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 Geschichte Bayerns > Review > The Electorate of Bavaria (1623-1806)
The Electorate of Bavaria (1623-1806)

The Bavarian Wittelsbachers were accorded the right to elect the emperor in the year 1623. The duke at that time, Elector Maximilian I, achieved this rise in status as a result of his support for the German emperor during the Thirty Years' War.

The ambitious foreign policy of Elector Max Emanuel (1679-1726) placed his Bavarian subjects in great danger. As an ally of France he suffered defeat in 1704 at the Battle of Höchstädt, at the hands of an allied army consisting of troops from Great Britain, Holland, Denmark, Prussia, Hanover and Hesse. He fled into exile in Holland, while Bavaria was occupied by Austrian troops; many Bavarians died during an abortive uprising. Bavaria was only restored to Max Emanuel in 1714.

His son, the Elector Karl Albrecht, tried again unsuccessfully to raise Bavaria to the status of a great power. Even though he was crowned emperor Karl VII in 1742, three years later his heir had to renounce the imperial crown for good.