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Title: Elector Ferdinand Maria of Bavaria and the imperial interregnum of 1657-58
Author: Bangert, Anette Charlotte.
ISNI:       0000 0000 8361 7532
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol,
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2006
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The unexpected death of Emperor Ferdinand III in April 1657 left the Holy Roman Empire without a King of the Romans and consequently facing an interregnum prior to the election of a new Emperor. The result was an exceptionally long interregnum creating the first test the imperial institutions had to face since the constitutional changes introduced by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The choice of Habsburg candidate was not immediately clear. Some of the Electors were undecided and, under Cardinal Mazarin's influence, France used this opportunity to influence the election by proposing several candidates. Recent historiographic research has focussed on the imperial institutions and how their function affected the Empire as a whole. This dissertation seeks to demonstrate how the Bavarian Electorate fitted in, manipulated and influenced imperial politics during the interregnum. There were two principal issues concerning Bavaria at this time: the imperial election and the imperial vicariate. Mazarin's most serious imperial candidate was Elector Ferdinand Maria of Bavaria, whose wife Henriette Adelaide, a Sabaudian princess, was Mazarin's chief ally. However, the Bavarian Dowager Electress, in league with senior Bavarian courtiers, maintained a strong pro-Habsburg influence over the twenty-year-old elector. Ferdinand Maria's decision to support the Habsburg candidate Leopold, King of Bohemia, led to a mutual defence alliance. For Bavaria's benefit this was important because to the potential threat from Elector Karl Ludwig of the Palatinate, with whom Bavaria disputed the title of Imperial Vicar for the Bavarian, Rhenish, Swabian and Franconian Imperial Circles. There has been no comprehensive research completed on Bavaria's overall position during the interregnum and this study looks to rectify this situation. Moreover, an exploration of Bavarian policy during this crucial period casts light on the current debates over the pre-eminent status and oligarchical aspirations of the College of Electors as a whole
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available