born Feb. 2, 1807, Paris
died Dec. 31, 1874, Fontenay-aux-Roses, Fr.
French politician. A lawyer, he first became known as a radical opponent to the accession (1830) of Louis Philippe and the defender of the journalists. He was elected (1841) to the chamber of deputies and was very active in the banquet campaign, which led to the February Revolution of 1848. He became minister of the interior in the provisional government formed by Alphonse de Lamartine. Largely because of his pressure, universal suffrage was adopted in the elections to the Constituent Assembly. Ledru-Rollin, supported by Lamartine, was included (May, 1848) in the executive commission that replaced the provisional government, although many conservative republicans opposed him for favoring moderate social reform. After the June Days the executive commission was dissolved. Ledru-Rollin was a candidate for president in the election of Dec., 1848, but was defeated by Louis Napoleon (later Napoleon III). In June, 1849, his attempted insurrection against the government of Louis Napoleon failed - he actually headed a provisional government for two hours - and he fled to England. During his long exile, he wrote numerous revolutionary pamphlets. At the fall of the Second Empire, he returned to France and was elected (1874) to the chamber of deputies. Ledru-Rollin was a powerful speaker. His speeches and pamphlets were collected in his Discours politiques et écrits divers (1879).