War of succession of Austria
The war of succession of Austria (1740 - 1748, treated of Aachen) is a European conflict born from the Pragmatic Sanction, by which the emperor Charles VI of the Holy roman Empire bequeaths to his daughter Marie-Therese of Austria the hereditary States of the House of Habsbourg.
The October 20th 1740, Marie-Therese of Austria, the house of Habsbourg, succeeds his/her father Charles VI of Austria, emperor of the Holy roman Empire, in agreement with the Pragmatic Sanction. Old of only 23 years, and as a woman, she is regarded as a fragile chief. Other princes aspire to replace it on the throne, such Charles-Albert, voter of Bavaria.
The entry in war of Prussia
Under these conditions, the hostilities start with the invasion of the Silesia with Frederic II of Prussia, in December 1740. All new monarch of Prussia - his/her father the King-Sergeant died the May 31st 1740 -, it benefits from the Austrian weakness to try to give a geographical unit to his parcelled out territory. Silesia, populated of a million inhabitants and rich person, is then a trying target. Marie-Therese counts then on Georges II of Great Britain to intervene, without success: Walpole refuses to involve its country in the conflict. Very quickly, on December 16th, Frederic II gains his first victories with a small army but very well trained and equipped which allows the infantry to draw five blows when its adversaries draw three from them. It captures the fortresses of Glogów, Brzeg and Neisse and winters, having captured Silesia, which enables him to double its population with an big industry.
The entry in war of France
France had accepted with semi-word the Pragmatic Sanction, in so far as it did not injure the interests of the thirds. In the species, it injured those of Charles-Albert. In the opinion, after the death of Charles VI, a fort running takes shape to weaken the traditional enemy, Habsbourg. The count of Beautiful-Isle, grandson of the superintendent Fouquet, is made the champion of this position, against that more pacifist of the cardinal of Fleury.
Louis XV yields finally to the party warmonger: France will support the claims of the Électeur of Bavaria, leaving with Marie-Therese only her hereditary field. The December 11th 1740, it sends Beautiful-Isle, to which it has just given its stick of marshal, to attend like its ambassador to the crowning of Bavarian Frankfurt.
The June 5th 1741, Frederic II sign a treaty of alliance with the marshal of Beautiful-Isle. By this treaty, France commits itself to support the Voter of Bavaria militarily, and recognizing the Prussian conquests in Silesia. N the other hand, Frederic agrees only of the promises.
- the others combined of Prussia, except France, are the Spain and the Bavaria; others allied joined them more or less constantly.
- the Austrian cause it being supported by the Great Britain and the United Provinces, traditional opponents with the hegemony of France. Their temporary allies it is necessary to retain the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, and the Saxony.
War of succession of AustriaAgainst Austria, two faces take shape, one Prussian, quickly gained and ratified by a peace treaty, other French, marked by the Austrian victories, over its ground, where thus nobody loses.
The Prussia-Austria face
See also: Wars of Silesia
Prussia, victorious, gains territories on Austria. Prussia and Austria sign a separate peace then: Prussia ceases the war, preserves the conquered territories and engages has to respect Pragmatic Sanction of the emperor Charles VI of Austria, which yields the throne of Austria to his/her daughter Marie-Therese of Austria. By this peace, Prussia leaves France in the embarrassment of a war, of which it was Prussia itself which decided it to engage in the conflict.
The France-Austria face
France undergoes severe defeats during the summer 1743 (Dettingen), made of an army and a State too little implied in this war, eager to spare their finances. However on March 15th, 1744, Louis XV declares officially the war in England and Austria.
Assessment of the War of succession of Austria (1748)
See: treated of Aachen, 1748.
At the exit of the war, alliances have largely advanced. Prussia is large gaining, territorialement. Austria lost minor territories, but makes a success of an acceptable peace agreement and confirms, by the acceptance of the Pragmatic Sanction, Marie-Therese of Austria like succeeding the Emperor Charles VI of Austria: the will of the Austrian Court is accomplished.
France, it, neither gained, nor lost (on the military level) but its aspirations were betrayed. Betrayed by Prussian separate peace, treachery which will leave marks and which is located contrary to a bringing together of alliance originally aimed, but also betrayed by its own military weaknesses. France did not gain anything but leaves there on the contrary weakened on the economic plan. France diplomatically leaves back there to the wall, ruffled with Prussia and Austria, already under tension with the Great Britain. This situation letting predict the bad omens of the following years such stagnation of the War Seven Year old (1756-1763). The word of Voltaire on this sterile countryside: “to work for the king of Prussia” became proverbial.
France vis-a-vis Europe, assessment
- British: colonial competitions important, in particular in North America (News-France), which will lead on disastrous the Guerre Seven Year old.
- Prussia: France in a war implied whose France did not want, and which it did not hold, giving up the war by a separate peace. It increases its power there on the continent, ruffled its relations with France, having placed it in an uncomfortable position (vis-a-vis Great Britain and Austria).
- Austria: France declared the war in Austria, which puts it in delicate situation.
- Spain: an essential alliance, France, back with the wall, is obliged to offer much, to have the insurance of little (Pacte of family).
Other relations in Europe
(to be supplemented)
Notes and references of the article
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