Die bayerische Konstitution von 1808 About the Object

Die bayerische Konstitution von 1808

1. Mai 1808
  • München


Following the deliberations made at the Secret Conference of 20 April 1808, the text of the Bavarian Constitution was subjected to a final revision of its contents. The result of the editorial work was the original document kept in the Royal Archives as an unsealed vellum booklet in blue velvet binding. King Max I Joseph (1756-1825, king from 1806) signed the document which also bears the signatures of the ministers of state and those of the conference Montgelas, Morawitzky and Hompesch. On the one hand, the Constitution codified the fundamental reforms started by the government under Max Joseph since 1799. On the other hand, it formulated a political programme that was going to be further clarified by "Organische Edikte" (rules of enforcement). The programme focused on the state. The Constitution regulated the position of the king and of the royal house (Tit. II) and ordered the administrative structure (Tit. III) as well as the main features of the judiciary and military constitution (Tit. V, Tit. VI). Title IV set out details of a "national assembly" which would however never convene. The "main provisions" (Tit. I) included, for example, the annulment of special privileges for the estates of the realm and the annulment of serfdom, the division of the kingdom into districts, fundamental rights of the nobility as well as liberties granted to religious communities. Finally, the state itself granted civic rights: personal immunity and safety of property, "total freedom of conscience" and freedom of the press.

Dr. Esteban Mauerer