Seven Years' War

Seven Years' War, the name given to the third and most terrible struggle between Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria Theresa, empress of Austria, for, the possession of Silesia, which embroiled almost all Europe in war, and which had far-reaching effects on the destinies of England and France as well as Prussia; began in 1756 by Frederick's successful advance on Dresden, anticipating Maria Theresa's intention of attempting the recovery of Silesia, lost to her in the previous two wars. With Austria were allied France, Sweden, Poland, and Russia, while Prussia was supported till 1761 by England. In 1762 Peter III. of Russia changed sides, and Frederick, sometimes victorious, often defeated, finally emerged successful in 1763, when the war was brought to a close by the Peace of Hubertsburg. Besides demonstrating the strength and genius of Frederick and raising immensely the prestige of Prussia, it enabled England to make complete her predominance in North America and to establish herself securely in India, while at the same time it gave the death-blow to French hopes of a colonial empire.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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