Charles VI dies 1720 - Empress Maria Josepha.

PoD - Emperor Charles VI of Austria dies suddenly in 1720.

His ministers are in a pickle. Per his decree, the heir is his daughter, 3yo Maria Theresa. But this presents huge problems. As if the thought of a fifteen-year regency wasn't bad enough, they are already in the midst of agreeing peace with Spain, and now also face war with Saxony/Poland and Bavaria, in behalf of the daughters of Joseph I. And small children have a fearful mortality rate. What if MT and her little sister should die while the war is in progress? The next heir will be the daughter-in-law of a Prince in the enemy camp, and her consort may be actually leading armies against them.

It's an intolerable prospect. They come to a quick decision. Charles' precious Pragmatic Sanction must be consigned to the waste paper basket, and a messenger sent to Dresden too summon Archduchess Maria Josepha to the throne. Her Bavarian bro-in-law may also stake a claim, but hopefuly can be bought off wih Naples or somewhere. Indeed, the Saxon envoy is already hinting that her father-in-law, Augustus the strong, may be willing to cede a chuck of Poland as compensation for this.

Where might things go from there? Will an Austria including Saxony be able to fend off Frederick the Great? Or may some butterfly cause his father to have him shot? And will they still suffer defeat by the Turks in 1737? Will the Partitions of Poland come early? And what becomes of Lorraine, if Francis has no Empress to wed?

Thoughts anyone?