Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


DASSIER, Jean: Holy Roman Empire, 1745, Bronze, 54 mm
Rev: Minerva in clouds leaning on shield of Zeus embossed with head of Medusa, her foot resting on a portion of the globe    ET MENTE ET ARMIS. (By Thought and by Arms)
Signed:  I. D. F.
Ref: Molinari 88/332; Pax, 537;  Europese Penningen # 149;  Weiss BW044

Maria Theresa (1717-1780), archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia and wife of the Holy Roman emperor Francis I was the eldest daughter of the Emperor Charles VI and Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel. In 1736 she married her cousin, Francis, Duke of Lorraine, who became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1737 and  Holy Roman Emperor in 1745.  His election as Holy Roman Emperor was Austria's main incentive to sign the treaty of Fuessen (www.zum.de/whkmla/), the event commemorated by this medal.  From 1740, the date of her father's death, until her own death in 1780, Maria Theresa was the one of the central figures in the wars and politics of Europe. She worked assiduously to promote prosperity for her people and to give unity to an administration made up of many states and races with different characters and constitutions. The Peace of Fuessen was an important part of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748), where counterclaims of the succession of Maria Theresa to the Habsburg land of her father Charles VI were challenged by Philip V of Spain, Augustus III of Poland and Charles Albert, Elector of Bavaria. At the start of the war, Frederick II of Prussia occupied the Habsburg province of Silesia. As part of the Peace of Fuessen (1745), Austria recognized Prussia's claim to Silesia in return for Frederick's support of the candidacy of Maria Theresa's husband as Emperor Francis I. The war formally ended with the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle (1748).

LINK to War of the Austrian Succession (from World History at KMLA)