The Seven Year’s War on Mainland Europe! L15

The Seven Years War was a very big war that involved next to all the countries in Europe. It was also known as the French and Indian war.

To start off, there are two important cultural updates to know, that there were the Lisbon Earthquake and the Diplomatic revolution. Portugal had been growing pretty strong, but then there was a disaster called the Lisbon Earthquake, which killed between 10 and 100 thousand people! The earthquake also almost completely destroyed Lisbon, which was Portugal’s capital. This was compared to the effects of the holocaust, the massacre of around six million jews, several centuries later. There was also the Diplomatic Revolution, which had redrawn the alliances in Europe. Before, it was Britain and Austria VS France and Prussia. Then after the Diplomatic Revolution, it became Britain and Prussia VS France and Austria! It was amazing that all the countries but the Italy and Netherlands engaged in the fight. Other alliances were also made, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the Saxony joined the war.

Even with all the alliances and preparations for war, Britain still hoped that there would not be a massive war in England, they just thought it would happen in North America. But not so! The war started with the Franch capturing a British island, and as Britain couldn’t bring help to the island, those on the island had to surrender to the french. Prussia, Britain’s ally was ruled by King Frederick the Third, and he saw that with this war he could expand his territories in Europe so he Divided his force to protect the core of Prussia, and with the rest of the army, he struck against the Saxony in the east! The Austrians came to help the Saxons, but no, the Prussians beat them. In this war, we could say that from the very start, the British and the Prussians had the advantage because Britain had the strongest navy, and the Prussia the strongest land army. But sadly for the British side, all other places in Europe with the exception of Italy and the Netherlands decided to join the anti-Prussia side. Britain still stood by Prussia and began shipping soldiers and money to support Prussia.

From 1756 to 1758, the Prussians mostly won but from 1758-1760, Prussia started to lose, defeat after defeat. During this difficult time, the Prussians only had the support from Britain, and of their new ally Hanover, but the strength of king Frederick kept the Prussians from totally failing. At the battle of Kunersdorf, King Frederick lost half of his army. Russia defeated the Prussians, and then when the Austrians saw an opportunity to completely decapitate the Prussians, they advanced towards Prussia. Soon the Austrians got too far away beyond their supplies so they withdrew, fearing what might happen badly if they went too far. King Frederick called that a miracle in his journal. They were pushed to their limits many times, but the Prussians and Hanoverians still managed to survive. Later, the Russian empress who was a great leader for the Russians died, and King Frederick called that the second miracle. In 1762, Russia arranged the treaty of St. Petersburg which meant that they would stop fighting with Austria and leave so that it was Austria against the Prussians and British. Later on, the British got weary of the war and demanded King Frederick to arrange a peace or them would forfeit all British help. That was when the Prussians finally started winning.

Several other things were happening during the war. Hanover was beating the French so that the French could not get anywhere, Britain actually had no success through 1758, but suddenly captured many places and became the best army in 1759. Spain, Portugal, and Sweden were also pulled into the war, although they did smaller parts than many of the other countries. There was also the treaty of Paris in 1763, which said that any significant property changes happened during the war on mainland Europe were returned. Therefore everyone still had the same land that they used to have before the war except that they might have a few more colonies.

At the end of this war, the British were the clear winners, for they fought mostly for the colonies, but the French suffered the most in this war, even though the Prussians also got pretty well beaten up.


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