, which only led to a concordat after Montgelas' fall in 1817 in which the Parity of the Christian denominations and the rights of the king in the appointment of bishops were regulated.

In the first years of his reign, Montgelas created the Secret House Archives, the Secret State Archives and the Secret State Archives, an orderly archival system that he could rely on in his work. Domestic political reforms were increasingly tackled by Montgelas after the turmoil of the first years of government from 1804. In order to realize the Rohrbach house contract of 1797, the Domanial Fideikommißpragmatik of the Churhaus Pfalzbaiern (published 1805) was first created in 1804 , in which the state territory of several principalities was merged with the electoral chamber property and the prince was appointed to the organ of this state. In return, the state had to take care of the prince ( civil list ). This also implicitly abolished the aristocracy's entitlement to state offices and the granting of care offices.

The civil servant pragmatics of 1805 regulated the employment and payment of civil servants and judges and abolished the sport . Dismissals now required a court ruling. The requirements for entry into the civil service were based on qualifications and exams. As a result of a six-year traineeship, civil service was largely reserved for the wealthy classes. Uniforms were introduced in all ranks.

Minister of the Interior 1806–1817

A uniform constitution for Bavaria was urgent due to the large territorial growth of 1806 (with the exception of the Prussian Bayreuth and with the loss of the monastery Würzburg mediated in 1803, large parts of Franconia including Ansbach, Swabia from Lake Constance to Ulm, Tyrol and Vorarlberg), so that a uniform state consciousness could be established could establish. The failure in Tyrol showed how necessary efforts were in this direction , where regional differences and antipathies could not be kept at the level of an administratively controllable rivalry and resulted in the Tyrolean popular uprising of 1809.

The goals of the constitution of 1808 were the creation of a uniform state law - especially after the abolition of the estates - the anchoring of the reforms that had already taken place in the entire national territory, an improvement of the administration and financial situation of the state and, last but not least, the creation of existing facts against the still possible introduction a French dictated Rhine Federation statute. An imperial assembly of citizens, who paid the highest property tax, was also planned as a replacement for the landscape, which would have resulted in a partial continuation of the privileges of the nobility, but was not implemented during the reign of Montgelas.

Contents of the constitution were, on the one hand, the establishment of the reforms of the administration already introduced such as equality of all before the law, uniform taxation, equal access for all to public offices, on the other hand, the fundamental elimination of the privileges of individual classes, families, provinces and cities, which only came through the expiry of the HRR 1806 was made legally unobjectionable, the guarantee of the security and property of the citizens, regulations on the orderly administration of justice, freedom of conscience and equality of the Christian denominations, limited freedom of the press, the establishment of a standing people's army, civil militias and a national guard.

Some of the goals, which were only touched upon in principle in the constitution, were only specified in later organic edicts . The envisaged introduction of a new civil law and the establishment of a state representation of wealthy noblemen and citizens were not implemented under the Montgelas government. Only in Tyrol did Montgelas' rigid insistence on the introduction of a uniform state law not support the state in the way he had hoped, and it throws a telling light on Montgela's views that he never seriously considered the pragmatic possibility of a differentiated treatment of the different parts of the country even there pulled - he was reproached for this by the French and by Crown Prince Ludwig - and reduced it to trivialities in his compte rendu:

“Some pilgrimages, some processions and the performance of religious spectacles were allowed. The congregations were able to buy back some churches, which they were keen to maintain, and maintain them at their own expense [...] The favorable influence of this more moderate approach was felt very quickly. Tyrol was solidly pacified, and (also) the other Catholic provinces now preferred to submit to the multiple oppressive burdens from the moment they were returned to their customs. "

A regulation of the municipal administrations was not foreseen in Montgelas' long-term plans, but turned out to be indispensable due to the large number of different regulations in Old Bavaria and the newly added areas (including the imperial cities of Augsburg and Nuremberg ). From the initial efforts to standardize and make the municipal administrations effective until 1804, an organic edict of 1808 developed a centralized approach in which the municipal administrations were subordinate to the state as its lowest organs. The judiciary, administration including the police and the use of municipal property were systematically separated. However, the regulations proved to be administratively impracticable, far too complex and costly. Soon there was general consensus that this edict should be repealed and replaced by more workable regulations. Various committees have drawn up proposals for greater local self-government.

