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Sachsen, Preußen und der Kaiserhof im Streit um die Schönburgischen Herrschaften (1774-1779)


Jacek Kordel

After the defeat of the Seven Years’ War and the loss of the Polish crown in 1763, the Electorate of Saxony made efforts to establish friendly relations with the two major powers in Central Europe, Habsburg Austria, which was traditionally allied with Saxony, and Brandenburg-Prussia, the former war enemy. In the mid-1770s there was a turning point: Electoral Saxony turned away from Austria and switched to the Prussian side. This study examines the reasons for this change of alliance, using the disputes over the Schönburg estates as an example. It will focus on the strategies adopted by the Saxon court and the actors involved to settle the conflict. This will highlight the limited influence of the German middle states in the era of Prussian-Austrian antagonism and Saxony’s position in the political system of the empire at the end of the ancien régime.