House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty. Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg have monarchs of the House of Bourbon; the royal Bourbons originated in 1272, when the youngest son of King Louis IX married the heiress of the lordship of Bourbon. The house continued for three centuries as a cadet branch, serving as nobles under the Direct Capetian and Valois kings; the senior line of the House of Bourbon became extinct in the male line in 1527 with the death of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon. This made the junior Bourbon-Vendome branch the genealogically senior branch of the House of Bourbon. In 1589, at the death of Henry III of France, the House of Valois became extinct in the male line. Under the Salic law, the Head of the House of Bourbon, as the senior representative of the senior-surviving branch of the Capetian dynasty, became King of France as Henry IV.
Bourbon monarchs united to France the small kingdom of Navarre, which Henry's father had acquired by marriage in 1555, ruling both until the 1792 overthrow of the monarchy during the French Revolution. Restored in 1814 and definitively in 1815 after the fall of the First French Empire, the senior line of the Bourbons was overthrown in the July Revolution of 1830. A cadet Bourbon branch, the House of Orléans ruled for 18 years, until it too was overthrown; the Princes de Condé were a cadet branch of the Bourbons descended from an uncle of Henry IV, the Princes de Conti were a cadet line of the Condé branch. Both houses were prominent French noble families well known for their participation in French affairs during exile in the French Revolution, until their respective extinctions in 1830 and 1814. In 1700, at the death of Charles II of Spain, the Spanish Habsburgs became extinct in the male line. Under the will of the childless Charles II, the second grandson of Louis XIV of France was named as his successor, to preclude the union of the thrones of France and Spain.
The prince Duke of Anjou, became Philip V of Spain. Permanent separation of the French and Spanish thrones was secured when France and Spain ratified Philip's renunciation, for himself and his descendants, of the French throne in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1714, similar arrangements kept the Spanish throne separate from those of the Two Sicilies and Parma; the Spanish House of Bourbon has been overthrown and restored several times, reigning 1700–1808, 1813–1868, 1875–1931, since 1975. Bourbons ruled in Naples from 1734 to 1806 and in Sicily from 1734 to 1816, in a unified Kingdom of the Two Sicilies from 1816 to 1860, they ruled in Parma from 1731 to 1735, 1748–1802 and 1847–1859. Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg married a cadet of the Parmese line and thus her successors, who have ruled Luxembourg since her abdication in 1964, have been members of the House of Bourbon. Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil, regent for her father, Pedro II of the Empire of Brazil, married a cadet of the Orléans line and thus their descendants, known as the Orléans-Braganza, were in the line of succession to the Brazilian throne and expected to ascend its throne had the monarchy not been abolished by a coup in 1889.
All legitimate, living members of the House of Bourbon, including its cadet branches, are direct agnatic descendants of Henry IV through his son Louis XIII of France. The pre-Capetian House of Bourbon was a noble family, dating at least from the beginning of the 13th century, when the estate of Bourbon was ruled by the Sire de Bourbon, a vassal of the King of France; the term House of Bourbon is sometimes used to refer to this first house and the House of Bourbon-Dampierre, the second family to rule the seigneury. In 1272, Count of Clermont and youngest son of King Louis IX of France, married Beatrix of Bourbon, heiress to the lordship of Bourbon and member of the House of Bourbon-Dampierre, their son Louis was made Duke of Bourbon in 1327. His descendant, the Constable of France Charles de Bourbon, was the last of the senior Bourbon line when he died in 1527; because he chose to fight under the banner of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and lived in exile from France, his title was discontinued after his death.
The remaining line of Bourbons henceforth descended from James I, Count of La Marche, the younger son of Louis I, Duke of Bourbon. With the death of his grandson James II, Count of La Marche in 1438, the senior line of the Count of La Marche became extinct. All future Bourbons would descend from James II's younger brother, who became the Count of Vendôme through his mother's inheritance. In 1525, at the death of Charles IV, Duke of Alençon, all of the princes of the blood royal were Bourbons. In 1514, Count of Vendôme had his title raised to Duke of Vendôme, his son Antoine became King of Navarre, on the northern side of the Pyrenees, by marriage in 1555. Two of Antoine's younger brothers were Cardinal Archbishop Charles de Bourbon and the French and Huguenot general Louis de Bourbon, 1st Prince of Condé. Louis' male-line descendants, the Princes de Condé, survived until 1830. In 1589, the House of Valois died out and Antoine's son Henry III of Navarre became Henry IV of France. Family from India's claim to be a branch and their claim to The "Throne of France" Bourbons of India, claim to be descendants of Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, of the first House of Bourbon-Montpensier.
