On the death of Charles II of Spain in 1701, the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty became extinct. This triggered the war of the Spanish succession. A grandson of Louis XIV of France was Charles’ heir, but fear of French hegemony induced Austria, Britain and Holland to support the claim of an Austrian Habsburg Archduke as “Charles III” (Later Charles VI of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire). Louis’ grandson eventually won the throne of Spain itself, and emerged as Philip V. The rest of the possessions of the Spanish Habsburgs were divided among others. The French had been eating away at them for the last century and had already gained parts of the Southern Netherlands, and the Franche Comte. The southern Netherlands passed to the Austrian Habsburgs as did the Duchy of Milan. The Italian possessions of the Spanish Kings, that were taken by the Austrian Habsburgs, eventually passed to Spanish Bourbon collateral branches, with the exception of Sardinia, that was united with the Savoy lands to become the Kingdom of Sardinia & Piedmont.
In 1701 the Hohenzollern states (Brandenburg, Pomerania, Prussia and small territories in West-Germany), ruled by the Elector of Brandenburg, were united and elevated to a Kingdom. This Kingdom in Prussia (later of Prussia) was partly inside and partly outside the Holy Roman Empire. In 1748 the Bohemian (Austrian Habsburg) Duchy of Silesia was added. The Prussian acquisition of Silesia was a consequence of the war of Austrian succession, which ensued when Charles VI, left all his dominions, intact, to his daughter, Maria Theresia. He had to change the succession laws of some of his lands in order to achieve this and other European powers rose to the opportunity.
The domains of the Austrian Habsburgs had grown at the cost of the Ottoman Empire. The Kingdom of Hungary was greatly enlarged and had reached its original, pre-Turkish conquest, size by 1618. The outlines of the later Austrian Empire and Dual Monarchy are already evident on the map. The slow demise of the Ottoman Empire had now begun. The dismantling of its northern neighbour Poland would be next.
In 1707 the Kingdoms of England and Scotland (ruled by a single, Stuart ruler since 1603) were united and the Kingdom of Great-Britain came into being. Ireland remained outside this Union until 1801. Remaining a theoretically separate Kingdom ruled by its Protestant minority. The British and Irish thrones were inherited in 1714 by the Protestant Elector of Hanover, ignoring the exiled Stuarts and their Catholic successors, who were removed from the succession because of their Catholicism.