Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Life of Karl Marx (1 of 4)

At the mere mention of communism or Karl Marx, people have a negative opinion.  As I went about my research of Karl Marx, I found that Marx not only made contributions to philosophy but the fields of economics and sociology as well.  Here is a great short video from the Biography Channel that pinpoints some of Karl Marx’s achievements and contributions.

Karl Marx

Karl Heinrich Marx was born May 5, 1818 in Trier, Germany.  Marx’s father was a rabbi but his family had to convert to Protestantism in order to avoid persecution.  Fleeing persecution was to become a common theme in Karl Marx’s life.  Marx attended the University of Bonn when he was seventeen to study law.  While he was there Marx met and became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen.   

After studying at Bonn for a few years, Marx moved to the University of Berlin.  While there, Marx studied G.W.F Hegel and was influenced by his work.  Marx eventually received his Doctorate degree.

Friedrich Engels
After earning his degree, Marx had a hard time finding people willing to publish his writings because of his radical political views.  Marx had to move from city to city to avoid persecution because of these radical views.

When Marx moved to Cologne, he learned about the struggles that the German working class was having.  This experience would serve as an influence to some of Marx’s most famous works.

Karl Marx eventually had moved to Paris to, once again, avoid persecution (told you it was a reoccurring theme).  While in Paris, Marx met Friedrich Engels.  Engels would become a life long friend to Marx and would co author several of Marx’s works.  Paris is a significant location in Karl Marx’s life because this is where he became communist.

When Marx and Engels moved to Brussels, the pair was appointed to write The Communist Manifesto.  This work was published in 1848.  This book inspired many revolutionaries throughout Europe.  Marx was again forced to leave Brussels.  Marx, Engels and Marx’s family moved to London, which would be Marx’s final home.

In London, Marx lived with his wife and three children.  The couple would have two more children but only three in all would live to see adulthood.  The Marx family lived in an underprivileged environment.  Marx made money from some publications but the family mostly lived off of money given to them by Engels.

Headstone in Highgate Cemetery
Karl Marx wrote another one of his famous works, Das Kapital in 1857.

Several years later both Marx and his wife, Jenny, became very ill.  Eventually Karl Marx died on March 4, 1883.  Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetery located in England.

I got most of my Karl Marx information from here, here, and our Little History of Philosophy textbook by Nigel Warburton.

By: Lauren Williams Section 9 Group 3


1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Lauren. Looking forward to your next installment.