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Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo
The Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo or Battle of Cuneo was fought on the outskirts of Cuneo on 30 September 1744, in the War of the Austrian Succession. The battle ended in a victory for the armies of Spain and France over the Kingdom of Sardinia but it did not advance the victors' campaign; the battle of Cuneo was brought about by a difference in Franco-Spanish policy during the middle part of 1744. Spain wished for an advance along the coast of Italy through Genoa to occupy the lands around Parma, which it had been decided were going to be the future realm of Infante Philip, the third son of King Philip V of Spain and his wife, Elisabeth Farnese; the chief aim of France was to humble Piedmont-Sardinia and to force her to detach herself from Austria, or better yet, force her to drop out of the war entirely. The French commander, the Prince of Conti, would not accept the Spanish plan of attack because he thought it was unsound, while the Spanish queen would brook no opposition to what she believed should be the key thrust of the joint Bourbon armies.
In the end, a compromise was negotiated. Spain's plan was not to be followed until after the humbling of Piedmont-Sardinia, after which the joint armies would march into Lombardy to secure the Infante Philip his new realm; the principal plan for invading Piedmont was devised by Lt-Gen Pierre Joseph de Bourcet, France's leading expert in alpine warfare. The main problem for any army invading Piedmont was the problem of surmounting the alpine passes that guarded its approaches. A small number of defenders could block an advance. De Bourcet's reasoning was that with a numerical superiority of 33,000 to 25,000 the best result would be obtained by separating the attacking force into several columns, which would attack outlying outposts in a multi-pronged advance. Using infiltration tactics, it would be easy to envelop the Piedmontese positions, allowing attacks to be launched where most unexpected. By putting pressure along the whole front it was reasoned that the Piedmontese defence perimeter would crack at some point, the columns could re-unite and push through the gap.
With this in mind, the Franco-Spanish army began to regroup in the Dauphiné region in June. Once concentrated, the attacking columns lay on a front between St. Etienne. On 5 July the Franco-Spanish army broke camp and headed in nine separate columns towards the heart of Piedmont. Despite bickering between Conti and La Mina, the Franco-Spanish army experienced several early triumphs. Entering the Stura valley, the route passed through a 6 m defile known as the Barricades. Following De Bourcet's advice, troops to the north and south of the position emerged throughout the mountains onto the rear of the Piedmont position, rather than being caught in a trap the Piedmontese evacuated the valley without a fight. In accordance with instructions, the Franco-Spanish army now converged on the Stura Valley in order to take advantage of the gap in Charles Emmanuel's defences; the Franco-Spanish army triumphed again on 19 July. With King Frederick of Prussia advancing into Bohemia, Charles Emmanuel knew that the bulk of the troops needed for the defence of Cuneo would have to come from his own domains.
With that in mind he held back his army of 25,000 near Saluzzo to await developments. To safeguard Cuneo he appointed Major-General Leutrum – who had performed well at Campo Santo – to command the garrison, called out the kingdom's militia, which could act as a superb guerrilla force; the siege of Cuneo began on the night of 12/13 September. Conti's plan involved three armies - one to besiege, one to oppose Charles Emmanuel's Army and another to patrol the surrounding lands. Although Leutrum showed great ingenuity – lighting the sky to illuminate the trenches for his cannon and continuously mounting sorties – by 28 September Conti's army was closing in on the fortress, it was at this point. Charles Emmanuel had decided that with his opponents' numerical superiority, a more ambitious plan was needed to relieve Cuneo. With this in mind the King proposed five separate aims for his army: 1. A pitched battle with the Franco-Spanish army. 2. To send in supplies to Cuneo and evacuate the wounded. 3. To attack Bourbon outposts around Cuneo.
