Lindsey German


Frederick Engels: life of a revolutionary

(Part 1)


Frederick Engels came from a privileged family but devoted his life to struggling for the poor and oppressed. He was a man of action but spent much of his time developing theoretical ideas. He worked in a job he hated to enable Karl Marx to concentrate on his studies which produced the three volumes of Capital. These were the two dominant features of Engels’ life: his 50 year long commitment to revolutionary socialism and to working class struggle, and his equally strong personal commitment to Karl Marx, who he sustained politically, financially and with a deep friendship for 40 years until the relationship was broken by Marx’s death in 1883.

Engels had no doubts on either count. He wrote to his mother in 1871, when he was criticised for supporting the first workers’ government, the Paris Commune:

You know my views have not changed for nearly 30 years, and it cannot have come as a surprise to you that, when events compelled me, I should not only maintain them but also do my duty in other ways. You would have reason to be ashamed of me if I did not do so. If Marx was not here, if he did not exist at all, it would make no difference to that. [1]

Commenting on his political and intellectual relationship with Marx, he wrote elsewhere that he was doing what he “was meant for, to play second fiddle.” [2] Yet Engels was much more than a “second fiddle”. He was an independent revolutionary thinker, who was already in the process of writing one of his finest books by the time he began his close friendship with Marx in 1844. He combined an original mind with an enthusiasm for revolution and struggle which never left him.



Early life

Frederick was born in Barmen (now Wuppertal) in the Ruhr region of Germany on 28 November 1820. He was the eldest in the family of a mill owner. The young Engels’ politics, atheism and activity were a constant source of worry to, and disagreement with, his father. His home life was comfortable and middle class, but he grew up in what was effectively becoming a factory district, since the adjoining town of Elberfeld was experiencing its own industrial revolution, with the creation of a growing working class. So, as his biographer Gustav Mayer has put it, Engels knew from childhood the real nature of the factory system. [3]

The defeat of Napoleon in 1815 led to the dominance of Prussian and Austrian reaction in central Europe during Engels’ youth. By the time he was politically conscious, that had begun to change. The revolution of July 1830 in France, which established a constitutional monarchy, gave hope to liberals in Germany. There were the beginnings of movements against the old tyranny. Germany at the time comprised a number of sometimes tiny states with varying levels of economic and political development dominated by Prussia which was by far the most important. Many of the movements, particularly in the south German states, were directed at Prussian autocracy.

Engels was a supporter of these movements and ideas. He was also an enthusiastic proponent of liberal German nationalism from a young age. He was sent to work in the port of Bremen and did his military national service for a year in Berlin where he mixed with others of similar views. He wrote on literature and political issues under the name of Friedrich Oswald, and discovered a proficiency in languages.

He was attracted first to the Young Germany movement, whose literature and ideas expressed the youthful hopes of a new generation who were trying to find the liberty they had read about in the French Revolution of 1789 and its much paler shadow, the revolution of 1830. The importance of philosophy in German intellectual life meant that these ideas often expressed themselves in philosophical terms. The Germans talked about what others did, as Marx put it, comparing the Germans unfavourably with the English and French who had made their bourgeois revolutions in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively. He saw the predominance of philosophical thought in Germany as a sign of the country’s economic backwardness.

Engels and Marx were themselves products of this intellectual environment and therefore first developed an interest in philosophy. They were attracted to the ideas of the philosopher Hegel, the impact of whose teachings was revolutionary, since they stressed that the universe is in a constant process of development and change. This led many of his followers to believe that the struggle against existing institutions, for example the Prussian state and the monarchy, was an inevitable part of social development. Engels joined the Young Hegelians, and later became influenced by the ideas of communism, to which he was already attracted by the early 1840s.

So the young Frederick Engels had already developed left wing ideas when he was despatched to England at the end of 1842 to work in the family firm of Ermen and Engels, manufacturers of sewing thread in Manchester. His experience in England helped to create in Engels an understanding that the working class had the potential to put his communist ideas into practice. He arrived in England only weeks after the Chartist general strike of 1842 which, despite its eventual failure, had demonstrated the potential power of the workers. The strike’s centre was in Manchester and the surrounding areas of Lancashire and Cheshire, the areas of textile production. England was by far the most advanced industrial economy in the world, having been the scene of the Industrial Revolution. It was already leading the world in the production of cotton, coal and iron. Its working class was also the most advanced in the world, organised through the Chartist movement.

Engels was horrified at the poverty and misery that he saw in Manchester. The city had grown up around the cotton industry and was a mass of filthy slums. Infant mortality, epidemic diseases and overcrowding were all facts of life. Up to a quarter of the city’s population were immigrant Irish, driven there by even worse conditions in their own country. Poverty had existed in the old towns and rural areas – as it had done in Germany – but the growth of the big cities exacerbated and accentuated these conditions. The attitude of the capitalist class was brutal. Engels describes how:

I once went into Manchester with such a bourgeois, and spoke to him of the bad, unwholesome method of building, the frightful condition of the working people’s quarters, and asserted that I had never seen so ill-built a city. The man listened quietly to the end, and said at the corner where we parted: “And yet there is a great deal of money made here: good morning, sir.” [4]

The effect of Manchester on the young man was electrifying. He came into contact with the Chartists and, in 1843, visited the Leeds office of the Chartist newspaper, the Northern Star. One of their leaders, George Julian Harney, much later recorded this impression of Engels at that meeting: “a slender young man with a look of almost immaturity, who spoke remarkably pure English, and said he was keenly interested in the Chartist movement”. Harney went on to say that Engels was as modest and retiring 50 years later as he was when a young man of 22 years old. [5]

Engels travelled round, spoke to workers and studied official statistics to produce his remarkable first book, The Condition of the Working Class in England. It documents not only how people lived, but also explains how this state of affairs could be – and needed to be – changed. Even today the book is cited by those quite hostile to Engels’ politics for its accurate and sympathetic descriptions of working class life. However, the book is much more than reportage of the terrible conditions in which workers lived. Woven into it is the political analysis of capitalism which Marx and Engels later developed but which even at this stage was central to the book’s analysis. Engels starts by looking at how the Industrial Revolution transformed the old ways of working to such an extent that it created a whole class of wage labourers, the proletariat. The introduction of machinery into the production of textiles, coal and iron turned the British economy into the most dynamic in the world, creating a mass of communications networks – iron bridges, railways, canals – which in turn led to more industrial development.

