Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria

Ferdinand Maria, Elector Of Bavaria

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Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria

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Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria (31 October 1636 – 26 May 1679) was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and an elector (Kurfürst) of the Holy Roman Empire from 1651 to 1679.


He was born in Munich. He was the eldest son of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria - whom he succeeded, and his second wife Maria Anna of Austria, daughter of the emperor Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.

On 8 December 1650 he married Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, daughter of Victor Amadeus I of Savoy and his French wife Christine Marie of France, daughter of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici. The couple had seven children, two of which would have progeny.

Still a minor he succeeded his father in 1651, his mother and his uncle Albert VI of Bavaria served as regents of Bavaria for three years.

Ferdinand Maria was crowned on 31 October 1654. His absolutistic style of leadership became a benchmark for the rest of Germany. Though Ferdinand Maria allied with France he abstained the imperial crown in 1657 after the death of his uncle Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor to avoid a conflict with Habsburg. Ferdinand Maria supported the wars of the Habsburg against the Ottoman Empire with Bavarian auxiliary forces (1662–1664). During the Franco-Dutch War since 1672 Bavaria was officially neutral. The marriage of his eldest daughter Maria Anna and her cousin le Grand Dauphin in 1680 was the outcome of the Bavarian alliance with France.

Ferdinand Maria modernized the Bavarian army and introduced...
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