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"The Views of Count Kaunitz on the International System" (March 24, 1749)

Wenzel Anton Kaunitz-Rietberg (1711-94) formulated his views at great length after negotiating the Peace of Aachen (1748), which conceded Austrian defeat at Prussian hands and stipulated the cession to Frederick II of the rich Austrian province of Silesia (whose reconquest Kaunitz saw as Austria’s highest priority). Anxiety over Prussia’s challenge to Austrian power inspired Kaunitz to seek an end to the longstanding Austro-French rivalry, so as to draw France to Austria’s side against Prussia (as occurred in the impending Seven Years War of 1756-63). Kaunitz recommended revitalizing the institutions of the Holy Roman Empire so as to strengthen Austria in Germany at Prussia’s expense.

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