The new working class soon accounted for the mass of the population, as capitalist methods of manufacturing destroyed many of the old artisan or middle classes, turning the bulk of them or their children into workers. The needs of manufacturing industry led to the building of factories and mills and, moreover, “population becomes centralised just as capital does.” [6] Industrial towns then developed into the great cities that Engels observed when he first visited England. He describes in great detail the condition of life in these cities, using a variety of contemporary press reports, official investigations and even diagrams of the back-to-back houses which formed the early Manchester slums. Nothing escapes Engels’ eye, not even the workers’ diet:

The better paid workers, especially those in whose families every member is able to earn something, have good food as long as this state of things lasts; meat daily and bacon and cheese for supper. Where wages are less, meat is used only two or three times a week, and the proportion of bread and potatoes increases. Descending gradually, we find the animal food reduced to a small piece of bacon cut up with the potatoes; lower still, even this disappears, and there remain only bread, cheese, porridge and potatoes, until on the lowest round of the ladder, among the Irish, potatoes form the sole food ... But all this pre-supposes that the workman has work When he has none. he is wholly at the mercy of accident, and eats what is given him, what he can beg or steal. And, if he gets nothing, he simply starves. [7]

At the heart of the misery Engels describes is the very nature of the capitalist system. The competition between capitalists leads them to pay their workers as little as possible, while trying to squeeze more and more work from them: “If a manufacturer can force the nine hands to work an extra hour daily for the same wages by threatening to discharge them at a time when the demand for hands is not very great, he discharges the tenth and saves so much wages.” [8] This leads in turn to competition between workers for jobs, and to the creation of a pool of unemployed who can be pulled into the workforce when business is booming, and laid off again when it is slack. The existence of this reserve of unskilled and unemployed workers – especially among the immigrant Irish in the cities of the 1840s – holds down the level of wages and conditions for all workers.

The effects of this system are brutal. Engels describes the ill health and low life expectancy of workers compared with the bourgeoisie, the increasing tendency to suicide, the very widespread drunkenness and “sexual licence” – “the bourgeoisie has left the working class only these two pleasures” [9] – and the very obvious class divisions, so that “the working class has gradually become a race wholly apart from the English bourgeoisie ... the workers speak other dialects, have other thoughts and ideals, other customs and moral principles, a different religion and other politics than those of the bourgeoisie”. [10]

Perhaps the most devastating aspect of this new society for Engels was that, far from resulting in increased prosperity for the workers, the development of capitalism had the inevitable result of producing great wealth for some and increased misery for many. Machinery which should have made lives easier in fact replaced jobs and drove down wages. To pay for their investment the capitalists introduced night working. Workers thrown out of work by the spread of machinery were reduced to selling oranges or shoelaces on the streets, or simply to begging for food. The factory owning class was castigated by Engels: “I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded within, so incapable of progress, as the English bourgeoisie... It knows no bliss save that of rapid gain, no pain save that of losing gold.” [11] The mass of beggars created by the system had at all costs to be hidden from view, and the bourgeoisie devised one of the most hated institutions ever just a few years before Engels visited Britain – the workhouse, into which poor, sick and destitute members of the working class were forced.

Yet the working class fought back in Britain in the 1830s and 1840s, through the great Chartist movement and in a whole number of skirmishes with the employers where they attempted to defend their living and working conditions. This movement helped Engels understand that as well as capitalism creating competition between workers it also led them to combine to organise against the employers. The attempts to form single unified unions and to withdraw their labour, which was the only weapon they possessed, was warmly applauded by Engels: “As schools of war, the unions are unexcelled.” [12] He concluded the book enthusiastically:

The war of the poor against the rich now carried on in detail and indirectly will become direct and universal. It is too late for a peaceful solution ... soon a slight impulse will suffice to set the avalanche in motion. Then, indeed, will the war-cry resound through the land: “War to the palaces, peace to the cottages!” – but then it will be too late for the rich to beware. [13]

Engels dedicated the book to “the working classes of Great Britain” and it marked the start of his lifelong commitment to the working class as the agent of revolutionary change. [14] Writing towards the end of his life, Engels explained the importance of this in the development of his thought:

While I was in Manchester, it was tangibly brought home to me that the economic facts, which have so far played no role or only a contemptible one in the writing of history, are, at least in the modern world, a decisive historical force; that they form the basis of the origination of the present-day class antagonisms; that these class antagonisms, in the countries where they have become fully developed, thanks to large-scale industry, hence especially in England, are in their turn the basis of the formation of political parties and of party struggles, and thus of all political history. [15]

On his way from Manchester in the summer of 1844, Engels stopped off in Paris, where he met Marx, and they embarked on their lifelong collaboration. The two had met briefly two years previously, but now they found they had a great deal in common politically, and that each could bring something to the relationship. Engels’ biographer Gustav Mayer has summarised it like this:

Marx ... first showed him that politics and history are explicable only in terms of social relations – the principle which became the lever of their whole conception of history ... Marx gave Engels both the final proof of his assumption that communism was the continuation and completion of German philosophical thought, and a convincing solution of the apparently irreconcilable conflict between mind and mass ... Engels ... taught him the technique he needed for the study of economic facts. Engels helped him to know the living realities: and Engels was the right man to do this, since he had personal acquaintance with industry, commerce, and capital, and had been in personal contact with the modern proletariat. [16]

If anything this underestimates Engels’ abilities and influence on Marx at the time. He had a much surer grasp of economics than Marx but also had a background in philosophy and communist politics which was comparable to that of Marx. In addition he had direct experience of the first mass workers’ movement. As Franz Mehring wrote about the two men’s early influences on one another:

The twenty-one months Engels then spent in England had the same significance for him as the year spent in Paris had for Marx. Both of them had gone through the German philosophic school and whilst abroad they came to the same conclusions, but while Marx arrived at an understanding of the struggles and the demands of the age on the basis of the French Revolution, Engels did so on the basis of English industry. [17]

Mehring also commented that, despite Engels’ modest denials, with regard to economics “the fact remains that in the beginning it was Engels who gave and Marx who received on that field on which in the last resort the decisive struggle must be fought out.” [18]

Engels went briefly back home to Barmen after this meeting. The town was buzzing with communist ideas – “in Barmen the police inspector is a communist”, wrote Engels to Marx – and in early 1845 a communist meeting attracted 200, such was the level of discontent among even the factory owners and the middle classes. [19] But Engels never settled in Barmen. He railed against the place, against his bourgeois father and at having to work in the family firm:

Barmen is too beastly, the waste of time is too beastly and most beastly of all is the fact of being, not only a bourgeois, but actually a manufacturer, a bourgeois who actively takes sides against the proletariat. A few days in my old man’s factory have sufficed to bring me face to face with this beastliness, which I had rather overlooked. [20]

