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The 7 Years War

Welcome to "Prelude: The 7 Years War" the first article of The Alpha Theory's new series on History, through War. This series would focus on how wars have shaped human history starting from The 7 Years War to The War on Terrorism, in this we would analyse the military tactics which were implemented, the economics of war and its sociopolitical effects. Have you ever wondered why we speak English all over the World? Have you ever wondered how The United States became the country it is? Have you ever thought about The First World War?

The answer to all of these questions lies in understanding perhaps the World's first World War. The 7 Years War. 1748 marked the end of The Austrian War of Succession in which 4 major European powers, namely France and Prussia fighting Austria and Britain although the end to this war set the stage for disaster. The peace treaty which was made to keep all these powers in check caused enmity between them leading to the 7 Years War, the peace treaty fell short on one front which ultimately triggered the conflict, this being disputed North American Territory in the Ohio Valley. The French who were sharing the new world with other Imperial Powers started building forts alongside this disputed area leading the British to launch an attack headed by nobody other than George Washington against the French. This started the French Indian war.

The aboriginals usually pitted the two superpowers against each other, this was a clever trick done by them to retain their autonomy however in this conflict they took the side of the British. Alongside the aboriginals, the British were successful at provoking the french and dealing some petit amounts of damage but not enough to formally declare war. Although back in Europe the old allies Britain and Austria were having problems, this was due to a British notion that the Austrians weren't strong enough this ultimately led to the British to sign a convention with the Prussians just before the war. This effectively flipped alliances with France and Austria being pitted against Britain and Prussia the french however had an advantage this was due to them finding an alliance with the Russians. With a secured alliance France captured a small British Territory in the Mediterranian sea and thus officially declaring war. A lot of fighting, One Swedish Invasion and few bribes later the war is drawing to a close and almost the entire world has taken part from India to Africa.

The 7 years war can't possibly be summed up in one petit article so let's look at what it revolutionised and its effects:


Politically the 7 Years War saw the end of paleo-colonialism and started colonialism's golden age, it also saw Britain as a rising force in the World with The British Empire gaining momentum. The French who been a major power within the continent saw their power being snatched from them. The 7 Years War however set France up for perhaps the single most important event in its history, The French Revolution.


Economically it left Britain and France in ruins alongside other European powers however Britain was able to recoup its costs due to its new Empire. France and its allies had their economies devastated due to the War making way for exoduses and starvation of the masses.

The Human Aspect

The War claimed the lives of many however 2 impacts of it are always overlooked, one was the heave amount of casualties of the native American-Indians who were forced to fight against each other and the second aspect was that during the War Britain had virtually set up its monopoly in India, this would be the start of an oppressive regime which worked to pollute and destroy the harmony of a subcontinent.

The Military Aspect

The Military Aspect of the 7 years war might perhaps be its most detailed aspect, here are all the developments people saw during the war:

The Goose step : The iconic and legendary goose step defined the epitome of Prussian discipline and obedience. The Goose step was introduced by the 'Soldier King' Frederick Wilhelm I of Prussia and was proven consequential to maintain discipline while in the battlefield and allowed the Prussian Army to coordinate with far more efficient than its adversaries.

Iron Ramrod : This once again came into being and into extensive usage under the Soldier King. While it may not seem like much, but an iron ramrod rarely ever broke compared to a wooden ramrod which turned out to be an insane advantage on the battlefield as the Prussian soldiers could fire more shots with a lesser chance of damage to their muskets increasing the overall firepower drastically.

Oblique order attack : This was a tactic brought into being by the Soldier King’s much more famous successor and son, King Frederick II or as history remembers him, King Frederick the Great. The tactic was hugely successful because of the two aforementioned methods employed by Prussian to improve their state of the military. The tactic worked by stressing one of the infantry divisions on enemy’s infantry division and pushing them back in an oblique shaped retreat pattern before finally finishing the enemy off with the usage of cavalry on either the enemy flanks or enemy rear. Some of the best examples of oblique order attack being used in the battlefield were in the battle of Roßbach which took place on 5th November 1757 and a force of 22,000 Prussians was able to defeat an Austro-French force of 42,000 in the battle because of this tactic.

There was more emphasis on improving supply chains : While often ignored, there is no doubt that supply and logistics are some of the most important parts of a fighting force. And in 18th century, it’s not hard to notice the rapid advancements in supply chains like the construction of more roads, and the formation of proper supply trains because of whom soldiers no longer had to live off of the country they were invading.


The 7 years war ended with a decisive British-Prussian victory which gave Britain their Empire. The war also led to two major world events these being the American War of Independence and The French Revolution both these events changed the modern world in radical ways never seen before, it was a blatant show of a revolutionary reconstitution of society which had unprecedented amounts of success. The 7 Years War also could be named as the reason for why things today are the way they are.

~ Uddeshya Agarwal


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