June 8th Lecture 7- Diplomatic Revolution-Summer

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Published on 20 Jun 2011
Lecture # 7
-Last Class: Treaty of Utrecht: Balance of power is recognized as an
important aspect of security in the state and no state can manage without
it in the next 20 years, checks and balances were integrated into the system of
the state to ensure its survival > the barrier treaty b/w Austria and the Dutch
republic > this treaty put pressure on France so Austria and the Dutch supported by
Britain pressured France to give them the succession crisis both in France and in
Britain (Queen Anne and Louis XIV died) and both needed stability and the result
was the triple alliance in 1717 b/w Britain, France and the Dutch > they put
pressure on Spain and Austria, two states that were disappointed by the treaty of
Utrecht the Quadruple Alliance = Britain, France, Dutch and Austria put
pressure on Spain and these are all checks and balances and it made sure that not
one state could act freely or else there would be a coalition this was secured for
the next 20 years
-By the 1740s there was dramatic upheaval in Europe based on one states desire in
the next 40 years and that is Prussia which was a second ranked state why
would Frederick attack? = the main territory East and West Russia was
separated by several kilometres and never would a state feel secure in such
a situation > you need compact territory in order to run and defend it
better and these are the reasons to start the war of the Austrian succession
by Fredrick in 1740 his assessment of international relations? = the moment for
a golden opportunity for Prussia > Maria Teresa gain Habsburg territories already
challenged by Bavaria and Saxony and these two challenges allowed Frederick to
hide behind them and pre-empt them Why Silesia? It gave them 30% more
territory for Prussia and it was the treasure chest of the Habsburg empire and he
launched an attack in December 1740 catching Austria by surprise he was
successful in pulling it off and Silesia becomes part of Prussia in 8 years of war,
Frederick actually enters the war twice and pulls out and Prussia manages to fulfill
their objectives with a short military campaign while all over states fought for 8
years When the French, Bavaria and Saxon coalition did well against Vienna and
Maria Teresa and he pulled out and left Maria Teresa to recover with British
subsidiaries, to turn the military fortunes to her own advantage defeating Bavaria
and Saxony and French pushing them out of the territories of the Habs empire 
the minute Frederick saw this success he re-entered the war taking Prague and
Bohemia and he maintained a balance by not allowed the Habs empire to be
destroyed or to become too powerful Britain and France eventually after 8
years of fighting, signed the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle in Oct 1784 and this
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was the end of the Austrian Succession War without brit or French support,
neither of the other states could continue on with the war and thus they too had to
sign the treaty that did not mean that every single issue was solved the treaties
went back to the previous territorial agreement except Silesia which remained in
Prussian hands
-What were the lessons in this war? = 1. They recognized how incredibly
successful the Prussian army was and Fredricks leadership 2. They had to take into
account the role of Russia > Frederick calculated the international repercussions
against going to war against Maria Teresa, he reckoned that Russia will not be
ready to enter the war given the succession crisis in St. Petersburg and his
calculation were correct because Russia was only ready in 1748 while the
negotiations for the treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle was underway therefore Russia never
entered the war or supported Russia that means that nobody knew the military
potential of Prussia these were two factors that international observers had to
take into account in addition to that, naturally Maria Teresa (the Austrians)
could not reconcile themselves to the loss of Silesia thus there is a great deal of
animosity against Prussia moreover, there is a great deal of hatred emerged b/c
the Habs and Britain because during the war of Austrian succession, they twice
compelled the Austrians to make a deal with Frederick even though Silesia still
remained in Prussian hands and also compelled the Austrians to accept the
provisions in the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle and that was to leave Silesia in Prussian
hands the most important recognition that came out of the treaty of Aix-
La-Chapelle was that Britain did not care about the national interest
affairs of their allies and Austrian affairs and they did not care as long as
they came out unharmed
-Finally, Maria Teresa also came to recognized a dramatic change in Austrian
national priorities no longer did Bourbon France become a threat to Austria
stability by this point, France had become humiliated a couple of times clearly
since the time since Louis XIV and they no longer presented the same military
power so therefore they were no longer the greatest threat same with Spain, which
was clearly declining at this point the only major threat was Heretic Protestant
Prussia of Catholic Austria who put this idea on Maria Teresas head? =
Kaunitz most famous diplomat he deduced all these conclusions he came
up with a dramatic assessment of Austrian national interests what he
saw in this war of Austrian succession was that the lands that Austria
received (particularly the Austrian Netherlands and lands in Northern
Europe) after the treaty of Utrecht, were not an asset to the Habs empire
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but rather a liability b/c they had a hard time running those territories and
defending them and they were quite far from the Habs empire and thus
they can never capitalize on them and in economic terms the territories
were closer to the Dutch republic to Vienna because trade must go
through the Dutch therefore it would benefit the Dutch due to the treaty of
Ryswick and they were a black hole financially and finally, the most
important thing was that those lands kept them hostages to France
because they kept getting dragged in Kauntiz went one step further = he
said that while Austria is unable to benefit from the Austrian Netherlands,
there is a state that helped them for a good half a century and that was
France if they could not defend or benefit them why not offer them to France? >
by doing that, they could change the entire diplomatic alignment of Austria they
can get rid of the most stubborn threat to the Habs empire and that was the
Bourbon rivalry he proposed a tremendous diplomatic revolution if they
offered the lands, that conflict would be dead not only would the competition
would be over, they would get rid of the most important ally of Frederick II of
Prussia and the minute they detach France from Prussia, Prussia will become
vulnerable and they will have a good chance of getting back Silesia also, Britain
will never go to a war for Austrian interests so its the perfect opportunity he also
argued that both Austria and France are catholic while Prussia is heretic and
religion is important to France and Frederick didnt really believe in religion and he
was despised by most European monarchs finally, he argued that if they
eliminate the French conflict, they will eliminate all other problems in Europe > w/o
French support the Spaniards will never challenge the Dutch and no secondary state
would ever raise a finger against Austria because they all needed funding
-What would the French gain by such a deal? they would clearly gain
territory but they would gain a great deal b/c if there was another conflict b/w
France and Britain, then France would have a free hand on the continent because
every single time they engage with the British, they always have allies (Dutch and
Austrians) that will do the fighting for them on the continent and tie down France
on the continent thus prevent France from gaining the upper-hand overseas 
therefore it was an incredibly offer
-The Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle which terminated the war of Austrian Succession,
everyone got back everything they wanted prior to the war except Silesia Britain
and France exchanged everything there was an issue in N.A however > the
French in the mid 1750s had less than 100,000 settlers from the eastern shores of
Canada through the Ohio valley all the way down to the Mississippi and Louisiana >
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