He was president of the Nassau Chamber of Deputies from 1859 to 1866, and as the leader of the Liberals advocated German unity and industrial freedom. He was one of the founders of the Volkswirtschaftlicher Kongress (“Congress of German Economists”), and was elected its permanent president in 1859. He edited this publication until 1887.
As a deputy in the Reichstag, he was successively identified with the National Liberal, Secessionist, and German Liberal parties.
He published a great variety of works, among which Bilder aus der deutschen Kleinstaaterei (“Vignettes from the times of the small German principalities,” 1881) is the most notable.
In 1863 he established the Vierteljahrschrift für Volkswirtschaft und Kulturgeschichte (“Quarterly for Political Economy and History”) , the representative organ of the Free-Trade Party of Germany .