Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
Display paragraphs in this book containing:
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Pub. Date
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
128 of 1105



BAVARIA. The kingdom of Bavaria is, after Prussia, the most important state in the German empire.


—It had its origin in the duchy of Bavaria, the title to which, as a fief, was conferred in 1180 by the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, on Otto Wittelsbach. The descendants of this prince gradually extended the limits of the territory. In 1506 they established the order of primogeniture in the case of succession, and acquired the Palatinate, which entitled them to the rank and powers of electors.


—The kingdom as composed at present is the result of events which agitated men's minds at the beginning of this century. The titles to the new provinces of Bavaria were acquired by the treaty of peace signed at Luneville in 1801; by the decision of the states of the empire promulgated on Feb. 25, 1803; the treaty of Presburg in 1805; the act of 1806, which created the confederation of the Rhine; the treaty of Vienna, 1809, and the treaty of Paris, 1814. Eighty-three pieces of territory, reckoned within the states of the empire but comparatively independent, were, by these different acts, annexed to the kingdom created on Jan. 1, 1806. In exchange for these possessions the kingdom ceded the part of the Palatinate situated on the right bank of the Rhine.


—Bavaria has 4,863,450 inhabitants (census of 1871), against 3,707,966 in 1818. The population is composed principally of Bavarians. Franconians and Swabians. A majority of the inhabitants, 3,439,000 in number, are Roman Catholics, while the protestant churches comprise about 1,327,000 persons. There are, besides, about 50,000 Israelites. Most of the inhabitants are employed in agriculture. The farmers are almost twice as numerous as the mechanics and artisans. The mass of the people are in easy circumstances, since only 2 per cent. of the whole population are at the charge of public charities.


—The area of Bavaria is 75,863.42 square kilomèters. It is divided into two separate parts. The larger lies in the south of Germany, and principally in the basin of the Danube. Only a few districts are crossed by the river Main, and are thus drained by the Rhine. The valley of the Saale and the Eger slope toward the Elbe. The other part of Bavaria lies on the left bank of the Rhine, and is called the Palatinate (Bayerische Pfalz). The soil may be classified thus: 60.7 per cent. Utilized by agriculture, 34 per cent. Forests, and 5 per cent uncultivated land. Agriculture supports, we may say, 67 per cent. of the whole population.


—One-half of the forests of Bavaria belongs to private individuals, 34 per cent. belongs to the national domain, 14 per cent. to the communes, and the residue, or 2 per cent., is apportioned among endowed institutions.


—Cereals and potatoes are everywhere the principal agricultural products. In several districts, such as the upper palatinate, the farmers raise an abundance of flax. Hemp and tobacco are grown in Franconia and the Palatinate. Latterly the cultivation of hops has so gained in importance as to supersede the vineyards in many places. However, large quantities of wine are still produced, the best of which is grown in lower Franconia and the Palatinate.


—For administrative purposes the country is divided into 8 circles (Kreise), 7 of which, upper, Bavaria, lower Bavaria, the upper Palatinate, upper, middle and lower Franconia, together with Swabia, lie on the right bank of the Rhine. We have already mentioned the eighth circle, the Palatinate. These circles are subdivided into administrative districts (Bezirksaemter) and judicial circuits. In each circle there are from 4 to 7 courts of first resort, while the number of administrative districts varies from 17 to 25. Each circle, administered by a government (Regierung), or committee with governmental powers, has one court of appeal.


—The political constitution of Bavaria began with the charter of May 26, 1818, granted by the king, Maximilian—Joseph I. This fundamental act has undergone many changes since that time; and it may here be remarked, to the honor of Bavaria, that these changes have been made in a constitutional manner. The government has respected the law it had imposed on itself.


—The principal provisions of the Bavarian constitution are these: The crown is hereditary in the house of Wittelsbach, in the male line according to the law of primogeniture. If the male line becomes extinct, and no treaty for the succession has been concluded with a German family of the royal blood, then the crown goes to the female line. The king is the head of the state. He is invested with all governmental powers, and exercises them in conformity to the constitution, with the assistance of the chambers. His civil list amounts to 2,350,580 florins. The king has, in addition, the free use of the royal castles and other domains of the crown.


—The diet (Landlag) comprises two chambers: that of the counselors of the empire (Reichsrethe) and that of the deputies. The former chamber includes hereditary members, and also life members appointed by the king. But the number of life members must not exceed one-third of the number of hereditary members. The following personages are members of the upper chamber, in virtue of their office or hereditary right; Princes of the royal blood, the four grand dignitaries of the crown, the two archbishops, one of the bishops designated by the king, the president of the superior Protestant consistory, the heads of the families of princes or counts who figured in the states of the empire up to 1806, and who at that period were medint zed, and the owners of majorats, upon whom the king has conferred this dignity as hereditary.


—A new election for all members of the chamber of deputies takes place every 6 years. There is one deputy for every 31,500 inhabitants. There are two degrees of electors. All citizens who have attained the age of majority, and pay direct taxes, are primary electors. There is an elector of the second degree for every 500 inhabitants. The electors of the second degree appoint the deputy. All citizens, from 30 years of age who have not been convicted of crime or infamous offense, and have not forfeited their political rights, are eligible without distinction or restriction. The diet must be convened at least once every 3 years.


—The constitution grants the diet the following rights: 1. No general measure concerning the personal liberty or the property of a citizen can be taken or modified, except after the matter has been discussed and approved by the chambers. The chambers share with the government the right to propose new laws, but to approve them is the prerogative of the king, who possesses an absolute veto.


—2. No new tax, no reduction nor increase of a tax, can be introduced without the concurrence of the chambers. The collection of direct taxes must be authorized by the diet, which generally grants the permission for a fiscal period of 2 years. The diet can not grant the permission for a longer time without an abuse of power. The chambers, before passing the budget of the revenues, have of course to examine the budget of state expenditure.


—3. The debt is guaranteed by the diet, and can not be increased without its consent. Each chamber appoints a member of its body to watch over the state of the debt.


—4. The chambers have likewise the right to present petitions, to make propositions, and even remonstrances whenever a provision of the constitution has been violated. The diet has also the power to impeach ministers of the realm and their agents before a high court of justice.


—The constitution guarantees personal liberty to every citizen, as well as security for his life and property. Liberty of conscience is recognized. The protection of the state can be refused no one on account of his religion. All creeds are free to worship in private houses, but the liberty of public worship depends upon the authorization of the king, except of course in the case of creeds already recognized. The latter are divided into two classes. The Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed parishes are recognized as corporations or public establishments. The Greeks, Anglicans, Mennonites, Moravian Brothers, and Israelites constitute only private associations. The affairs of the Catholic church are regulated by the concordat of 1817, so far as its provisions do not conflict with the constitution subsequently promulgated. The affairs of the two Protestant forms are governed by a royal edict published with the charter of 1818.


—The public law of Bavaria discriminates between three classes of communes: the local communes (Ortsgemeinden), the district communes, and the circle communes. According to official statistics there are now in Bavaria about 225 cities or urban communes (17 of which contain each more than 2,000 families), and 7,890 rural communes. These 8.125 municipal communes are divided into 222 cities, 400 boroughs, 11,100 villages, 11,200 hamlets, and 21,500 isolated dwellings. The communes of which a district is composed, taken all together, constitute a district commune; while the communes of one and the same circle, as we have stated, form a circle commune. We may simply and that the more important cities constitute separate districts.


—The different classes of communes have each their representatives, freely elected. A syndic (Gemeindevorsteher) or mayor, assisted by a municipal committee, is at the head of each rural commune. The towns and boroughs are governed by a committee invested with magisterial powers, which, in important matters, especially when contracts are to be made in the name of the commune, must consult; and by a municipal college or council, the number of whose members varies according to the population in the town. One-half of the committee and one-third of the municipal college are elected every 3 years. The burgomaster presides over these bodies.


—The district commune, or the district itself, is represented by a council elected for 3 years, chosen from among the members of the municipal corporations, to whom are added delegates from the ranks of the great landed proprietors. The district council assembles only once a year, but it appoints, from its own members, a standing committee, charged with the duty of preparing the deliberations of the council, of attending to the execution of its decisions, and even taking action in all affairs concerning the district which have not been reserved especially for the action of the council.


—The circle commune has for its organ the general council, composed of delegates elected for 6 years by the district councils, the municipal councils of cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants, the great landed proprietors, the parish priests, and, when there is one, by the university. The general council meets every year, but itself is likewise represented by a standing committee in the intervals between the sessions.


—In Bavaria it is generally conceded that the best security for the rights of the citizens, and particularly for the liberty of the individual, is found in the principles, upon which rests the administration of penal justice. Publicity and oral proceedings in jud; capture are powerful obstacles to arbitrariness, and foster a spirit of order and equity among the people. A jury passes judgment upon the guilt of a person accused of crime, after a defense to which the widest latitude is granted by the laws.


—Every Bavarian citizen must pay taxes and render military service. Recruiting is done by casting lots. All young men who have attained the age of 21 years are liable to military duty. The length of service required is 6 years in the standing army and 5 years in the landwehr. Substitutes are no longer allowed.


—The burden of taxation is not very heavy in Bavaria. It is certainly less than that borne in many other countries of the same size. About three-fifths of the 60,000,000 florins to which the national expenditure amounts, are derived from taxation The other two-fifths come from the public domain, particularly from forests and royalties. The direct taxes furnish about one-third, and the indirect taxes two-thirds of the total taxation—say one-fifth and two-fifths of the whole revenue of the State.


—In the statement of expenses, attention must be called, in the first place, to the interest on the national debt, and to the sinking fund, which, altogether, require the sum of 16,620,300 florins; the sinking fund is 2/8 per cent. of the principal. Then follow the 6 ministerial departments into which the civil administration is divided, the maintenance of which costs 6,000,000 florins; the schools of education and of instruction, 1,153,000 florins; religious establishments, 1,600,000; public works, 2,500,000; public safety, 1,300,000, and the army, 11,450,000 florins.


