Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria

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Maximilian II (July 11, 1662 - February 26, 1726), also known as Max Emanuel or Maximilian Emanuel,[1] was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and an elector (Kurfürst) of the Holy Roman Empire. He was also the last Governor of the Spanish Netherlands and duke of Luxembourg. An able soldier, his ambition led to conflicts that limited his ultimate dynastic achievements.

He was born in Munich to Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy (d.1676). His maternal grandparents were Victor Amadeus I of Savoy and Christine Marie of France. Christine Marie was the second daughter of Henry IV of France and his second wife Marie de' Medici.

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Wars against the Ottoman Empire and France

Maximilian inherited the elector's mantle while still a minor in 1679. By 1683 he was already embarked on a military career, fighting in the defense of Vienna against the attempt of the Ottoman Empire to extend their Islamic conquests further into Europe. He returned to court for long enough to marry Maria Antonia, daughter of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor and Margaret Theresa of Spain, on 15 July 1685 in Vienna, Austria. This marriage was very unhappy since the couple disliked each other, but it was successful in producing a desired heir for both Bavaria and the Spanish monarchy.

Maximilian Emanuel's fame was assured when, in 1688, he led the capture of Belgrade from the Turks, with the full support of Serbian insurgents under the command of Jovan Monasterlija. In the War of the Grand Alliance he again fought on the Habsburgs' side, protected the Rhine frontier, and, being the Emperor's son-in-law and the husband of the King of Spain's niece, was appointed governor of the Spanish Netherlands in late 1691.

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