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Seven Years' War

Seven Years War
Military Conflict
ConflictSeven Years' War
Date1756 1763
LocationEurope, Africa, India, North America, South America, the Philippine Islands
Result * Treaty of Saint Petersburg * Treaty of Paris * Treaty of Hubertusburg * Treaty of Hamburg
Territorial
changes
Restoration of pre-war boundaries and conditions in Europe. Colonial possessions changed worldwide between Britain, France, and Spain. * Great Britain annexes Canada, Bengal and Florida. France transfers Louisiana to Spain.
Prussia
Kingdom of Great Britain
Hanover Hanover
Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Portugal Portugal
Hesse Hesse-Kassel
Flagge Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe.svg Schaumburg-Lippe
Kingdom of France
Holy Roman Empire Austria
Russia Russia
Spain Spain
Sweden Sweden
Electorate of Saxony
Mughal Empire Bengal Subah
Prussia Frederick II * Prussia Prince Henry * Prussia Friedrich von Seydlitz Kingdom of Great Britain William Pitt
Kingdom of Great Britain Marquess of Granby
Kingdom of Great Britain Robert Clive
Hanover Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick
Portugal William, Count of Lippe
Kingdom of France Louis XV * Kingdom of France Charles de Rohan * Kingdom of France Louis, duc d'Estrées Habsburg Monarchy Charles, Prince of Lorraine
Habsburg Monarchy Leopold, Count von Daun * Habsburg Monarchy Franz Moritz von Lacy * Habsburg Monarchy Ernst, Baron von Laudon Russian Empire Count Pyotr Saltykov * Russian Empire William Fermor * Russian Empire Count Alexander Buturlin Electorate of Saxony Frederick Augustus II

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The Seven Years' War was a global military conflict between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines. In the historiography of some countries, the war is alternatively named after combats in the respective theaters: the French and Indian War (North America, 1754 63), Pomeranian War (Sweden and Prussia, 1757 62), Third Carnatic War (Indian subcontinent, 1757 63), and Third Silesian War (Prussia and Austria, 1756 63).

The war was driven by the antagonism between Great Britain (in personal union with Hanover) and the Bourbons (in France and Spain), resulting from overlapping interests in their colonial and trade empires, and by the antagonism between the Hohenzollerns (in Prussia) and Habsburgs (Holy Roman Emperors and archdukes in Austria), resulting from territorial and hegemonial conflicts in the Holy Roman Empire. The Diplomatic Revolution established an Anglo-Prussian camp, allied with some smaller German states and later Portugal, as well as an Austro-French camp, allied with Sweden, Saxony and later Spain. The Russian Empire left its offensive alliance with the Habsburgs on the succession of Peter III, and like Sweden concluded a separate peace with Prussia in 1762. The war ended with the peace treaties of Paris (Bourbon France and Spain, Great Britain) and of Hubertusburg (Hohenzollerns, Habsburgs, Saxon elector) in 1763. The war was characterized by sieges and arson of towns as well as open battles involving extremely heavy losses; overall, some 900,000 to 1,400,000 people died.

Great Britain excelled her Bourbon rivals in the contested overseas territories, gaining the bulk of New France, Spanish Florida, some Caribbean islands, Senegal and superiority over the French outposts on the Indian subcontinent. The native American tribes were excluded from the peace settlement, and were unable to return to their former status after the resulting Pontiac's rebellion. In Europe, Frederick II of Prussia failed to complete a preemptive strike against Austria, and his numerically superior opponents repulsed and nearly annilihated his forces at Kunersdorf. Frederick however recovered, regained ground and managed to avoid any concessions in Hubertusburg, where the status quo ante bellum was restored. William Pitt's saying that "America was won in Germany" referred to the Prussian war effort, which enabled Great Britain to keep her continental commitment limited and focus on her "blue water policy," successfully establishing naval supremacy. French and allied forces were able to occupy Prussian and Hanoveranian territories up to East Frisia. French ambitions to invade Britain and to continue with their guerre de course were thwarted by a British naval blockade, which also impaired French supply routes to the colonies. The involvement of Portugal, Spain and Sweden did not return them to their former status as great powers. Spain's short intervention resulted in the loss of Florida, though she gained French Louisiana west of the Mississippi in exchange and Britain returned Cuba as well as the Philippines.


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