History of Civilization II
ESSAY #1: Communist Manifesto
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Dr. Natalie Molineaux
14 October 2011
In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels came together in a secret society, the “Communist League”, and constructed Communist Manifesto. These men were known as the founders of modern socialism and communism and furthermore their ideas later became known as “Marxism”, which greatly influenced the further development of their social ideas throughout the nineteenth century. The construction of the Communist Manifesto came about during the Industrial Revolution which was causing radical and rapid changes throughout all society. Through this outline of Marx and Engels theories on class struggles and revolutionary roles of proletariats, they were hoping to spread the act of communism and show all the pros that came along with communism. Karl Marx’s famous quote, “History is economics in action”, is all but summed up in his merciless criticism throughout the Communist Manifesto.
The Manifesto begins by addressing the issue of class antagonism. Marx writes, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles."(Manifest 1). Throughout history we see the oppressor and oppressed in constant battle with each other. This fight is sometimes hidden among other constant struggles and other times it is open and very easy to see. However, each time these fights end in either a revolutionary reconstruction of society as it was or in the classes' both being ruined. Marx starts the Manifesto off with discussing how bad capitalism is and trying to prove to the readers how it’s doing nothing but destroying society as we know it. In earlier ages, we saw society arranged into complicated class structures such as in medieval times there were feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices and serfs (Manifesto 1). Modern bourgeois society came about from the ruins of feudal society. This society has...
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