Montgelas was one of the few to oppose such a fundamental withdrawal of the edict and Max Joseph followed him in it. Montgelas shied away from the political self-government of the communities and, at a time when he and Max Joseph began to become more conservative, probably also the implicit granting of civil and political freedoms. By only hesitantly doing something under his government to remedy the blatant abuses of the centralistic community reform, he laid one of the foundations for a generalized dissatisfaction with his government. There had always been isolated hostility and envious people, of course, since 1805, Crown Prince Ludwig, as a resolute opponent of Montgelass' politics, played an increasingly influential role in the state. With important employees like Zentner, who, like Montgelas, was more theoretician than a practitioner, but in contrast to the latter, understood the administration, Montgelas always got on badly, but made him the managing director of his interior ministry in 1810 regardless. Zentner was the head of the reorganization of community self-government, which was implemented after Montgelas' fall in the community edict of 1818.

With the Organic Edict on the Rights of the Landlords of July 28, 1808, serfdom was abolished and the flocks were also to be gradually withdrawn, which had previously been recommended to the landlords on a voluntary basis, but a planned implementing regulation under Montgelas did not come about. The replacement of the manor was initially not one of the goals of Montgelas since the Ansbach Memoire , but was considered by him in connection with secularization. The organizational commission charged with drafting the edict had wanted to enable the property to be redeemed without the consent of the landlord. Montgelas and his king insisted that it must be based on mutual agreement, for which understandable practical reasons were asserted (the unfavorable consequences of the decreed and ruthlessly implemented secularization were still clearly in view). There was only an improvement in the legal security of the Grundholden .

Under his leadership, at the suggestion of the physician Simon von Haeberl , the health system was fundamentally reformed and, among other measures, the statutory smallpox vaccination was introduced in Bavaria.

The improvement of the quality and quantity of agricultural production was promoted with a wide variety of measures. The government under Montgelas, for example, focused on the creation of independent small and medium-sized enterprises through the destruction of goods and the division of parish grounds. This course was soon corrected in favor of more viable medium and large enterprises. Above all, however, new forms of farming such as crop rotation and the abolition of three-field farming were propagated, which actually led to falling grain prices. The first veterinary school was founded in 1790 and the Weihenstephan Forest and Agriculture School was founded in 1803.

After 1808, the nobility had to be confirmed by a royal concession. The Fideikommiss should be completely abolished, but because of the drastic consequences for some family property, it was soon replaced by Majorate for high earners by Montgelas, in contradiction to Justice Minister Heinrich Alois von Reigersberg . In association with Zentner, Reigersberg also violently contradicted other restorations of noble rights in the majorate edict of 1811, such as the restoration of civil and patrimonial jurisdiction by majorate property owners or the freedom of noblemen. Ostensibly financial reasons were cited for this - there was less income than expenditure - but, contrary to the course they had taken at the beginning, Max Joseph and Montgelas increasingly came to believe that the nobility was important for the state, and during this time they systematically became more nobility-friendly. In doing so, they essentially gave in to the growing opposition to the nobility.

Montgelas was the only Bavarian ministry of his time that never held the Ministry of Justice, which is why he only exerted influence on fundamental issues due to his dominant position with Max Joseph. Soon after Max Joseph took office, judges were paid a fixed salary and the maintenance of grace was abolished. In the Organic Edict on the Judicial Constitution of July 24, 1808, the irrevocability of judges and the separation between justice and administration were stipulated - the latter, however, not for the regional courts , which thus continued to have functions that are now held by a regional administrative office . The retrospective application of laws was also prohibited. The Higher Appeal Court in Munich and appellate courts in the districts emerged at the head of the instance . The Treasury (against Montgela's resistance) and the King were placed under ordinary jurisdiction in private disputes. The training, qualifications and pay of judges were regulated. Even poor clients had to be accepted by lawyers.