His father was in turn horrified at his son’s communism and by his illegal political activities in this small town in which Engels senior was such a respected citizen. Close interest from the police led Frederick to beat a retreat to Brussels, where Marx was already living. He moved in next door and “never again did they work in such close contact as in those years before the revolution, when they were working out their final position both in philosophy and in practical politics”. [21]



The foundations of historical materialism

Marx and Engels’ first written collaboration in 1844 was The Holy Family, or as they originally called it, A Critique of Critical Criticism (the final title was regarded as more punchy but worried Engels who thought it would offend his religious father). In 1846 they wrote The German Ideology, subtitled Critique of modern German philosophy according to its representatives Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer and Stirner. Its aim was to attack the ideas which dominated German philosophical and political thinking. These the two regarded as mystical and idealist, because they started from ideas in the abstract rather than a materialist analysis. The weight of Marx and Engels’ argument was that an understanding of the world had to start, not from the ideas which existed in people’s heads in any particular historical period, but from the real, material conditions in which these ideas arose. Their starting point was therefore an understanding of the historical development of class society and how people’s ideas altered in this process of social change:

We do not set out from what men say, imagine, conceive, nor from men as narrated, thought of, imagined, conceived, in order to arrive at men in the flesh. We set out from real, active men, and on the basis of their real life-process we demonstrate the development of the ideological reflexes and echoes of this life-process ... Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology and all their corresponding forms of consciousness, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence. They have no history, no development; but men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with this their real existence, their thinking and the products of their thinking. Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life. [22]

Nothing about the world could be understood without starting from an understanding of historical development. The German Ideology details some of this history and explains how the very development of society comes into conflict with the ideas, beliefs and structures of existing society. This clash between the two is represented in the struggles between the various classes which represent particular economic interests. It was impossible to develop a theory of socialism which ignored this development or ignored the material reality:

It is only possible to achieve real liberation in the real world and by employing real means ... slavery cannot he abolished without the steam engine and the mule and spinning-jenny, serfdom cannot be abolished without improved agriculture ... in general, people cannot be liberated as long as they are unable to obtain food and drink, housing and clothing in adequate quality and quantity. “Liberation” is a historical and not a mental act. [23]

However, although the stress in The German Ideology is heavily weighted against the idealist philosophers, and their political counterparts the “True Socialists”, Marx and Engels did not make the mistake of believing that progress in history was inevitable or that socialists could ignore what human beings actually did to bring about change: “circumstances make men just as much as men make circumstances”. [24] In any class society, they argue, the class which owns the wealth – the ruling class – also has a monopoly on the ideas of that society:

The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: i.e., the class, which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production. [25]

In addition, “for each new class which puts itself in the place of the one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry through its aim, to represent its interest as the common interest of all the members of society ... it has to give its ideas the form of universality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones.” [26]

So the ruling class controls both the means of producing wealth and the production of ideas which justified that control of wealth. The working class, on the other hand, was without property. Workers were also alienated from the products of their labour because they have no control over the productive process and because “each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape.” [27] The working class can only escape by making the revolution, by collectively seizing the means of production from which it is separated under capitalism. The description of this process is worth repeating for its clarity:

A class is called forth, which has to bear all the burdens of society without enjoying its advantages, which, ousted from society, is forced into the most decided antagonism to all other classes; a class which forms the majority of all members of society, and from which emanates the consciousness and necessity of a fundamental revolution... In all revolutions up till now the mode of activity always remained unscathed and it was only a question of a different distribution of this activity, a new distribution of labour to other persons, whilst the communist revolution is directed against the preceding mode of activity, does away with labour, and abolishes the rule of all classes with the classes themselves, because it is carried through by the class which ... is in itself the expression of the dissolution of all classes, nationalities, etc, within present society... Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and for the success of the cause itself, the alteration of men on a mass scale is necessary, an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement, a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew. [28]

The proletariat is a revolutionary class, but it needs to make a revolution before it can control the wealth it produces. It is only in the process of making a revolution that it can fully come to revolutionary or “communist consciousness”. Discussion of communist ideas led Marx and Engels to talk about organisation based on these ideas. Around this time they turned to trying to build such an organisation. They had formed the Communist Correspondence Committee in 1846, to keep in touch with those of like minded views. But Engels moved to Paris in August of that year (Marx was exiled from France) to organise among German artisans in the League of the Just, and to establish some contact with the French workers’ movement.

He found it heavy going at first. The artisans’ tradition of craft working, small family businesses and the like made them much less amenable to communist politics than the Manchester cotton workers. Trying to build among workers meant a sharp argument with other socialist tendencies inside the movement, including the “True Socialists”, followers of Karl Grün. Marx and Engels attacked the “True Socialists” in their writings at the time, and saw them as a rival to communist ideas inside the emerging working class movement. The “True Socialists” talked in very radical terms but Marx and Engels saw them as in fact the product of the retarded nature of Germany’s economic and social development. The dominance of the petty bourgeoisie, of small businessmen, artisans and craftsmen, in German society meant that a socialism which played down the fundamental antagonism between the two major classes inside capitalism, and “proclaims instead the universal love of mankind” could have a real appeal. [29]

A letter from Engels to the Communist Correspondence Committee describes a fraught meeting in Paris in October 1846 where Engels defined the aims of the communists off the cuff in response to the “True Socialists” criticisms:

(1) to ensure that the interests of the proletariat prevail, as opposed to those of the bourgeoisie; (2) to do so by abolishing private property and replacing same with community of goods; (3) to recognise no means of attaining these aims other than democratic revolution by force. [30]

The form which the earliest communist organisation took was the Communist League. Marx and Engels joined the League of the Just, along with groups of exiled Germans and other nationalities of workers and artisans. Although Engels’ direct experience led him to despair of the Paris League, Marx and Engels put their faith in the London branch. In late 1846 the leadership of the League moved from Paris to London. This group, led by Schapper, Moll and Bauer, was in the process of looking for new ideas and “they turned to Marx, perhaps because the Marxian stress on economics and class warfare meant more to them, exposed as they were to the Chartist movement in the advanced industrial England”. [31]

At the League’s London congress on June 1847 it changed its name to the Communist League and its slogan to “Proletarians of all lands unite” from the previous, more “True Socialist”, “All men are brothers”. At the London congress Marx and Engels were instructed to draft a platform – which became their most famous joint work and which remains one of the clearest statements of their politics – The Communist Manifesto. The first draft, known as Principles of Communism, was written by Engels. Marx worked on Principles to produce the final draft which was printed in German in early 1848.

