The War of the Austrian Succession began with the invasion of Silesia by Frederick II. of Prussia in 1740, and was ended by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) in 1748. After 1741 nearly all the powers of Europe were involved in the struggle, but the most enduring interest of the war lies in the struggle of Prussia and Austria for Silesia. Southwest Germany, the Low Countries and Italy were, as usual, the battle-grounds of France and Austria. The constant allies of France and Prussia were Spain and Bavaria; various other powers at intervals joined them. The cause of Austria was supported almost as a matter of course by England and Holland, the traditional enemies of France. Of Austria's allies from time to time Sardinia and Saxony were the most important...