Bavarian Palatinate


In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Bavarian Palatinate is Number 37 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The study includes sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions, of which the most interesting is the section on political history. The Bavarian Palatinate refers to a region (located in part of present-day Rhineland Palatinate, Germany) whose history goes back to Hermann, Count Palatine of the Rhine from 945 to 996. Derived from a title given to officials of the later Roman Empire (and related to the English word “paladin”), the Count Palatine was a high official who exercised power on behalf of the sovereign. Following the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 and the peace settlement that ended the Napoleonic wars, the Bavarian Palatinate was governed, from 1816 onward, as a province of Bavaria. The study concludes that after initial opposition, “the Palatinate, although retaining a recollection of its own independent history as a German State, has willingly acquiesced in its membership of the kingdom of Bavaria.” In 1910 the population of the Palatinate was 937,085; its leading towns were Ludwigshafen, Speyer (the capital), and Kaiserslauten.

Last updated: November 14, 2017