Principles of Communism is a beautiful example of Engels’ writing style: a very short, simple pamphlet written in question and answer form. He describes how capitalist society creates two major classes which stand in contradiction to one another:

Two new classes have come into being which are gradually swallowing up all others, namely:
(I) The class of big capitalists, who in all civilised countries are already in almost exclusive possession of all the means of subsistence and of the raw materials and instruments (machines, factories) necessary for the production of the means of subsistence. This is the bourgeois class or the bourgeoisie.
(II) The class of the wholly propertyless, who are obliged to sell their labour to the bourgeoisie in order to get in exchange the means of subsistence necessary for their support. This class is called the class of proletarians, or the proletariat. [32]

The old ways of living were destroyed by the development of capitalism:

Free competition is necessary for the establishment of large-scale industry because it is the only state of society in which large-scale industry can make its way. Having destroyed the social power of the nobility and the guildmasters, the bourgeoisie also destroyed their political power. [33]

Capitalism is a dynamic system, based on the accumulation of capital through commodity production. Competition between different capitalists leads to the constant search for greater profits and greater accumulation of capital. This means new investment in machinery, new ways of making workers work harder, new factories and industries.

But this revolutionary system is prone to crisis. The unplanned nature of capitalism and its drive to accumulate leads to overproduction, which in turn leads to factory closures and unemployment. Suddenly there is, as The Communist Manifesto puts it, “too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce ... the conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them.” [34] In the midst of such previously unheard of wealth there is misery and waste. The capitalist looks for ways out: destruction of some capital – so that the crisis leads to the collapse of individual capitalists to the benefit of their rivals – or the search for new markets and new investment. This search leads to greater investment, but there is less relative return on the investment. Both “solutions” expand the system but eventually lead to further crises.

These means of escaping the crisis also deepen class antagonisms. Workers are forced to work harder and for longer hours. More workers are pulled into production, more of the old handicrafts and ways of working are destroyed. It is this new class which can make the communist revolution through the abolition of private property by socialised production. The revolution will,

have to take the running of industry and of all branches of production out of the hands of mutually competing individuals and instead institute a system in which all these branches of production are operated by society as a whole, that is, for the common account, according to a common plan and with the participation of all members of society. It will, in other words, abolish competition and replace it with association. [35]

Principles of Communism and then The Communist Manifesto were written in the expectation of imminent revolution. There were signs of worsening economic conditions and political discontent. The analysis of capitalism developed by Marx and Engels led them to assume that revolution would take place. As the capitalist mode of production developed and spread from England to Belgium, France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe, so it increasingly clashed with the old feudal regimes which still dominated Europe. The rise of capitalism brought with it the rise of the industrial bourgeoisie, whose interests were quite opposed to the old autocratic regimes. The production of capital and the development of a class of free wage labourers presupposed all sorts of legal freedoms, a limited suffrage to elect a democratic parliament, freedom of religion, and an end to the restraints on trade and business which characterised the old regimes.

In England in the 17th century and France in the 18th century the clash between these two classes brought about the great revolutionary movements which transformed property and social relations in those countries forever. Marx and Engels were convinced the same would happen elsewhere. In their native Germany, where the division of the country into 39 often very small states hampered the development of any sort of bourgeois democracy, they saw bourgeois revolution with national unification as essential for the development of capitalism and for progress in general. The Communist Manifesto began with the still famous phrase, “A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism”. [36] Their prediction of revolution was accurate.



Revolution in Europe

The creation of the Communist League in 1847 took place against a background of growing social unrest. Economic depression had worsened living conditions. Famine and hunger were stalking Europe, most notoriously in Ireland where millions emigrated or starved, but also in continental Europe where bread riots occurred in many countries. “The climax of the Hungry Forties in Europe came when the depression of 1847 brought business failures, unemployment and frequent reduction in wages. Every third family in Cologne received public relief.” [37] Among the middle classes there were growing liberal and nationalist protests in Germany, Austria and Italy – countries all under various forms of feudal rule.

Engels had returned to Paris in December 1847, after attending the second League congress in London in November and then staying with Marx in Brussels. He attempted to establish contact with the French socialist Louis Blanc, with some success. But by January 1848 he wrote to Marx in some despair, “Things are going wretchedly with the League here.” [38] He was more optimistic about the state of the democratic movement and the impetus for bourgeois revolution in countries such as Germany and Austria, but at the end of January he was expelled from France just as revolution was about to break out. The government prohibited a big reform banquet in Paris, due to take place on 22 February. A number of such banquets had been held in the previous months as part of the growing mood for reform. Within two days there were barricades on the streets and the king abdicated. France was left with a provisional government which in turn proclaimed a republic. For the first time the government contained workers’ representatives; Louis Blanc and the representative of the Parisian workers, called simply Albert. The government initially guaranteed a “right to work” for all, with the creation of “national workshops” for the jobless, to be paid for by increased taxation.

The movement spread throughout Europe in the following weeks: to Sicily, Vienna, Berlin, Milan. The Prussian regime was forced to allow political activity, and to endorse national unification. Engels wrote in March 1848 that, with the exception of Cologne, where some communists were arrested, “otherwise the news from Germany is splendid. In Nassau a revolution completed, in Munich students, painters and workers in full revolt, in Kassel revolution on the doorstep, in Berlin unbounded fear and indecision, in the whole of western Germany freedom of the press and National Guard proclaimed.” [39] Two weeks later he wrote to Marx, “In Germany things are going very well indeed, riots everywhere and the Prussians aren’t giving way.” [40]

Marx and Engels returned to their native Germany in April – to Cologne, a city which was under Prussian rule but which had the liberal press laws inherited from French occupation under Napoleon. They launched their new daily paper as the “organ of democracy”. The Neue Rheinische Zeitung appeared from June.

The historian Eric Hobsbawm has written of 1848, “Within a matter of weeks no government was left standing in an area of Europe which is today occupied by all or part of ten states, not counting lesser repercussions in a number of others.” Yet “within six months of its outbreak its universal defeat was safely predictable, within 18 months of its outbreak all but one of the regimes it overthrew had been restored, and the exception (the French Republic) was putting as much distance as it could between itself and the insurrection to which it owed its existence.” [41]

The 1848 revolutions were bourgeois, not workers’ revolutions – which meant that in countries such as Germany the liberal capitalists and the middle classes such as doctors and lawyers, determined the course of the revolution, even though it was supported by the poorer classes of peasants, artisans and the emerging working class. That explains the nature of the revolution’s early days when all classes united against the old order. Marx described February 1848 in France, symbolised by the poet Lamartine, as “the beautiful revolution, the revolution of universal sympathy”. [42] Only seemingly small numbers of reactionaries were opposed to the revolutions.

