Baron Karl Ludwig von der Pfordten

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Ludwig von der Pfordten, ca. 1855

Ludwig Karl Heinrich Freiherr von der Pfordten (11 September 1811 in Ried (Innkreis) – 18 August 1880 in Munich) was a Saxon and Bavarian attorney and politician.


Von der Pfordten studied law at the University of Heidelberg and Erlangen. In 1833 he became a professor in Würzburg. In 1843 he moved to the University of Leipzig; from 1845 he served as its president and became a leader of the Saxon Liberal Party. In March 1848 he was appointed Saxon Interior Minister and Education Minister under Prime Minister Karl Braun. When Braun resigned in February 1849, von der Pfordten returned to Bavaria and was appointed Minister-President of Bavaria and Foreign Minister by King Maximilian II of Bavaria.

His project was to unite the German middle-sized powers under Bavarian leadership against Prussia and Austria as a "Third Germany" (the so-called Trias). Thus, he was partly responsible that Bavaria in actuality torpedoed the project of the Erfurt Union. After an agreement between Austria and Prussia was reached with the Punctation of Olmütz in December 1850, the trias concept lost most of its importance in the subsequent few years and von der Pfordten resigned in 1859. He then was the Bavarian envoy for the Frankfurt Parliament.

In 1864 von der Pfordten returned to power when King Ludwig II of Bavaria restored him. He resigned again in December 1866, since his placement efforts had failed and Bavaria had lost the Austro-Prussian War as an ally of Austria.

Political offices
Preceded by
Count Otto von Bray-Steinburg
Minister-President of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Baron Karl von Schrenck
Preceded by
Max Ritter von Neumayr
Minister-President of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Chlodwig, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst