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Maximilian von Montgelas, "Ansbach Memorandum." Proposal for a Program of State Reforms (September 30, 1796)

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The parishes, especially in Bavaria, are too extensive. The distribution of revenues among these pastors is so unequal that one wallows in riches while another can barely afford essentials. A redistribution, to be agreed upon with the bishops, is absolutely necessary. The subjects would thereby be greatly relieved, and it would be easier to instruct them and provide the spiritual aid that many of them are obliged to do without during most of the year because they live so far away from their parish churches. Perhaps it would be useful to draw up the new division in such a way that no one would have to travel more than half a mile to reach his parish church. [ . . . ]

The two universities of Heidelberg and Ingolstadt are in the most deplorable condition. Their revenues have been reduced almost to nothing. No attention is given to the selection of professors. The schools in the cities and in the countryside are even more poorly maintained. Schoolmasters, most of them sacristans, remain ignorant, lack necessities, and hence enjoy no respect. Peasants refuse to send their children to school, and most of them do not know how to read or write. This is particularly true in Bavaria; the Palatinate is less bad off in this respect. Someday it will be necessary to completely overhaul this area, to meditate deeply on the plan to be adopted, and especially to give the closest attention to the primary schools in the cities and in the countryside. In reality, it is they that will develop the faculties of the most interesting [important] class of society by putting the stamp of the national spirit on them.

Religious tolerance attracts to the state foreigners useful for their diligence; it promotes the progress of industry and enlightenment, and encourages emulation. It is absolutely obligatory wherever subjects who adhere to different religions have settled in certain numbers. [ . . . ]

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