The Seven Years’ War
The first true World War. …Cause and effects!
What would the state of the free world be today if the alliance of the war of the Austrian Succession had not reversed in the Seven Years’ War? Would we speak French, still be “New England”, or perhaps New Spain? The fact is that while we may not know for certain that today’s world would be different, you can rest assured that the Seven Years’ War set the tone in Europe, and more importantly in North America for the next half century.
The history of the 18th century in Europe was always uncertain. In fact, the history of Europe will show that the fate of the continent, perhaps even the world, was always on the brink. Nations constantly were maneuvering for the upper hand looking to the highest bidder to choose sides with. The war of the Spanish Succession and the war of the Austrian Succession will show us that this new “world war” would be no different. The degree of uncertainty on the continent in 1755 is unparalleled. Russia, Bohemia, and even France and England could have swung in either direction. In fact France and England did change “loyalties” if you will between the Treaty of Aix-la-chapelle and Frederick’s invasion of Bohemia in 1756. Maria Theresa, although agreed to the aforementioned treaty to end the war of her accession, would always seek revenge on Frederick for the humiliation he had inflicted on her.
If these loyalties or interests I should say hadn’t changed, what would the effect on the world be today? Would you or I be speaking some other language? French perhaps?
The Enlightened Despots, Frederick? Was he? Maria Theresa? Hardly, Catherine had absolutely no impact whatsoever, and William Pitt, while he was an effective military strategist, was no despot, and surely not enlightened. Louis the XV, who was led around by the nose by Mme de Pompadour, was as ineffective as all the Kings of France would be after his grandfather.
Britain obtained Prussia as her ally, but you might ask, why? Surely you can’t fuel Frederick’s massive army any more? Pitt the Elder argued though that while true Prussia’s army was unmatched in these days, they had no Navy, and therefore was no threat to the “isles”. Besides they could defend Hanover as Brittaiinias ally, to let England deal with her main concern, colonization. While the Hanoverian kings were by no means brilliant or very effective furthermore, it was parliament that realized the importance of her colonies, especially in the New World.
The treaty of Westminster sealed the deal between both England and Prussia. Frederick’s hopes were that this would deter Russia from getting involved, and the ”Brits” trusted Frederick in return to...