War of the Austrian Succession

After the death of her father, Charles VI, Maria Theresa succeeded him as Queen of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria and Duchess of Parma. Her father had been Holy Roman Emperor, but Maria Theresa was not a candidate for that title, which had never been held by a woman; the plan was for her to succeed to the hereditary domains, and her husband, Francis Stephen, to be elected Holy Roman Emperor. Charles VI had persuaded most of the states to agree to the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713

The War
The war involved nearly all the powers of Europe, except for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

The war began under the pretext that Maria Theresa of Austria was ineligible to succeed to the Habsburg thrones of her father, Charles VI, because Salic law precluded royal inheritance by a woman, though in reality this was a convenient excuse put forward by Prussia and France to challenge Habsburg power.

Austria was supported by Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, the traditional enemies of France, as well as the kdms Sardinia and Saxony. France and Prussia were allied with the Electorate of Bavaria.

The war ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. The most enduring military historical interest and importance of the war lies in the struggle of Prussia and Habsburg monarchs for the region of Silesia. (See the Silesian Wars.