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HIS103Y1 (431)


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University of Toronto St. George
Vasilis Dimitriadis

The 18th Century balance of power to the Austrian succession, 1715-1748  Maria Theresa of Austria secured: all the leading European and German states, except Bavaria,, guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction, and goodwill of the major powers  Maria Theresa was dealing with the challenges in her provinces:  they lacked any administrative unity and the army had been shattered and demoralized (internal struggles)  December 1740, King of Prussia (Frederick II: ambitious, meticulous, expansionist) invaded Silesia (which is the wealthiest of the Habsburg lands) and began the War of the Austrian Succession (surprise: not a traditional enemy, had always been supportive)  alliances  France, Bavaria, Spain and Prussia (to dismember the Habsburg monarchy) vs Austria, Dutch Republic, Russia (whom joined later) and Britain (Britain aligned with Austria to maintain the balance of power and preventing France from achieving hegemony that would cause the British commercial and colonial empire to be untenable)  1741: Prussian army got the support of French forces  Austria got support of Hungary  1742: Frederick started a withdrawal after winning several territories that Austria had won in 1741  Austria and Prussia engaged in the battle of Chotusitz in Bohemia; Austria’s objective is to retake Prague  Prussia agreed to a truce in exchange for most of Silesia with Maria Theresa  this ended the First Silesian War  1743 and 1744: George II of Britain joined with Austrian-Hanovarian alliance to help push back the invaders  Frederick fearing Austria’s power rising started the Second Silesian War by invading Bohemia (but was expelled from Bohemia)  Bavaria was overrun by Austrian troops  these were Austrian’s successes however they were balanced out by Britain losing to the French at the victory of Fontenooy  1745:  therefore, George II of Britain pushed Maria Theresa to come to peace with Prussia (Maria Theresa had to comply because Austria depended on British subsidies); Frederick II promised to support the imperial candidacy of Maria Theresa’s husband in return for Silesia  Fredrick defeated the Austrians and Saxons  Austria’s army wasn’t enough to defeat Frederick’s most strongest land army in Europe  Austria had to be surrendered, though Maria Theresa will never accept this  had to deal with the resistance on the French and Bavarians who occupied Upper Austria and Prague in November 1741 before tackling international ones  Treaty of Dresden and Treaty
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