Leopold II


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Related to Leopold II: Leopold III, Menelik II

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).
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 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.
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), in Hungary, and in Bohemia, he repealed most of Joseph's reforms.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.
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, 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
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. 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.
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, 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,
formerly Zaïre
, republic (2005 est. pop. 60,086,000), 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
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). 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.
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.

Bibliography

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
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). 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.

Leopold II

 

(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.

Leopold II

1. 1747--92, Holy Roman Emperor (1790--92). He formed an alliance with Prussia against France (1792) after the downfall of his brother-in-law Louis XVI
2. 1835--1909, king of the Belgians (1865--1909); son of Leopold I. He financed Stanley's explorations in Africa, becoming first sovereign of the Congo Free State (1885)
References in periodicals archive ?
Die meer dan twee decennia van blanke dwingelandij onder het autoritaire gezag van Leopold II zijn meer dan een zwarte bladzijde in de geschiedenis van het Belgisch koninkrijk.
The royal presence also made its distinctive contribution, although the death of Leopold II in 1909, together with the attacks on casino gambling, provoked something of a local crisis on the eve of the First World War.
In December 1865 Leopold II had succeeded his father, Leopold I.
Belgium's King Leopold II," the Movement says, "engineered the infamous Berlin Conference in 1884, where Europe divided up Africa into illegal, imperialist colonial territories.
AMONG REGIMES OF TERROR imposed by stronger powers over weaker peoples, the rule of Belgium's King Leopold II in his Congo Free State is a legendary atrocity.
In addition, during that period the PCUS established an international reputation for effectively advocating and finally liberating the people of the Congo from the most gross abuses of King Leopold II and his commercial interests.
The exhibition also features An Italian Film (Africa Addio), 2012, by Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc which confronts the contemporary and historic exploitation of copper in the Katanga region of Congo, a region repeatedly ravaged since its colonisation by the Belgian King Leopold II in the 19th century.
The nickname Coronation for this particular Mozart piano concerto refers to the composer playing the work at the time of the coronation of Leopold II.
Compared with the British, Spanish, Dutch, and French, Belgians entered the land-grab race rather late: King Leopold II didn't think to seize the Congo until the late 1870s.
Contract notice : Project management assistance for the renovation and maintenance of the Leopold II tunnel
The lush paradise of the Congo is a sweet, distant memory until the British Prime THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (12) Minister (Jim Broadbent) passes on an invitation from King Leopold II of Belgium to visit the Congo as a trade emissary of Parliament.
Brutal Exposure presents what was probably the first photographic campaign in support of human rights, with images of Congolese people under Leopold II of Belgium in the 1900s.