Analysis of Karl Marx and Communism

Essay by YaanA+, April 2006

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Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the city of Trier in

Prussia, now, Germany. He was one of seven children of Jewish

Parents. His father was fairly liberal, taking part in demonstrations

for a constitution for Prussia and reading such authors as Voltaire

and Kant, known for their social commentary. His mother, Henrietta,

was originally from Holland and never became a German at heart, not

even learning to speak the language properly. Shortly before Karl

Marx was born, his father converted the family to the Evangelical

Established Church, Karl being baptized at the age of six.

Marx attended high school in his home town (1830-1835) where several

teachers and pupils were under suspicion of harboring liberal ideals.

Marx himself seemed to be a devoted Christian with a "longing for

self-sacrifice on behalf of humanity." In October of 1835, he started

attendance at the University of Bonn, enrolling in

non-socialistic-related classes like Greek and Roman mythology and the

history of art.

During this time, he spent a day in jail for being

"drunk and disorderly-the only imprisonment he suffered" in the

course of his life. The student culture at Bonn included, as a major

part, being politically rebellious and Marx was involved, presiding

over the Tavern Club and joining a club for poets that included some

politically active students. However, he left Bonn after a year and

enrolled at the University of Berlin to study law and philosophy.

Marx's experience in Berlin was crucial to his introduction to Hegel's

philosophy and to his "adherence to the Young Hegelians." Hegel's

philosophy was crucial to the development of his own ideas and

theories. Upon his first introduction to Hegel's beliefs, Marx felt a

repugnance and wrote his father that when he felt sick, it was

partially "from intense vexation...