The New Student's Reference Work/Lassalle, Ferdinand
Lassalle (lä′sȧl′), Ferdinand, the originator of the social democratic movement in Germany, was born on April 11, 1825, at Breslau, of Jewish extraction. He attended the Universities of Breslau and Berlin, afterwards going to Paris, where he met Heine. Returning to Berlin in 1846, he took part in the revolution of 1848 as supporter of a democratic republic, and spent six months in prison. In 1861 he published a legal work on the philosophy of law, called System of Acquired Rights. In 1862 his lecture on the working class called particular attention to his views, and in 1863 his Open Letter to a committee of workingmen at Leipsic still more clearly expounded his theories of a social democracy. His success encouraged him to found the Universal German Workingmen's association at Leipsic. He was mortally wounded in a duel, and died at Geneva on Aug. 31, 1864. See W. H. Dawson's German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle and George Meredith's Tragic Comedians.