Karl-Marx Context

May 19th, 2015
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Karl Marx was born in 1818 in the ancient city of Trier, in western Germany (then Prussia). Marx’s father was a prosperous lawyer, a Jew who converted to Lutheranism to advance his career at a time when unbaptized Jews did not have full rights of citizenship. Marx studied law at the University of Bonn and later at Berlin, where he switched to studying philosophy.

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Karl MarxContextKarl Marx was born in 1818 in the ancient city of Trier, in western Germany (then Prussia). Marxs father was a prosperous lawyer, a Jew who converted to Lutheranism to advance his career at a time when unbaptized Jews did not have full rights of citizenship. Marx studied law at the University of Bonn and later at Berlin, where he switched to studying philosophy. He moved again to the University of Jena, where he wrote a doctoral dissertation on ancient Greek natural philosophy. Following the death of his father in 1838, Marx attempted to find a job as lecturer but ran into difficulties because of controversies surrounding his teacher and mentor Bruno Bauer (18091882), who had lost his professorship due to his unrepentant atheism. Marx decided instead to try journalism and became editor of the Rhenish Gazette, a liberal newspaper in Cologne but the paper ran afoul of government censors and closed in 1843. Marx then married Jenny von Westphalen, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, and moved to the more politically hospitable atmosphere of France. There he encountered another German migr, Friedrich Engels, with whom he took up an interest in economics and class struggle.One of Marxs most important intellectual influences was the philosophy of George Friedrich Hegel (17701831). Hegels signature concept was that of the dialectic, a word that originally referred to the process of logical argumentation and refutation. Whereas earlier phi

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