In the old Bavarian criminal law there was still torture , witch trials and punishments such as wheels and pinching with glowing pincers. Even for small thefts could death penalty be imposed. The secret Council of State has dealt with requests for pardon in such cases more often, although Max Joseph rarely made use of his right to pardon. Torture was abolished at the instigation of Joseph von Stichaner , but only hesitantly and finally through an ordinance on July 4, 1806. Work on a new criminal law began in 1800 when the Würzburg law professor AGK Kleinschrod was commissioned to draft a new code 1802 and was presented to the public for assessment - a very new approach at the time. Because it was rejected, a new assignment was given to Paul Johann Anselm von Feuerbach in 1804, who had become a professor in Landshut in 1804 and a trainee in the Ministry of Justice in 1805. This resulted in a new Bavarian criminal law in 1813 after a long discussion. An objection to the fact that Justice Minister Morawitzky submitted Feuerbach's draft criminal law directly to the State Conference in 1808 shows how much Montgelas not only actually had the management of government affairs in hand, but also attached importance to the fact that nothing essential was decided without his consent had not previously included Montgelas.

A new civil law, although provided for in the constitution of 1808, did not come into existence in Bavaria until the BGB was introduced in 1900 . There were several attempts under Montgelas, which were derived from the old Kreittmayr civil law, which was only valid in Altbaiern, up to the Code Napoléon , but the nobility in particular prevented an agreement on a modern civil law. Montgelas turned against the strong orientation towards the Code Napoléon - especially after seeing Napoleon's star in decline from around 1810 - which Feuerbach had initially championed and demanded greater consideration of historical Bavarian peculiarities. It also played a role that Montgelas got along badly with the self-assured but inflexible Feuerbach and pushed him off to insignificant posts in his later years in government.

Montgelas had already established the need for legal protection for the Jews in a fragmentary representation of the Bavarian church and state constitution from around 1783, which is a preliminary work for the Memoire sur le droits des Ducs de Bavière en matière ecclésiastique discussed above . The representation is influenced by the book of the Prussian official Christian Wilhelm Dohm, who later became known to him personally, on the civil improvement of the Jews from 1781. In 1804 the general compulsory education introduced in 1802 was extended to Jews. It was not until June 10, 1813, that an edict governing the civil legal relationships of Jews in Bavaria regulated humanitarian, economic and social aspects of the position of Jews. At the same time, the original, enlightening, free spirit took a back seat to illiberal demands, which were primarily influenced by protests such as those from the City of Munich, and which King Max Joseph usually followed. The edict granted freedom of trade, property and religious freedom, but the state subjected them to controls aimed at preventing the number of Jews in Bavaria from increasing. In practice, wealthy Jews were exempt from this regulation.

In keeping with the zeitgeist, Montgelas considered the Jews to be a nation that had to be educated to become useful citizens, which did not prevent him from advocating for individual Jews and cultivating excellent relationships with bankers like Aron Elias Seligmann for many years. While Bavaria was a pioneer in some reform aspects, it lagged long behind developments in other German states on the Jewish question. Envy of competition towards Jews repeatedly led to spiteful agitation in Bavaria, some of which were directed against Montgelas. With the reform decree of June 10, 1813, Jews were granted citizenship rights.

Universities and schools, previously founded and operated on the initiative of the Church, have now been fundamentally reformed. General compulsory schooling was made mandatory for Bavaria on December 23, 1802. From then on, children between the ages of six and twelve had to attend this elementary school. The parents had to pay school fees for every school-age child , and the children's attendance at school was monitored. Successful completion of school was a prerequisite for admission to a craft apprenticeship, for taking over the parents' farm and also for obtaining a marriage permit. From 1803 the training of trivial and grammar school teachers was regulated as independent professions. In 1809 state examination regulations for high school teachers were introduced. It was the first in Germany. Guidelines were given to schools, although the attempt to associate the humanistic subjects of mathematics, natural sciences, German literature, modern languages, history and geography with equal values ​​did not initially have any lasting success.

