War of the Austrian Succession  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The War of the Austrian Succession (Template:Lang-de, 1740–1748) involved most of the powers of Europe over the issue of Archduchess Maria Theresa's succession to the Habsburg Monarchy. The war included peripheral events such as King George's War in British America, the War of Jenkins' Ear (which formally began on 23 October 1739), the First Carnatic War in India, the Jacobite rising of 1745 in Scotland, and the First and Second Silesian Wars.

The cause of the war was Maria Theresa' alleged ineligibility to succeed to her father Charles VI's various crowns, because Salic law precluded royal inheritance by a woman. This was to be the key justification for France and Prussia, joined by Bavaria, to challenge Habsburg power. Maria Theresa was supported by Britain, the Dutch Republic, Sardinia and Saxony.

Spain, which had been at war with Britain over colonies and trade since 1739, entered the war on the Continent to re-establish its influence in northern Italy, further reversing Austrian dominance over the Italian peninsula that had been achieved at Spain's expense as a consequence of Spain's war of succession earlier in the 18th century.

The war ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, by which Maria Theresa was confirmed as Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, but Prussia retained control of Silesia. The peace was soon to be shattered, however, when Austria's desire to recapture Silesia intertwined with the political upheaval in Europe, culminating in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763).


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "War of the Austrian Succession" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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