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 Risorgimento). 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 In 1852 he repealed the constitution, and in 1859 he was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Ferdinand IV, who was deposed in 1860.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian History: Biographies