Treaty of Dresden

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Canaletto: Dresden, Neumarkt, oil on canvas, 1749–51

The Treaty of Dresden was signed on 25 December 1745 at the Saxon capital of Dresden between Austria, Saxony and Prussia, ending the Second Silesian War.

In the 1742 Treaty of Breslau Queen Maria Theresa of Austria, struggling for the succession after her father Emperor Charles VI of Habsburg according to the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, had to cede most of the Bohemian province of Silesia to attacking King Frederick II of Prussia. In the following years however she was able to strengthen her position: She attacked the Bavarian Electorate and in January 1745 achieved the support of Great Britain, the Dutch Republic and Saxony to reconquer Silesia. Furthermore, her rival Emperor-elect Charles VII of Wittelsbach died a few days later and on 22 April 1745 his son and successor Elector Maximilian III Joseph of Bavaria concluded the Peace of Füssen with her.

By the end of May 1745 Austrian and Saxon troops invaded Prussian Silesia, but were halted by Prussian forces at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg on 4 June. Maria Theresa's husband Francis I of Lorraine finally was elected Holy Roman Emperor on 13 September, while Frederick's troops gained shining victories at Soor and Kesselsdorf, occupying Dresden on 18 December. The Prussian king however had to cope with a rising number of enemy powers and expiring resources, all the more because he had failed to obtain support from Empress Elizabeth of Russia. Facing the situation, both side agreed on a status quo.

Based on the terms of the agreement, King Frederick II acknowledged Francis I as Holy Roman Emperor. In return, he maintained control over Silesia. The actually disadvantaged side was Saxony, who had to pay Prussia one million rixdollars in reparations. Overall, the accord ratified and confirmed the tenets of both the Treaty of Breslau and the Treaty of Berlin. This accord brought the Second Silesian War to an official end.[1][2]

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  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of World History (2001) - December 25 Treaty of Dresden concluded between Prussia and Austria (Saxony). (1) Ratification of the Treaty of Breslau and Berlin in regard to the possession of Silesia. (2) Frederick II recognized Francis I as emperor. (3) Saxony paid Prussia one million rix dollars.
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Concise - Dresden The Treaty of Dresden (1745), between Prussia, Saxony, and Austria, ended the second Silesian War and confirmed Silesia as Prussian.