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Previous: War of the Polish Succession
Concurrent: War of Jenkins' Ear
Next: Seven Years' War
War of the Austrian Succession
Fontenoy
Date: 16 December 1740-18 October 1748
Place: Europe, North America, and India
Outcome: Prussia gains Silesia, Spain gains much of central Italy
Combatants

Flag of France France
Flag of Prussia Prussia
Flag of Spain 3 Spain
Flag of Bavaria Bavaria (1741-45)
Flag of Saxony Saxony (1741-42)
Flag of Naples Naples
Flag of Genoa Genoa (1745-48)
Flag of Sweden Sweden (1741-43)

Flag of Austria 3 Holy Roman Empire
Flag of Great Britain Great Britain
Flag of Hanover Hanover
Flag of Netherlands United Provinces
Flag of Saxony Saxony (1743-45)
Flag of Savoy Savoy (1742-48)
Flag of Russia Russia (1741-43, 1748)

Commanders

Flag of France Louis XV
Flag of France Maurice de Saxe
Flag of France Duc de Broglie
Flag of France Count de Lowendal
Flag of Prussia Frederick the Great
Flag of Prussia Leopold I of Anhalt-Dessau
Flag of Prussia Leopold II of Anhalt-Dessau
Flag of Spain 3 Philip V
Flag of Spain 3 Infante Philip
Flag of Spain 3 Comte de Gages
Flag of Bavaria Charles VII
Flag of Sweden Charles Emil Lewenhaupt
Flag of Genoa Lorenzo de Mari

Flag of Austria 3 Maria Theresa
Flag of Austria 3 Francis I
Flag of Austria 3 Ludwig Andreas von Khevenhuller
Flag of Austria 3 Charles Alexander of Lorraine
Flag of Austria 3 Otto von Traun
Flag of Great Britain George II
Flag of Great Britain Robert Walpole
Flag of Great Britain Lord Wilmington
Flag of Great Britain Henry Pelham
Flag of Great Britain Duke of Cumberland
Flag of Great Britain Thomas Mathews
Flag of Great Britain Edward Braddock
Flag of Netherlands Prince of Waldeck
Flag of Saxony Frederick August II
Flag of Saxony Frederick Augustus Rutowsky
Flag of Saxony Charles Emmanuel III
Flag of Russia Peter Lacy

The War of the Austrian Succession (16 December 1740-18 October 1748) was a war fought over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the Habsburg monarchy in Austria. After the death of Karl VI of Germany, it was argued that Salic law disqualified Maria Theresa, a woman, from inheriting the throne, and Prussia and France both sought to enforce Salic law to prevent Habsburg expansion. Great Britain and the United Provinces, traditional enemies of France, decided to side with the Holy Roman Empire, and war broke out when Prussia invaded the disputed Austrian-held region of Silesia. King Frederick the Great of Prussia succeeded in occupying Silesia and invading Bohemia, and he assisted Emperor Charles VII of Bavaria with holding off an Austrian invasion. On 11 June 1742, Prussia signed a separate peace with Austria after defeating them at Chotusitz, and Austria lost Silesia to the Prussians. Charles VII became the new Holy Roman Emperor, but Prussia's exit from the war and a lack of coordination between the French and Bavarian armies led to a string of Austrian victories, culminating in a defeat at Simbach in 1743. That same year, King George II of Great Britain personally oversaw a victory over the French at Dettingen in the last occasion in which a British monarch commanded troops in battle. However, Spain succeeded in grabbing territories in Italy while Austria was distracted by the French and, from 1744, the Prussian menace, and the Spanish defeated the British at sea during the War of Jenkins' Ear. In 1745, Prussia again made peace with the Allies, and the war was resolved by the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle. Prussia's control over Silesia was confirmed, Spain gained Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla in Italy, and France briefly gained the Austrian Netherlands, but Maria Theresa was confirmed as ruler of Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary (with her husband Francis of Lorraine becoming Emperor), and she regained Flanders from France. The war would leave the Silesian question unresolved, and the Seven Years' War broke out just eight years later.

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