Seven years war history lesson

The great unknown world war, the Seven Years War

My kids now joke, “The Seven Years War which only took 10 years to happen,” because that’s what happens when you are raised by a history buff, you make jokes no one else will get.  The Seven Years War is one of those wars no one knows about, but in reality is the first World War, predating World War 1 by a few hundred years, putting it right at the beginning of Modern history lessons, and making it a great source for our homeschool history lesson this week.

Seven years war history lesson

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Resources for our Seven Years War lesson

The Mystery of History 4, vis a vis markers (we actually had to delay the lesson until I bought more of them), giant map, and of course Lego guys


Let’s get this Seven Years War lesson started

picking lego figures for the 7 years war lesson

In our house, the Seven Years War lesson started by cleaning the dining room table and picking out Lego figures.  When you’re dealing with maps on 3 continents you need a lot of flat space.

labelling countries involved in French and Indian War

We started out this history lesson by drawing out the boundaries and identifying who was whereas we looked at our maps from Wondermaps, a handy tool that.  There’s a lot of countries about to be named, and you need to know where each one is for any of this lesson to make sense.

Seven years war history lesson

In history, the Seven Years War started with Prussia and Saxony.  Frederick the Great wanted a part of Austria called Silesia. It had all the pretty cloth and he was quite sure he needed it.

start of Seven Years war

So he took Silesia from Maria Theresa, I guess he figured because she was a girl, she wasn’t going to go to war.

He was wrong.

She declared war and Austria and Prussia start grabbing up allies.  Prussia grabbed Hanover, another province in the Holy Roman Empire, and he nabbed Great Britain.  A major coup.  However, Britain was distracted right then because……

Seven Years war
Which if one site is to be believe was really just France and Britain duking it out again, and not at all about Austria and Prussia fighting over territory.

Britain and France were continuing their rivalry and trying their best to destroy each other because you know they can do that.  France had pulled Spain in on its side with the siren cry of “Get the Protestant HERETIC!”  France seeing Britain had allied with Prussia immediately sided with Austria to annoy Britain.

Yes, it’s just like a middle school fight among girls.  Only with guns and cannons.

Austria put out a call for more help, and Queen Maria Theresa alliances with Russia, Sweden, Saxony, France, India, and Spain.  What India has to do with two land-locked countries, I have no clue, but it joined in.

But wait, there’s more!

This meant we now had our very first world war, though we’re not going to call it that because that would be just silly.  We’ll wait another couple hundred years to get that.  War sprang up in the American Colonies, though we called it the French and Indian War, and over in India.  YEA War!

Oh wait, not yea, because that means lots of death and dying.

The combined might of all those countries had Prussia on the ropes, and he was about to lose when the Empress of Russia died.  In came a new King/Czar and he was besties with Frederick the Great, so he up and switched sides.

Technically he just became neutral and said, “We choose not to fight.”  That was enough for Maria Theresa to lose the war.


Okay, we had a big huge war in the Seven Years War, now what?

results of the Seven Years War

That will have to wait for next time because after all of my research for this war and listening to the Revolutions podcast I have learned the EFFECTS of this war are HUGE.  I can through a fairly straight line, actually it branches a few times, but still a pretty straight cause and effect to about 5 different revolutions over the next 50 or so years. But the shorthand results of the Seven Years war are shuffling up the colonies and deal them out again.

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4 responses to “The great unknown world war, the Seven Years War”

  1. Phyllis at All Things Beautiful Avatar
    Phyllis at All Things Beautiful

    Wonderful and clear explanation of the war! You should write a textbook…or, hey, I guess you are, in a way!

    1. I’m toying with the idea of doing that.

  2. How interesting. I vaguely remember reading about that in The Three Musketeers 🙂

  3. Luke McLoughlin Avatar
    Luke McLoughlin

    thank you!

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