This essay has a total of 1979 words and 11 pages.
Karl Marx was the greatest thinker and philosopher of his time. His views on life and the social structure of his time revolutionized the way in
which people think. He created an opportunity for the lower class to rise
Above the aristocrats and failed due to the creation of the middle class.
Despite this failure, he was still a great political leader and set the
Basis of Communism in Russia. His life contributed to the way people think
Today, and because of him people are more open to suggestion and are
Quicker to create ideas on political issues.
Karl Heinrich Marx was born May 5th, 1818 in Trier. Although he
had three other siblings, all sisters, he was the favorite child to his
father, Heinrich. His mother, a Dutch Jewess named Henrietta Pressburg,
had no interest in Karl's intellectual side during his life. His father
was a Jewish lawyer, and before his death in 1838, converted his family to
Christianity to preserve his job with the Prussian state. When Heinrich's
mother died, he no longer felt he had an obligation to his religion, thus
helping him in the decision in turning to Christianity.
Karl's childhood was a happy and carefree one. His parents had a
good relationship and it help set Karl in the right direction." His
'Splendid natural gifts' awakened in his father the hope that they would
One day be used in the service of humanity, whilst his mother declared him
to be a child of fortune in whose hands everything would go well. (The
story of his life, Mehring, page 2)
In High school, Karl stood out among the crowd. When asked to write a report on "How to choose a profession" he took a different approach. He took the angle in which most interested him, by saying that there was no
way to choose a profession, but because of circumstances one is placed in
an occupation. A person with an aristocratic background is more likely to
have a higher role in society as apposed to someone from a much poorer
While at Bonn at the age of eighteen he got engaged to Jenny Von
Westphalen, daughter of the upperclassmen Ludwig Von Westphalen. She was the childhood friend of Marx's oldest sister, Sophie. The engagement was a secret one, meaning they got engaged without asking permission of Jenny's parents. Heinrich Marx was uneasy about this but before long the consent was given.
Karl's school life other than his marks is unknown. He never spoke
of his friends as a youth, and no one has ever came to speak of him
through his life. He left high school in August of 1835 to go on to the
University of Bonn in the fall of the same year to study law. His father
wanted him to be a lawyer much like himself but when Karl's reckless
university life was getting in the way after a year Heinrich transferred
him to Berlin. Also, he did not go to most lectures, and showed little
interest in what was to be learned. Karl's reckless ways were not
tolerated at Berlin, a more conservative college without the mischievous
ways of the other universities.
While at Berlin, Marx became part of the group known as the Yong
Hegelians. The group was organized in part due to the philosophy teacher
Hegel that taught from 1818 to his death. The teachings of Hegel shaped
the way the school thought towards most things. Those who studied Hegel
and his ideals were known as the Young Hegelians. Hegel spoke of the
development and evolution of the mind and of ideas. Although Karl was
younger than most in the group, he was recognized for his intellectual
ability and became the focus of the group. While at Berlin "He came to
believe that all the various sciences and philosophies were part of one
overarching, which, when completed, which would give a true and total
picture of the universe and man." (Communist Manifesto, Marx (Francis B.
Randal), page 15) Marx was an atheist, and believed that science and
philosophy would prove everything. Thus he had no belief in a god of any
type. Marx believed that Hegel must have been an atheist as well because
of his strong belief in the mind.
Marx's doctoral thesis was competed in 1841. It carried the title
"The Difference Between the Philosophies of Nature of Democrtius and
Epicurus."(The Making of Marx's Critical Theory, Oakley, page 11) It had
to do with the Greek philosopher Epicurus and how his beliefs related to
Marxs' of that day. This thesis was an early indication of the thinking
behind Karl Marx. Much of his later work and ideas are evident in this
He passed his thesis into the University of Jena because Bonn and
Berlin required an oral part to the thesis. The quickness was also a
matter in this. He passed it in early April, and got his degree in history
and philosophy in April 15, 1841.
After graduation, he was unable to find work. This caused him to take a job with the German newspaper Rheinische Zeitung in early 1842. By the end of the year, Marx made editor-in-chief. A few months after that in 1843
because of his radical writings, and his social views, Marx was forced to
step down as editor, and soon after that the paper closed altogether.
He married Jenny von Westphalen, and with a member of the Young
Hegelians, Arnold Ruge went to Paris to publish a radical journal on his
beliefs. It was evident in his works that he was a revolutionary that
advocated criticism of everything in existence. This was especially
anticipated by the proletariat. The proletariat were the working class of
the day. They were the poor and made up the majority of people. Marx went
on to believe that the proletariat would rise up against the bourgeoisie.
Then in 1844 Marx met a man that would change his life forever.
When going to England after doing military service, he meet Marx in
Cologne in the offices of the Rheinische Zeitung. Both of them had gone
through the German philosophic school and whilst abroad they came to the
same conclusions but while Marx arrived at an understanding of the
struggles and the demands of the age basis of the French Revolution,
Engles did so on the basis of English industry. (The Story of
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