THE PROPHET OF REVOLUTION
Karl Marx was born in Trier, Prussia. His father was a Jewish lawyer who had converted the family to Christianity as a protection against increasing anti-Semitism. Karl was baptised but came to reject all religion as a means adopted by the state to control the masses. His university career in Berlin gave him a Doctorate in Philosophy and a life-long commitment to a radical reassessment of society.
HOUNDED BY AUTHORITY
From the earliest times, research and writing was a major part of Marx's strategy and his published ideas were a source of criticism and persecution which forced him to move from country to country and become reliant on the suppport, both moral and economic, of his dedicated friend, Friedrich Engels. In 1842, he became editor of "Rheinische Zeitung", a liberal newspaper in Cologne. His increasingly radical editorials resulted in its banning by the Prussian government. Marx and his bride, Jenny von Westphalen were forced to flee to Paris. Expelled, in turn, from Paris, he spent three years in Brussels. It was here that the first Communist League was formed and the "Communist Manifesto" was written. Outbreak of the 1848 revolutions encouraged him to return to Cologne and establish a new journal, the "Nueue Rheinische Zeitung" - a new journal, same response. It was suppressed and Marx was forced to seek refuge in London, where spent the rest of his life in exile.
CONDEMNED AS A REVOLUTIONARY
Although Marx was dedicated largely to research and writing, he became involved in a number of radical organisations, starting with the Young Hegelians at university. In Brussels in 1845, together with his long-term supporter and collaborator, Engels, he founded the Communist League. Between 1864 and its demise in 1872, Marx was an influential member of the "First International" (the International Workingmen's Association) formed as a result of his "Communist Manifesto". Marx vocally opposed the call by many for immediate and direct action in the form of political terrorism, believing that a revolution would only be successful in the right place at the right time. Still, in his lifetime, he achieved more noteriety as a revolutionary than recognition as a scholar.