Uladislaus II (ōˌläˈdĭslous) [key], Hung. Ulászló II, c.1456–1516, king of Hungary (1490–1516) and, as Ladislaus II, king of Bohemia (1471–1516); son of Casimir IV of Poland. Designated by George of Podebrad as his successor, he was elected to the Bohemian throne. Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, invaded his territories and in 1478 acquired Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia from him. In Bohemia, Uladislaus openly favored the Roman Church against the Hussites. His weak rule enabled the nobles to pass laws in the diets of 1487 and 1497 that made the peasants virtual serfs. On the death of Matthias Corvinus (1490), the Hungarian magnates elected Uladislaus king in preference to Maximilian of Hapsburg (later Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I). In Hungary the nobles also exploited the king's weakness, abolishing the reforms of Matthias Corvinus and worsening the lot of the peasants. When Cardinal Bakocz issued the call for a crusade against the Ottomans, the peasants revolted and were cruelly repressed by John Zapolya (later John I). In 1515, Uladislaus concluded with Maximilian I a treaty that eventually brought Hungary and Bohemia under Hapsburg rule—his daughter Anna was promised to Archduke Ferdinand (later Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I); his son and successor, Louis II, was to marry Ferdinand's sister, Mary; if Louis died childless (as he did), Hungary and Bohemia were to pass to the Hapsburgs.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.