War of Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) involved nearly all the powers of Europe (except for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire). The war began under the pretext that Maria Theresa of Austria was ineligible to succeed to the Habsburg thrones, because Salic law precluded royal inheritance by a woman, though in reality this was a convenient excuse put forward by Prussia and France to challenge Habsburg power. Austria was supported by Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, the traditional enemies of France, as well as the Kingdom of Sardinia and Saxony. France and Prussia were allied with the Electorate of Bavaria. The war ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. The most enduring military historical interest and importance of the war lies in the struggle of Prussia and the Habsburg monarchs for the region of Silesia. The war also caused the French monarchy to fall heavily into debt.