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Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)

The 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, sometimes called the Treaty of Aachen, ended the War of the Austrian Succession, following a congress assembled on 24 April 1748 at the Free Imperial City of Aachen. A preliminary treaty setting out terms of the peace was agreed on 30 April 1748 by Britain and the Dutch Republic, with a final version signed on 18 October. Austria, Sardinia and Genoa acceded to the Treaty in two separate agreements, on 4 December 1748 and 21 January 1749; the Treaty failed to resolve the issues that caused the war, leading to the strategic realignment known as the Diplomatic Revolution, the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756. France and Britain began bilateral peace talks in August 1746 at Breda, but these were delayed by British hopes of improving their position in Flanders. Elsewhere, Austria made peace with Prussia in the December 1745 Treaty of Dresden, while by late 1746, their war with Spain in Northern Italy reached stalemate. Maria Theresa's husband Francis was made Holy Roman Emperor in September 1745 and her right to the Habsburg Monarchy recognised by the other claimants.

Since the Austrian Netherlands were not considered a strategic possession, Maria Theresa had achieved her main war aims and wanted peace to restructure her administration and army regain Silesia. Despite victories in the Netherlands, throughout 1746 Finance Minister Machault warned of the catastrophic state of French finances; the British naval blockade led to the collapse of customs receipts and severe shortages among the poor, who relied upon Newfoundland cod as a cheap food source. After their losses at Cape Finisterre in October, the French navy could no longer protect their colonies or their trade routes. Under the British-Russian convention of November 1747, a Russian corps of 37,000 arrived in the Rhineland in February 1748. However, lack of progress in Flanders and domestic opposition to the cost of subsidising its allies meant Britain was ready to end the war. To achieve this, France and the Dutch Republic signed a preliminary treaty on 30 April 1748, with conditions for a general peace, including the return of the Austrian Netherlands, the Dutch Barrier forts and Bergen op Zoom.

They guaranteed the Austrian cession of Silesia to Prussia, as well as the Duchies of Parma and Guastalla to Philip of Spain. Faced with the threat of continuing the war on their own, Sardinia and Genoa acceded to the treaty on 4 December 1748 and 21 January 1749; these included the following. The Treaty restored the position prior to the outbreak of war in 1740 but failed to resolve the commercial issues that caused it. Few Frenchmen understood the desperate financial state that required the return of their gains in the Austrian Netherlands. A commission to negotiate competing territorial claims in North America was set up, but made little progress. Britain exchanged the French stronghold of Louisbourg, in Novia Scotia for Madras, much to the fury of British colonists. Many saw the peace terms as driven by the interests of George II's German possession of Hanover, rather than Britain. Attempts to build public support for the dynasty led to a spectacular fireworks display in Green Park, for which Handel composed his Music for the Royal Fireworks.

Neither of the two main protagonists appeared to have gained much for their investment and both viewed the Treaty as an armistice, not a peace. In Austria, reactions were mixed. On the other hand, the Treaty confirmed her right to the Monarchy, while the Habsburgs survived a disastrous crisis, regained the Austrian Netherlands without fighting and made minor concessions in Italy. Administrative and financial reforms made it stronger in 1750 than 1740, while its strategic position was strengthened through installing Habsburgs as rulers of key territories in Northwest Germany, the Rhineland and Northern Italy. Of the other combatants, Spain retained its predominance in Spanish America and made minor gains in Northern Italy. With French support, Prussia doubled in size with the acquisition of Silesia but twice made peace without informing their ally; the war exposed the weakness of the Dutch Barrier forts, which had proved unable to stand up to modern artillery and confirmed their decline as a Great Power.

Combined with the feeling they received little value for their subsidies, this led Britain to align with Prussia, rather than Austria, to protect Hanover from French aggression. These factors led to the

Sir Samuel Crompton, 1st Baronet

Sir Samuel Crompton, 1st Baronet was a politician in the United Kingdom. He served as a Member for Parliament for East Retford and Thirsk, he served as Deputy Lieutenant for the North Riding of Yorkshire. Crompton was the son of Sarah, his father had been the mayor of Derby in 1782 and 1788. His mother was the daughter of Samuel Fox of Derby; the Crompton family was said to be descended from a Reverend John Crompton who settled in Derbyshire at the time of Charles I. Genealogies of the period refer to the family as the Cromptons of Milford House. Crompton sat as a Member of Parliament for East Retford in 1818 and served as that member of parliament until 1826, when he was elected for Derby, he held that seat until 1830. In 1834 he was elected for Thirsk, he supported the premiership of Lord Melbourne but he was not a radical liberal. Such Liberal measures as shortening parliaments or adopting voting by ballot did not enjoy his support. Crompton was created a baronet, of Wood End, Yorkshire, on 21 July 1838.

