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Maria Theresa

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By the time of his death in 1740, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI, had done everything possible to secure the succession to the throne of his daughter, Maria Theresa, but practically nothing to train her how to rule. Nevertheless, Maria Theresa managed by common sense, charm, and expert advice to negotiate a forty-year reign marked by secret diplomacy, shifting alliances, relentless warfare, and ruthless realpolitik. This short biography by the Oxford historian, James Franck Bright, describes her first thirty years on the throne.
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