Karl Marx

Kelsey Kroutch

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A Little Background

  • Born on May 5, 1818 to Heinrich and Henrietta Marx as one of nine children in Trier, Prussia
  • Upper class
  • Home schooled until the age of 12
  • Spent 5 years at the Jesuit high school in Trier before attending the University of Bonn in 1835
  • His father moved him to a stricter school, the University of Berlin, to study law and philosophy after being imprisoned for drinking, disturbing the peace, and fighting in just two semesters at Bonn.


  • Believed all historical change was caused by struggles within a class between the "haves" and the "have nots."
  • Capitalism: economic system in which businesses are privately owned by the "haves" (middle and upper class). They hold all economic and political power, and they own the land. The lower class, the "have nots," do not hold power, but instead provide the labor for the businesses. The upper class pays the people of the lower class for their work, but charge more for their goods in order to make a profit. Therefore, the rich get richer until they eventually are overthrown by the lower class, resulting in a communist society where businesses and property are shared.

  • Alienation:

- The worker is alienated from production (has no say in what is made or how to make it)

- The worker is alienated from the product of the activity (has no idea what happens to product after making it)

- The worker is alienated from other humans (competition and indifference replaces cooperation)

- The worker is alienated from the potential for creativity or community


Biography.com Editors. "Biography of Karl Marx." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.


Wiliam, Sydney Australia. "Karl Marx and His Theories." , Background, The Russian Revolution, SOSE: History Year 9, NSW. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2016. <http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-427_t-1083_c-4188/karl-marx-and-his-theories/nsw/karl-marx-and-his-theories/the-russian-revolution/background>.

Ollman, By Bertell. "A Bird's-Eye View." What Is Marxism? N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2016. <https://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/what_is_marxism.php>.