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Polish Succession, War of the

Polish Succession, War of the, 1733–35. On the death (1733) of Augustus II of Poland, Stanislaus I sought to reascend the Polish throne. He was supported by his son-in-law, Louis XV of France. The rival candidate for the throne was the son of Augustus II, the elector of Saxony, who was supported by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and by Anna of Russia. Stanislaus was elected by a majority of the Polish nobles, but a minority proclaimed the elector of Saxony king of Poland as Augustus III. Stanislaus, being without troops, could not resist the Russian forces that intervened in his rival's behalf; after the fall (1734) of Danzig, he fled to France. The war continued to be fought along the Rhine and in Italy, with Spain and Sardinia joining France against the emperor. Spain sought to recover Naples and Sicily, which it had ceded to Austria at the Peace of Utrecht, and Sardinia sought to dislodge the Austrians from Lombardy. The allies were successful in Italy, where Spanish troops seized Sicily and Naples. The territories of the duke of Lorraine (the son-in-law of Charles VI, later Emperor Francis I) were in the meantime occupied by the French. In 1735, by the preliminary Treaty of Vienna, peace was obtained through a general dynastic reshuffle. Stanislaus I renounced Poland, though he retained his royal title, and was compensated with the duchies of Lorraine and Bar, which were to pass to the French crown at his death. The dispossessed duke of Lorraine was promised the succession to the grand duchy of Tuscany after the death of its last Medici ruler (which occurred in 1737). Spain received Naples and Sicily and in exchange ceded to Austria its claims to the duchy of Parma. Austria retained Lombardy; in addition, the emperor received from France a guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction. Sardinia neither gained nor lost anything. A final peace treaty was signed after lengthy negotiations in 1738.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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