The public holiday school in Munich was founded in 1793 with the support of Montgelas for the education and training of apprentices and journeymen . It is the forerunner of the vocational schools in Germany. In 1823 the Royal Building Trade School was founded in Munich. This offered talented builders and parliaments the opportunity to train to become master builders. This gave the state the possibility of influencing the building industry in Bavaria.

At the instigation of Max Joseph, Montgelas and Zentner, well-known scientists were appointed to the university , which was moved from Ingolstadt to Landshut , and inefficient professors were dismissed from it. Of the universities that became part of Bavaria as a result of the expansion of the area, only Würzburg and Erlangen remained . Montgelas sought a single state university in Munich for the purpose of training future civil servants and pursued this through fiscal restrictions of the other universities, but was unable to enforce this, especially against political considerations.

A reorganization of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences with an edict of May 1, 1807 did not prove successful. Many institutions and state collections were subordinated to the academy, and full-time academy members were appointed to conduct research independently of universities. The full-time academy members, however, attracted attention more through trench warfare than through scientific excellence. In the scholarly dispute, which took place between 1809 and 1812, between supporters of Johann Christoph von Aretin and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, with defamatory pamphlets in particular, Montgelas remained neutral overall, although both sides appealed to him.

In the Palatinate, which had been under French occupation since 1794, Montgelas left it in 1816 with the administrative and legal structures introduced by France, including the Code Napoléon. The Bavarian Constitution of 1808 was created by the Rhine Confederation to replace the Estates constitution and to defend against more far-reaching regulations, but was not implemented in parts (municipal self-government, parliament, civil legislation). From 1814 the formation of the German Confederation again brought about a comparable situation, and on September 14, 1814, Montgelas initiated the establishment of a committee under Justice Minister Graf Reigersberg with the aim of setting it up

"[...] that one should not ignore the wishes of the time, the educated as well as the people, that a constitution strengthen the sovereignty and creditworthiness of the state and the state consciousness of its members, that Bavaria can thereby also prevent possible intervention by any federal authority."

In addition to similar plans by Crown Prince Ludwig, the demand for the reintroduction of mediatized princes, which was temporarily raised at the Congress of Vienna, played a role, which was to be warded off by their acceptance into a First Chamber . The committee discussed the constitutional question in a much more general way than intended by Montgelas in the sense of a representative constitution (e.g. with the right to vote for the landlords instead of just the landlords) and on December 10, 1814, Montgelas prompted Max Joseph to criticize Max Joseph for going beyond his specifications Discussions were held. The committee's final report of February 14, 1815, however, listed not only the majority opinion, which conformed to Montgela's specifications, but also numerous minority votes, most of which Reigersberg had also joined. Crown Prince Ludwig, to whom the report was presented by his father, also joined Reigersberg and the minority votes, so that a select committee was set up to revise the draft constitution , which was obstructed by Montgelas and only met twice in 1815. In a letter from Johann Christoph von Aretin to his brother Adam on September 26, 1816, he describes a statement by Montgelas about liberal ideas:

“You sent me a paper with very free thoughts. You are certainly right that one day the ideas of a representative constitution will triumph over the old estates. But it's still too early for Bavaria to introduce these ideas to us without restrictions. "

Julie von Zerzog describes statements by Montgelas on the constitution of 1818 in the preface to an edition of Montgelas' letters as follows:

“I would have called together provincial estates and let them discuss the constitution. - Then this would have emerged from the people ... Only when some political education had been generated by provincial assemblies, which I consider necessary and which was not there, would I have brought into being the constitution that would have emerged from their deliberations. "

