Pragmatic Sanction: Karl VI presented this edict to his councillors and ministers on April 19, 1713; it declared that all the Austrian hereditary lands should always remain united and laid down the line of succession of women (unlike the "Pactum mutuae successionis" of 1703). If there were no male Habsburg descendants, the hereditary lands should pass to the daughters of Karl and their successors, then to the daughters of Joseph I and then to the daughters of Leopold I. The Pragmatic Sanction was confirmed by the Landtage (diets) of the hereditary lands in 1720-1723 and by the Hungarian Reichstag in 1722 and remained a constitutional law of the monarchy up to 1867. Between 1725 and 1730 most foreign powers also recognized the Pragmatic Sanction, but when Karl VI died in 1740, some powers did not adhere to their promises, which led to the War of the Austrian Succession.
Literature: G. Turba, Die Pragmatische Sanktion, 1913; W. Brauneder, Die Pragmatische Sanktion Das Grundgesetz der Monarchia Austriaca, in: K. Gutkas (ed.), Prinz Eugen und das barocke Österreich, 1985; Mittlg. des österreichischen Staatsarchivs, 1987.