Set in motion by the disputed succession of Maria Theresa and her husband to the lands and dignities of Emperor Charles VI, this series of major conflicts (1740-48) involved far more than just the fate of the Habsurgs: soon, Austria, Prussia, France, Britain, Spain, Bavaria, Saxony and the Netherlands were embroiled in their different but interlocking power struggles, with profound long-term significance for Europe and beyond. The war marks the rise of Prussia to great-power status, and the opening of the struggle between France and Britain for maritime supremacy and colonial empire in North America, the Caribbean and India. This book examines the war and its consequences in their widest context.
1. The Diplomacy of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 2. Old regime Diplomacy at it's height. 3. Coming to terms with a changing World. 4. The Balance of Power. 5. The Quest for International peace.