Diplomatic observers in Munich reported increasing resistance against Montgelas from 1814 onwards, but mostly believed that Max Joseph would continue to protect him against all hostility as before. On the morning of February 2, 1817 after his return from Vienna, where he had visited his daughter after her marriage to Franz I, Wrede succeeded like an attack on Max Joseph in a well-calculated, heaped charge against Montgelas, supported by a letter from the Crown Prince Ludwig and a report by Montgelas' right hand in the Foreign Ministry, Legation Councilor Ringel, persuaded Max Joseph to appoint new ministers in Montgela's place. As a pretext, an illness of Montgelas served since mid-December 1816, as a result of which Ringel confirmed that Montgelas was no longer fulfilling his obligations. Formally, Max Joseph accepted an invented request for relief from Montgelas because of poor health, without having visited and heard it beforehand in Bogenhausen, as planned for eleven o'clock. The driving force was Crown Prince Ludwig, who skilfully remained in the background of the successful plot, whom Max Joseph visited immediately after the signing of Montgela's dismissal. Zentner also provided important assistance in preparation. Montgelas' successors were Rechberg as Foreign Minister, Lerchenfeld as Minister of Finance and Thürheim as Minister of the Interior, the latter two not being Ludwig's preferred candidates, but being chosen by Max Joseph.


Montgelas seems to have been surprised by his dismissal, but accepted it with dignity, and when instead of Max Joseph only his dismissal letter reached him, he drafted a dismayed letter as a reply, but did not send it. Shortly afterwards he was again associating with Max Joseph and Ludwig, but under the impression of the opposition of the Crown Prince, he seems to have refrained from attempting to induce the king to revise his decision, which Max Joseph himself soon regretted. However, there were several attempts to send Montgelas as Bavarian ambassador to Florence , Naples and Rome or Paris, the former not being pursued by him after the death of Ernestine, the latter being ultimately rejected by Montgelas because the new political situation suited him Post in France did not appear attractive, even if he was basically ready to continue to serve Max Joseph.

After the introduction of the constitution of 1818, Montgelas was appointed a member of the Chamber of Imperial Councils and played an influential role there. He advised the Crown Prince Ludwig and later, as king, often supported him in negotiations. In 1827 he was appointed second president of the chamber by Ludwig: "As Reichsrat, not as minister, he is pleasant to me." From 1829 to 1833 Montgelas was chairman of the district administrator of the Regenkreis (an administrative district at that time around Regensburg, parts of the Upper Palatinate and Lower Bavaria included where Montgelas was wealthy in Zaitzkofen and Laberweinting ).

Ernestine was ill with tuberculosis in the last years of her life and from 1819 was treated by a doctor in Pisa . She died on June 17, 1820. Montgelas initially fell into depression , according to reports from those around him . He has been looking after his eight children intensively since his wife fell ill, and a list of the upbringing from the beginning of 1825 for a new teacher to be hired once again documents his systematic theoretical nature. In it he deals with B. social issues, hygiene, teaching, sport, religion and art and quotes Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and François Fénelon .

In addition to those already mentioned, Montgelas also wrote memoranda for Max Joseph and the Reichsrat, for example several on the Concordat of 1817. He traveled to Switzerland, where some of his children were raised, to Northern Italy, England and France. He also remained economically active, as evidenced by his sales and acquisitions of goods. Around 1835 he handed over the management of his estates to his eldest son Maximilian. Numerous letters to Julie von Zerzog have been received from 1826 onwards, in which he explains his opinion on everything that preoccupied him, including criticism of the politics under Ludwig I and increasingly religious questions. In the last few years of his life, his writing, which was difficult to read, became a little shaky.



The French ambassador in Munich, Count Montezan, recommended Montgelas to Johann Christian von Hofenfels in 1786:

“His heart is capable of enthusiasm, his horizon is wide, his judgment is prudent. He loves his country and his ruling house with devotion. [...] He knows the state (Bavaria) and its inhabitants, is full of good will and would only be anxious to earn, but not to earn. The awareness of belonging to the heir or perhaps to the innovator of Bavaria would be the highest reward for him. "

The bon mot is passed down from his sharp-tongued wife Ernestine:

"As foreign minister you couldn't have a better one, as interior minister he is passable, as finance minister he deserves to be hanged."

