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Leopold II

*1747 (Vienna, Austria), †1792 (Vienna, Austria)

King of Bohemia, a member of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty; son of Maria Theresa, and brother to Joseph II. After the death of Joseph II in 1790, Leopold took over the rule of the Austrian Empire, which was in an extremely precarious state. Unlike his brother, he introduced his liberal reform programme gradually and methodically in order to avoid provoking resistance; he was also able to simplify and normalize international relations. He returned the Bohemian crown jewels to Prague and, unlike his brother, was crowned King of Bohemia (1791). His premature death was a severe loss for the Austrian monarchy.

 

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