How many Silesian Wars were there?
The Silesian Wars (German: Schlesische Kriege) were a series of three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia (under King Frederick the Great) and Austria (under Archduchess Maria Theresa) for control of the Central European region of Silesia (now in western Poland). The First (1740–1742) and Second (1744–1745) Silesian Wars formed parts of the wider War of the Austrian Succession, in which Prussia acted as one member of a coalition seeking territorial gain at Austria's expense. The Third Silesian War (1756–1763) was one theatre of the global Seven Years' War, in which Austria in turn led a coalition of powers aiming to seize Prussian territory.
No particular triggering event caused the wars. Prussia cited its centuries-old dynastic claims on parts of Silesia as a casus belli, but realpolitik and geostrategic factors also played a role in provoking the conflict. Maria Theresa's contested succession to the Habsburg Monarchy under the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 provided an opportunity for Prussia to strengthen itself relative to regional rivals such as Saxony and Bavaria.