In 1842, Karl Heinrich von Lang describes in his memoirs Montgela, whom he met in 1811 as director of the Reichsarchiv and the Reichsholdenamt:

“Indeed, luck could not easily have given the king a more discreet and devoted servant. He was what I imagine a Mazarin or a Richelieu to be. It is thanks to his plans, his negotiations, his correct grasping of the moment, that Baiern was elevated to a greater independent power and even the outward ornament of a royal crown ... His education and all his appearance were old French. "

In the run-up to the Treaty of Ried, the French ambassador in Munich, Mercy-Argenteau, ruled:

"In this extreme reserve on his side, I can only see the fearfulness of a man who is afraid of compromising his position if he clearly declares himself to be a party."

Montgelas was often described by his opponents as work-shy and addicted to pleasure, for example in early 1817 by the Prussian ambassador Johann Emanuel von Küster, who then admits:

“But a man like him works in five hours more than others in three times the time, and the secret lies in the preponderance of the spirit. Count Montgelas is one of the most happily organized heads, of excellent acumen, great prudence and clarity of ideas, or at least of a philosophical talent for generalizing all occurrences, with a firm memory, lively gift for combinations, wit, imagination, cunning and caution, of a very high level happy representation and a calmness or equanimity which (perhaps all the more so as the future of the count is secured by a large fortune) can no longer be shaken by praise and blame, hopes and fears ... "

Later born

In the judgment of posterity in the 19th century, apart from a few voices critical of the government, which Bavaria wanted a minister like Montgelas again, the derogatory opinions outweighed them. Catholic circles resented the implementation of secularization, for the liberals he had been too conservative in his second half of government and for German-national-minded people too friendly to France and too keen on a strong, independent Bavaria.

It was not until the end of the 19th century that a more comprehensive historical discussion of Montgelas began, which increasingly also objectively included the rich sources. In 1895 Richard Du Moulin-Eckart planned a twenty-volume account of Bavaria under the Montgelas Ministry, 1799–1817 , which, however, did not grow beyond the first volume. Michael Doeberl published in 1982 in the second volume of his development history of Bavaria a first complete account of the Montgelas government. Extensive studies of parts of the reign of Montgelas were presented by Hans Karl von Zwehl in 1937, Fritz Zimmermann in 1940 and by Marcel Dunan in 1942.

In 1987, Hans-Ulrich Wehler rated Montgelas in the first volume of his social history as the most successful German politician of the early 19th century.

Eberhard Weis describes Montgelas as a very detail-obsessed politician, who often missed a completely clear line in the big picture due to scruples about the little things. Nevertheless, he sees in him the "architect of the modern Bavarian state". He also emphasizes Montgelas' aversion to risk. He contrasts this with the fact that Montgelas ultimately achieved most of his ambitious political goals:

“[...] despite several life-threatening situations, the Bavarian state is now taking on its modern exterior and interior form designed and implemented by Montgelas, it is going through an era of stormy reforms, some of which are hasty and in need of revision, but most of which are of lasting value. Montgelas possesses one of the most important abilities of the statesman to a great extent: recognizing the tendencies of his time, correctly assessing the possibilities and dangers lying in the present, carefully observing developments and then at the right moment - Montgelas often only does it at the last Second of the right moment - act decisively. The sure recognition of the favorable moment in foreign policy enables the minister not only to save and enlarge the state entrusted to him, but also to build his truly revolutionary internal structure [...] "


Munich-Bogenhausen: memorial plaque for Friedrich Ludwig Sckell and Montgelas ( Peter Weidl , 2002)

The Maximilian-von-Montgelas-Gymnasium of the same name in Vilsbiburg / Landshut district was named after him.

