Carl Schurz participated in the German revolutionary activities of 1848. He joined a failed attempt to seize the arsenal at Siegburg and was forced to flee to the Palatine, also in Germany, where he joined the revolutionary forces there. He quickly became a wanted man by German authorities; rather than face charges of treason, he fled to France. He did return long enough to liberate one of the leaders but was forced to take refuge again in France and also England. Schurz came to the United States in 1852 and began a long career in American politics and government. He eventually became a U.S. senator, fought in the Civil War on the side of the Union, and served as secretary of the interior. He also worked with German groups, encouraging them to fight in the Civil War and become active in politics. Most scholars believe that Schurz was the most prominent German American in the nineteenth century.