4. For Leutrum to lead a sortie to destroy the siege works east of the Gesso river. 5. For his militia to attack the Franco-Spanish lines of communication in the Stura Valley; the brilliance of this plan was that as long as the first aim kept Conti and La Mina preoccupied with the main Sardinian army and unaware of the other four aims the King would not need to win the coming battle. With the other aims fulfilled and winter and the snow closing in, the French and Spanish would be forced to disengage from the siege and retreat into France; the King of Sardinia was playing for time. Late in September, Charles Emmanuel advanced his army from Saluzzo towards Cuneo while at the same time Conti moved his army towards the Piedmontese. By the close of day on September 29, Conti occupied a position between Caraglio and Madonna dell'Olmo, whilst on the morning of 30 September Charles Emmanuel moved his army into position opposite Conti's; the engagement began around noon when the Croats in the Sardinian army charged towards Madonna dell'Olmo.
The Croat attack, was repulsed by the Spanish and Charles Emmanuel's grenadiers could make no headway. On the opposite flank the French could not get to grips with the Piedmontese because of a ditch and some barricades barring the way. In the centre, Conti made excellent use of his artillery, which provided cov
Battle of Assietta
The Battle of Assietta was fought in the Italian campaign of the War of the Austrian Succession on 19 July 1747. It resulted in a defeat for France against the army of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In the late phase of the War of the Austrian Succession, France had decided to eliminate the Savoyard army, considered dangerous due to its strong strategic position. King Louis XV had tried to penetrate into Piedmont, besieging Cuneo and fighting at Madonna dell'Olmo and Bassignana. A French army comprising 150 infantry battalions, 75 cavalry squadrons and 2 artillery brigades, under the command of Marshal Charles Louis Auguste, duke of Belle-Isle, Marquis De La Mina; the two commanders had different views on the lead of the campaign: Belle-Isle favoured a direct menace to Turin by crossing the Alps, while his Spanish colleague preferred to send troops to relieve the Austro-Sardinian siege of Genoa. Belle-Isle's ideas prevailed and the French troops occupied Antibes as well as the county of Nice. However, they were halted by the strong Sardinian defence of the southern Alpine passes.
Belle-Isle's brother, the Chevalier de Belle-Isle, led an army of 50 infantry battalions, 15 cavalry squadrons and numerous cannon advanced towards the northern passes. The army was divided into two corps: one descended from the Moncenisio towards Exilles while the other advanced towards Fenestrelle from the Assietta Pass; the latter is a bare plateau at more than 2,500 meters of altitude. Although he outnumbered the French in the area, Charles Emmanuel III of Savoy was forced to defend all the passes into his country while the French could concentrate their force and attack one place; the decision was made to advance through Assietta. The Sardinian had fortified the area with 13 infantry battalions: 9 Sardinian, the remaining were Austrian and Swiss taken from the troops that had unsuccessfully besieged Genoa. French intelligence notified the marshals that the Sardinian were fortifying the pass, a decision to attack was taken. Numerous obstacles, redoubts and an 18 foot high palisade, had been built on the slope.
The forces involved amounted to 32 French battalions against 13 Sardinian battalions. The French troops were divided into three columns with the center column pressing the attack and the flank columns failing to have much effect; the attacks began at about 16:30. Despite the desperate effort of the soldiers and the personal show of valour of the French marshals, all four attacks were repulsed by the Sardinian with heavy losses. After five hours of battle, the French retreated; the French commander, Chevalier de Belle-Isle, was killed raising the French flag near the top of the slope. What ensued in the late afternoon was celebrated as the most one-sided slaughter of the war. Neither the flanking columns moved decisively enough to influence events in. These, lashed by determined officers, the French struggled up the slope, disassembling the various man-made impediments as they proceeded, while withering musket fire from concealed and protected hideouts exacted the heavy toll. Four times the French fell back before the onslaught.
