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Charles VII

Charles VII, 1697–1745, Holy Roman emperor (1742–45) and, as Charles Albert, elector of Bavaria (1726–45). Having married a daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I, he refused to recognize the pragmatic sanction of 1713 by which Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (his wife's uncle) reserved the succession to the Hapsburg lands for his daughter, Maria Theresa. On Charles VI's death (1740) he advanced his own claim and joined with Frederick II (of Prussia), France, Spain, and Saxony to attack Maria Theresa (see Austrian Succession, War of the). In 1742 he was elected Holy Roman emperor, but Bavaria was overrun by Austrian troops. Shortly before his death he regained his territories. Francis I, husband of Maria Theresa, was elected emperor to succeed him.

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

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