By the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), the Ottoman Empire ceded large chunks of Balkan territory to the Habsburgs, Venetians and Poles. After a further defeat, the Treaty of Passarowitz (1718) saw the loss of Belgrade, leading Sultan Ahmed to sink into the floral reverie of the ‘Tulip Period’ (1718–30). Augustus the Strong, the ‘Saxon Hercules’, could break horseshoes with his bare hands, but the turbulent nobility of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was beyond him. Repeated defeats by Charles XII of Sweden left Augustus beholden to Russia’s Peter the Great for his throne. The Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (r. 1711–40) was on the right side in successive wars with Spain, gaining Sardinia then trading up for Sicily (1720), while armed settlers, the ‘Grenzers’, protected his Ottoman ‘Military Frontier’. Frederick William I (r. 1713¬–40), the ‘Soldier King’, created the foundations a future Prussian military power by steadily expanding his army and filling his treasury.
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