Karl Heinrich Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the city of Trier in Prussia, now, Germany. He was the second of eight 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 hometown from 1830 to 1835, where several teachers and pupils were under suspicion of having 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 classes such as Greek and Roman mythology and the history of art.
During this time, he spent a day in jail for being drunk and disorderly. This was the only imprisonment he suffered in the course of his life. The student culture at Bonn included 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 Marx's own ideas and theories. The Hegelian doctrines exerted considerable pressure in the revolutionary student culture that Marx was immersed in and Marx eventually joined a society called the...