Spain reconquered the duchies in the war of succession (1745); they were recovered by Austria in 1746; and Maria Theresa again surrendered them to Don Philip, infante of Spain, in 1748.
Maria Theresa had undoubtedly an instinctive histrionic sense of the perspective of the theatre, and could adopt the appropriate attitude and gesture, passionate, dignified or pathetic, required to impress those she wished to influence.
Hence arose the famous secret correspondence of Mercy-Argenteau, an invaluable record of all the details of Marie Antoinette's life from her marriage in 1770 till the death of Maria Theresa in 1780.
From several European crowned heads he received, at various times, marks of special distinction, and the empress Maria Theresa granted him a yearly pension of Too sequins (50).
Marie Antoinette soon won the affection and confidence of the dauphin and endeared herself to the king, but her position was precarious, and both Mercy and Maria Theresa had continually to urge her to conquer her violent dislike for the favourite and try to conciliate her.
France had joined with the other powers in guaranteeing the succession of Maria Theresa under the Pragmatic sanction, but on the death of Charles VI.
Though constrained by the general dangers of her position to make terms with Prussia, Maria Theresa long cherished the hope of recovering a possession which she, unlike her predecessors, valued highly and held by a far better title than did her opponent.
But Maria Theresa (1740-1780) was distinguished for her enmity to the Jews, and in 1744 made a futile attempt to secure their expulsion from Bohemia.
It received the title of Banat after the peace of Passarowitz (1718), and remained under a military administration until 1751, when Maria Theresa introduced a civil administration.
Maria Theresa had never given up hope that she would recover Silesia; and as all the neighbouring sovereigns were bitterly jealous of Frederick, and somewhat afraid of him, she had no difficulty in inducing several of them to form a scheme for his ruin.