The 18th Century saw huge conflicts in the western world, starting with the Great Northern War at the turn of the century, through the first 'World War' of the Seven Years War, right through to the American Revolution. These conflicts had a dramatic impact by redefining almost every European border and introducing the United States to the world in the last quarter of the century. The turmoil wasn't to end soon however, as revolutions in Europe brought the century to a close and sending us straight into the Napoleonic period.
The League of Augsburg was formed in 1686 by Austria, Spain, and Sweden, along with several minor German states, including Bavaria and the Palatinate, in an attempt to thwart the ambitions of Louis XIV in the late 17th century. This alliance was expanded into the Grand Alliance in 1689 when the Dutch, newly conquered England, Savoy and Brandenburg joined. These wars are also known as the Nine Years War 1688-1697.
In North America these wars were known as King William's War.
The Marlburian period covers the War of Spanish Succession (1701–1714), triggered by the death in 1700 of the last Habsburg King of Spain, Charles II. Without an heir, power fell to Philip, the second-eldest grandson of King Louis XIV of France. To counter this, England, the Dutch Republic, and Austria re-formed the 1680s Grand Alliance (1701) and supported Archduke Charles as the heir to the Spanish Crown. In the aftermath of the conflict, France acknowledged the Protestant succession in Britain and ended support for the Jacobites. Longer term, the war marked Britain's rise as the leading European power, and the decline of the Dutch Republic as a primary power. It also led to the creation of a centralized Spanish state, the weakening of Habsburg control over the Holy Roman Empire, and the rise of Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony.
The Jacobite Rebellions began in 1688 with numerous attempts to restore the House of Stuart to the throne of England. The end of the 1745 rising, with a decisive government victory, effectively ended Jacobitism as a significant political force. Figures from this range can be combined with figures from the Seven Years War range to recreate battles of the '45 rising and with the Marlburian Range to recreate battles from risings closer to the War of Spanish Succession (1701–1714).
The Seven Years War took place from 1756 to 1763 and involved most of the nations of Europe, with the Kingdom of Britain and their allies on one side, and the Kingdom of France and their allies on the other. This could be seen as the first real 'world war' and the Anglo-Prussian coalition victory completely changed the face of future European politics.
The French and Indian War was the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War of 1754–1763. This war pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, with both sides supported by military units from their parent countries as well as by American Indian allies. At the start of the war, the French North American colonies had a population of roughly 60,000 settlers, compared with 2 million in the British North American colonies. The outnumbered French were particularly dependent on the American Indian support.