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...