After the ministry for the duke of Bourbon (1723-1726), France concerns itself under the government the Fleury cardinal.
It brings back the order in finances, develops the trade and seizes Spanish alliance skilfully; it lets escape the occasion to save Poland; it makes too little to restore there the French applicant, Stanislas Leczinski, to be constrained enough with a war which it believed to avoid; the victories deferred over Austria by Berwick and Villars at least return some prestige to France (1734); the treaty of Vienna, which puts an end to the fight, prepares the meeting of Lorraine in France (1738).
The death of the emperor of Germany Charles VI brings a new war against Austria: Prussia, Spain, Bavaria dispute with the girl of Charles VI, Marie-Thérèse, a part of her heritage, and France joint with the coalition (1741).
Austria, initially seriously threatened, especially by the king of Prussia Frederic II, takes again little by little the top with the assistance of England: the French are constrained to evacuate Bohemia, and are beaten in Dettingen by the English and the Austrians (1743); Prussia, Bavaria, Spain withdraw fight, but France, only against Austria, England and Holland, gains great victories with Fontenoy (1745), Raucoux (1746) and Laufeld (1747).
In the Indies, Dupleix holds head with the English and prepares to found a great French empire.
United accept peace with Aachen, by which France returns all the conquests which it made, but covers the colonies that it lost (1748).