15Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818 to Heinrich and Henrietta Marx in the historical city of Trier. Karl was one of seven children raised within a comfortable middle class home provided by his father. Marx’s father worked as a counselor-at-law at the High-Court of Appeal in Trier. David McClellan believes that, “Trier first imbued Marx with his abiding passion for history.”1 Although the Marx family was linked to a long lineage of Jewish ancestry, Heinrich converted his family to Protestantism in order to keep his position at the courthouse. “Some have considered this rabbinic ancestry to be the key to Marx’s ideas and see him as a secularized version of an Old Testament prophet.”2 Overall, Marx was raised in a very loving, supportive, environment, and maintained a special relationship with his father throughout his life.3
In 1830, Marx began school at the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium, a Jesuit foundation that had become a respectable high school with a liberal headmaster. While in high school, Marx was known as a bully and acted more as a leader to the students than as a close friend. His marks were less than average in history related subjects, French, and mathematics. Marx, however, did earn excellent marks in Greek, Latin, and German.4
In 1835, Marx graduated from high school and fell in love with Jenny von Westphalen the daughter of a powerful politician. The couple was secretly engaged in the summer of 1836, but, because of their conflicting ancestries, their families would not allow the wedding to commence for seven years.5
After the couples engagement, Marx was enrolled into the University of Bonn on October 17,1835 as a stud...
... middle of paper ...
... beyond him to change the world.
1 David McClellan, Karl Marx: The Legacy (London: British Broadcasting Corporation,
2 McClellan, 12.
3 Top Biography “Karl Marx: Ancestry and Birth” August 2000,
<http://www.top-biography.com/0062-Karl%20Marx/index.htm> (March 2002).
4 Eugene Kamenka, The Portable Karl Marx (The Viking Portable Library 1983), xiv.
5 Kamenka, xv.
6 Maximilien Rubel and Margaret Manale, Marx Without Myth (New York: Harper & Row
Publishers, 1975), 12.
7 Top Biography 2.
8 Kamenka, xvi.
9 Kamenka, xvii.
10 McClellan, 20.
11 McClellan, 26.
12 Rubel and Manale, 85.
13 Kamenka, xix.
14 Karl Marx. <http://www.philosophypages.com/ph/marx.htm>
15 Marx/Engels Image Library
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