England's Seven Years War

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Abstract: The Seven Years' War was, in fact, an early version of world war. Caused by imperial rivalry and ancient animosities, it would change the face of the world, alter how nations used navies, and set the stage for Britain's loss of the crown jewels in its empire, the Thirteen American Colonies.


For some historians, the Seven Years' War is seen as an extension of the War of Austrian Succession. Frederick II of Prussia had forced Austria into the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa signed only to buy time to rebuild Austria's military and extend its alliances. Austria successfully created bonds with France and Russia, while Prussia's sole but powerful ally was England. England and Prussia formed a strong alliance, due to the military dominance of the former on the sea and the latter on land.2 According Schultz, while the causes of the Seven Years' War were European in nature3, across the globe, France and England competed for commercial and colonial supremacy. In America especially, the attempts of the British colonies to expand westward were thwarted by French presence in the Mississippi Valley. The French built a series of forts there to stop British movement, which became a focal point for armed conflict.4
In Europe, bolstered by the support of England, Frederick II attacked Saxony and Prague. The Russians attacked and bested a force in East Prussia at the Battle of Gross-Jagersdorf. ...
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