But there was a crucial difference between 1848 and the earlier revolutions. When the English and French revolutions had taken place the working class was barely in existence. By 1848 it was a major and growing force in England, France and, increasingly, Germany. Marx and Engels had long been contemptuous of the German bourgeoisie, whom they viewed as too timid and “philistine” to make a revolution. They regarded the Germans as wanting the fruits of revolution without being prepared to risk their property or lives. As the revolution took its course in the various states which made up Germany not only was this assessment proved accurate, but it also became increasingly clear that the German bourgeoisie was more frightened of the emerging working class than it was of the old order.

Engels wrote in early 1848 that the rule of the bourgeoisie would be short lived; they would taste the fruits of rule by making their revolution, but the proletariat was waiting in the wings:

Your reward shall be a brief time of rule. You shall dictate laws, you shall bask in the sun of your own majesty, you shall banquet in the royal halls and woo the king’s daughter – but remember! The hangman’s foot is on the threshold! [43]

But what if the bourgeoisie shrank from this historic task because it would rather go into alliance with the old feudal order it so hated than side with the workers? This was, of course, exactly what happened in Germany. It took another 20 years before the project of national unification and untrammelled capitalist development was fully under way, and then it was under the leadership of Bismarck, one of the most frenzied reactionaries in 1848. The reason for the German bourgeoisie’s timidity lay, above all, in their fear of what happened in France. There the hopes of the February revolution, which proclaimed the republic, increasingly gave way to fears that the class rule of the bourgeoisie was under threat from the workers. In particular the middle classes were infuriated by the increased taxes levied to pay for the national workshops.

The newly elected National Assembly moved against the workshops in June, enlisting the unmarried men into the army and moving various other people out of Paris, the hotbed of revolution. The day the Assembly met to consider closing the workshops, barricades were again thrown up, as they had been in February. But this time the fighting was between those who had made the February revolution. Although some 60,000 people fought behind the barricades, they were crushed after four days by the forces of General Cavaignac. This was how the ruling class dealt with the “spectre of communism” and the liberal middle classes were well prepared to go along with such treatment rather than risk their property. Marx and Engels recognised the June days as the first big clash between the bourgeoisie and proletariat:

Fraternité, the brotherhood of opposing classes, one of which exploits the other, this “fraternité” was proclaimed in February and written in capital letters on the brow of Paris, on every prison and every barracks. But its true, genuine, prosaic expression is civil war in its most terrible form, the war between labour and capital. This fraternity flamed in front of all the windows of Paris on the evening of 25 June. The Paris of the bourgeoisie was illuminated, while the Paris of the proletariat burned, bled and moaned in its death agony. [44]

Events in Paris influenced the revolution elsewhere in Europe and nowhere more so than in Germany. Here the revolutionary fervour was high. Despite concessions from the Prussian king, Frederick William IV, in March 1848 – a Berlin parliament, an end to censorship and a unified Germany – barricades were thrown up in Berlin too. Shots had been fired at crowds celebrating their gains outside the royal palace. The crowds fought with the soldiers. The king called off the troops and was forced to pay his respects to the dead as they were carried past his balcony. By April the liberal leaders, Camphausen and Hansemann, were in key positions in the Prussian parliament and the transition towards a bourgeois democracy in Germany seemed inevitable.

The national Frankfurt parliament was established in May. It was moderate and stood for a constitutional monarchy, rather than the republic for which Marx and Engels hoped. They saw this form of national unification as a compromise with the old monarchy and aristocracy, rather than a break with them.

The liberal leaders in Germany gained the benefits of the February revolution in France, because Germany’s rulers were frightened into making concessions without much resistance. But the liberals were also confirmed in their timidity by the June events which taught them that too many concessions to the masses would lead to “anarchy”. They wanted stability and order in the new Germany. To this end they introduced various programmes of job creation and public works to buy off discontent.

The Neue Rheinische Zeitung appeared in this context at the beginning of June. Marx and Engels saw their place as being on the extreme left wing of the democracy movement, rather than cutting the communists off from the movement completely. They saw the major division as being between old reaction and the new democratic forces. So the first issue of their paper described the feudal reactionaries’ victory over the revolution in Naples and Sicily and warned of the dangers of the military attacking the revolution in Germany. [45] Engels also attacked the Frankfurt parliament for its lack of drive and decisiveness. [46] The Prussian assembly came under even greater attack, especially when further street fighting loomed in the middle of June.

When the French June Days took place the German movement was split in its response. Marx and Engels and the Neue Rheinische Zeitung were fully behind the working class fighters, while the “moderate” democrats opposed them and attacked the communists. The democrat and republican Bonner Zeitung’s attack had a now familiar ring when it stated “we want freedom, but we also want order, without which no freedom can exist. Was the Neue Rheinische Zeitung truly defending democracy when it praised a wild insurrection which endangered the republic, the first fundamental basis for a democracy?” [47]

The fear of the June Days marked the turning point after which there was increased repression of the democratic and workers’ organisations. The Camphausen ministry in Berlin was replaced by that of Hansemann which stressed constitutional monarchy and increased law and order. Yet the revolutionary mood remained, heightened in the summer by the Frankfurt parliament’s capitulation over the Danish annexation of the northern Schleswig-Holstein province. By September the situation had reached boiling point. The class forces were polarising: the military, monarchy and aristocracy towards further repression and a showdown with the Prussian assembly, the democrats by demonstrating against the Hansemann ministry and against the attacks by reactionaries on the Democratic Society. The assembly’s attempts to control the army were blocked by Hansemann, who in turn faced demonstrations and protests.

In Cologne the communist influence was growing and in early September a Committee of Public Safety was formed to defend the revolution. Members of the committee, which was openly elected at a mass meeting, included Marx, Engels and their fellow communists Schapper, Moll and Wolff. A meeting held in the town of Worringen just up the river from Cologne attracted thousands and many of the barges travelling to it carried red flags. Engels spoke, among others. The Demands of the Communist Party were distributed at the meeting. This was the high point of communist organisation in the revolution. Less than a fortnight later the Prussians declared a state of siege in Cologne and several of the most prominent speakers and organisers were arrested. Engels had left home by the time the police called. The Neue Rheinische Zeitung was banned. Engels escaped via Barmen to Belgium and then into France. Meanwhile a wanted poster was put out for him.

