Describe the cause of King George's War.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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King George’s War took place in the colonies from 1744 to 1748.  It started four years earlier in Europe, but ended in the same year.  In European History, this war is known as the War of the Austrian Succession.  This name gives us some idea as to why the war occurred.

In 1740, Charles VI of Austria (then an important European power) died.  He had no sons and so his throne passed to his daughter, Maria Theresa.  The Prussian ruler Frederick II saw this as an opportunity to expand his power at the expense of Austria (Prussia and Austria were rivals for domination of the German-speaking regions).  He used, as a pretext, the idea that legal tradition prohibited women from inheriting the throne.  France, a traditional enemy of Austria, entered the war as well.

This made other countries in Europe worried.  Great Britain, among other countries, allied with Maria Theresa because they did not want French power to expand.  This led to fighting in Europe, in India, and in the Americas.  This was the cause of King George’s War.