-->''Return this answer. They who want peace with me will give me what I desire. I am sick of ultimatums. I will have no more of them. My part is taken.''
--> '''FrederickTheGreat'''

The War of the Austrian Succession, also known as the War of Jenkins' Ear and the first two Silesian Wars, was waged from 1740-1748 over a combination of Central European rivalries and colonial competition between England and France. Emperor Charles VI died without male issue. He was succeeded by MariaTheresa, who claimed the throne based on the ''Pragmatic Sanction'' (pragmatic sanctions were temporary amendments to the constitution of the HolyRomanEmpire enacted by Imperial decree; in this case it was a temporary alteration in the succession laws) which her father had proclaimed [[note]]it's often assumed to have been made specifically for her; actually, it was made four years before her birth[[/note]]. Recognition of the Sanction was bought by TheEmperor from the states of Europe at high cost in concession.

When Maria took the throne in 1740 Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, advanced into the Province of Silesia then ruled by the [[TheClan Habsburgs]]. Eager for a share of the {{Plunder}}, several of the states of Europe joined him, leading some of Austria's allies-particularly Britain-to declare war to maintain the status quo. This marked the beginning of a continent-wide war.

The war lasted until 1748 through many convoluted twists and turns, the war spreading [[{{foreshadowing}} to North America and India]] by way of Franco-British colonial skirmishing (the North American theatre is known in American history as "King George's War" as a result). At the last it subsided through a lack of resources. Frederick ended up gaining Silesia and establishing Prussia as a respected power, at the cost of continuing enmity from the Habsburg throne. The War also saw the last time a British monarch would personally lead their troops in battle, at Dettingen 1743 (although British ''royals'' have taken part in combat as recently as TheWarOnTerror). In the meantime, the struggle between Great Britain and France remained undecided. This led to the SevenYearsWar.

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!!Tropes include:

* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: This was the last war where a British monarch led his soldiers in combat, at Dettingen.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Maria.
* BritsWithBattleships
* [[CanucksWithChinooks Canucks with Canoes]]
* CoolHorse: Hussars.
* CoolVersusAwesome : Frederick ''Versus'' Maria.
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: Maria Theresa appeared before the Hungarian ''Diet'' carrying her [[PregnantBadass newborn son]] and received a resounding SheIsTheKing.
** The Prussian Bayreuth Dragoons parading before Frederick after the battle of Hohenfriedberg (1745) with 67 captured colors, 2500 prisoners and 5 pieces of artillery. Before the Second Silesian War the king had been less than impressed with the regiment at a review, telling its colonel: "They're all drunkards!" Now it was all "What do you think of the drunkards now?" The Hohenfriedberg March, named after the battle, was heavily used in ''BarryLyndon'', and would later be adapted into the Konniggratzer Marsch.
** The French fortress of Louisburg in Canada was taken by American militia alone with no help from the regulars. At the peace TheBritishEmpire gave it back, allowing a French base for [[SevenYearsWar future campaigns]] in the area. This was one of the many petty annoyances that would lead to an [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution unfortunate future misunderstanding]].
** King George II personally leading the Pragmatic Army's retreat to Hanau and breaking the jaws of the Duc de Noailles' attempts to trap him in Bavaria.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: FrederickTheGreat, according to legend, personally composed the "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zEy4GNMJq0 Hohenfriedberg March]]" to commemorate his victory at Hohenfriedberg. GeorgeFredericHandel composed the "''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxgWzeEII0U Te Deum]]'' for the Victory at Dettingen" to commemorate King George II's victory there, the last time a British monarch would personally lead his armies in the field.
* CulturedBadass : A lot of them, but Frederick most notably.
* DeadpanSnarker: The Scottish officer Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, as evinced by his snarking-for-Britain at Dettingen.
-->''"Lads! See yon fine young men on yon hill? Try to kill them first. If ye dinna kill them they'll kill you."''
** And when King George II criticized a novel battle drill of his which forced enemy cavalry to run a gauntlet between two lines of fusiliers with bayonets:
-->'''King George''': ''"So, Sir Andrew, I hear the cuirassiers rode through your regiment today."''
-->'''Sir Andrew''': ''"Oh aye, Yer Majesty, but they dinna get oot again."''
* DistressedDamsel : {{Subverted}} by Maria Theresa.
* DolledUpInstallment: Britain and Spain were already engaged in the War of Jenkins' Ear for entirely different reasons and in a completely different manner, being a mostly naval conflict. However, today said war is either completely forgotten or considered an 'Issue 0' of the War of Austrian Succession.
* DulcineaEffect : Maria
* FriendlyEnemy : Military people of the time had a colorful tradition of this, reflecting the fact that their leaders each considered themselves an OfficerAndAGentleman.
* GambitPileup
* GaulsWithGrenades
* HandicappedBadass: The Marquis de Saxe, who was unable to ride when he commanded the French army in the victorious battle of Fontenoy. As the natural son of August the Strong of Saxony and the fair Aurora von Königsmarck, he doubled as a HeroicBastard.
* HeelFaceTurn: Once he got Silesia, Frederick the Great took Prussia out of the war because he did not want Austria to be reduced to complete impotence by France and its ally Bavaria (who had at that point taken Prague). Then, when Austria had beaten off the French and Bavarians and now threatened to be strong enough to reconquer Silesia, Frederick rejoined the fight.
* HeirClubForMen: Charles VI ''tried'' to defy this with the Pragmatic Sanction. His choice of heir stuck but [[CaptainObvious only after much more effort than he hoped was needed]].
* HeyItsThatGuy: Subverted. The "Captain Washington" at Cartagena de Indias wasn't ''that'' [[GeorgeWashington Washington]], but his half-brother Lawrence.
* HonorBeforeReason: Possibly the French at Fontenoy: "Tirez les premiers, messieurs les Anglais!"
* InsufferableGenius: Frederick
* LadyOfWar: Maria
* MagnificentBastard: Frederick
* NaiveNewcomer: Maria. Frederick less so as his father was a DrillSergeantNasty.
* NobleFugitive : [[HanoverStuartWars Bonnie Prince Charlie]]
* PregnantBadass: Maria Theresa
* {{Prequel}} to The SevenYearsWar
* ProudMerchantRace: England
* RealMenLoveJesus: According to legend, Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau ("the Old Dessauer") prayed, before opening the battle of Kesselsdorf, which he won for the Prussians: "Dear God, please graciously help me today. Or if not, at least don't help that villain, the enemy, but see how things turn out."
* SillyReasonForWar: A merchant captain, Robert Jenkins [[EarAche had his ear cut off]] by the Spaniards. He [[{{Squick}} preserved it]] and showed it to Parliament to convince them to declare war. Hence the name ''War of Jenkins Ear''
* TheSpartanWay : Prussia.
* TheStarscream: Prince-Elector Karl Albrecht of Bavaria (1697-1745), who was elected Emperor Charles VII of the HolyRomanEmpire in 1742.
* SuccessionCrisis
* TheSoundOfMartialMusic
* ThisMeansWar: Silesia
* ToWinWithoutFighting: This was allegedly the basic slogan of eighteenth century military philosophy. Of course it didn't work out that way.
* TrainingFromHell: Frederick. In his case it included being forced to watch while his best friend was [[OffWithHisHead beheaded]]. Frederick's father was a great believer in TheSpartanWay.
* TurksWithTroops: Averted by Austrian diplomacy.
* UnderestimatingBadassery : everyone underestimated Maria.
** Frederick was underestimated as well
** The British believed that the one-armed, one-legged, one-eyed Blas de Lezo and his ridiculous small army of 3000 soldiers would surrender without a fight. They were [[HandicappedBadass wrong]]. [[CurbstompBattle Very wrong]].
* UnwittingPawn: Charles VI. Yeah Charlie of course the [[DeadlyDecadentCourt statesmanlike and peaceloving princes of Europe]] will respect the Pragmatic Sanction. Your [[WhatAnIdiot faith in human nature]] is most commendable.
* WarriorPrince: Frederick
** George II was the last English monarch to personally command an army, although he notably fell off a horse doing so.
* WouldntHitAGirl : Averted.
* WoodenShipsAndIronMen
* [[YanksWithTanks Yanks With Muskets]]
* XanatosSpeedChess

!!Fiction set during the War of the Austrian Succession:
* ''DerRosenkavalier'' is set early during the reign of Maria Theresia, when the Marschallin's husband - obviously an Austrian Field Marshal - is off to the wars. The first silent film adaptation, for which Richard Strauss adapted the opera into a movie score, even included battle scenes intercut with the main action and ended with the Field Marshal receiving a hero's welcome from his wife.
* Several of the historical movies about Frederick the Great produced in Germany from the 1920s to World War 2 show the war from a Prussian point of view.
** ''Trenck, der Pandur'' (1940) is one of the few with an Austrian hero, in this case a commander of light troops.
* ''AxisPowersHetalia'' includes a reasonably accurate arc on the war. Maria Theresa and Frederick the Great both get a good deal of screen time (revealing just how hard and fierce they were).
* It could happen in ''Empire: TotalWar.''

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