Engels spent the closing months of the year walking through eastern France to Switzerland, where he stayed for a couple of months until things had died down in Germany. While there he wrote a large number of articles for the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (only briefly prevented from publication) on Swiss politics and what was happening to the revolution elsewhere in Europe, especially in the Austrian empire, where the Hungarians led by Louis Kossuth were fighting for independence. Engels’ views on the various national struggles have long proved controversial, since he distinguished between certain national groups who he believed had a future as independent nations within Europe – especially the Germans, the Italians, the Poles and the Hungarians – and those, in particular the small groups of Slavic peoples, whose national movements Engels regarded as sometimes little more than a cover for reactionary Russian despotism. So Engels wrote in 1849 that “the revolution of 1848 compelled all the European peoples to declare for it or against it. In one month all the peoples which were ripe for revolution had made their revolution, all the unripe peoples had formed an alliance against the revolution.” [48] He saw the development of the revolution, especially in the Austrian empire, as clearly divided into “two huge armed camps: on one side, the side of revolution, were the Germans, Poles and Magyars; on the other side, the side of counter-revolution, were the others, i.e. all the Slavs with the exception of the Poles, plus the Romanians and the Saxons of Transylvania.” [49]

He saw the counter-revolutionary nature of the South Slavs in particular as connected with their lack of economic and social development, which not only led them to ally with the Russian Tsar, but also meant that their future as nations in an emerging capitalist Europe was in doubt. He compared them to groups such as the Scottish Highlanders who supported the reactionary Stuarts from 1640 to 1745, or the Bretons in France who supported the old Bourbon monarchy during the French Revolution. Mehring describes the political background which justified these views:

In the Slav question also the interests of the revolution were paramount in determining the attitude of Marx and Engels. The Austrian Slavs – with the exception of the Poles – had sided with the reaction in the struggle of the Vienna government against the revolutionary Germans and against Hungary. They had taken revolutionary Vienna by storm and handed it over to the merciless vengeance of the “Royal and Imperial” authorities.

Mehring continues, “Their struggle for national independence made them the willing tools of Tsarism, and not all the well-meaning self-deceptions of the democratic Pan-Slavs could alter this fact.” [50]

Engels’ view of the future of the Slav nationalities has come under attack for seeming to favour particular national groups while attacking others, and for being wrong about whether all the Slav peoples had a future as nation states. [51] But he always approached the question from the point of view of European politics: that national independence in Germany, Italy, Poland and Hungary would represent progress over the patchwork of nations held together by reactionary autocratic empires which dominated central and eastern Europe. His judgement on particular peoples was based on how far they supported such advances, and also whether they supported the arch reactionary empire, that of Russia. In both instances the record of most of the South Slavs was appalling. As one not particularly sympathetic biographer has put it:

Engels’ judgements on whole peoples reflected the real struggles and hard choices of the time, when democratic rights were difficult to achieve and easy to lose. In those circumstances he felt obliged to identify potential enemies to the cause of constitutionalism – though he may not have been correct in his allegations – because actual enemies were causing numerous deaths amongst the democrats whom he was supporting. [52]

It was this which motivated his views on the national question.

Engels was active in the workers’ movement in Switzerland and was appointed a delegate to a workers’ congress while there, but he wanted to get back to Germany and managed to do so by the end of January 1849, when he heard that there would be no charges against him. The revolutionary wave which had erupted a year before was by no means over, but its impact was fading. Vienna was once again in the hands of the feudal reactionaries, but the Hungarians were still fighting under Louis Kossuth. Engels still hoped for a new French revolution, and Germany itself was still seemingly bound for unification. He wanted the Frankfurt parliament to declare for unification against Prussia and so open up a revolutionary civil war.

Tension in the Rhineland mounted in early May 1849, as the hopes of the people clashed with the military might of Prussia, encamped in occupation of the region. The government’s mobilisation of the militia to thwart democratic revolt brought matters to a head and barricades were thrown up in Engels’ home town of Elberfeld, where a Committee of Public Safety was appointed. Engels threw himself into the struggle with his usual gusto, despite attempts by the local bourgeoisie to drive this dangerous red from their town.

But the uprising was defeated, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung suppressed and the end of the German Revolution was in sight. While Marx went to Paris, Engels stayed in the Palatinate, last bastion of revolution. When the Prussians invaded, Engels joined in the ensuing war, fighting in the army as assistant to the “True Socialist” Willich, and was the veteran of four battles before he once again retreated to Switzerland. This time, however, his exile was anything but temporary.




Marx made his way to London in the summer of 1849. Engels joined him that autumn, travelling via Genoa by sea to avoid problems in France. They were both young men and could not have dreamt that their exile would last for the rest of their lives. For one thing, they expected the failed revolution to rise again very rapidly, as was clear from a letter Marx wrote to Engels that summer. [53] They spent much time analysing the revolution and what had gone wrong, and further developed the analysis which they held for the rest of their lives: the bourgeoisie wanted revolution, but was too cowardly to really fight for it once the working class was an active force on the political scene. The democrats and various supporters of the bourgeoisie were therefore half hearted revolutionaries who would pull back from the final confrontation in favour of compromise with the old order.

In their writings therefore Marx and Engels put a lot of emphasis on workers needing to follow a bourgeois revolution with their own workers’ revolution and increasingly talked about the need for a “permanent revolution” until workers’ power was achieved. Their address to the Communist League written in 1850 said:

[the workers] themselves must contribute most to their final victory, by informing themselves of their owm class interests, by taking up their independent political position as soon as possible, by not allowing themselves to be misled by the hypocritical phrases of the democratic petty bourgeoisie into doubting for one minute the necessity of an independently organised party of the proletariat. Their battle-cry must be: The Permanent Revolution. [54]

The Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was to extend the analysis half a century later to explain how it was that Russian workers in backward semi-feudal Russia had to jump over the heads of the extremely weak and vacillating bourgeoisie in order to make the revolutions. [55]

Hopes of immediate revival of revolution soon faded, however, and the exiled revolutionaries had to seriously assess what they should do. Attempts to publish a German paper from London were short lived, and the two quickly became disillusioned with emigre politics. They broke with the habits and petty squabbles of the other European exiles, and the Communist League split. They also had strategic differences with other socialists, especially the Blanquists who believed that if only the revolutionary vanguard acted alone it could somehow make the revolution, despite unfavourable objective conditions. Marx and Engels came to see that capitalism had stabilised itself politically following the revolutionary wave, and was poised for great economic expansion into corners of the globe which had previously been untouched.

In 1850 Engels made a decision which meant great personal sacrifice to him; he agreed to work once again in the family firm of Ermen and Engels in Manchester. He did so to ensure that he received a decent income from his father, who wanted a member of the family keeping an eye on the Ermen side of the partnership while he himself stayed in Germany. Engels’ income went in large part to sustain Marx and his family – a task which Engels took upon himself from 1850 until Marx’s death over 40 years later. He did so out of personal and political regard for Marx, whose family were suffering terrible poverty.

