KARL MARX was born in Trier, Prussia, on May 5, 1818, to an intellectual Jewish family. At seventeen he enrolled at the University of Bonn and a year later transferred to the University of Berlin where he became interested in the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel. In 1841, Marx obtained his doctorate in philosophy, having presented a thesis on post-Aristotelian Greek philosophy.
As a young graduate deeply involved in the radical Hegelian
movement, Marx found it difficult to secure a teaching post in the
autocratic environment of Prussian society. In 1842 he became
editor of the Cologne newspaper Rheinische Zeitung, but his
probing eco-nomic critiques prompted the government to close the
publication, whereupon Marx left for France. While in Paris, Marx
quickly became involved with emigre Ger-man workers and French
socialists, and soon he was persuaded to the communist point of
view. His first expression of these views oc-curred in the
Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, which remained
unpublished until 1930. It was during this brief initial stay in
France that Marx became associated with Friedrich Engels. For his
radical political activities, Marx was expelled from Paris toward
the end of 1844. He moved, with Engels, to Brussels, where he was
to remain for the next three years, except for occasional short
trips to England. Here Marx wrote the manuscript for The German
Ideology and the polemic The Poverty of Philosophy
against idealistic socialism. Marx later joined the Communist
League, a German workers group, for which he and Engels were to
become the primary spokespersons. In 1847 Marx and Engels were
asked to write a mani-festo for the league conference in London.
This resulted in the creation of the Communist Manifesto,
one of the most influential popular political documents ever
written. Its publication coincided with a wave of revolutions in
Europe in 1848. Marx returned to Paris in 1848 but soon after left
for Germany, where in Cologne he founded the Neue Rheinische
Zeitung, a radical newspaper that attacked Prussian rule. As
revolutionary fervor waned, the government suppressed his paper and
Marx fled to England in 1849. For the next thirty-four years Marx
remained in England ab-sorbed in his work. During this period he
composed The Class Struggles in France (1848), The
Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1948),
Grundrisse (1858), Theories of Surplus Value (1860),
Das Kapital (Vol. 1, 1867), and The Civil War in
France (1871). Karl Marx died in London on March 13, 1883.
FRIEDRICH ENGELS was born in Barmen, Prussia, on November 28, 1820.
His father was a very wealthy textile manufacturer who owned cotton
mills in both Germany and England. Engels met Karl Marx in Paris in
1844 and soon discovered that they shared similar socialist views.
During Marx's lifetime, the two collaborated on a great many
projects. After Marx's death, Engels completed the last two volumes
of Das Kapital and continued to defend Marxist views.
In addition to Engels's coauthorship of the Communist Manifesto, he produced a substantial amount of independent work: Conditions of the Working Class in England (1845), Anti-Duehring (1878), and The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884). Friedrich Engels died in London on August 5, 1895.