Of the causes which originated the ruin of Italy, the primary and most influential were the ambitious contentions of the Popes and the Emperors, and the partition of the Peninsula into numerous petty and independent jurisdictions. The contests which had so frequently armed the Italian Republics against each other, though fatal to that unity by which alone Italy could become a powerful nation, had still an energizing influence on the people; and during their civil broils, the domestic virtues and the love of country remained unchanged and conspicuous. On the death of the Emperor Francis, his second son, the Archduke Leopold, in 1765, became Grand Duke of Tuscany. It is commonly observed, that the Revolution had been effected in Florence from the time of Leopold; and that the Tuscans had little to gain by the changes proposed to them by the French.