The living climbed over the piles of dead. Defenders rained rocks down on the relentless blood-drenched attackers. A retreat, more orderly the butchery,was portended; the one-sided character of the slaughter was apparent. French casualties totaled 6,400 including 400 officers, for the first and the only times in the war the majority of them were fatalities while only 299 Sardinian were killed and wounded; the beaten French troops returned to France. Frederick II of Prussia, after hearing of news of the Sardinian defence at Assietta, declared that, if he had had such valorous troops, he could become King of Italy. Browning, Reed; the War of the Austrian Succession. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-12561-5 Dabormida, Vittorio. La battaglia dell'Assietta: studio storico. Voghera. Alberti, Adriano. La battaglia dell'Assietta: note e documenti. Francesco Casanova. Rodolico, Niccolò. "Il Centenario della Battaglia dell'Assietta". L'Universo. Istituto Geografico Militare
Louis François, Prince of Conti
Louis François de Bourbon, or Louis François I, Prince of Conti, was a French nobleman, the Prince of Conti from 1727 to his death, following his father, Louis Armand II de Bourbon. His mother was Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon, the daughter of Louis III, Prince of Condé and Louise Françoise de Bourbon, legitimized daughter of King Louis XIV of France, his younger sister, Louise Henriette de Bourbon, was the mother of Philippe Égalité. As a member of the reigning House of Bourbon, he was a Prince du Sang. Louis François I de Bourbon was born in Paris. In 1731, he married Louise Diane d'Orléans, Mademoiselle de Chartres, the youngest daughter of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans and his wife, Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, daughter of King Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan, his marriage was organised by his mother, the Dowager Princess of Conti, future mother-in-law, the Dowager Duchess of Orléans. However, Louis François's wife died giving birth to a stillborn child at the Château d'Issy in 1736, he stayed at the Château de L'Isle-Adam, near Paris.
Louis François pursued a military career, when the War of the Austrian Succession broke out in 1741, he accompanied the Duke of Belle-Isle to Bohemia. His services there led to his command of the army in Italy, where he distinguished himself by forcing the pass of Villafranca and winning the battle of Coni in 1744. In 1745, he was sent to check the Austrians in Germany. In 1746, he was transferred to the Netherlands, where conflicts with the Maréchal de Saxe led to his retirement in 1747 to the Château de L'Isle-Adam. In 1760, he bought a famous Burgundy vineyard which at that time bore the name of La Romanée, at a high price. After the purchase, he added his own name to the vineyard, which since has been known as Romanée-Conti; the wine from this vineyard is one of the world's most expensive. In that same year, a faction of Polish nobles offered Conti the throne of Poland, where King Augustus III was expected to die soon. Conti was able to win the personal support of Louis XV of France for his candidacy.
However, the policy of the king's ministers was to establish the ruling house of Saxony upon the throne in Poland, as Louis XV's daughter-in-law, Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, was a daughter of the ailing Augustus. As a result of this conflict, Louis XV began secret communications with his ambassadors at certain influential foreign courts that were in direct opposition to the official communications being sent to those same ambassadors by his ministers; the system of couriers used to relay the king's secret messages developed into a spy-network known as the Secret du Roi. Although Conti did not secure the Polish throne, he did remain in the confidence of the king until 1755, when his influence was destroyed by the intrigues of the king's mistress, Madame de Pompadour, his relationship with Louis XV deteriorated so, that when the Seven Years' War broke out in 1756, Conti was refused the command of the army of the Rhine. Angry, he began opposing the royal government, which caused Louis to refer to him as, "my cousin, the advocate".
In 1771, Conti took the lead in opposing Maupeou. He supported the parlements against the government and was hostile to Turgot. Due to the intensity of his anti-government feelings, he was suspected of aiding an uprising which took place in Dijon in 1775, he was exiled from court, following involvement in a Frondiste association with Protestants and with the affairs of Parlement, Conti settled into stylish retirement as Grand Prior of the Knights of the Order of Malta, resident at the Palais du Temple in Le Marais. Conti went on to accumulate a vast and celebrated art collection, housed in a special gallery at the Temple collected during the last twenty years of his life; this was dispersed by auction between April and June 1777, a sale which retained an impact on the Parisian art market through the following decade. His collection included Michel Barthélemy Ollivier's English Tea Served in the Salon des Glaces at the Palais du Temple, dated 1764, showing the infant Mozart at the clavichord.
Conti inherited literary tastes from his father, was a brave and skillful general, a diligent student of military history. His mistress, the cultivated Comtesse de Boufflers, presided over a salon at his home in Paris, which attracted many men of letters. Through his mistress, he became a patron of Jean Jacques Rousseau, he was succeeded by his son, Louis François Joseph, the last person to bear the Prince of Conti title. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Conti, Princes of". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Philip, Duke of Parma
Philip of Spain was Infante of Spain by birth, Duke of Parma from 1748 to 1765. He founded the House of a cadet line of the Spanish branch of the dynasty, he was a son-in-law of Louis XV. Born at the Royal Alcazar in Madrid as Felipe de Borbón y Farnesio, he was the third child and second son of Philip V of Spain and his wife, Elisabeth Farnese, he was raised in Madrid. He was the 12th Count of Chinchón and Grandee of Spain First Class with a coat of arms of Bourbon after the alienation with royal authorization in 1738 of the 11th Count of Chinchón, Don Jose Sforza-Cesarini, Duke of Canzano, a title he ceded to his brother Louis in 1754, his mother came from the family of Farnese, which had ruled the Duchy of Parma and Guastalla for many generations. The duchy had been ruled between 1731 and 1736 by his elder brother Charles, but was exchanged with Austria for The Two Sicilies after the War of Polish Succession. Twelve years in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Austria lost the duchy and Philip became the new duke, founding the House of Bourbon-Parma.
