Augustus III

Augustus III, 1696–1763, king of Poland (1735–63) and, as Frederick Augustus II, elector of Saxony (1733–63); son of Augustus II , whom he succeeded in Saxony. Elected king of Poland by a minority, he allied himself with Empress Anna of Russia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in the War of the Polish Succession (1733–35) and secured the throne from Stanislaus I . In the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48), Augustus at first offered to support Maria Theresa in return for a corridor between Poland and Saxony. He was refused and entered the coalition against her, claiming rights as a son-in-law of her uncle, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I . He changed sides in 1742. When the Seven Years War began (1756) with a surprise attack on Saxony, Augustus fled to Poland; he returned to Dresden only after the war was over (1763). He was a patron of the arts, and his indolence and sensuality kept him from state affairs, which he left to his ministers, notably Count Brühl . Augustus's death ended the union of Saxony and Poland. His grandson became elector of Saxony (and later, as Frederick Augustus I , king), but Stanislaus II was elected king of Poland with Russian support.

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