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), in Hungary, and in Bohemia, he repealed most of Joseph's reforms.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 (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
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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 ?
Instead, while waiting for the Hopital Leopold II for Africans to be finished, he received his African (ambulatory) patients on the ground floor of the Hopital de la Rive for Europeans.
Just as Christopher Columbus had done in Hispaniola 400 years earlier, Leopold II imposed quotas on every man in his realm for production of raw materials.
This year it will witness the re-enactment of the coronation of Leopold II, the younger son of Maria Theresa.
The state of Congo, the heart of Africa, was colonized by Leopold II, king of the Belgium from 1885 to 1908.
Tarzan's comfortable lifestyle is thrown into chaos when he's persuaded by an American envoy (Samuel L Jackson) to return to the Dark Continent where King Leopold II of Belgium is mercilessly slaughtering the wildlife, not to mention the locals, and stripping the land of its natural resources.
He alienated at a stroke the ruling classes and many of his policies were overturned on the accession of Leopold II. This political background proves to be of enormous importance later in the book when Freeman discusses Mozart's involvement in the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia in 1791.
To add yet another what-if to our history, someone should dig up the plan of Leopold II of Belgium to take the Philippines as a colony.
Situated in a prime location on Rue Royale in the heart of the city, the hotel was built in 1909 at the request of King Leopold II. It was for many years considered to be among the world's finest luxury hotels and has welcomed a number of illustrious guests during the course of its history including former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and former US President Dwight Eisenhower.
In a letter to Mary Russell Milford dated 30 April 1849, Barrett Browning glosses the events of 1849 as "two revolutions." This perhaps surprising claim was provoked in part by her appraisal of Grand Duke Leopold II, whose duplicitous allegiances to Tuscans and Austrians had long been suspected.
Sadruddin Hashwani with the jewel and diploma of Knight-Commander in the Order of Leopold II during an official ceremony in Islamabad on April 29.
ISLAMABAD -- Peter Claes, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Pakistan, officially presented Sadruddin Hashwani with the jewel and diploma of Knight-Commander in the Order of Leopold II during an official ceremony in Islamabad on April 29.
Other countries and cultures are represented in Merciless Monarchs and Ruthless Royalty, which focuses on rulers from Egypt's Herod and Rome's Nero to Russia's Ivan the Terrible and Belgium's Leopold II.