As part of the Treaty of Versailles between Austria and France, it was intended that Phillip would become king of the Southern Netherlands in a deal that would see French troops occupy key positions in the country – however this arrangement was repudiated by the subsequent Third Treaty of Versailles and Phillip continued in Parma. The Duchy of Parma was ruined by many years of warfare, in 1759 Philip named the able Frenchman Guillaume du Tillot as his minister to restore the economy. Philip was an enlightened ruler who stimulated education and philosophy, attracting personalities like Étienne Bonnot de Condillac. Philip married his first cousin once removed Princess Louise Élisabeth of France in Alcalá de Henares, Spain on 25 October 1739, they had the following children: Isabella Luisa Antonietta Ferdinanda Giuseppina Saveria Dominica Giovanna of Parma – she married Marie Antoinette's older brother, the Austrian emperor, Joseph II. She had issue. Ferdinando Maria Filippo Lodovico Sebastiano Francesco Giacomo of Parma, ) – he succeeded his father as Duke of Parma in 1765 and married his older sister's sister-in-law, the Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria.
He left issue. Luisa Maria Teresa Ana of Parma – she was known as Maria Luisa, she was Queen of Spain as the wife of her cousin, Charles IV of Spain. She left issue, their marriage was an unhappy one, Louise Elisabeth died of smallpox at the age of 32 in 1759. Philip died unexpectedly on 18 July 1765 in Alessandria, after having accompanied his daughter Maria Luisa on her way to Genoa, where she sailed for Spain to marry Infante Charles. Through Philip's daughter Maria Luisa, he is an ancestor of the Bourbons of Spain, the Bourbons of the Two Sicilies, the House of Orléans. France: Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit Heraldry of Philip, Duke of Parma
José Carrillo de Albornoz, 1st Duke of Montemar
José Carrillo de Albornoz y Montiel, 1st Duke of Montemar, 3rd Count of Montemar, GE, KOGF, KOS was a Spanish nobleman and military leader, who conquered the Two Sicilies and Mazalquivir. He was a member of the Carrillo family, a Spanish noble house, was Viceroy of Sicily from 1734 to 1737. Carrillo was born in Seville, he married Isabel Francisca de Antich y Antich in 1700 with. During the War of the Spanish Succession he aligned with the side of Philip of Anjou and fought as mariscal de campo in the Battle of Villaviciosa in the cavalry under the Count of Aguilar, he participated in the Spanish campaign in Sardinia and Sicily during the War of the Quadruple Alliance between 1718 and 1720. In 1731 he headed the expeditionary force that occupied the Duchy of Parma for its legal heir, Don Carlos, future King Charles III of Spain. In 1732 Blas de Lezo led the Spanish navy and Carrillo De Albornoz led the Spanish army in retaking Oran and Mazalquivir from the Turks (which had taken both cities in 1708.
In 1733 he commanded the Spanish army that fought and defeated the Austrians in Italy during the War of Polish Succession. His greatest victory was the Battle of Bitonto on May 25, 1734. For this victory, the king Phillip V of Spain ennobled him as the first Duke of Montemar; as a cavalry officer he supported the cavalry charge with the saber in hand against any enemy infantry firing their guns. He was the first viceroy of Sicily after the Spanish reconquest of the island from 1734 to 1737 and Minister of War from 1737 to 1741. In 1741 he was appointed as head of the 50,000 men strong expeditionary Spanish army in Italy during the War of Austrian Succession, he would be replaced at the end of 1742 by Jean Thierry du Mont, comte de Gages
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession involved most of the powers of Europe over the issue of Archduchess Maria Theresa's succession to the Habsburg Monarchy. The war included peripheral events such as King George's War in British America, the War of Jenkins' Ear, the First Carnatic War in India, the Jacobite rising of 1745 in Scotland, the First and Second Silesian Wars; the cause of the war was Maria Theresa's alleged ineligibility to succeed to her father Charles VI's various crowns, because Salic law precluded royal inheritance by a woman. This was to be the key justification for France and Prussia, joined by Bavaria, to challenge Habsburg power. Maria Theresa was supported by Britain, the Dutch Republic and Saxony. Spain, at war with Britain over colonies and trade since 1739, entered the war on the Continent to re-establish its influence in northern Italy, further reversing Austrian dominance over the Italian peninsula, achieved at Spain's expense as a consequence of Spain's war of succession earlier in the 18th century.
