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Karl Marx

Karl Marx

German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818–1883) — German philosopher, public figure, economist, writer, political journalist. Author of the fundamental scientific work “Capital. Critique of Political Economy. Karl Marx, whose biography is full of interesting facts and events, went down in history as the ideologist of socialism and the founder of Marxism.

Childhood and youth

Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818 in the city of Trier (Kingdom of Prussia) into a Jewish family. All of Marx's ancestors were rabbis, and only his father changed the tradition: by adopting Protestantism, he built a successful career as a lawyer and became a very rich man.

There were four children in the family, and Karl, as the only son, was the favorite of his parents. Until the age of twelve, he studied at home, and then entered the Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium. It was especially easy for Karl to study languages ​​and mathematics.

After graduating from high school in 1835, Marx entered the University of Bonn, and a year later he transferred to the University of Berlin, where he studied history, jurisprudence, philosophy and art history. During this period, carried away by the philosophy of Hegel, he began to form his own attitude towards the revolution.

Socio-political activity

Having brilliantly defended his dissertation "The difference between the natural philosophy of Democritus and the natural philosophy of Epicurus" at the University of Jena, in 1841 Karl Marx received a Ph.D.

Marx got a job as a journalist and editor of the reactionary newspaper Rheinische Zeitung (Reinische Zeitung). In his articles, he openly called for the revolutionary overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a democratic system. As a result, the newspaper was closed, and Marx and his family were forced to move to Paris.In the biography of Karl Marx, it is briefly worth mentioning the German politician Friedrich Engels. In the autumn of 1842, the fateful acquaintance of the two philosophers took place, which grew into a strong friendship and long-term cooperation.

Marx was able to quickly make acquaintances with representatives of revolutionary-minded groups, he actively interacted with the workers' organizations of the French and émigrés. The stormy activity of Marx invariably attracted attention, and he had to change his place of residence more than once. As a result, in 1849 the public figure settled in London.

London emigration

Moving to London proved to be a difficult test for the Marx family. The financial situation of the forced emigrants was difficult, and they survived only due to the regular support from Engels and Marx's odd jobs from writing newspaper articles.

In the 1850s, Marx began systematic work on the development of the basic ideas of his own economic theory. He spent days in the library of the British Museum, carefully studying political economy, law, social philosophy, and many other disciplines.

The result of such painstaking work was "Capital" - the most important work of Karl Marx on political economy, containing a critical analysis of capitalism. The first volume was published in 1867. The second and third volumes were published after Marx's death.

Personal life

While still a student, Marx met Jenny von Westphalen, the first beauty of the city of Trier. For the sake of love for Karl, the girl agreed to a secret betrothal, since her aristocratic family was categorically against marriage to an aspiring philosopher of Jewish origin.

As a result, the lovers got married in 1843. Their marriage proved to be extremely strong and durable. Jenny turned out to be a faithful friend and comrade-in-arms who helped her husband in every possible way. Seven children were born in the family, but only three daughters managed to survive.

In 1878 Jenny died of cancer. This loss broke Karl Marx, who fell seriously ill and died on March 14, 1883 at the age of 64.


May 5, 1818
Karl Marx was born in Kreisfreie Stadt Trier.


Further Resources


Biography of Karl Marx


May 5, 2018

Karl Marx Editors


November 9, 2009

Karl Marx



November 11, 2014


Adrian Daub
September 24, 2020
the Guardian
Audio and video cassettes and floppy discs. Photograph: Prostock-Studio/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Anjan Basu
March 14, 2020
In its time, Marxs life hardly looked like the watershed in the history of the modern world it has proved to be since his death, writes Anjan Basu
Alexis Papazoglou
August 27, 2019
Opinion: Tech giants must stop hiring philosophers as pawns, and allow them to make sense of the world tech is molding.
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