Prince Maximilian of Baden

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Maximilian of Baden (also known as Max von Baden; full name: Maximilian Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm of Baden) (10 July 1867 – 6 November 1929) was a German nobleman and politician. He was heir to the grand duchy of Baden and in 1918 briefly served as chancellor of Germany, overseeing the transformation into a parliamentary system.

Contents

Life

Born in Baden-Baden, Maximilian was the son of Prince Wilhelm of Baden, third son of Leopold, grand duke of Baden, and Princess Maria Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg, a niece of Alexander II, Czar of Russia.

He was named after his maternal grandfather, Maximilian Jevgenevich de Beauharnais, duke of Leuchtenberg, and bore a resemblance to his cousin, Napoleon III, emperor of the French.

Following the death of his father in 1897, he was heir to the grand-ducal throne of his cousin Frederick II.

Chancellor

Noted as a liberal before and during the First World War, he was appointed Chancellor of Germany in October 1918 in order to negotiate an armistice with the allies in the last days of the war. Although he had serious reservations about the way the German General Staff wanted to conduct negotiations, he accepted the charge, and appointed a government that for the first time included representatives of the Social Democrats, Friedrich Ebert and Philipp Scheidemann.

The government's efforts to secure an armistice were interrupted by the outbreak of revolution in Germany in early November. Maximilian urged Emperor William II to abdicate. Despite similar advice by Paul von Hindenburg and Wilhelm Groener of the General Staff, the Emperor considered abdication only as Emperor, not as King of Prussia. On 9 November 1918, Maximilian went ahead and announced the abdication anyway, and then resigned in favor of Friedrich Ebert.

Later life

Prince Maximilian, Margrave of Baden, spent the rest of his life in retirement. In 1928, following the death of Grand Duke Frederick II, he became head of the House of Baden. He died at Salem the following year.

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