Leopold I, emperor of Germany, born June 9, 1640, died in Vienna, May 5,1705. He was the fourth son of the emperor Ferdinand III., of the house of Hapsburg, and of Maria Anna of Spain, and was educated for the church, when the death of his brothers made him heir to the throne of his father. Previous to the death of the latter in 1657, Leopold had been crowned king of Hungary; but the possession of this country could be secured only by decisive victories over the Turks, who held a large part of it, and also regarded themselves as the suzerains of Transylvania. The war having been renewed, Montecuculi won the great battle of St. Gothard on the Raab, Aug. 1, 1664; but this was followed by a peace which the Hungarian partisans of the emperor regarded as ignominious. This and many other grievances led to a conspiracy headed by Peter Zrinyi, Frangepan, and other Hungarian magnates, which being discovered was punished by the execution of the principal leaders at Neustadt near Vienna (1671). This was followed by the great insurrection under Tokolyi, and in 1683 by the Turkish invasion of Austria under Kara Mustapha. Leopold fled from Vienna, but John Sobieski's great victory saved his capital and thrones.
Sobieski, Louis of Baden, and afterward Prince Eugene, continued the work of deliverance from the Turks. Buda was retaken after a memorable siege in 1686, and the victories at Zalankemen (1691) and Zenta (1697) led to the peace of Carlovitz (1699), which also secured the possession of Transylvania. But neither the wholesale executions of Hungarian patriots by the so-called " bloody tribunal" of Caraffa at Eperies, nor the acquiescence of the diet of Presburg in the proposition to make the male line of the Hapsburgs hereditary in Hungary (1687), could make peace permanent in that long distracted country; and Leopold, who also had to wage three times protracted wars against Louis XIV., the first two of which were terminated by the treaties of Nimeguen (1678) and Ryswick (1697), bequeathed to his eldest son and successor Joseph I. not only the war of the Spanish succession, commenced in 1701, but also the great Hungarian insurrection under Francis Rakoczy. Both of these, though the battle of Blenheim (1704) had inaugurated before his death the series of Marlborough's and Eugene's victories over the French, were brought to a close only under his younger son Charles VI. In the German empire the long reign of Leopold witnessed the growing power of the house of Brandenburg under Frederick William, the great elector, whose son assumed the royal title under the name of Frederick I. in 1701. The house of Hapsburg, however, consolidated itself under Leopold, who became the heir of the Tyrol line of the family.
Leopold I (Georges Chretien Frederic), king of the Belgians, born in Coburg, Dec. 1G, 1790, died at Laeken, near Brussels, Dec. 10, 1865. He was a son of Duke Francis of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, received a brilliant education, entered the military service of Russia, and in 1808 accompanied the emperor Alexander I. to Erfurt with the rank of general. Compelled by the influence of Napoleon in 1810 to relinquish his position in the army of the czar, he devoted himself to the interests of Saxe-Coburg. In February, 1813, he rejoined the emperor Alexander, and took an active part in the battles of Lutzen, Bautzen, and Leipsic. In 1814 he accompanied the allied sovereigns to England, where he made the acquaintance of the princess Charlotte, whom he married, May 2, 1816; she died in November, 1817, after having been delivered of a still-born child. On occasion of this marriage Leopold was raised to the rank of a British field marshal, became a member of the privy council, was created duke of Kendal, and a pension of £50,000 was conferred upon him. After the death of his wife he resided at London, and chiefly in his palace of Claremont. Early in 1830 the crown of Greece was offered to him, which he finally refused, after having accepted it upon conditions which were not complied with.
In June, 1831, he was elected king of the Belgians, and ascended the throne on July 21. In 1832 he married the accomplished daughter of Louis Philippe, the princess Louise, who died Oct. 11, 1850. She bore him three children: 1, Leopold, who succeeded his father as king of the Belgians; 2, Philippe, count of Flanders and lieutenant general of the army, born March 24, 1837; 3, Marie Charlotte, born June 7, 1840, married on July 27, 1857, to the archduke Maximilian of Austria, afterward emperor of Mexico. (See Maximilian.) Although his private fortune was much impaired by the sequestration of his second wife's property, included in Louis Napoleon's confiscation of the Orleans estates in 1852, he was one of the richest men in Europe, and wa3 thought parsimonious. He passed most of his time during the latter years of his life in retirement with his family at his country seat of Laeken, or upon his extensive domain of Ar-denne near Dinant, and was opposed to all pomp or ostentation at his court. - King Leopold displayed much ability in the discharge of his duties as a constitutional sovereign in the domestic affairs of Belgium, as well as in the relations with foreign countries.
