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Friedrich Engels Essay

1366 words - 5 pages

Friedrich Engels

During the time of the industrial era, there were many people upset over the manner in which the nations were being run. They were upset with the idea of capitol gain and how it was affecting people’s actions. They saw this era causing people to exploit each other with the intent of monetary gain. Those that were already part of the higher ranking class, the richer, would see reason to force the lower class, the working man, to spend his life in the new factories. He would be bullied into risking life and limb at the monstrous machines while hardly earning a penny. The working man suffered because the richer man owned the factory and consumed all the profits himself. Some men, however, saw a solution as well as the problem. They thought that if the power could be taken out of the hands of the strong and power hungry, then the working class would realize the rights they had all along. The constant struggle for power would be eliminated and so society would become better. Two of these men were Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx had received all the recognition while Engels has been shunted off the pages of history. He did, however, still have an impact on the development of communism.

Friedrich Engels was born on November 28, 1820 in Barmen, Germany. Engels began to learn the family business rather early, being the oldest son of an auspicious industrialist.1 Engels studied commerce and worked for his father as an office clerk from 1837 to 1841. But this was not his only focus. He also tried his hand at poetry as did his future friend Marx. Like Marx, his attempts did not gain him any recognition in the literary world. By his eighteenth year he had sworn off poetry all together. This was due to Goethe's two essays "For Young Poets" in which he stated "it was not difficult for anyone to express himself felicitously in rhythm and rhyme.." From this Engels realized that it was he that could be described by this advice. He noted that his rhyming was most likely not going to result in anything worth while in the world of poetry.2

After he had fallen away from the idea of poetry, he immersed himself in nothing but the classics. He combed through works of such authors as Siegfried, Faust, Octavian, and Böhme. Engels reveled in the new spirit of the literature which dated from the July revolution, which he claimed was "the finest expression of the will of the people since the wars for independence.3" Even as he enjoyed his newfound love of the classics, he moved to Bremen in 1838 to serve in the army for a year. But because he had studied commerce and worked for his father as an office clerk, he was able to move to Manchester to work with his father after his service. Manchester at the time was one of the most industrialized cities in the world. It was in this city that his father owned a cotton mill. This new work and habitat affected Engels and his view of industrialism. He looked around at the...

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