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,
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 opposed to
someone from a much poorer background. 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 Marx's of that day. This thesis was an early indication
of the thinking behind Karl Marx. Much