Karl Marx, the son of Hirschel and Henrietta Marx, was born in Trier, Germany, in 1818. Hirschel Marx was a lawyer and to escape anti-Semitism decided to abandon his Jewish faith when Karl was achild. Although the majority of people living in Trier were Catholics, Marx decided to become a Protestant. He also changed his name from Hirschel to Heinrich.
After schooling in Trier (1830-35), Marxentered Bonn University to study law. At university he spent much of his time socialising and running up large debts. His father was horrified when he discovered that Karl had been wounded in a duel.Heinrich Marx agreed to pay off his son's debts but insisted that he moved to the more sedate Berlin University.
The move to Berlin resulted in a change in Marx and for the next few years heworked hard at his studies. Marx came under the influence of one of his lecturers, Bruno Bauer, whose atheism and radical political opinions got him into trouble with the authorities. Bauer introducedMarx to the writings of G. W. F. Hegel, who had been the professor of philosophy at Berlin until his death in 1831 |
Marx was especially impressed by Hegel's theory that a thing or thought could not beseparated from its opposite. For example, the slave could not exist without the master, and vice versa. Hegel argued that unity would eventually be achieved by the equalising of all opposites, bymeans of the dialectic (logical progression) of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. This was Hegel's theory of the evolving process of history.
Heinrich Marx died in 1838. Marx now had to earn his ownliving and he decided to become a university lecturer. After completing his doctoral thesis at the University of Jena, Marx hoped that his mentor, Bruno Bauer, would help find him a teaching post.However, in 1842 Bauer was dismissed as a result of his outspoken atheism and was unable to help.
Marx now tried journalism but his radical political views meant that most editors were unwilling to...
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