ABSTRACT

Karl Marx was born in Trier in 1818 of Jewish parents. He initially studied law at the University of Bonn but after a year decided to study philosophy at the University of Berlin, where he became involved with a radical group known as the Young Hegelians. At this time he intended pursuing an academic career in philosophy, but this ambition was frustrated and in turning away from academia, Marx began writing and editing a newspaper, the Rheinische Zeitung. This period proved particularly important in his intellectual development: he began to realise that writing on current affairs required a deep understanding of subjects such as economics, politics, philosophy and history and in his capacity as an editor he also experienced much state censorship which did much to push Marx further to the left in his political views. For a few years he lived in different countries, often incurring the displeasure of the authorities with his increasingly radical writings.