|The Seven Years' War (1754 and 1756ľ1763) pitted Great Britain, Prussia, and Hanover against France, Austria, Russia, Sweden, and Saxony. Spain and Portugal were later drawn into the conflict, while a force from the neutral United Provinces of the Netherlands was attacked in India.|
The Seven Years' War may be viewed as a continuation of the War of the Austrian Succession. During that conflict, King Frederick II of Prussia had gained the rich province of Silesia. Empress Maria Theresa of Austria had only signed the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in order to rebuild her military forces and to forge new alliances.
This she had done with remarkable success. The political map of Europe had been redrawn in a few years. Century-old enemies France, Austria and Russia formed a single alliance against Prussia. Prussia had only the protection of Great Britain, which was given since the ruling dynasty saw its ancestral Hanoverian possession as being threatened by France. Great Britain's alliance with Prussia was a logical complement. The British already had the most formidable navy in Europe, Prussia had the most formidable land force on continental Europe and thus allowed Britannia to rule the seas, as well as exert some influence on mainland Europe. Furthermore, this allowed Britain to focus her soldiers towards her colonies.
The Austrian army had undergone an overhaul according to the Prussian system. Maria Theresa, whose knowledge of military affairs shamed many of her generals, had pressed relentlessly for reform. Her interest in the welfare of the soldiers had gained her their undivided respect.
The second cause for war was formed by the heated colonial struggle between Great Britain and France.
The Battle of Rossbach
The Battle of Leuthen
The Battle of Prague