Her earliest political activities in her student days were connected with the Socialist movement in the country of her birth, but about 1895 she migrated to Germany.
After the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 he was elected to the Constituent Assembly, and in 1849 to the Legislative Assembly, but his speeches on behalf of the extreme socialist wing were of so abstract and mystical a character that they had no effect.
From this time his relations with the government were less friendly, and in 1878 he brought about the rejection of the first Socialist Bill.
He attached himself to the "possibilist" group of the socialist party, the section opposed to the root-and-branch measures of Jules Guesde.
He was chief of the Socialist left, which then mustered sixty members, and edited until 1896 their organ in the press, La Petite Republique.