Marx and Engels on Social Classes Essay

Marx and Engels on Social Classes Essay

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The changes which arose by way of the Industrial Revolution had a significant and long-term impact on the economy, the political arena, and society. Because of all the negative changes caused by industrialization and urbanization the Europeans wanted and needed answers on how to deal with these changes. Society was now divided into different classes the upper-middle class (wealthy) and the lower class (working), “Although reform organizations grew rapidly in the 1830s and 1840s, many Europeans found them insufficient to answer the questions raised by industrialization and urbanization” (Hunt 703). The rich was getting richer at the expense of the workers and with the issues and concerns building “New ideologies such as liberalism and socialism offered competing answers to these questions and provided the platform for new political movements” (Hunt 703). The communist wanted the working class to rise, the division of different classes to go away as well as private property, so they wrote a manifesto, The Communist Manifesto (1848) a collaboration between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels “laid out many of the central principles that would guide Marxist revolution in the future: they insisted that all history is shaped by class struggle” (Hunt 708).
The nineteenth century saw the rise of three new ideologies, the newest ideology socialism wanted to reorganize society to create a harmonious, cooperative and prosperous life during a time when the industrial revolution created a large divide in classes (Hunt 706-707). “Out of the churning of socialist ideas of the 1840s emerged two men whose collaboration would change the definition of socialism and remake it into an ideology that would shake the world for the next 150 years” (Hun...

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...ion they knew something had to change and the communist believed the manifesto would change the world. “In the manifesto for the Communist League, they laid out many of the central principles that would guide Marxist revolution in the future: they insisted that all history is shaped by class struggle and that in future revolutions the working class would overthrow the bourgeoisie, or middle class, and replace capitalism and private property with a communist state in which all property is collectively rather than individually owned. As this selection shows, Marx and Engels always placed more emphasis on class struggle than on the state that would result from the ensuing revolution” (Hunt 708).

Hunt, Lynn, R. Thomas Martin, H. Barbara Rosenwein, and G. Bonnie Smith. 01/2012. Making of the West, Vol II: Since 1500, 4th Edition. Bedford/St. Martin's.

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