Sunday, November 2, 2008
Which had a greater impact in setting the political stages for the rest of the century –the War of Austrian Succession or the Seven Years’ War?
The Seven Years' War was much more decisive, politically speaking, than the War of the Austrian Succession. First of all, the two were really more like one war with a little break in between, in which the alliances were changed (Diplomatic Revolution). That being said, the Seven Years' War was in some ways a continuation of the War of the Austrian Succession; the Habsburgs vs. Prussia and the French vs. Britain. However, unlike the first war, the Seven Years' was, considering where the battles were fought, more of a global war. In America (the U.S.), the French gave up their claims to the British and the Spanish opening up new opportunities for expansion economically and culturally . In India both the French and particularly the British became increasingly involved with politics. Also, Prussia displayed its formidable military strength proving itself as a nation and as more than a match for the Habsburgs. Russia reared its head in the war. All in all, the over all strength and influence of the British empire became more important and a new player was added to the game with the affirmation of Prussia (opposing the Habsburgs and creating the "dualism of Germany").