Marx’s wife, Jenny, endured many pregnancies but only three children survived into adulthood – Jenny Caroline, Jenny Laura and Jenny Eleanor. Marx wrote to Engels in 1850 on the death of his baby son Heinrich Guido that his wife was in a state of exhaustion and that the baby had died as a “victim of bourgeois misère”. [56] The family had to endure much travelling, police persecution and above all poverty. They lived in miserable lodgings in London’s Soho and were constantly beset with problems of ill health and unpaid bills.

Engels saved the Marx family from this destitution and allowed Marx to develop his theoretical studies which culminated in Capital, the first volume of which appeared in 1867. Engels’ help eventually enabled the family to move to a house in north London, ensured that Christmas was always celebrated, paid for holidays and made sure the girls got an education. He was also totally uncomplaining about it. He detested work at Ermen and Engels, and thought initially he would be there for just a short time. Eleanor Marx described the day, nearly 20 years later, when he was able to finally leave, having secured enough money to keep himself and the Marx family in some comfort:

I was with Engels when he reached the end of this forced labour and I saw what he must have gone through all those years. I shall never forget the triumph with which he exclaimed “for the last time” as he put on his boots in the morning to go to his office. A few hours later we were standing at the gate waiting for him. We saw him coming over the little field opposite the house where we lived. He was swinging his stick in the air and singing, his face beaming. Then we set the table for a celebration and drank champagne and were happy. [57]

That Engels agreed to work in Manchester was a sign of his dedication to the Marx family, but his situation was also eased by his personal relations with the Burns sisters, Mary and Lizzie. Engels is assumed to have met Mary when he first visited Manchester in the early 1840s, and she certainly accompanied him to continental Europe in 1845. Mary was Irish and working class. She and Engels never married but he lived much of the time at the house he provided for her and Lizzie in Ardwick (although he maintained separate lodgings). Engels was distraught at her death at the age of 41 in 1863. As he wrote to Marx, “I felt as though with her I was burying the last vestige of my youth.” [58]

Mary Burns’s death was the occasion of almost the only sharp interchange between the two friends. Marx received a letter from Engels telling him of the death and Engels, not unnaturally, expected his old friend to extend great sympathy. Instead, Marx’s reply mostly dwelt on the problems of finance and health which were yet again besetting his family. Engels did not reply for a week and then wrote a fairly reproachful letter, to which Marx then wrote a deeply apologetic reply. Engels finally came round, although obviously still hurt:

I tell you, your letter stuck in my head for a whole week, I couldn’t forget it. Never mind, your last letter made it quits: and I am glad that when I lost Mary I did not also lose my oldest and best friend. [59]

So the threatened rift between the two was mended. Why did Marx respond in this way? We can only conjecture, but it would seem to be a combination of obsession with his own problems (he and Jenny had decided to get the two older daughters posts as governesses and move into a lodging house with their youngest daughter – although Engels eventually came to their rescue on this, as on so much else) plus, possibly, a lack of understanding of Engels’ feelings for Mary. Their relationship was unconventional. Mary and Engels never married and lived apart, at least formally. The great class differences between them were much harder to overcome in the 19th century than they would be today. Culturally they must have seemed very far apart – Mary was probably illiterate, for example, and did not share the same friends as Engels.

When Engels eventually started a relationship with Mary’s sister Lydia, known as Lizzie, Marx and Jenny appear to have been careful not to make the same mistake again. They became friendly with Lizzie (she and Jenny Marx would holiday together in later years) and Eleanor visited Manchester to stay at the Engels-Burns household. She also accompanied them on a trip to Ireland.

Much is made of Engels’ unconventional relationships with the Burns sisters (he only married Lizzie on her deathbed in 1878). It is often implied that their relationship must have been unequal and so fits closely the image of the well off bourgeois man with his working class mistresses who are kept out of the way of respectable society. Terrell Carver’s remark that, “in love Engels does not seem to have gone searching for his intellectual equal” is fairly typical. [60] It is impossible at this distance to know whether the Burns sisters were his “intellectual equal”. But we do know that they were political, sympathetic to communism and to the cause of Irish nationalism. Eleanor Marx learnt about Irish oppression from Lizzie Burns who also showed her the haunts of the Fenian Manchester Martyrs. [61] When Engels met the young Mary Burns in 1840s Manchester she was almost certainly involved in the Chartist politics of the time, as were so many Irish textile workers. There is no sign that the relationships were ever regarded by any of the participants as one sided or oppressive. There is, however, some evidence that Engels gained a great deal from living with these women, and that their personalities were at one with his own. Engels wrote to the German socialist August Bebel’s wife in 1878 after Lizzie’s death, “She was of genuine Irish proletarian stock and her passionate, innate feeling for her class was of far greater value to me and stood me in better stead at moments of crisis than all the refinement and culture of your educated and aesthetic young ladies.” [62] The 14 year old Eleanor Marx wrote home in 1869 with a description of the Burns household:

On Saturday it was so warm that we, that is Auntie [Lizzie] and myself and Sarah, lay down on the floor the whole day drinking beer, claret, etc. ... In the evening when Uncle [Engels] came home he found Auntie, me and Ellen [Lizzie’s niece], who was telling us Irish tales, all lying our full length on the floor, with no stays, no boots, and one petticoat and a cotton dress on, and that was all. [63]

His role as a respectable businessman was one reason why Engels had to keep his private life separate from his work, and so it was only when he left Ermen and Engels and moved to London that he could live openly with Lizzie.

The period which opened up before Marx and Engels in the 1850s was quite difficult for political agitation. Reaction was triumphant in much of Europe. In France, Louis Napoleon established a dictatorship which lasted until the Franco-Prussian War nearly 20 years later. In Germany an alliance of the Prussian monarchy with the statesman Bismarck, representative of the reactionary noble Junker caste, ushered in the move towards a centralised and industrialised capitalist state, with eventual unification under Prussian dominance. Britain and its empire were going through an unprecedented period of domestic and overseas expansion, and its once militant working class was entering a long period of social peace and relative prosperity. Left wing politics, as so often in times of reaction and working class defeat, were dominated by inward looking, sectarian squabbling.

