Emperor Leopold II (1747-1792) and Empress Maria Ludovika (1745-1792)
Peter Leopold II Joseph; Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary, Bohemia, Croatia and Slavonia, Grand Duke of Tuscany (Schonbrunn, 5 May 1747 – Vienna, 1 March 1792); married by proxy in Madrid on 16 February 1764 and in person in Innsbruck on 5 August 1765 Princess Maria Luisa of Spain (Portici, 24 November 1745 – Vienna, 15 May 1792)
Reign: 1790 - 1792
Predecessor: Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Successor: Franz II/I, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor of Austria
Children: Queen Maria Theresia of Saxony; Franz II/I, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor of Austria; Grand Duke Ferdinando of Tuscany; Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria; Archduke Karl of Austria; Archduke Alexander of Austria, Palatine of Hungary; Archduke Albert of Austria; Archduke Maximilian of Austria; Archduke Joseph of Austria, Palatine of Hungary; Crown Princess Maria Klementina of the Two Sicilies, Duchess of Calabria; Archduke Anton Victor of Austria, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne and later Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights; Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria; Archduke Johann of Austria; Archduke Rainer of Austria, Viceroy of the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom; Archduke Ludiwg of Austria and Archduke Rudolf of Austria, Prince-Archbishop of Olmütz
Parents Joseph: Franz I, Holy Roman Emperor, Duke of Lorraine and Empress Maria-Theresia of Austria
Parents Maria Luisa: King Carlos III/VII of Spain and Napels & Sicily and Princess Maria-Amalia of Saxony
Siblings Leopold: Archduchess Maria Elisabeth; Archduchess Maria Anna and Archduchess Maria Karolina of Austria; Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor; Princess Maria Christina of Saxony, Duchess of Teschen; Archduchess Maria Elisabeth and Archduke Karl Joseph of Austria; Duchess Maria Amalia of Parma; Archduchess Maria Karoline; Archduchess Maria Johanna and Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria; Queen Maria Karoline of Napels and Sicily; Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este, Duke of Breisgau; Queen Maria Antonia (Marie-Antoinette) of France and Navarre and Archduke Maximilian Franz, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne
Siblings Maria Luisa: Princess Maria Isabel of Spain; Princess Maria Josepha of Spain; Princess Maria Isabel of Spain; Princess Maria Isabel of Spain; Prince Felipe of Spain, Duke of Calabria; King Carlos IV of Spain; Princess Maria Teresa and Princess Maria Ana of Spain, King Fernando IV of the Two Sicilies; Prince Gabriel, Prince Antonio and Prince Francisco of Spain
Leopold II (May 5, 1747 – March 1, 1792), born Peter Leopold Joseph, was the penultimate Holy Roman Emperor from 1790 to 1792 and Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was a son of Emperor Francis I and his wife, Empress Maria Theresa. Leopold was a moderate proponent of enlightened absolutism.
Leopold was born in Vienna, a third son, and was at first educated for the priesthood, but the theological studies to which he was forced to apply himself are believed to have influenced his mind in a way unfavourable to the Church. On the death of his elder brother Charles in 1761, it was decided that he should succeed to his father's grand duchy of Tuscany, which was erected into a "secundogeniture" or apanage for a second son. This settlement was the condition of his marriage on August 5, 1764 with Maria Louisa, daughter of Charles III of Spain and Maria Amalia of Saxony. On the death of his father Francis I (August 18, 1765), he succeeded to the grand duchy.
For five years, he exercised little more than nominal authority, under the supervision of counsellors appointed by his mother. In 1770, he made a journey to Vienna to secure the removal of this vexatious guardianship and returned to Florence with a free hand. During the twenty years which elapsed between his return to Florence and the death of his eldest brother Joseph II in 1790, he was employed in reforming the administration of his small state. The reformation was carried out by the removal of the ruinous restrictions on industry and personal freedom imposed by his predecessors of the house of Medici and left untouched during his father's life, by the introduction of a rational system of taxation, and by the execution of profitable public works, such as the drainage of the Val di Chiana. As he had no army to maintain, and as he suppressed the small naval force kept up by the Medici, the whole of his revenue was left free for the improvement of his state. Leopold was never popular with his Italian subjects. His disposition was cold and retiring. His habits were simple to the verge of sordidness, though he could display splendour on occasion, and he could not help offending those of his subjects who had profited by the abuses of the Medicean régime.
But his steady, consistent, and intelligent administration, which advanced step by step, brought the grand duchy to a high level of material prosperity. His ecclesiastical policy, which disturbed the deeply rooted convictions of his people and brought him into collision with the pope, was not successful. He was unable to secularize the property of the religious houses or to put the clergy entirely under the control of the lay power. However, his abolition of Capital Punishment was the first permanent abolition in modern times. On 30 November 1786, after having de facto blocked capital executions (the last was in 1769), Leopold promulgated the reform of the penal code that abolished the death penalty and ordered the destruction of all the instruments for capital execution in his land. In 2000 Tuscany's regional authorities instituted an annual holiday on 30 November to commemorate the event. The event is also commemorated on this day by 300 cities around the world celebrating the Cities for Life Day.
During the last few years of his rule in Tuscany, Leopold had begun to be frightened by the increasing disorders in the German and Hungarian dominions of his family, which were the direct result of his brother's headlong methods. He and Joseph II were tenderly attached to one another and met frequently both before and after the death of their mother. The portrait by Pompeo Batoni in which they appear together shows that they bore a strong personal resemblance to one another. But it may be said of Leopold, as of Fontenelle, that his heart was made of brains. He knew that he must succeed his childless eldest brother in Austria, and he was unwilling to inherit his unpopularity. When, therefore, in 1789 Joseph, who knew himself to be dying, asked him to come to Vienna and become co-regent, Leopold coldly evaded the request.
He was still in Florence when Joseph II died at Vienna on February 20, 1790, and he did not leave his Italian capital until March 3.
Read the entire wikipedia article here.
Maria Louisa (Spanish: Maria Luisa, German: Maria Ludovika) (24 November 1745–15 May 1792) was Empress consort to Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II.
Louisa was born in Portici, in Campania, the site of the summer palace of her parents, King Charles VII and Queen Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily. She was the fifth daughter, and second surviving child, of her parents. Her father became King of Spain as Charles III in 1759, and she moved with her family to Spain.
On 16 February 1764 she was married by proxy at Madrid to Archduke Peter Leopold, the second son of Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa, and the heir apparent to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The next year, on 5 August, she married him in person at Innsbruck. Only a few days later, the death of Emperor Francis made Maria Louisa's husband the new Grand Duke of Tuscany, and the newly married couple moved to Florence, where they would live for the next twenty-five years.
In 1790, on the death of Peter Leopold's childless brother, Joseph II, Maria Louisa's husband inherited the Habsburg lands in Central Europe, and was shortly thereafter elected Holy Roman Emperor. Taking the name of Leopold II, the new Emperor moved his family to Vienna, where Maria Louisa took on the role of imperial consort. Leopold died scarcely two years later, dying on 1 March 1792. Maria Louisa followed her husband to the grave in less than three months, not living long enough to see her eldest son Francis elected as the last Holy Roman Emperor.
Read the entire wikipedia article here.
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