War and Diplomacy in the 18th c.

APEURO Lecture 4C
Mrs. Kray
 French and
the English
surpass Dutch
 Joint Stock
 French East
 British East
 Facilitated the
exchange of goods
 Promoted slave
 Commercial
Revolution led to
revolution in tastes
 Coffee, teas,
calicos, muslins,
 Sugar = the biggest money-maker of all for England
 Profits from commerce promoted the development of a capitalist
system of private property
 Gov’t became more dependent on entrepreneurs as a source of
taxation and to underwrite state borrowing of funds, through banks
and other credit institutions
 Accumulation of wealth by the middle class
 tended to facilitate its merging with the aristocracy as both stood to
gain from intermarriage
 Potential for great riches led to intensification of commercial
rivalries that resulted in war
 Often the conflict over territory within Europe coincided with
overseas competition for colonies and markets, thus producing the
first world war in history
 France vs. England for colonial dominance
 Prussia vs. Austria for influence in German affairs
 Only 5 when became king
 Great-grandson of Louis XIV
 His weak rule undermined
support for the monarchy
 Lazy
 Not interested in politics
 Aristocrats & parlements
reclaimed rights/privileges
lost under Louis XIV
 Parlement of Paris
 King’s favorite mistress
 Believed to exercise undue
influence in gov’t affairs
 Key advisor to the king
 Worked with property
 Sought to avoid war
 Government debt considered the personal debt
of the French king
 No system of public debt in France
 Forced to borrow $$$ at high interest rate b/c of
repeated defaults
 Why was the French government in such deep
 Wars of Louis XIV, small tax base, desire of
investors to profit from the commercial
 Mississippi Bubble, 1720
 Monarchy chartered Mississippi Co. in hopes
of issuing stocks to underwrite government
 Widespread speculation
 Thousands bankrupted
 France repudiated the debt which made it
harder to borrow money later
 English monarch continued to
play an important political role,
but worked through Parliament to
pass legislation and govern
 George I, 1714-1727
 First Hanoverian King
 Unpopular
 Did not speak English
 Dynasty was able to establish a
functioning system by relying on a
prime minister and cabinet system
 First prime minister
 House of Commons
 Helped develop Britain’s cabinet
 Appointed ministers to head up
government agencies who also
served in Parliament
 Cabinet = a group bound to each
other with a common goal
 Advanced Britain’s commercial
interests abroad while avoiding war
 Close relationship between government finance and private
 Bank of England issued stock to finance government debt and
also allowed investors to draw on a larger amount of capital
than other nations
 This established a system of public debt
 South Sea Bubble, 1720
 South Sea Co. purchased government bonds and issued stock
based on the hope of profits trading with Spanish America
 Stocks became overvalued, bubble burst, causing significant
loss to creditors
 Britain was able to save company b/c of quick gov’t action
 Compare w/France’s Mississippi Bubble
 Highly trained professional armies
 Infantry played a major role
 Smootbore musket  inaccurate
 Wars fought for specific strategic
 Less destructive than earlier wars
 Entered into lightly and withdrew
from more quickly
 Pragmatic Sanction guaranteed
Maria Theresa’s right to inherit
the Habsburg throne and
 Frederick the Great of Prussia
ignored the Pragmatic Sanction
and seized Silesia
 Silesia had more than 1 million
people, a prosperous linen
industry, and rich deposits of
iron ore
 War of Austrian Succession had
 Bavaria, Saxony,
and Spain
rushed in to
claim territorial
 France sided
with Prussia
 Britain backed
 Evolved into a
world war
 Prussia kept Silesia
 Doubled Prussia’s population; strengthened its economic
 Prussia attained great power status
 Austria compensated for loss with Belgium
 Maria Theresa determined to regain Silesia
 All other territory returned to pre-war status
 War Highlighted 2 issues:
 France in unfavorable strategic position
 Hamstrung between major continental commitments with its large
army and a growing commercial empire in need of naval defense
 Prussia now Austria’s chief rival in German affairs
 Centralized tax collection &
combined administrative offices of
the various territories
 Tripled army size
 Promoted primary education &
economic productivity
 Promoted smallpox vaccination,
outlawed torture, eased burdens on
 Goal: Strengthen the state to
recapture Silesia
Wanted Austria to regain Silesia. Formed a coalition that
included France, Austria, and Russia.
 One consequence of
this new alliance was
the marriage of Marie
Antoinette, Maria
Theresa’s daughter, to
the future Louis XVI of
 Her Other Notable
 HRE Joseph II
 HRE Leopold II
 War actually began in America
(French & Indian War)
 Britain won major victories on
land and sea in N. America,
Caribbean, & India
 Br. used their East India
companies to exploit the
decaying Mogul Empire in India
 France depleted by fighting
major wars on the continent and
 Frederick II’s darkest & finest
 Outnumbered almost 10 to 1
 Berlin burned to the ground
 Britain only sent financial
 Earns name Frederick the Great
 His enemies never seemed able to
coordinate their attacks
 France never embrace Austrian
 Treaty of Hubertusberg
 Frederick hangs on to Silesia
 Britain victorious
 Britain acquired French Canada and all land between the
Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River
 France kept profitable sugar islands in the Caribbean
 Britain secured a dominant position in India
 “crown jewel of the British Empire”
 Britain dominant maritime power
 Prussia kept Silesia
 This treaty set the stage for 4 major events on 3 continents
 American Revolution
 Dualism in Germany
 French Revolution