See also


  • Juliane von Åkerman: Maximilian Joseph Montgelas, Count von Garnerin . In: Jürgen Wurst, Alexander Langheiter (Ed.): Monachia. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, 2005, p. 160, ISBN 3-88645-156-9
  • Karl Theodor von Heigel:  Montgelas, Maximilian Graf von . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 22, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1885, pp. 193-204.
  • Michael Henker , Margot Hamm, Evamaria Brockhoff (eds.): Bavaria is born. Montgelas and his Ansbacher Memoire from 1796. Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg, 1996, ISBN 3-7917-1535-6 .
  • Katharina Weigand, Jörg Zedler (eds.): Montgelas between science and politics - crisis diagnosis, need for modernization and reform policy in the Montgela era and at the beginning of the 21st century , Herbert Utz Verlag, Munich, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8316-0897- 3
  • Eberhard Weis : Montgelas - Between Revolution and Reform 1759–1799 , Verlag CH Beck, 2nd reviewed edition, Munich, 1988, ISBN 3-406-32974-8
  • Eberhard Weis:  Montgelas, Maximilian Joseph. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-00199-0 , pp. 55-63 ( digitized version ).
  • Eberhard Weis: Hardenberg and Monteglas. Attempt to compare their personalities and their politics . In: Yearbook of the Historical College 1997, pp. 3–20 ( digitized version ).
  • Eberhard Weis: Montgelas - The Architect of the Modern Bavarian State 1799-1838 , Verlag CH Beck, Munich, 2005, ISBN 3-406-03567-1
  • Gallery of the strangest Kurbaierischen civil servants, III. Heft, Maximilian Freiherr von Montgelas, Minister of Foreign Affairs , Volpert, Mainz [1800] ( digitized version ).

Web links

Commons : Maximilian von Montgelas  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

Used abbreviations:

