Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/351

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officials. Side by side with it a Chancery for the Empire and hereditary lands was erected, whose Chancellor was to act with the help of three secretaries, one for the Empire, one for Lower, and one for Upper Austria. Finance was once more to be reorganised, and the Innsbruck Chamber restored to something of its old position. Tribunals were instituted to hear complaints against officials; the prince's domain was not to be alienated, and three local administrations were set up, at Bruck on the Mur for Lower Austria, at Innsbruck for Upper Austria, and at Ensisheim for the Vorlande. Maximilian's death within a few months prevented these schemes from being carried out, and the history of the Emperor's Austrian, as of his German policy, ends with the characteristic note of failure. Nevertheless he had truly won for himself the position of founder of the unity of the Austrian dominions. If he accomplished little for Germany, he had done much for Austria.

The soundness of the newer imperial policy of Maximilian was soon to be tested. On the death of George the Rich, Duke of Bavaria-Landshut (1504), a contest arose as to the succession. By family settlements and by the law of the Empire, the next heirs to the deceased Duke were his kinsmen, Albert and Wolfgang, Dukes of Bavaria-Munich. But differences had arisen between the Munich and Landshut branches of the ducal House of Wittelsbach, and George, in the declining years of his life, had formed a scheme for the succession of his nephew and son-in-law, the Count Palatine Rupert, second son of the Elector Palatine Philip, by his wife, George's sister, and the husband of Elizabeth, the Duke of Landshut's only child. On his death he left his wealth and dominions to Rupert and Elizabeth, who at once entered into possession of their inheritance.

The Dukes of Munich immediately appealed to Max, and the newly-constituted royal Kammergeridit speedily issued a decision in their favour. All the dominions of Duke George were to go to the Dukes of Munich, except those in which the King had an interest. Maximilian at once put Rupert and his wife under the ban of the Empire, and prepared to vindicate by arms the decision of his lawyers. For the first time since his accession the young princes of Germany flocked to his standard. It was in vain that the Elector Palatine appealed to his French and Swiss allies to help his son. A few French nobles fought on his side; but Louis XII preferred to profit by Maximilian's need to obtain recognition as Duke of Milan. The struggle was too one-sided to be of long duration, and the death of Rupert and his wife made its termination the more easy. The mass of the Landshut dominions was now secured to the Dukes of Munich, henceforth the sole lords of the Bavarian duchy. But Maximilian himself appropriated considerable districts for himself, while he compensated the Elector Palatine by the region of Sulzbach and Neuburg-the so-called Junge Pfalz. With Maximilian's triumph in the Landshut Succession War