First, the term "Second Hundred Years's War" describes the long-running series of wars between France and Great Britain that spanned the more than one century between the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and the Nine Years's War that followed. It also refers to the Napoleonic Wars of the first two decades...
First, the term "Second Hundred Years's War" describes the long-running series of wars between France and Great Britain that spanned the more than one century between the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and the Nine Years's War that followed. It also refers to the Napoleonic Wars of the first two decades of the nineteenth century.
With few exceptions, the eighteenth century witnessed almost non-stop war between these two powers, both on the European continent and around the world.
The War of the Austrian Succession, known in Great Britain as King George's War, was one example. It lasted from 1740-1748, and involved most of the major European powers in addition to France and Great Britain, including Austria, Prussia, Russia, several German states, and the Netherlands. Great Britain entered the war alongside Austria when France invaded the Netherlands. Like every war of the "long eighteenth century," as the period is sometimes known, the war involved fighting in North America as well. In one important development, British colonists seized Louisburg, the capital of Nova Scotia. However, they were repulsed in an invasion of Cartagena, the Spanish imperial city in modern-day Colombia. Spain became a de facto ally of the French in the New World in what was known as the War of Jenkins's Ear.
There were other major conflicts during this long struggle for supremacy, including the Seven Years War. This conflict was known in the colonies as the French and Indian War. The American Revolution also fed into this struggle. It eventually involved France, Spain, and the Netherlands, in addition to the colonists's army, in the struggle for independence.
The end effect of all of these wars was the weakening of France. The Seven Years's War was a disaster for the French. Even though the British suffered a similar humiliation in the American Revolution, the war in the states came at a huge fiscal cost to France. The financial and social crisis that emerged in the late eighteenth century was a major cause of the French Revolution. France's revolution ushered in another 25 years of almost constant warfare on the continent.