Having refused to become a candidate for the imperial throne in 1619, Maximilian was faced with the complications arising from the outbreak of war in Bohemia. After some delay he made a treaty with the emperor Ferdinand II in October 1619, and in return for large concessions placed the forces of the league at the emperor's service. Anxious to curtail the area of the struggle, he made a treaty of neutrality with the Protestant Union, and occupied Upper Austria as security for the expenses of the campaign. On November 8 1620 his troops under Count Tilly defeated the forces of Frederick, king of Bohemia and count palatine of the Rhine, at the White Hill near Prague. In spite of the arrangement with the union Tilly then devastated the Rhenish Palatinate, and in February 1623 Maximilian was formally invested with the electoral dignity and the attendant office of imperial steward, which had been enjoyed since 1356 by the counts palatine of the Rhine. After receiving the Upper Palatinate and restoring Upper Austria to Ferdinand, Maximilian became leader of the party which sought to bring about Wallenstein's dismissal from the imperial service. At the diet of Regensburg in 1630 Ferdinand was compelled to assent to this demand, but the sequel was disastrous both for Bavaria and its ruler. Early in 1632 the Swedes marched into the duchy and occupied Munich, and Maximilian could only obtain the assistance of the imperialists by placing himself under the orders of Wallenstein, now restored to the command of the emperor's forces. The ravages of the Swedes and their French allies induced the elector to enter into negotiations for peace with Gustavus Adolphus and Cardinal Richelieu. He also proposed to disarm the Protestants by modifying the Restitution edict of 1629; but these efforts were abortive. In March 1647 he concluded an armistice with France and Sweden at Ulm, but the entreaties of the emperor Ferdinand III led him to disregard his undertaking. Bavaria was again ravaged, and the elector's forces defeated in May 1648 at Zusmarshausen. But the peace of Westphalia soon put an end to the struggle. By this treaty it was agreed that Maximilian should retain the electoral dignity, which was made hereditary in his family; and the Upper Palatinate was incorporated with Bavaria. The elector died at Ingolstadt on September 27 1651. By his second wife, Maria Anne, daughter of the emperor Ferdinand II, he left two sons, Ferdinand Maria, who succeeded him, and Maximilian Philip. In 1839 a statue was erected to his memory at Munich by Louis I, king of Bavaria. Weak in health and feeble in frame, Maximilian had high ambitions both for himself and his duchy, and was tenacious and resourceful in prosecuting his designs. As the ablest prince of his age he sought to prevent Germany from becoming the battleground of Europe, and although a rigid adherent of the Catholic faith, was not always subservient to the priest.
Initial article from a 1911 encyclopedia