The 1848 revolutionaries, the men of action, now found themselves in a very different situation. Marx worked on his studies for Capital, and both men spent much of their time commenting, in their correspondence and in various pieces of journalism and other writings, on events about which they could do little. They wrote on the Crimean War, the American Civil War and the economic depression of 1857. Marx was hired to write regular articles for the New York Daily Tribune on a variety of topics. Often they were written by Engels, especially where they concerned military matters or questions of international diplomacy. Engels himself found it impossible to get full time journalistic work because of his political views, as his attempt to become military correspondent of the Daily News demonstrated. [64]

Although the class struggle remained at a low ebb in Britain, there were two events in the early 1860s which Marx and Engels considered to be important: the emancipation of the serfs in Russia in 1861 and the Civil War in America, which began in the same year and was eventually to complete the bourgeois revolution started against English colonialism in 1776. Marx wrote in 1860, “In my opinion, the biggest things that are happening in the world today are on the one hand the movement of the slaves in America, started by the death of John Brown, and on the other the movement of the slaves in Russia.” [65]

The American Civil War was a struggle between the Southern Confederacy of slave owning states and the Northern states under Lincoln, who wanted to stop the extension of slavery to any new states. The British ruling class tended to support the Southern Confederacy, from whom it bought the cotton so central to the British economy. The British ruling class also saw the emerging United States as a major threat to its world dominance. British workers, on the other hand, overwhelmingly opposed slavery and demonstrated in favour of victory for the North. Marx and Engels were enthusiastic supporters of the Northern Union side. The Union represented the more industrialised, democratic and progressive society. But Marx and Engels were very impatient at the failure of the Northern armies to score rapid and decisive victories against the supposedly inferior South. Engels wrote to Marx in November 1862, “I must say I cannot work up any enthusiasm for a nation which on such a colossal issue allows itself to be continually beaten by a fourth of its own population, and which after eighteen months of war has achieved nothing more than the discovery that all its generals are asses and all its officials rascals and traitors.” [66]

He and Marx had already debated whether the North was likely to win. The superior tactics of the South, under General Lee, led Engels at times to despair of the North’s victory. On purely military grounds he had good reason, since the North conducted the first two years of war in a shambolic and half hearted way. Most importantly, its leaders and military men refused to mobilise the radical sentiments of the mass of Northerners and its natural supporters in the Southern states – the slaves themselves. Marx wrote in August 1862 that “the North will finally make war seriously, adopt revolutionary methods and throw over the domination of the border slave statesmen. A single Negro regiment would have a remarkable effect on Southern nerves.” [67]

This is in fact what happened. Crucial to the North’s fortunes were, firstly, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves and, secondly, the bringing into play of the superior industrial strength of Northern industrial capitalism over the slave system of the South. Engels recognised the mark the Civil War would make on future development in what was to become the United States. He wrote to his old friend Joseph Weydemeyer, now living in St Louis, that:

[the war’s] outcome will doubtless determine the future course of America as a whole for hundreds of years. As soon as slavery – that greatest of obstacles to the political and social development of the United States – has been smashed, the country will experience a boom that will very soon assure it an altogether different place in the history of the world, and the army and navy created during the war will then soon find employment. [68]




1. G. Mayer, Frederick Engels (London, 1936), p.208.

2. ibid., pp.56-57.

3. ibid., p.15.

4. Quoted in F. Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (Moscow, 1973), p.313.

5. Quoted in G. Mayer, op. cit., p.49.

6. F. Engels, op. cit., p.60.

7. ibid., pp.111-112.

8. ibid., p.120.

9. ibid., p.167.

10. ibid., p.162.

11. ibid., p.312.

12. ibid., p.261.

13. ibid., pp.333-334.

14. ibid., p.11.

15. F. Engels, On the History of the Communist League in K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works (London, 1968), p.436.

16. G. Mayer, op. cit., pp.59-60.

17. F. Mehring, Karl Marx (Sussex, 1981), p.93.

18. ibid., p.95.

19. K. Marx and F. Engels, Correspondence 1844-1851 (London, 1982), p.4.

20. ibid., p.20.

21. G. Mayer, op. cit., p.69.

22. K. Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology (London, 1965), pp.37-38.

23. ibid., pp.55-56.

24. ibid., p.50.

25. ibid., p.60.

26. ibid., pp.6l-62.

27. ibid., p.44.

28. ibid., pp.85-86.

29. ibid., p.503.

30. K. Marx and F. Engels, Correspondence, op. cit., p.82.

31. O.J. Hammen, The Red 48ers (New York, 1969), p.160.

32. F. Engels, Principles of Communism (Peking, 1977), p.3.

33. ibid., p.8.

34. K. Marx and F. Engels, Communist Manifesto (Tirana, 1981), p.34.

35. F. Engels, Principles, op. cit., pl1.

36. K. Marx and F. Engels, Communist Manifesto, op. cit., p.25.

37. O.J. Hammen, op. cit., p.187.

38. K. Marx and F. Engels, Correspondence, op. cit., p.54.

39. ibid., pp.159-160.

40. ibid., p.165.

41. E. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution (London, 1977), p.22.

42. K. Marx in Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 29 June 1848, reprinted in D. Fernbach (ed.), The Revolutions of 1848 (Harmondsworth, 1973), p.131.

43. Article in Deutsch-Brusseler Zeitung, 23 January 1848, quoted in G. Mayer, op. cit., p.88.

44. Article in Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 29 June 1848, reproduced in D. Fernbach, op. cit..

45. Quoted in O.J. Hammen, op. cit., p.234.

46. ibid., p.236.

47. ibid., p.250.

48. F. Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 16 February 1849, reprinted in D. Fernbach, op. cit., p.239.

49. F. Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 13 January 1849, reprinted in D. Fernbach, op. cit., pp.216-217.

50. F. Mehring, op. cit., p.164.

51. The most detailed criticism from a Marxist point of view comes from R. Rosdolsky in Engels and the Non-historic Peoples: the National Question in the Revolution of 1848, (Glasgow, 1986).

52. T. Carver, Frederick Engels: His Life and Thought (Basingstoke, 1989), p.201.

53. K. Marx and F. Engels, Correspondence, op. cit., p.211.

54. K. Marx and F. Engels, Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League (March 1850), printed in D. Fernbach, op. cit., p.330.

55. L. Trotsky, Permanent Revolution (New York, 1962).

56. K. Marx and F. Engels, Correspondence, op. cit., p.241.

57. Y. Kapp, Eleanor Marx, Vol.1, p.112.

58. Quoted in T. Carver, op. cit., p.155.

59. See G. Mayer, op. cit., ppl71-174 and T. Carver, op. cit., pp.153-155, for different interpretations of the correspondence.

60. T. Carver, op. cit., p.159.

61. Y. Kapp, op. cit., p.113.

62. Quoted in ibid., p.114.

63. T. Carver, op. cit., and The Daughters of Karl Marx (London, 1984).

64. K. Marx and F. Engels, Collected Works, Vol.39 (Moscow, 1983), pp.434-435.

65. Letter from Marx to Engels in Selected Correspondence (Moscow, 1982), p.114.

66. ibid., pp.126-127.

67. ibid., p.125.

68. ibid., p.140.


Last updated on 17.4.2004