Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Pragmatic Sanction

Pragmatic Sanction, in European history, signified at first a decree as to Church affairs issued by the head of a legislature. Thus, Charles VII. in 1438 secured the rights of the Gallican Church in accordance with the decrees of a Council at Basel by a Pragmatic Sanction, and a Diet of Mainz in 1439 issued a similar instrument. The name was.also applied to the arrangement by which the Emperor Charles VI. secured his dominion to his daughter Maria Theresa, thus causing the War of the Austrian Succession. In 1759 Charles III. of Spain issued a Pragmatic Sanction by which he ceded the kingdom of Naples to his third son in 1759.