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Maximilian I Joseph (German: Maximilian I. Josef) (27 May 1756 - 13 October 1825) was the Duke of Bavaria from 1799 until 1806, the King of Bavaria from 1806 until 1825, the Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken from 1795 until 1797 and the Count of Rappoltstein from 1776 until 1793.

LifeEdit

Maximilian Joseph was born in Mannheim in 1756 as the younger son of Frederick Michael of Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken. Maximilian Joseph spent most of his youth in France, especially Strasbourg. He became the Colonel of the Corps d'Alsace. In 1776 he inherited the County of Rappoltstein, and in 1775 he inherited the Duchy of Zweibrücken which had already been conquered by the army of the French Revolution. After the Peace of Basel in 1795 he selected the Prussian city of Ansbach to be his residence. In 1799 he succeeded Charles Theodore as Duke of Bavaria, uniting all lines of the House of Wittelsbach bar Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen.

In 1800 he transferred the University of Bavaria from Ingolstadt to Landshut. His education in France and the attempts by the House of Habsburg to annex Bavaria lead Maximilian Joseph to form a close relationship with Napoleon Bonaparte from France from 1805 until 1813. Thus in 1806 he joined the Confederation of the Rhine and seceded from the Holy Roman Empire. By the Treaty of Pressburg he was raised from a Duke to a King on 1 January 1806. Between 1803 and 1806 he substantially increased the size of Bavaria during the mediatisation. But the support and alliance of the French brought a heavy price as it did all members of the Confederation. He was required to have a large standing army, and in 1812 30,000 Bavarian soldiers died in Napoleon's Invasion of Russia. After Napoleon's defeat, the Congress of Vienna in 1814 returned Salzburg and the Tyrol to Austria, but he regained the territories of the Electoral Palatinate west of the Rhine, which were from then on known as the Bavarian Palatinate.

Maximilian Joseph died in Nymphenburg in 1825 and was buried in Munich. He was succeeded by his son Louis.

MarriageEdit

Maximilian Joseph married Augusta of Hesse-Darmstadt (14 April 1765 - 30 March 1796), daughter of Landgrave George William, on 30 November 1785 and had the following children:

  1. Louis (25 August 1786 - 29 February 1868)
  2. Augusta (21 June 1788 - 13 May 1851)
  3. Amalie (9 October 1790 - 24 January 1794)
  4. Caroline (8 February 1792 - 9 February 1873)
  5. Charles (7 July 1795 - 16 August 1875)

Maximilian Joseph married Caroline of Baden (13 July 1776 - 13 November 1841), daughter of Charles Louis, on 9 March 1797 and had the following children:

  1. unnamed son (5 September 1799)
  2. Maximilian (28 October 1800 - 12 February 1803)
  3. Elizabeth (13 November 1801 - 14 December 1873)
  4. Amalie (13 November 1801 - 8 November 1877)
  5. Maria (27 January 1805 - 13 September 1877)
  6. Louise (30 August 1808 - 26 January 1892)
  7. Maximiliane (21 July 1810 - 4 February 1821)



Preceded by:

Maximilian I Joseph

Succeeded by:

Charles Theodore Duke of Bavaria
1799 - 1806
King of Bavaria
1806 - 1825
Louis I
Charles III Duke of Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken
1795 - 1797
annexed to France
Charles III Count of Rappoltstein
1776 - 1793
George I
of Waldeck-Pyrmont
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