Karl Marx is often called the father of communism, but his life entailed so much more. He was a political economist, philosopher, and idea revolutionist. He was a scholar that believed that capitalism was going to undercut itself as he stated in the Communist Manifesto. While he was relatively ambiguous in his lifetime, his works had tremendous influence after his death. Some of the world’s most powerful and most populace countries follow his ideas to this day. Many of history’s most eventful times were persuaded by his thoughts. Karl Marx was one of the most influential persons in the history of the world, and a brief history of his life will show how he was able to attain many of his attitudes.
Karl Heinrich Marx was born in 1818 into a Jewish family in Prussia. His father converted to Christianity later in his when the authorities would not let him practice his Jewish customs. Marx was one of seven children. He was educated at home until age 13 and then went on to school. He went to the University of Bonn at age seventeen to learn in the field of law. At the university is when he first discovered his love for philosophy and literature, but his dad would not let him follow through with the subject. He wrote many poems during this time where he would refer to his father as a “deity.” Marx earned a doctorate in 1841 with a thesis titled The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature. As one can see, this may have been the foundation for his most famous works.
Marx had joined a group called the Young Hegelians. They consisted of a group of philosophers and journalists. Together, they often criticized both the faculty of their institutions and the leaders of the country. This had instilled a deep sense of critique within Marx.
In 1843, Marx arrived in Paris. This is where he would establish his most important friendship to Friedrich Engels. Engels came to meet Marx at a coffee shop to show Marx what would turn out to be perhaps Engels' greatest work, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. Paris at this time was the home and headquarters to armies of German, British, Polish, and Italian revolutionaries. Also in 1843, Marx married to Jenny von Westphalen after a long secret engagement. In 1845, the King of Prussia had ordered Marx and many others to leave the country after they had put out papers approving of the King’s assassination. Engels and Marx moved to Belgium.
Marx devoted himself to an intensive study of history and elaborated on his idea of historical materialism. He traced the history of the various modes of production and predicted the collapse of the present one—industrial capitalism—and its replacement by communism. Next, Marx wrote The Poverty of Philosophy in1847, a response to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's The Philosophy of Poverty and a critique of French socialist thought. These works laid the foundation for Marx and Engels' most famous work, The Communist Manifesto. Later...