German deputy and political economist; born in Mayence July 22, 1823; died in Berlin March 14, 1899. He studied law in 1842-45 at the universities of Giessen, Heidelberg, and Göttingen; and during the following two years he was attorney at law in his native city. He became involved in the revolutionary movement of 1848, being at that time editor of the "Mainzer Zeitung"; enlisted in the ranks of the volunteers; and took an active part in the insurrection of the Lower Palatinate in 1849. When, with the assistance of Prussia, the rising was quelled, Bamberger, among others, was sentenced to imprisonment by the tribunals of Mayence, and condemned to death by the Bavarian authorities. He fled to Switzerland, and thence went in succession to England, Belgium, and Holland, earning a living mainly by work for different commercial houses; and, finally, took up his abode in Paris, where he became manager of the large banking firm of Bischoffsheim & Goldschmidt in 1853. He remained in this position until the general amnesty granted to political offenders in 1866. Bamberger thereupon returned to Mayence, and, two years later, was elected to the newly established Parliament of the Zollverein.
At the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war the reputation of Bamberger as a talented and successful writer on political and economic subjects, his well-known sympathies for the so-called "Deutsch-National Liberalen," and his exceptional familiarity with existing conditions in France induced Prince Bismarck, in August, 1870, to entrust to him the management of a considerable part of the politicalcampaign waged in the interests of his national policy. In 1871 Bamberger was elected to the first German Reichstag, and from 1873 represented in it the electoral district of Alzey-Bingen; at the beginning of his parliamentary career faithfully clinging to the National Liberal party, of which he became a leader. He exercised great influence on financial and economic legislation, especially in giving support to the maintenance of a gold standard. He was an enthusiastic champion of free trade, and president of the association, which he founded, for the promotion of that ideal. Loud in his denunciations of the professorial socialists, "Katheder Socialisten," he at the same time courageously assailed the protection policy which was inaugurated by Bismarck in 1879 for the purpose of accomplishing the economic unification of Germany. Thus brought into opposition with the majority of the National Liberal party, Bamberger resolved to break away from it, and in 1880, with a number of political followers, formed the so-called "secessional faction," afterward named "Liberale Vereinigung." To justify his course, he published (anonymously) a pamphlet entitled "Secession," which passed through four editions within a year (Berlin, 1881). After the fusion of the secessional faction with the German Liberal party in 1884, Bamberger became identified with the latter, and bitterly opposed Bismarck's administration, especially at the time when the government recklessly plunged into a colonial policy. Upon the disintegration of the German Liberal party in 1893, Bamberger attached himself to that faction known as the "Deutschfreisinnige Vereinigung." This was his last parliamentary record, as he failed to be elected to the next Reichstag.
Among his numerous contributions to political and national-economic literature may be mentioned: "Die Flitterwochen der Pressfreiheit," Mayence, 1848; "Erlebnisse aus der Pfälzischen Erhebung," an interesting and instructive tale of the author's experiences during the insurrection of the Palatinate, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1849; "Juchhe nach Italia" (anonymous), Bern, 1859—in which the author exhorts the Germans to take sides with Italy in her struggle with Austria, and thus accomplish the unification of Germany by the exclusion of Austria; "Adam Lux," in the "Revue Moderne," 1866; "Monsieur de Bismarck," Paris, 1868 (in the same year a German edition appeared in Breslau, and one in English in 1869); "Vertrauliche Briefe aus dem Zollparlament," Breslau, 1870; "Zur Naturgeschichte des Französischen Krieges," Leipsic, 1871; "Die Aufhebung der Indirecten Gemeinde-Abgaben in Belgien, Holland, und Frankreich," Berlin, 1871; "Die Fünf Milliarden," ib. 1873; "Zur Deutschen Münzgesetzgebung," ib. 1873; "Die Arbeiterfrage Unter dem Gesichtspunkte des Vereinsrechts, Stuttgart, 1873 (an attack on socialist professors, which evoked a reply from Brentano under the title, "Die Wissenschaftliche Leistung der Herrn Ludwig Bamberger," Berlin, 1873; "Die Zettelbank vor dem Reichstag," two editions, Leipsic, 1874; "Reichsgold: Studien über Währung und Wechsel," three editions, Leipsic, 1876; "Deutschland und der Socialismus," two editions, ib. 1878; "Deutschland und Judenthum," two editions, ib. 1880; "Die Verschleppung der Deutschen Münz-Reform," Cologne, 1880; "Die Schicksale des Lateinischen Münzbundes"; "Ein Beitrag zur Währungspolitik," Berlin, 1885; "Die Socialistische Gefahr: Ein Nachwort zu den Verhandlungen des Reichstags vom März und April d. J.," Minden, 1886; "National," Berlin, 1888; "Die Nachfolge Bismarcks," ib. 1889; "Zum Jahrestag der Entlassung Bismarcks," ib. 1891; "Silber," three editions, Berlin, 1892; "Die Stichworte der Silberleute," five editions, ib. 1893.
He contributed, moreover, to the "Deutsche Rundschau," the "Allgemeine Zeitung," "Unsere Zeit," "Die Gegenwart," "Die Tribüne," etc. During his last years he was engaged in collecting his works, of which a complete edition appeared in Berlin, in five volumes (1895-97). Among his contributions to the weekly, "Die Nation," the following have appeared in book form under separate titles: "Wandlungen und Wanderungen in der Sozialpolitik," Berlin, 1898; "Bismarck Posthumus," being discourses on Bismarck's "Gedanken und Erinnerungen," ib. 1899.
- For autobiographical information consult Erinnerungen von Ludwig Bamberger, ed. by Paul Nathan, published by Georg Reimer, Berlin, 1899;
- Brockhaus, Konversations-Lexikon, 14th ed.;
- Meyer, Konversations-Lexikon, 5th ed.;
- A. de Gubernatis, Dictionnaire International des Ecrivains du Jour, Florence, 1888-91;
- G. Vapereau, Dictionnaire Universel des Contemporains, Paris, 1893;
- see also La Grande Encyclopédie;
- Dr. Hermann Oncken, Ludwig Bamberger, a sketch of his life in the Preussische Jahrbücher, ed. by Hans Delbrück, vol. 100, Berlin, 1900.