AUTHOR: Friedrich Engels, (1820-1895), was a German communist philosopher and son of a prominent textile manufacturer. Throughout his adolescence Engels was very defiant, rebelling against his father’s extremely religious and conservative ways. In 1834 he met Dr. Clausen, a German literature and history teacher at his school. Engels’ love for writing began during his time learning in Dr. Clausen’s class. He began writing articles, Letters from Wuppertal, in a Hamburg newspaper using an alias to obscure his identity from his strict father. Many of his compositions were based on his negativity towards his father’s religion, Pietism, which was a regenerated version of Lutheranism and focused on more dedication to the faith. Others were centered on the barbaric ways he felt people were being treated.
Although Engels’ desire was to study law at a university, his father insisted he work at one of the family businesses. In 1842 Engels went on to work in one of his father’s cotton mills in Manchester, England and fell in love with Mary Burns, an Irish factory worker. He became more aware of the environment that textile workers were being subjected to. He despised the appalling conditions of the factories as well as the worker’s homes. Throughout his life Engels felt that common laborers were poorly treated, and his love for Burns only fueled his bias against society. This bias is noticeably portrayed in Condition of the Working Class in England, published in 1844, which he is best known for today. In this book Engels described, in great lengths, the atmosphere in which the factory employees lived.
Before completing his book, Engels visited Karl Marx, a former editor for the German newspaper Rheinische Zeitung. Engels had met Marx back in 1842 when he wrote exposés for the newspaper about blue-collared working and living arrangements. The two men became close friends during this visit in Paris, sharing their beliefs on socialism. As their friendship deepened, they went on to publish several books including The Communist Manifesto, a manual on socialism, which Engels is also acknowledged for today. He also edited two volumes of Marx’s Das Kapital, regarding the detrimental effects of inadequate behavior from entrepreneurs towards their employees.
SUMMARY: Industrial Manchester is an excerpt from Friedrich Engels’ Condition of the Working Class in England, published in 1844. In the passage Engels described the city of Manchester and the people living in it. He revealed the separation of classes between people, stating that laborer’s communities were completely isolated from their employer’s neighborhoods.
According to Engels working-class people lived in homes that were no longer suitable for the middle-class citizens. These well off individuals went on to build fancy homes for themselves, leaving behind poorly structured and filthy houses for their employees. Homes looked and smelled nauseating and were not healthy for any...