Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online
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The Bavarian State Parliament – Digital

Maximilianeum (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Fotoarchiv Fruhstorfer) Das Maximilianeum, Sitz des Bayerischen Landtags (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Fotoarchiv Fruhstorfer)

deutsche Version

The edition of the negotiations of the Bavarian "Landstände" (regional states) of the late middle ages and early modern times and of the debates of the Bavarian "Landtag" (state parliament) of the 19th and 20th century comprises extensive source material which is of great importance for numerous fields of the political, economic, social and cultural history of Bavaria. In addition to the discussions of important political issues and of individual problems treated in the bodies of the "Landstände" or of the "Landtag", the minutes provide numerous indications on the history of Bavaria's political and social elites, and also on the history of individual locations in Bavaria.


States ("Landstände", "Landschaft") of the late middle ages and early modern times:

Bavarian state parliament ("Landtag") since 1819


The material is complemented by the contributions to the colloquium "Der Bayerische Landtag vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Probleme und Desiderate der Forschung." – ("The Bavarian state parliament from the late middle ages to the present. Problems and desiderata of research.")


Introduction: "Landstände" and "Landtag" in Bavaria

States ("Landstände", "Landschaft") of the late middle ages and early modern times

Starting around 1300, so-called "Landstände" (regional states) developed in the duchy of Bavaria, which consisted of the three curiae of the knights, prelates and cities. The states were the representatives of the country acting as counterpart to the duke, later to the elector. The states in their entirety were called "Landschaft". The members of the "Landschaft" were registered in the so-called "Landtafeln".

The assembly of the states was called "Landtag". During the late middle ages and in the 16th century, many such Landtag parliamentary assemblies took place, in the 17th century the complete "Landschaft" only met three times, ultimately in 1669. Smaller representative bodies were in charge of safeguarding the interests of the states in the periods between the individual Landtag assemblies and also after the final Landtag assembly. It is evidenced that committees existed since 1429/30. From 1514 to the end of the Landschaft in 1808 the day-to-day business of the states was conducted by an executive body called "Landschaftsverordnung".

In late mediaeval Bavaria states existed in each of the duchies, analogously to the subdivision of the country. A uniform Bavarian Landschaft was formed only in 1505, after the unification of Bavaria. With regard to the administration of the Landschaft, however, a division into upper and lower Bavaria was maintained.

The central privilege of the Landschaft was the approval of the tax. For this purpose the Landschaft had had its own authorities since the 16th century. The states could also secure essential privileges for themselves, particularly in the field of jurisdiction. These privileges were contained in 64 "Freiheitsbriefe" (letters of privileges) which were granted to the states by the Bavarian dukes between 1311 and 1565.

The Landtage represented a formalized dialogue between the sovereign and the states, with the procedure becoming more and more refined in the course of time. This means that the requests made by one side in writing were first discussed by the other side before a response was given, which was again followed by a response by the other side.

The minutes of the Landtag and further material on the history of the Landschaft were published in print already at the beginning of the 19th century. With regard to edition technology, these source works are outdated; however, they are still indispensable.

The titles of both digitised works can be searched in full-text mode.

The Bavarian State Parliament since 1819

In the course of the reforms by count Maximilian von Montgelas (1759-1838) in 1808 all still existing state representations of the territories incorporated in the kingdom of Bavaria were abolished, among them also the Bavarian Landschaft that had existed so far. The constitution of the kingdom of Bavaria passed in the same year provided for the foundation of a national representation consisting of one chamber, but this representative body never convened.


The regulations of the Bavarian constitution of 1818 were decisive. It established a parliament divided into two chambers, which was called "Ständeversammlung" ("state assembly") up to 1848. The first chamber was the chamber of the "Reichsräte" ("imperial councillors"), consisting of members by birthright or through appointment by the king. In contrast, the members of the second chamber, the chamber of deputies, were elected. In the course of time – with decisive events in the years 1848, 1881 and 1906 –, a development took place from limited suffrage to universal, equal suffrage, however which development was not concluded until the end of the monarchy. The "Landtag" (parliamentary assembly) of the kingdom assembled for the first time in 1819; its last session took place on 7 November 1918.


After the revolution of 7/ 8 November 1918 the Landtag was for a short time replaced by the "Provisorischer Nationalrat" ("Provisional National Council"). The regular Landtag – now with only one chamber – sat again from 1919 to 1933. In 1934 it was abolished by the national socialists.

Since 1946

After the Second World War the first free elections since 1932 first brought about a "Verfassunggebende Landesversammlung" ("State Constituent Assembly"), which developed the new constitution of the Free State of Bavaria. The first regular Landtag was elected on 1 December 1946 and met for its first session on 16 December 1946. Besides the Landtag, there existed also a Senate, forming a second parliamentary chamber.

The Sessions of the Bavarian State Parliament

In contrast to the time before 1800, from 1819 onward the minutes of the Bavarian state parliament were always published in print, with only few exceptions. The minutes were always published by the Landtag itself.

The records of the sessions consist of three parts:

  • Stenographic reports (minutes): Here the sessions of the state parliament are recorded word by word. The sessions of the committees have never been recorded word by word, with few exceptions.
  • "Beilagen" – Annexes: The annex volumes contain the materials discussed by the state parliament. As a rule they have the same number of pages as the minutes of the sessions. Such annexes are bills, committee reports, enquiries and requests by the deputies and parliamentary groups and numerous further materials.
  • Registers: The register volumes – with subject and speaker registers – index both the minutes of the sessions and the annex volumes.


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Information on the project

The online publication of the minutes of the sessions of the state parliament already formed part of the first version of the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online, which was made publicly accessible in 2002. In a cooperation project of the Bavarian State Parliament, the Konferenz der Landeshistoriker an den bayerischen Universitäten and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek over 60,000 pages of records of the Landtag (late middle ages, early modern times, minutes of the Landtag 1919-1933, minutes of the constitutional committee and the state constituent assembly 1946, repertory on the constitution of 1946, minutes of the Landtag 1946/47) were digitised in 2001-2002. In 2004 the digitised version of the minutes of the preparatory constitutional committee of 1946 was added, which had been acquired by Karl-Ulrich Gelberg. The presentation of the digitised documents was improved in 2009.

In 2007 the Protokolle des „Provisorischen Nationalrates“ (minutes of the provisional national council) were digitised when the BLO focal point "Revolution, Soviet Committees and Soviet Republic in Bavaria" was developed.

The project is to be understood as a historical counterpart of the current Online-Publikation der aktuellen Parlamentspapiere durch den Bayerischen Landtag itself.