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The Practice of The Balance of Power

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Denis Smyth

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The Practice of The Balance of Power, 1715- 1740 - War of the Polish Succession of the 1730s, Augustus II died in 1733. The Polish Monarchy was always elected and they voted Augustus III to succeed Augustus II. However, the French King Louis XV wanted his wife’s father Leszczyński to succeed Augustus. - 10 October 1733, the French declared war on Austria on the question of Polish Succession. - Cardinal Fleury (who had learned moderation from previous French mistakes) managed to keep the war on a small scale and prevented Britain from entering the war, thanks to his flourishing diplomacy. - By sparing / excluding the Austrian Netherlands from French aggression, Fleury ensured that the Dutch and British wouldn’t interfere with France’s war against Austria. - The end result was a remarkable exercise of French military achievement but one that was only consolidated by French diplomacy. - The reason why the international system managed to stand the shock of war in the 1730s was because of the remarkable way Anglo-French cooperation and collaboration stabilized Europe. In both cases this collaboration emerged from self- interest. - The French needed British cooperation because:
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