—But it would be an error to suppose that the 1,153,000 florins mentioned above, cover the exact amount expended in Bavaria for public education and instruction. This sum is only the state contingent. The greater part of the total expenditure is borne by the circles, the communes, and endowed institutions. The elements of education are taught in the German schools which the communes are required to establish and sustain. There are now 7,200 of these primary schools which, generally speaking, are intended exclusively for children of the same religion. Attendance at school is compulsory for children from 6 to 13 years of age. Children must, besides, attend a Sunday school, until they have completed their sixteenth year.


—Teachers are trained in 10 primary normal schools, founded and maintains at the expense of the state. A law has fixed the minimum of their salaries at 350 florins, but in many communes the salary amounts to 500 florins—Affiliated with the German schools are the agricultural and the industrial schools, 26 in number, whose special instruction is continued in the schools of exact sciences (Real schulen), and in a polytechnic school. The latter is designed to take the place of the three institutions which were formerly in operation under this name in Munich, Augsburg and Nurenberg—we mean a school of arts and manufactures.


—Instruction of a secondary class is imparted, in the first grade, at the Latin schools. There are 96 of these Latin schools, but only 72 include the 4 normal classes, the remainder have only 2 or 3 normal classes.


—Instruction in the higher branches of literature and science is reserved to the universities of Munich, Würzburg and Erlanger. It is proper here to mention the academy of sciences, founded in 1759.


—There are also in Bavaria 10 lyceums, established principally as seminaries for the training of priests. There is likewise a multitude of other special institutions which, for want of space, we can not here enumerate.


—For further details we would refer the reader to the following authorities: Ueber den Zustand des Koenigreichs Bayern, by Dr. Ig. Rudhart, a semi-official work published in three volumes, from 1825 to 1827; and also to Bavaria, Landes-und Volkskunde des Koenigreichs Bayer, etc., which was published under the patronage of the king. In regard to the public and administrative law of the kingdom, all requisite information may be found in the two following works by the author of this article: Lehrbuch des bayerischen Verfassungrechts 14th edition, Munich, 1870; and Lehrbuch des bayerischen Verwaltungsrechts, 3d edition, Munich, 1871.


—Buchner, Geschichte von Bayer, 8 vols., Munich, 1820-51; Zchokke, Sechs Büucher der Geschichten des bair. Volts 2nd ed., 4 vols., Aarau, 1821; Mannert, Geschichte Bayerns, 2 vols., Leipsig, 1826; Böttiger, Geschichte Bayerns, Erlangen, 1836, Rudhart, Geschichte der Landstaende in Bayern, 2nd ed., 2 vols., Munich, 1819; Spruner, Leitfaden zur Geschichte von B, 2nd ed., Bamberg, 1853; same author, Histor. Atlus von B., Gotha, 1838; Contzen, Geschichte B's, Münster, 1853; Rudhart, Aelteste Geschichte B's, Hamburg, 1841; Siegert, Grundlage zur aeltesten Geschichte des bair. Volksstammes, Munich, 1854; von Lercheufeld, Geschichte Bayerns unter Max Joseph I., Munich, 1854; Preyer, Lehrbuch der baier. Geschichte, Erlangeu, 1864; Heigel und Riezler, Das Herzogthum B. Zur Zeit Heinrich's des Lowen, Munich, 1867; W. Müller, Polit. Geschichte der Gegenart, Berlin, 1867-74; same author, Bayernseit 1870, in 'Unsere Zeit,' 1874; Quitzmann, Die aelteste Geschichte der Bayern, Braunschweig, 1873.*33


Notes for this chapter

As a supplement to the foregoing article we may add the latest statistics which are comprised in the tables that follow:
Revenue and Expenditure for the financial year 1880-81.
Direct taxes... 35,725,510
Indirect... 52,882,580
State railways, postal telegraphs, mines, etc... 100,706,574
State forests... 24,586,580
Domains... 9,059,110
Miscellaneous receipts... 1,911,838
      Total... 221,872,192
      In dollar... $57,218,045

Public debt... 46,692,817
Civil list and appanages... 5,348,188
Council of state... 46,800
Diet... 635,710
Ministry of foreign affairs... 568,284
Ministry of justice... 12,782,326
Ministry of interior... 17,757,238
Ministry of finance... 3,438,607
Worship and education... 19,634,144
Pensions and allowances... 7,549,987
Reserve and guarantee fund... 3,926,074
Contribution to imperial expenditure... 16,329,370
      Total... 134,709,545
      Charges of collection of revenue... 90,162,647
Grand total... 224,872,192
In dollars... $57,218,045

The Public Debt, comprising the Ordinary and the Railway Debts.

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.
The public debt results partly from the deficit of former years and partly from the construction of public works, particularly railroads, which latter have cost 650 million marks ($162,500,000), and are the property of the state. In 1879 the expense of railroad management exceeded the receipts by 5,785,789 marks; this deficit had to be covered by other sources during the next financial year.

Footnotes for BILL OF RIGHTS

End of Notes

128 of 1105

Return to top