On the outbreak of the French revolution of 1848 he offered to retire if such was the wish of the people, which had the effect of increasing his popularity. He also showed much tact in his relations with the French emperor, while his conciliatory disposition and his comprehensive statesmanship, as well as his family connections with most of the European dynasties, enabled him on several occasions to act as mediator in times of political complication. His relation with the English court was peculiarly intimate, owing to his first marriage with Princess Charlotte, and his relationship with Prince Albert and Victoria, of whom he was the uncle, her mother the duchess of Kent being his sister.
Leopold I, prince of Anhalt-Dessau (popularly known as the old Dessauer), a German soldier, born in Dessau, June 3, 1676, died there, April 7, 1747. On the death of his father, John George II., in 1693, he succeeded him as commander of a Prussian regiment; and having participated in the capture of Na-mur by William III. of Orange (1695), he was made major general. On attaining his majority in 1698 he assumed the rule of his principality, and soon afterward married, despite his mother's objections, a druggist's daughter, who bore him nine children, and who was elevated by the emperor Leopold I. to an equal rank with her husband. In his administration he endeared himself to the masses of the people, notwithstanding his bluffness and domineering disposition; but he was exacting toward the rich, and imposed heavy taxes upon landed proprietors and upon Jews. His military genius was displayed in many battles in 1702, and especially on Sept. 20, 1703, in his masterly retreat at Hochstadt, and in the celebrated battle of Aug. 13, 1704, near the same town, known in English history as that of Blenheim; and to him alone belongs the merit of compelling the surrender of the strong fortress of Landau. In 1705-'7 he won new laurels under Prince Eugene, particularly during the hot contests at the bridge of Cassano in 1705, in the lines of Turin, which was captured in 1706, and in the assault on Toulon and the taking of Susa in 1707. In 1709 he was with the Prussian crown prince, the future king Frederick William I., at the battle of Malpla-quet. Soon afterward he was placed, at Prince Eugene's request, in command of the Prussian subsidiary troops, and took several French towns, cooperating with Marlborough in 1711 at Arras in defeating the French general Villains. At the end of the following year he became general field marshal and privy councillor of war.
After the death of Frederick I. (1713) his influence increased under the new king Frederick William I. as the foremost authority in military affairs. He invented the iron ramrod and the equal step; and Carlyle calls him the inventor of modern military tactics, who drilled the Prussian infantry to be the wonder of the world. In 1715, during the warfare with Charles XII. of Sweden relative to Pomerania, he was commander-inchief of a considerable army, and effected a landing and successfully intrenched himself on the island of Rugen, ending the contest by driving the Swedish king from Stralsund (Dec. 15) and by the conquest of that stronghold. In 1725 he fought a bloodless duel with Gen. Grimkow, a partisan of England and the Hanover treaty; and Grimkow was for a time in the ascendant in the king's favor. During the detention of the crown prince at Kus-trin in 1730-'31 Leopold befriended him, and assisted him in his military studies. Immediately after the death of Frederick William I. (1740) Leopold had an interview with Frederick II., expressing a hope that he would have the same authority as in the late reign.
The king replied that he would not deprive him of his functions, but as to authority he said with flashing eyes: " I know of none there can be but what resides in the king that is sovereign." The army of 70,000 men, however, which he found at the opening of his reign, had been raised to its high state of efficiency through Leopold's exertions. Though the latter incurred Frederick's displeasure by disapproving of the campaign of 1741 against Austrian Silesia, early in April he formed a camp of 36,000 men to be ready both against Saxony and Hanover; and in the beginning of 1742 he reenforced the king with 20,000 men, joining him together with his son at Chrudim (April 17), and received a preference over General Schwerin as commander at Troppau, but incurred another sharp rebuke by not strictly following his sovereign's orders. In the winter of 1744-'5 he succeeded Frederick as commander-in-chief of the Silesian army, defeated the Austrians at Neustadt and near Ja-gerndorf, repelling their invasion of Silesia, and returning at the end of February to Berlin to receive the thanks of the king and to mourn over his wife, who had died Feb. 7. In March he was again called upon to operate against Saxony; and after forming his memorable camp at Dieskau he ended the war and at the same time his military career by the decisive battle of Kesselsdorf, Dec. 15, 1745, which was followed by the capture and the peace of Dresden. - His son and successor, Leopold II. Maximilian, a gallant warrior, died Dec. 16, 1751; and his other sons Moritz and Dietrich, the former likewise a soldier to the last, died respectively in 1760 and 1769. See the life of Leopold I. by Varnhagen von Ense in Biogra-phische Denkmale (5 vols., Berlin, 1824-'30; new ed., 1874).