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The Life and Thought of Karl Heinrich Marx Matthew P. Aldred ~ Hans-Peter Basic Spoken German Fall 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "The Life and Thought of Karl Heinrich Marx Matthew P. Aldred ~ Hans-Peter Basic Spoken German Fall 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Life and Thought of Karl Heinrich Marx Matthew P. Aldred ~ Hans-Peter Basic Spoken German Fall 2006

2 His Childhood Karl Marx was born on May 5 th 1818 in Trier, Germany. Karl Marx was born on May 5 th 1818 in Trier, Germany. He was raised in a middle class, working family. He was raised in a middle class, working family. His father, Hirschel, came from a long line of Jewish Rabbi’s. He converted to Catholicism early on in his life. His father, Hirschel, came from a long line of Jewish Rabbi’s. He converted to Catholicism early on in his life. Marx was an unruly child, known for making his sisters eat mud pies. Marx was an unruly child, known for making his sisters eat mud pies.

3 The College Years His first year of college was at the University of Bonn, where he spent much of his time reading, drinking, and studying law. His first year of college was at the University of Bonn, where he spent much of his time reading, drinking, and studying law. Afterwards, he transferred to the University of Berlin, where he discovered philosophy. Afterwards, he transferred to the University of Berlin, where he discovered philosophy. This newly discovered passion for philosophy would alter the course of the rest of his life. This newly discovered passion for philosophy would alter the course of the rest of his life.

4 The Start of His Activism After college, Marx sought out work in a German university, to no avail. After college, Marx sought out work in a German university, to no avail. His first job was as a journalist, for the Rheinische Zeitung (Rhineland Times). His first job was as a journalist, for the Rheinische Zeitung (Rhineland Times). He was so effective, he was promoted to editor in one year, and was very popular with his subordinates. He was so effective, he was promoted to editor in one year, and was very popular with his subordinates. He encouraged articles that attacked the local Prussian authorities, as well as the liberal opposition for their ineffectiveness against the government. He encouraged articles that attacked the local Prussian authorities, as well as the liberal opposition for their ineffectiveness against the government. Due to the anti-government leanings of his paper, it was shut down by the authorities in Due to the anti-government leanings of his paper, it was shut down by the authorities in 1843.

5 Marx’s Marriage Marx married his childhood sweetheart Jenny von Westphalen, shortly after the closing of the Rheinische Zeitung. Marx married his childhood sweetheart Jenny von Westphalen, shortly after the closing of the Rheinische Zeitung. Jenny came from a wealthy, politically connected family. Her family made it clear that she would be cut off if she married him. Jenny came from a wealthy, politically connected family. Her family made it clear that she would be cut off if she married him. Bored with her princess like life, she left everything behind and married Karl, a man who was almost penniless at the time. Bored with her princess like life, she left everything behind and married Karl, a man who was almost penniless at the time. Together they left Prussia and went to Paris, the revolutionary center of Europe. Together they left Prussia and went to Paris, the revolutionary center of Europe.

6 A Meeting of Like Minds In Paris, Marx got a job as the editor of the German French Yearbook. In Paris, Marx got a job as the editor of the German French Yearbook. It is here that he met a man that would grow into a lifelong friend and associate, Friedrich Engels. It is here that he met a man that would grow into a lifelong friend and associate, Friedrich Engels. Engels was a revolutionary, much like Marx. However, he was a successful businessman and only practiced these ideals on the surface, without fully embracing them. Engels was a revolutionary, much like Marx. However, he was a successful businessman and only practiced these ideals on the surface, without fully embracing them. Out of all of the friends that Marx had in his life, Engels was the only one with whom he never argued. Out of all of the friends that Marx had in his life, Engels was the only one with whom he never argued.

