Bavaria (Ger. Bayern), the second state of the German empire. It is divided into two unequal parts, separated by Baden and Hesse-Darmstadt, of which the eastern comprises eleven-twelfths of the whole. Its frontiers touch also on Alsace-Lorraine, Prussia, Bohemia, Austria, and the Tyrol - the divisions are Bavaria upper and lower, the Palatinate upper and lower, the three divisions of Franconia, and Swabia. The area, 29,375 sq. m., is a little less than that of Scotland. In 1900 the pop. was 6,176,057; Munich, the capital,had all but 500,000 inhabitants, and Nuremberg over 261,000. There are close on 4,500,000 Catholics to 1,750,000 Protestants and 55,000 Jews. Bavaria is walled in on the SE., NE., and NW. by mountains ranging from 3000 feet to close on .10,000 feet in height - highest elevation the Zugspitz in the Noric Alps, 9605 feet high. The interior is intersected in several directions by various less elevated ranges, alternating with extensive plains and fertile valleys. The country is rich in wood, nearly one-third of its surface being covered with forests, mostly of pine and fir. The Rhine flows along the eastern boundary of the Palatinate; the Danube has a navigable course of 270 miles in Bavaria; the north part of the state is in the basin of the Main. The soil is very fertile, and the wealth of the country consists almost wholly of its agricultural produce, including wine and cattle. The chief minerals are salt - a government monopoly - coal, and iron, which is worked almost everywhere. Beer, coarse linens, and woollens are the most important manufactures. The growth of the population of Bavaria has been much checked by the law that no marriage can take place until the guardians of the poor are satisfied that the persons wishing to marry have adequate means to support a wife and family - a law which has tended to increase inordinately the number of illegitimate children. The three Bavarian universities are at Munich, Wurzburg, and Erlangen, the last being Protestant. Bavaria is a constitutional monarchy, the throne hereditary in the male line. When Bavaria in 1870 became one of the states of the German empire, she still retained certain privileges, including the control of her home affairs, of her postal system, and of her army in time of peace. The army forms two corps of the imperial army, under the command of the king of Bavaria in time of peace, but controlled by the emperor of Germany in war. The legislature consists of a chamber of senators and one of deputies. The revenue of Bavaria is about £24,000,000, which is more than enough to cover the total expenditure. The public debt in 1892 was £87,000,000, about two-thirds of it having been contracted for railways.
Held successively ' by the Celtic Boii, the Ostrogoths, and the Franks, Bavaria was constituted first a margraviate, then a dukedom by Charlemagne and his successors; and in 1180 the crown was bestowed on a duke of the House of Wittelsbach, ancestor of the still reigning dynasty. The Rhenish Palatinate was added to the ducal dominions in 1216: in 1805 the duke was, for services rendered, made a king by Napoleon I. The Bavarians sided with Austria in 1866, and took an active share in the Franco-German war of 1870-71.