War of the French Succession
1745 Battle of Fontenoy
The Battle of Gesves by Jean François de Troy
Date 1737 – 1745
(8 years)
Location Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia
Result Treaty of Libson
Treaty of Moscow
Treaty of Prague
Treaty of Paris
Recognition of Charles's claim of France
Reorganization of European and colonial territory
  • France exchanges all French Acadia with England in exchange for St. Croix and English Guiana
  • Spain recognizes English control of Florida in exchange for the recognition of claims over the Mosquito Coast
  • Charles X is granted dominion over Lorraine as duke in exchange for the former duke receiving the Kingdom of Sardinia from Sicily
  • Denmark cedes Scania to Sweden in exchange for full control of Prussian Oldenburg
  • The Dutch Republic returns territory ceded from France in 1725
  • The Habsburg Monarchy receives control of Prussian Silesia in exchange for the independence of Naples
  • Poland-Lithuania cedes several eastern territories to Russia
Royal Standard of the Kingdom of France France
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) Holy Roman Empire

Flag of Cross of Burgundy Spain
Chorągiew królewska króla Zygmunta III Wazy Poland-Lithuania
Savoie flag Kingdom of Sicily
Jacobite Standard (1745) Jacobites
Flag of Sweden Sweden (until 1744)

Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1750) Prussia
Flag of England England

Statenvlag Dutch Republic
Pavillon royal de France France loyal to Louis
Flag of Russia Russia (1739–44)
Flag of Denmark Denmark (1739–44)
Flag Portugal (1667) Portugal (until 1743)

Commanders and leaders
Royal Standard of the Kingdom of France Philip VII
Royal Standard of the Kingdom of France Charles X

Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) Joseph II

Flag of Cross of Burgundy Charles III
Flag of Cross of Burgundy Charles IV

  • Flag of Cross of Burgundy Count of Gages
  • Flag of Cross of Burgundy Marquis of Galatone

Chorągiew królewska króla Zygmunta III Wazy Augustus III

  • Chorągiew królewska króla Zygmunta III Wazy Stanisław Poniatowski

Savoie flag Victor Amadeus II
Jacobite Standard (1745) Charles James Stuart
Flag of Sweden Charles XII

Flag of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701-1750) Fredrick II

Flag of England William IV

Statenvlag Henry, Prince of Orange

Pavillon royal de France Louis XVI
Flag of Russia Peter II

Flag of Denmark Christian VI

  • Flag of Denmark Peter Tordenskjold

Flag Portugal (1667) John V of Portugal

The War of the French Succession was a military conflict that took place mainly between 1737 an 1745. Involving the majority of European great powers at the time, it affected almost every continent on Earth, including Africa and East Asia. The war is sometimes referred to in the name of its sub-conflicts based on respective theatres; in North America it is known as Prince Frederick's War, in Scandinavia it is known as the Second Scanian War, in the Germanic countries it is known as the First Silesian War and in Russia it is referred to as the First Russo-Polish War.

Taking place twelve years after the end of the last major European war, the War of the French Succession had its origins in the breakdown of relations between the King of France, Louis XVI, and his nobles who had been made drastically more empowered during the region of his father. With the incumbent king attempt to reign in their capability to control the state (in affect, attempt to return to the absolutism of his grandfather, Louis XIV) he embittered most nobles who had fought long during the past half-century in attempts to decentralise France. With their monarchs positions regarding their strengths in mind, many nobles began to plot with the exiled Philip Bourbon, the former King of Spain who had promised the nobles expanded powers of governance, a swift coup d'état that would overthrow the their 'tyrannical' incumbent king.

On 5 April 1737, nobles and their remaining personal militias stormed the royal palace at Versailles, sacking it as soldiers under their commander simultaneously sent Paris into lockdown after detaining the King's ministers of the city. The coup was entirely successful except for the fact that the militia could not find nor capture Louis XVI who had escaped with his family and servants to Amiens, after which Philip was invited back to France after 12 years and proclaimed Philip VII, the King of France.

Following his flight to Amiens, Louis XVI was granted asylum in England on the request of William IV who had (despite past transgressions between their states) been grateful for the economic freedom granted to English and Scottish merchants in his kingdom, something now seen at threat with Philip VII (whom England had waged war against at the end of the Fifteen Years War) on the throne. In an attempt to reconcile relations with a former ally, the Holy Roman Empire, William's pleas to reform their 'Grand Alliance' went unheeded as Joseph II had moved away from supporting English in previous years, fearful of its overwhelming economic strength granted by the Treaty of Trier.

After the outbreak of full hostilities in 1737 after a series of naval battles, William declaring war on France after reluctantly deciding to push Louis' claim on his former kingdom; the Habsburgs quickly moving to side with France on the belief that Louis returning to his throne would upset the balance of power in Europe by adversely extending the English sphere of influence. Soon after, pre-war alliances fell into place as more battles flared up the continent, nations like Sweden and Russia taking the respective sides of France and England in order to extend their own power.

After several years and a number of battles indecisive and sanguinary battles (particularly the largest encounter of the war, the Battle of Gesves), the nations of Europe began to edge closer and closer to peace as their governments slowly became disenchanted with the loss of men and capital to an inconclusive conflict. As a result, most nations signed treaties of peace by 1744 with the English and France camps continuing the struggle until 1745 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris (which granted Philip's son Charles the throne of France); all treaties signed to bring peace having rearranged the territorial landscape of Europe and the colonial empires.