T. Matthew Allison


Karl Marx was born May 5, 1818 to a middle class family in Trier, Germany. His father was a lawyer and converted from Judaism to Lutheranism. Marx was educated at Bonn, where he first studied law, but changed his field of concentration when he went to Berlin, earning his Ph.D. at Jena in 1841. In 1842, Marx became the editor of Rheinsische Zeitung, which he used as a forum to call for radical reforms. It was soon suppressed by the government after multiple attempts to censor Marx. Later in 1843, Marx moved to Paris where he met Friederich Engels and their collaboration began.

For the era, Marx and Engels firmly believed in socialism. While in Paris, he studied the political economy and the history of the French Revolution. His radical views got him expelled from Paris in 1845. He moved to Brussels, where he started yet another newspaper that was quickly shut-down by the government and was forced to move again after teh February Revolution. By this time, however, a revolution had taken place in France and the French provisional government extended an invitation to return to Paris. Marx accepted, but was again expelled in 1849.

He moved to Cologne in 1849, where he founded yet another newspaper, Neue Rheinische Zeitung. As with the others, this one was shut down by the government as well. Being expelled once more, Marx moves to London where he suffered poverty and illness, which was slightly eleviated by a pension that Engels gave him in 1869.

Before his death in 1883, Marx contributed many works in philosophy, economics, and political science including:

The German Ideology

The Communist Manifesto

A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy


The Civil War in France


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