M. Montgelas
EWI Eberhard Weis: Montgelas, first volume (see literature)
EWII Eberhard Weis: Montgelas, second volume (see literature)
  1. EWI pp. 1–2
  2. Lennhoff / Posner / Binder: Int. FM lexicon, special edition. Munich 2006, p. 576
  3. Eberhard Weis Montgelas, 1759-1799: Between Revolution a. Reform, Volume 2 , Beck Verlag Munich, 2005. Page 830
  4. a b EWI p. 140
  5. EWI p. 149
  6. EWI pp. 159-160.
  7. EWI p. 148.
  8. EWI p. 85.
  9. M. (10/27/1789) to EMI S. 161st
  10. s. a. EWI chapter 10 .: the classes as guarantors of freedom against arbitrary authority
  11. EWI p. 89
  12. EWI p. 21.
  13. EWI p. 25.
  14. EWI p. 81
  15. fr. Letter from M. to Seinsheim dated February 12, 1788, German after EWI p. 175
  16. fr. Letter from M. to Seinsheim dated August 16, 1787, German after EWI p. 68
  17. EWI p. 211
  18. fr. Letter of March 9, 1790 to Seinsheim, German after EWI p. 220
  19. fr. Letter to Seinsheim from December 6th, 1792, German after EWI p. 188
  20. fr. Letter to Seinsheim dated July 6, 1790, German after EWI p. 221
  21. fr. Letter to Seinsheim dated May 17, 1791, German after EWI p. 222
  22. fr. Letter to Seinsheim dated July 3, 1791, German after EWI p. 224
  23. fr. Letter to Seinsheim dated May 1, 1791, German after EWI p. 223
  24. fr. Letter to Seinsheim dated September 20, 1791, German after EWI p. 226
  25. fr. Letter to Seinsheim dated May 5, 1793, German after EWI p. 238
  26. ^ Notes of Karl Ernst von Gravenreuth according to EWI p. 260
  27. EWI p. 155
  28. EWI p. 119
  29. German according to EWI p. 131
  30. ^ Scientific edition of the Ansbacher Mémoire by Eberhard Weis
  31. The Ansbacher Mémoire in German translation
  32. Ansbacher Memoire according to EWI p. 270
  33. Ansbacher Memoire according to EWI p. 283
  34. ^ Memoirs of Count MJ von Montgelas on the internal state administration of Bavaria, ed. by G.Laubmann and M.Doeberl, 1908
  35. Memories of the Bavarian. Minister of State M. Count von Montgelas, translated by Max Freiherrn von Freyberg-Eisenberg and ed. by Ludwig Counts of Montgelas, 1887
  36. fr. Letter to Seinsheim dated May 5, 1793, German after EWI p. 239
  37. EWII pp. 12-13
  38. Zwehl p. 64, German based on EWII, p. 279–280
  39. fr. Memorandum Ms to Max Joseph dated September 8, 1805, German according to EWII p. 285
  40. Otto's report of September 22, 1805, German based on EWII p. 296
  41. EWII p. 465
  42. ^ Letter from Max Joseph to Crown Prince Ludwig of October 7, 1813 according to EWII p. 683
  43. fr. Instruction from M. of September 14, 1814, German according to EWII, p. 719.
  44. EWII p.161
  45. EWII p. 229
  46. EWII p.202
  47. Compte rendu au Roi p. 65 f.
  48. from the minutes of the Secret State Conference of January 24, 1800 according to EWII p. 99
  49. ^ Max Döllner : History of the development of the city of Neustadt an der Aisch up to 1933. Ph. CW Schmidt, Neustadt ad Aisch 1950. (New edition 1978 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Ph. CW Schmidt Neustadt an der Aisch 1828-1978. ) P. 395 ( however, he called the people “petit peuple, crapule”).
  50. EWII p. 772
  51. ^ The Bavarian Constitution of 1808
  52. M., Compte rendu, German after EWII p. 453
  53. M. fr. in Compte rendu p. 76-84, German summarized according to EWII p. 779
  54. ^ Karl Otmar Freiherr von Aretin, Bavaria's Way to the Sovereign State, Estates and Constitutional Monarchy 1714-1818, Munich 1976
  55. ^ Letters from State Minister Count Maximilian Joseph v. Montgelas. Published by Julie von Zerzog. Regensburg, printed by Julius Heinrich Demmler [probably 1853]
  56. ^ Adalbert Prinz von Bayern, Max I. Joseph von Bayern, Pfalzgraf, Elector and King, Munich 1957, p. 750
  57. fr. Letter from Count Montezan to Hofenfels dated August 9, 1786, German after EWI p.52
  58. EWII p. 479
  59. ^ The memoirs of Karl Heinrich Ritter von Lang, Braunschweig 1842, cited from EWII p. 485
  60. fr. Report to Maret-Bassano, German according to EWII p. 675
  61. ^ Report by Johann Emanuel von Küsters to Karl August Freiherr von Hardenberg from January 1, 1817, quoted from EWII pp. 762–763
  62. ^ Richard Count Du Moulin Eckart: Bavaria under the Montgelas Ministry , Volume 1 (1799 to 1800), Munich, 1895
  63. Michael Doeberl: Development History of Bavaria , Volume 2 (1648-1825), Munich, 1928
  64. ^ Hans Karl von Zwehl: The battle for Bavaria, 1805, I: The conclusion of the Bavarian-French alliance , Munich, 1937
  65. ^ Fritz Zimmermann: Bavarian Constitutional History from the End of the Landscape to the Constitutional Document of 1818, 1. Prehistory and origin of the Constitution of 1808 , Munich, 1940
  66. ^ Marcel Dunan: Napoléon et l'Allemagne. Le système continental et les débuts du royaume de Bavière, 1806–1810 , Paris, 1942
  67. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler: German history of society . 5 volumes. Verlag CH Beck, Munich, 1987-2008. (4900 pages as a paperback edition ISBN 3-406-57872-1 ). Volume 1: From Feudalism in the Old Empire to the Defensive Modernization of the Reform Era 1700–1815 1987, 4th edition 2006, 676 pages. ISBN 3-406-32261-1
  68. EWI p.466