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Leopold II,1747–92, Holy Roman emperor (1790–92), king of Bohemia and Hungary (1790–92), as Leopold I grand duke of Tuscany (1765–90), third son of Maria Theresa. Succeeding his father, Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, in Tuscany, Leopold reorganized the Tuscan government, abolished torture and the death penalty, equalized taxation, and sought to gain control over the church. When Leopold succeeded (1790) his brother Joseph IIJoseph II,
1741–90, Holy Roman emperor (1765–90), king of Bohemia and Hungary (1780–90), son of Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, whom he succeeded. He was the first emperor of the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine (see Hapsburg).
..... Click the link for more information. as emperor and as ruler of the Hapsburg lands, he took over a nearly disrupted state. To pacify his subjects in the Austrian Netherlands (see Netherlands, Austrian and SpanishNetherlands, Austrian and Spanish,
that part of the Low Countries that, from 1482 until 1794, remained under the control of the imperial house of Hapsburg. The area corresponds roughly to modern Belgium and Luxembourg.
..... Click the link for more information. ), in Hungary, and in Bohemia, he repealed most of Joseph's reforms. Unlike Joseph, he had himself crowned king at Pozsony in Hungary (now Bratislava) and at Prague in Bohemia; he was the last crowned king of Bohemia. Having reached an agreement (1790) with Frederick William II of Prussia, who wished to prevent Austrian expansion in the east and was about to side with the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in its war against Russia and Austria, Leopold abandoned his alliance with the Russian czarina, Catherine II. He concluded a separate peace treaty at Sistova (1791) with Turkey by which the pre-war borders were substantially restored. Leopold's troops marched into the Austrian Netherlands and suppressed the Belgian insurrection in 1790. Although he hoped to avoid war with revolutionary France, Leopold instigated (1791) the Declaration of PillnitzPillnitz
, district of Saxony, E central Germany, on the Elbe River. It is the site of an 18th-century castle, formerly a royal residence, that today houses an art collection. In the castle in Aug.
..... Click the link for more information. , by which the emperor and the king of Prussia stated that if all other European powers would join them, they were prepared to restore Louis XVI to his lawful powers by force. Contrary to his expectations, this declaration was a basic cause of the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars a few weeks after Leopold's death. Leopold was succeeded by his son, Francis II. Leopold II is generally considered a ruler of outstanding diplomatic and administrative abilities.
Leopold II,1835–1909, king of the Belgians (1865–1909), son and successor of Leopold ILeopold I,
1790–1865, king of the Belgians (1831–65); youngest son of Francis Frederick, duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After serving as a page at the court of Napoleon I and as a general of the Russian army, he married (1816) Princess Charlotte, daughter of the
..... Click the link for more information. . His reign saw great industrial and colonial expansion. In 1876 he organized, with the help of H. M. StanleyStanley, Sir Henry Morton,
1841–1904, Anglo-American journalist, explorer, and empire builder, b. Denbigh, Wales. He grew up in poverty and came to America as a worker on a ship, which he jumped (1858) in New Orleans.
..... Click the link for more information. , the International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of the Congo. At a European conference (Berlin, 1884–85), the Congo Free State was established under Leopold's personal rule (see Congo, Democratic Republic of theCongo, Democratic Republic of the,
, republic (2015 est. pop. 76,197,000), c.905,000 sq mi (2,344,000 sq km), central Africa. It borders on Angola in the southwest and west, on the Atlantic Ocean, Cabinda (an Angolan exclave), and the Republic of
..... Click the link for more information. ). He proceeded to amass a huge personal fortune by exploiting the Congo directly and by leasing concessions. Forced labor was extorted from the natives, frequently by barbarous methods, until scandal compelled Leopold to turn over the Congo to the Belgian government (1908). In Belgium itself the Conservative Catholic party replaced (1880) the Liberals in power. Increasing social discontent and the rise of the Labor party forced the introduction (1893) of universal male suffrage, but unrest continued because of the appalling condition of industrial workers. Leopold's private life was as scandalous and dissolute as his public conduct. He was succeeded by his nephew, Albert IAlbert I,
1875–1934, king of the Belgians (1909–34), nephew and successor of Leopold II. He married (1900) Elizabeth, a Bavarian princess. In World War I his heroic resistance (1914) to the German invasion of Belgium greatly helped the Allied cause.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See A. Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost (1998).
Leopold II,1797–1870, grand duke of Tuscany (1824–59). Liberally inclined at first, he granted some reforms and undertook public works. In 1848 he approved a constitution and joined Sardinia in its war against Austria (see RisorgimentoRisorgimento
[Ital.,=resurgence], in 19th-century Italian history, period of cultural nationalism and of political activism, leading to unification of Italy. Roots of the Risorgimento
..... Click the link for more information. ). Refusing the demands of the extremists, however, Leopold left Tuscany in Feb., 1849, and returned several months later in the wake of Austrian troops. In 1852 he repealed the constitution, and in 1859 he was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Ferdinand IV, who was deposed in 1860.
(since 1973, Mai-Ndombe), a lake in Zaire, in the Central Basin. Area, 2,325 sq km (as much as 8,200 sq km during the rains); average depth can vary according to the seasons from 2.5 to 5 m, (maximum, 7 m). The coasts are strongly dissected, high in some places and low in others, swampy, and covered with dense equatorial forests. High water occurs in September and October. The lake is drained by the Fimi River, a right tributary of the Kasai (Zaire, or Congo system). There is fishing, and the lake is navigable. The lake was discovered in 1882 by Henry Stanley. It was named in honor of the king of Belgium.