Papers of John Adams, volume 8


On 15 Jan. 1778 the Hapsburgs had signed an agreement with the Elector of Palatine, heir to the childless and deceased Elector of Bavaria, that ceded Bavaria to the Austrian house in return for certain concessions. The agreement ignored the rights of the heir presumptive, Duke Charles II of Zweibrücken-Birken-119feld (Duke of Deux Ponts), to the Elector Palatine. Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia, in his own interest, supported the claims of Duke Charles II.

Frederick's and Joseph's armies faced each other across the Elbe River, but actually there was little fighting because neither side wanted to take any great risks. Maria Theresa, fearful of war, sought to have France and Russia mediate. Given France's obligations in the war against Great Britain, it welcomed peace. Negotiations were greatly encouraged by the peace signed between Russia and the Porte in March 1779, for the easing of trouble with the Ottomans left Russia free to aid Prussia against Austria ( Cambridge Modern Hist. , 6:630–633).