He retired as member for Thirsk in 1841. He married Isabella Sophia Hamilton sixth daughter of the Honourable and Rev Archibald Hamilton Cathcart and niece to the first Earl Cathcart on 3 November 1829. Crompton served as Deputy Lieutenant for the North Riding of Yorkshire from 1808 and he died aged 63 at the family home, he was survived by his wife and his four daughters: Elizabeth Mary born 5 June 1831, Isabel Sarah born 7 May 1833, Fanny Selina 6 February 1835 and Alice 6 March 1837. However, he died without sons. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Samuel Crompton

Walter Burkert

Walter Burkert was a German scholar of Greek mythology and cult. A professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, he taught in the UK and the US, he has influenced generations of students of religion since the 1960s, combining in the modern way the findings of archaeology and epigraphy with the work of poets and philosophers. He published books on the balance between lore and science among the followers of Pythagoras, more extensively on ritual and archaic cult survival, on the ritual killing at the heart of religion, on mystery religions, on the reception in the Hellenic world of Near Eastern and Persian culture, which sets Greek religion in its wider Aegean and Near Eastern context. Burkert was born in Neuendettelsau, he married Maria Bosch in 1957 and they had three children, Reinhard and Cornelius. He studied classical philology and philosophy at the Universities of Erlangen and Munich, obtained his doctorate in philosophy at Erlangen in 1955, he became an Assistant in course teaching at Erlangen for five years and, following his marriage, returned to his former University as Lecturer for another five years.

From early 1965 he worked as a Junior Fellow in the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D. C. for one year. The first academic era of his life ended with a placement as Professor of Classical Philology at the Technical University of Berlin, as Guest Professor at Harvard University for a year; the start of a new era began in 1981 when his work of ancient Greek religious anthropology, Homo Necans, was published in an Italian translation, followed in 1983 by an English translation. The book is today considered an outstanding account of concepts in Greek religion, he was Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Zurich. After holding these posts and receiving numerous honorary awards, he retired as an Emeritus in 1996, he died in Zurich, aged 84. Three of his most important academic works, which are still at the base of the study of Hellenic religion, are Homo Necans, Greek Religion, Ancient Mystery Cults. In his preface to the English translation of Homo Necans Burkert, who characterised himself on this occasion as "a philologist who starts from ancient Greek texts and attempts to find biological and sociological explanations for religious phenomena", expressed some of the principles underlying a book that had seemed somewhat revolutionary to German readers in 1972 in its consistent application of inter-relationships of myth and ritual, the application to texts of the kind of functionalism espoused in Jane Ellen Harrison's Themis and the use of structuralism to elucidate an ethology of Greek religion, its social aspect.

Burkert confirmed that an impetus for his book had come from Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression, "which seemed to offer new insight into the disquieting manifestations of violence." The book argues that solidarity was achieved among the Greeks through a sacred crime with due reparations: "for the strange prominence of animal slaughter in ancient religion this still seems to be the most economical, most humane explanation". Its first chapter "Sacrifice as an Act of Killing" offers conclusions that are supported in the ensuing chapters through individual inquiries into myth and ritual, in which the role of poetic creation and re-creation are set aside "in order to confront the power and effect of tradition as as possible"; the term gods, Burkert concludes, remains fluid. In 1985, Burkert used ancient sources to put together some of the pieces of how ancient Greek sacrificial ritual proceeded, to link together the ritual with myth. Firstly, under the direction of the priest, father, mother, or king, a basket containing the utensils and a bowl of water were placed around the altar.

The participants dipped their hands into the consecrated water, sprinkled it on the altar and offerer. Salted-barley corns from the basket were thrown into the altar fire. A lock of hair from the animal is cut and burned, libation being poured on the altar with prayer. After silence is proclaimed, the music of flutes begins and the animal is slain; the larger animals were killed with a sacrificial axe. The head is turned toward the heavens, the throat cut; the blood spreads on the altar and is caught in a vessel. In early literary sources such as the Homeric epics the Iliad and Odyssey, onlooking women raise a cry of worship at this point in the ritual. After the animal is skinned and cut into pieces, the inner parts are tasted and shared, a part burned on the altar with incense; the remainder is roasted and eaten by all participants present. If the entrails are of normal shape and color, it is an omen that the sacrifice is acceptable to the gods. In both the Iliad and Odyssey, as well as other early sources such as the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, the priest or sacrifice-leader wrapped the thigh pieces in fat and burned them on the altar.

The tail and back, along with other bones and pieces wit