Nineteenth Century Philosophy


Who was Friedrich Engels?

Friedrich Engels (1820–1895) founded Marxism with Karl Marx (1818–1883). In addition to The Communist Manifesto (1848), they collaborated on The Holy Family (1844) and The German Ideology (1845). Engels’ The Condition of the Working Class in England (1844) described the suffering in the lives of workers at that time. Engels also published Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880) and Anti-Düring (1878). In The Dialectics of Nature (1883) Engels related historical materialism to natural science and claimed that there were universal laws of nature and thought.

Engels’ greatest contribution was a presentation of Marx’s ideas in more accessible and popular formats and terms. Engels’ father was a textile manufacturer, and the young Engels worked at his mill in Manchester, eventually owning it. Engels helped Marx financially throughout his life and also supported his children after Marx died. He edited Marx’s Das Kapital after Marx’s death.

Along with Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels established the ideals of communism (Art Archive).

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