7 Origins of The Communist Manifesto Engels and Marx traveled to Brussels, to join the newly formed Communist League. Engels and Marx traveled to Brussels, to join the newly formed Communist League. Due to their combined journalistic experience, the league tasked them with writing a manifesto. Due to their combined journalistic experience, the league tasked them with writing a manifesto. Out of this arose Marx’s famous “Communist Manifesto” Out of this arose Marx’s famous “Communist Manifesto”

8 Purpose of the Communist Manifesto The Manifesto was a call to the working classes, to rise up and liberate themselves from the perceived chains of capitalism. The Manifesto was a call to the working classes, to rise up and liberate themselves from the perceived chains of capitalism. This would be achieved by replacing all private property with community property. This would be achieved by replacing all private property with community property. The manifesto established what the goals of the Communist league were, and what it was to become. The manifesto established what the goals of the Communist league were, and what it was to become.

9 The Key Manifesto Quote The Manifesto concludes with this important statement: The Manifesto concludes with this important statement: “Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!” “Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!”

10 A Final Trip to Germany Marx and Engels returned to Germany, where they took the helm of a resurfaced Rheinische Zeitung. Marx and Engels returned to Germany, where they took the helm of a resurfaced Rheinische Zeitung. The Prussian Assembly in Berlin was dissolved by Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm, who then shut down the paper again. The Prussian Assembly in Berlin was dissolved by Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm, who then shut down the paper again. This time, Marx was deported from Germany, never to return to his homeland again. This time, Marx was deported from Germany, never to return to his homeland again. He traveled with his family to England in August of 1949, where he would live out the rest of his life. He traveled with his family to England in August of 1949, where he would live out the rest of his life.

11 Marx’s Isolation Marx and Engels rejoined the Communist league, whose international headquarters were now in London. Marx and Engels rejoined the Communist league, whose international headquarters were now in London. Marx spent the next eleven years focusing on his studies and research in the reading room of the British Museum. Marx spent the next eleven years focusing on his studies and research in the reading room of the British Museum. At the end of this time, he released his first full book, “Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy.” At the end of this time, he released his first full book, “Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy.”

12 Other Written Works In addition to “Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy” and the “Communist Manifesto”, Marx’s book “Das Kapital” was released posthumously. In addition to “Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy” and the “Communist Manifesto”, Marx’s book “Das Kapital” was released posthumously. This was a three volume set that spanned over 1,000 pages per book. This was a three volume set that spanned over 1,000 pages per book. It was essentially inaccessible to the general public, being filled with passages like the following: It was essentially inaccessible to the general public, being filled with passages like the following: “The progress of accumulation lessens the relative magnitude of the variable part of capital, therefore, but this by no means excludes the possibility of a rise in its absolute magnitude.” “The progress of accumulation lessens the relative magnitude of the variable part of capital, therefore, but this by no means excludes the possibility of a rise in its absolute magnitude.”

13 His Final Years Karl Marx spent the remainder of his life working on his writing, and ideas, in London. Karl Marx spent the remainder of his life working on his writing, and ideas, in London. To his final day, he proclaimed “I am not a Marxist!” To his final day, he proclaimed “I am not a Marxist!” When he wasn’t working on his studies, he would take his family for picnics with leapfrog and other games. He was a playful, boisterous man. When he wasn’t working on his studies, he would take his family for picnics with leapfrog and other games. He was a playful, boisterous man. He always had the mind of a student, trying to improve himself and his thinking. He always had the mind of a student, trying to improve himself and his thinking. Karl Marx died, in 1883 at the age of 64. Karl Marx died, in 1883 at the age of 64. His lifelong friend, Engels gave his eulogy, in which he prophetically said: His lifelong friend, Engels gave his eulogy, in which he prophetically said: “His name and work will endure through the ages.” “His name and work will endure through the ages.”

14 References “Marx in 90 minutes” “Marx in 90 minutes” By Paul Strathern By Paul Strathern “Karl Marx: his life and thought” “Karl Marx: his life and thought” By David McLellan By David McLellan “The Communist manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels” “The Communist manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels” By Karl Marx By Karl Marx Internet Internet


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