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Lecture 14

HIS103Y Lecture 14 November 2nd The Seven Years War, 1756-63: Part I

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

HIS103Y Lecture 14 November 2 nd The Seven Years War, 1756-63: Part I • First treaty of Versailles – diplomatic intimidation. Not a prelude to war • Austria had not yet achieved its goal of an offensive alliance against Prussia with France, but waited for Frederick to slip up • First treaty of Versailles also had an impact on the Russians – Elizabeth wanted to ally with France • She set up the ‘Conference at the Imperial Court’ to reconsider Russian foreign policy options in light of the convention of Westminster and the failure of the Subsidy treaty • They told the Empress in 1756 to establish an offensive alliance with Austria against Prussia • Also to win France over to the anti-Prussian alliance • Habsburgs still wanted Silesia • Frederick kept hearing Anti-Prussian coalition (Austria, France, and Russia) attack to Prussia. o Maria denied the fact o Frederick saw there is no way out of this predicament and chose to attack Saxony. • So, August 1756 Frederick invades Saxony, because he thought they were going to join the anti-Prussian army o Saxony was a buffer zone with proximity to both Berlin and Paris • Within one month, Frederick took over Saxony. o Saxony and its troops were integrated into Prussia. Prussia gained $48 million dollars which was 1/3 of Prussia’s own expenditure. • However, the military success did not guarantee diplomatic success. o Anti-Prussian coalition became stronger o Created the situation that Frederick wanted to avoid. • In response to this, February 1757, Austro-Russian alliance is established. • The principle of the diplomatic revolution - an offensive alliance between France and Austria on May 17th – Second treaty of Versailles, Sweden joined in March of 1757 • Prussia was now forced into a war of survival • Frederick defensive insecurity brought about this, not his offensive militarism • After the Battle of Kolin 1757, British assisted Prussian chances of survival • In the 18th century warfare, the army with more men often won the battle and Prussian forces were greatly outnumbered • However, at the Battle of Leuthen, even though Austria fielded an army twice the size of the Prussian one the Prussians still managed to win the battle in December 1757 • Earlier at the battle of Rossbach the Prussians managed to defeat French forces in November because the Prussian army attacked the French army before they could form a line • September 1757, the treaty of Kloster 7 was signed. o Embarrassment of Britain and Prussia o Thanks to Army of Observation • November 1757, the Battle of Rossbach o Prussian army wiped out outnumbering French army who were marching towards Saxony by intercepting in the
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