The Life and Work of Karl Marx in His Biography

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Biography is form of literature. It is usually considered nonfictional. It is the life story of an individual written by other person(s). Biography contains the all the events happening in one’s life. This paper contains the biography of the famous sociologist, Karl Marx. Everything related to Karl Marx, for example, childhood, family members, institutions, reason for fame, workplace, is written in the paper. Karl Marx is mainly known for Marxist view. This paper contains all the happenings of his life including his work.

Karl Marx was a socialist, economist, philosopher and historian. His full name was Karl Heinreich Marx. He was born in Trier, Prussia, on May 5, 1818. Karl Marx was the child of Heinrich Marx and Henriette Pressburg. His father was a lawyer, who could fairly provide his family a middle-class lifestyle. He had 5 sisters and 3 brothers. Karl Marx married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Together they had 7 children. Only three of them survived to adulthood. His children were: Jenny Caroline, Jenny Laura, Edgar, Henry Edward Guy, Jenny Eveline Frances, Jenny Julia Eleanor and one died before naming in 1857. His daughters were named Jenny, paying respect to their mother. There are accusations that Marx had an illegitimate son named Freddy with his housekeeper, Helene Demuth.

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Because of being Jewish, Heinrich Marx was prohibited from practicing law. So he converted to Lutheranism in 1817. Karl Marx was baptized in the same church at the age of six in 1824. He attended a Lutheran primary school. But he became an atheist and agnostic later, denying both the Christian and Jewish religions. He graduated in 1835 from the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium in Trier. Later he learned other languages, like Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Scandinavian, Russian and English. Though he could master English language excellently, he always had his heavy German accent while speaking. In October 1835, Marx entered Bonn University in Bonn, Germany to attend courses in law. But he was more curious about philosophy and law. Because of the condition known as “weak chest”, he was excused from military at the age of 18. After spending a year in Bonn, Marx was under a great loan. All these caused because of his lots of partying and BIOGRAPHY OF KARL MARX drinking. Getting disappointed, his father got him out of there and got him enrolled in the University of Berlin. He received his doctorate in Philosophy from there in 1941. Thus he finished his education.

Karl Marx contributed his life in explaining the society. He wrote about economics and politics. He used to think that there is always a conflict in different parts of society. This theory of him is known as “Conflict Perspective” in Sociology. His famous book is Communist Manifesto where he wrote about the ideas and aims of communism. His mostly known work is Das Capital, which is known as Capital in English. He spent lots of time working for the three parts of the book. It explains the mechanism of capitalism and the problems that are created because of capitalism. His popular theory was “materialism”. He believed that there is no God and religion is created by humans. He also wrote Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. His main interest was in politics, economics, class struggle and alienation.

He was made stateless and was dislodged from France in 1845 at the incitement of Prussian Government. Then he lived in Brussels from 1845-1848, in Cologne from 1848-1849, then he moved to London and lived there for the rest of his life. There are many famous quotes of Karl Marx. Some of them are: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. “The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people”. “Democracy is the road to Socialism”. “The history of all previous societies has been the history of class struggle”. “Religion is the opium of the masses”.

Karl Marx’s famous idea was Marxist Terminology, where he discussed the political and economic philosophy. In this work, his associate was Freidrich Engels. Engels and Marx had a long chat in a popular café in Paris. Of that chat, Engels said, “Our complete agreement in all theoretical fields became obvious… and our joint work dates from that time” (McLellan, 1973:131). Marx rejected the abstractness of the Hegelian philosophy. He also bumped into the two sets of new ideas-French socialism and English political economy. Here he mixed Hegelianism, socialism and political economy which built his creative direction.

After the death of his wife, Marx suffered from acute rhinitis, because of which he used to get ill for the last 15 months of his life. It gradually turned into bronchitis and pleurisy that ended his life on 14 march, 1883 at the age of 64. He was buried in the Highgate Cemetery in London on 17 march, 1883 by his friends and family. The area was allotted for agnostics and atheists. Marx and his family were reburied on an adjacent place in November 1954.

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