The war ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, by which Maria Theresa was confirmed as Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, but Prussia retained control of Silesia. The peace was soon to be shattered, when Austria's desire to recapture Silesia intertwined with the political upheaval in Europe, culminating in the Seven Years' War; the immediate cause of the War of the Austrian Succession was the death of Emperor Charles VI and the inheritance of the Habsburg Monarchy collectively referred to as'Austria'. The 1703 Mutual Pact of Succession between Emperor Leopold and his sons Joseph and Charles agreed that if the Habsburgs became extinct in the male line, their possessions would go first to female heirs of Joseph those of Charles. Since Salic law excluded women from the inheritance, this required approval by the various Habsburg territories and the Imperial Diet. Joseph died in 1711, leaving two daughters, Maria Josepha and Maria Amalia and Charles became the last male Habsburg heir in the direct line.
In April 1713, he issued the Pragmatic Sanction, permitting female inheritance but placing his own hypothetical daughters ahead of Joseph's. When Charles' daughter Maria Theresa was born in 1717, ensuring her succession dominated the rest of his reign. In 1719 Charles required his nieces Maria Joseph and Maria Amalia to renounce their rights in Maria Theresa's favour in order to marry Frederick Augustus of Saxony and Charles Albert of Bavaria respectively. Charles hoped these marriages would secure his daughter's position since neither Saxony or Bavaria could tolerate the other gaining control of the Habsburg inheritance but his actions undermined the logic of the settlement. A family issue became a European one due to tensions within the Holy Roman Empire, caused by dramatic increases in the size and power of Bavaria and Saxony, mirrored by the post 1683 expansion of Habsburg power into lands held by the Ottoman Empire. Further complexity arose from the fact that the theoretically elected position of Holy Roman Emperor had been held by the Habsburgs since 1437.
These were the centrifugal forces behind a war that reshaped the traditional European balance of power. Bavaria and Saxony refused to be bound by the decision of the Imperial Diet, while in 1738 France agreed to back the'just claims' of Charles of Bavaria, despite accepting the Pragmatic Sanction in 1735. Attempts to offset this involved Austria in the 1734-1735 War of the Polish Succession and the Russo-Turkish War of 1735–1739, it was weakened by the losses incurred. Compounded by the failure to prepare Maria Theresa for her new role, many European statesmen were sceptical Austria could survive the contest that would follow Charles' death, which occurred in October 1740; the war can be divided into three distinct conflicts. In the second, France aimed to weaken Austria in Germany, while Spain sought to recapture territories in Italy lost after the War of the Spanish Succession. In the end, French conquest of the Austrian Netherlands gave them clear dominance on land, while Britain's naval victories made it more dominant at sea.
For much of the eighteenth century, France approached its wars in the same way: It would either let its colonies defend themselves, or would offer only minimal help, anticipating that fights for the colonies would be lost anyway. This strategy was, to a degree, forced upon France: geography, coupled with the superiority of the British navy, made it difficult for the French navy to provide significant supplies and support to French colonies. Several long land borders made an effective domestic army imperative for any ruler of France. Given these military necessities, the French government, based its strategy overwhelmingly on the army in Europe: it would keep most of its army on the European continent, hoping that such a force would be victorious closer to home. At the end of the War of Austrian Succession, France gave back its European conquests, while recovering such lost overseas possessions as Louisbourg restoring the status quo ante as far as France was concerned; the British—by inclination as well as for pragmatic reasons—had tended to avoid large-scale commitments of troops on the Continent.
They sought to offset the disadvantage this created in Europe by allying themselves