Gottfried Ludolf Camphausen

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Ludolf Camphausen

Gottfried Ludolf Camphausen (1803 in Geilenkirchen - 1890 in Cologne) In 1848, Ludolf Camphausen stepped suddenly from his banker's desk at Cologne to the presidential chair of the Ministry of State at Berlin, being called by King Frederick William IV. to succeed Count Arnim-Boitzenburg as prime minister, on 29 March. Ludolf availed himself largely of his younger brother's (Otto) splendid business talents, and the two might, indeed, have succeeded at the time in tiding over this most critical epoch in the constitutional history of the land, had they not had to encounter the deep insincerity of the monarch on the one side, and the (very excusable) profound distrust of the Radical and Progressist majority of the Assembly on the other side.

Both Ludolf and Otto Camphausen were moderate Liberals — too honestly Liberal to suit the views of the king and of the reactionary feudalist clique around him, and too honestly Conservative for the impatience of the men of progress. Less than three short months sufficed to convince Ludolf Camphausen of this fact, and already on 20 June he tendered his resignation to the king.

One month after, at the end of July, 1848, Ludolf Camphausen was sent as Prussian representative to the Frankfurt Parliament. Here he remained till April, 1849, when he finally resigned, and went back to his banking business at Cologne, a wiser and sadder man, thoroughly disenchanted of the alluring illusions of power and office.


  • G. L. M. Strauss, Men Who Have Made the New German Empire, Vol. II, London: Tinsley Brothers, 1875, pp. 289–290.