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His life his work

A political crisis, or how plot against his king

His life

Chapter 7

A political crisis, or how plot against his king


 Ludwig II by 1884 

The real reasons which led the government to deposit the king are neither of financial order, nor medical order.

The royal finances, and not public, were put into debt in Ludwig’s death about 14 million Marks. To fill the deficits of his private funds (in other words, its whole personal fortune and its princely income), he had recourse to loans of which the refunds were planned for half of this sum. However, if these debts were not able to be earlier paid off, it is only because the attempts of the king in the 1884s to clean up his finances were putting in check by his finance cabinet, with the approval of the government.

The numerous propositions of bankers and various organizations to help the king to plan the terms of refunds with rates which would have allowed him to see clearly there more, were never passed on by the government to the monarch, either simply diverted. Ludwig was inclined to save in his domestic life. All that he wanted, it was to be able to bring to a successful conclusion the completion of its constructions. Numerous solutions would have been able to help him there.

The government also refused to grant him a loan on the nevertheless positive 300 million mark state budget. Why thus to push the king in his last cuttings off? The answer is political.

It is necessary to weaken its position and to oblige it to abdicate of him even by making him dependent financially. The madness will be only the pretext to destroy the public image of the king. The sovereign has to become an object of scandal to disarm him.

In reality, Ludwig, who to there have always favored a liberal government favorable to the Prussia, decided at the beginning of the 80s to change his political orientation, in agreement with the new parliamentary majority in Bavaria of conservative tendency. He thus sees there the opportunity to bring to a successful conclusion his reform. Now, the government in position does not hear it of this ear, no more than Prussia moreover.

It is from this moment that everything toggles for Ludwig: from then on, begin a campaign of belittlement relieved by the press where it was said everything and anything to prepare the public opinion. Taking advantage of the isolation of the king and corrupt circle of acquaintances, it was acted with discretion. From his part, prince Luitpold, waiting for a long time for a sign of the fate to place him on the throne, jumps at the opportunity as soon as Prime Minister Lutz announces him his desire to push aside the king.

Luitpold is an ultra-catholic but for the needs of the plot this one becomes allied with the liberals. If Luitpold obtains the power, it will arrange everybody: with him the ultramontane, to there put aside by Ludwig II, are assured to find a dominant position, and the liberals will stay in the power because he promised it to them. He has in any case no choice because henceforth the prince will have to return his accounts to Berlin.

Little by little, the trap will close around the king without that it realizes it at once. In 1886, its decision to reshape as quickly as possible before the end of June his ministry accelerated things and signed its death sentence. It was thus appealed to doctor Gudden, director of the psychiatric asylum of Munich so that he drafts and confirms a report on the mental health of Ludwig. Indeed, it was necessary to neutralize the king as quickly as possible. One week before the arrest of the monarch, this report still contained no convincing element, as gives evidence of it, a letter of Prime Minister to the doctor. It was thus invented by paying generously or by threatening who of right; and, while it was prepared actively the Regency in Munich, psychiatrists’ commission started for Neuschwanstein to capture Ludwig as an animal.

© Copyright 2015 Elisabeth Fontaine-Bachelier