The invasion was successful, but it helped to create a powerful coalition against Frederick. He pressed on to invade Bohemia, but the Austrians put up unexpectedly strong resistance and forced him to withdraw. Russian interests centered on East Prussia, the Austrians were most concerned by Silesia, and the French increasingly devoted their efforts to the war with Britain.
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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Empress Maria Theresa of Austria had signed the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in in order to gain time to rebuild her military forces and forge new alliances.
The War of the Austrian Succession had seen the belligerents aligned on a time-honoured basis. Prussiathe leading anti-Austrian state in Germany, had been supported by France. Neither group, however, found much reason to be satisfied with its partnership: British subsidies to Austria produced nothing of much help to the British, while the British military effort had not saved Silesia for Austria.
Prussia, having secured Silesia, came to terms with Austria in disregard of French interests. Even so, France concluded a defensive alliance with Prussia inand the maintenance of the Anglo-Austrian alignment after was deemed essential by the Duke of NewcastleBritish secretary of state in the ministry of his brother Henry Pelham.
The collapse of that system and the aligning of France with Austria and of Great Britain with Prussia constituted what is known as the " diplomatic revolution " or the "reversal of alliances.
On 2 JuneAustria and Russia concluded a defensive alliance that covered their own territory and Poland against attack by Prussia or the Ottoman Empire.
Alexey Bestuzhev-Ryumingrand chancellor of Russia under Empress Elizabethwas hostile to both France and Prussia, but he could not persuade Austrian statesman Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz to commit to offensive designs against Prussia so long as Prussia was able to rely on French support.
If war against France for colonial expansion was to be resumed, then Hanover had to be secured against Franco-Prussian attack. French policy was, moreover, complicated by the existence of the Secret du Roi —a system of private diplomacy conducted by King Louis XV.
Frederick saw Saxony and Polish west Prussia as potential fields for expansion but could not expect French support if he started an aggressive war for them. If he joined the French against the British in the hope of annexing Hanover, he might fall victim to an Austro-Russian attack.
Neither state could pose as a great power. Saxony was merely a buffer between Prussia and Austrian Bohemiawhereas Poland, despite its union with the ancient lands of Lithuania, was prey to pro-French and pro-Russian factions.
A Prussian scheme for compensating Frederick Augustus with Bohemia in exchange for Saxony obviously presupposed further spoliation of Austria. Not only that, Britain would soon join the Austro-Russian alliance, but complications arose. At the same time, Kaunitz kept approaching the French in the hope of establishing just such an alliance with Austria.
France also saw the dismemberment of Prussia as threatening to the stability of Central Europe. Besthuzev, assuming the preparation was directed against Prussia, was more than happy to obey the request of the British.
Unbeknownst to the other powers, King George II also made overtures to the Prussian king, Frederick, who, fearing the Austro-Russian intentions, was also desirous of a rapprochement with Britain.
On 16 Januarythe Convention of Westminster was signed, whereby Britain and Prussia promised to aid one another; the parties hoped to achieve lasting peace and stability in Europe.
The carefully coded word in the agreement proved no less catalytic for the other European powers. The results were absolute chaos. Not only that, but France was enraged, and terrified, by the sudden betrayal of its only ally. Austria, particularly Kaunitz, used this situation to their utmost advantage.
Now-isolated France was forced to accede to the Austro-Russian alliance or face ruin.
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