The Seven Years' War: causes and consequences

The Seven Years' War: causes and consequences

The Seven Years War It was a conflict that confronted the great European powers between the years 1756 and 1763.

Great Britain and Prussia they had a defensive alliance that faced a coalition between France, Austria and their allies.

Initially, the conflict occurred due to the desire of Austria, specifically the desire for Queen Maria Teresa, to manage to control Silesia and to the confrontation between France and Great Britain in relation to the constitution of a colonial empire in India and America.

Development of the Seven Years' War

Hostilities broke out in 1757, but it was two simultaneous wars. On the one hand, France and England fought at sea, in the colonies and in western Germany.

For another, Prussia faced Austria and the coalition of allies in eastern Germany.

In Germany, the Austrians and the French, joined by the German princes, Russia and Sweden in 1757, initially achieved some successes, but Frederick II changed the balance with a series of victories.

The first occurred at Rossbach, followed by the Battle of Leuthen.

The French chose to focus on the western war, so Prussia's only concern was Russia, which it defeated at Zorndorf in 1758.

Nevertheless, the Russians and the Austrians joined in the Battle of Kunersdorf in 1759, defeated the Prussian troops and occupied Berlin.

Frederick II was saved from disaster by the ascension to the throne of Emperor Peter III of Russia in 1762, who made a separate peace with Prussia.

Further, the German monarch took back Pomerania after signing the end of the war with Sweden. Finally, Burkersdorf's victory in 1762 allowed him to regain Silesia.

By sea and in the colonies, the British victory was total: they took Quebec after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1760 and achieved the capitulation of Pondichéry in 1761.

Given this, France achieved the alliance of Spain in 1761 through the Third Family Pact. But both countries were defeated with the British taking of Florida, Havana, and Manila in 1762, although the Spanish conquered Sacramento.

The signing of peace

Total peace came when the Treaty of Hubertsburg was signed on February 15, 1763. The pact maintained the status quo in Germany, confirming Prussia as a great power.

On the other hand, the treaty of Paris of February 10 deprived France of most of its empire, especially Canada and India, to the benefit of the British.

In turn, the Spanish lost the commercial privileges of Florida, but obtained a part of La Luisiana.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

Video: The Seven Years War part 1