Thank you for stopping in to check out facts about Karl Marx. However, before we get into some facts, let’s take a little look at his background.
Who is Karl Marx?
Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in Trier, Germany to Heinrich Marx and Henriette Pressburg Marx. Karl’s father was a lawyer which means that Karl lived a life of luxury and received the best education his parents could give him. Karl would grow up to become several things, including a historian, sociologist, philosopher, journalist, political theorist, and socialist revolutionary. If you are interested in reading more facts about the famous Karl Marx, please read on!
Interesting Facts about Karl Marx
1. Karl Marx had poor health throughout his life.
While Marx was never really diagnosed with anything in his life, he continuously dealt with several symptoms such as headaches, gallbladder issues, insomnia, liver problems, joint pain, and depression. Many historians who have studied Marx feel that he may have suffered from a chronic and painful skin disease known as hidradenitis suppurativa. This disease would have been made worse from Marx’s continuous smoking and drinking.
2. His marriage was controversial.
Karl Marx ended up marrying a woman by the name of Jenny von Westphalen, who he had known all his life. While this would usually not cause any controversy, Jenny was actually 5 years old when she met Karl, who was only 1. On top of this, Jenny and Karl were not in the same social class, and when Karl asked Jenny to marry him, she was already engaged to another man, who was in the same social class as her. Because of this, Karl and Jenny’s marriage was marked by controversy as during their time, a man did not many a woman who was older than him, and a woman did not marry a man who was not in her social class.
3. Karl Marx could not join the military because of health reasons.
Other than the fact that Karl’s life was marked by poor health, he was unable to join the military at 18 years old because he had what was considered a weak chest. However, this did not bother Karl too much as he did not want to join the military.
4. His high school was raided by police.
Karl never attended a school until he went to high school. Before that, he was tutored at home. During the time Karl went to school, Germany was worried about revolutionaries and Karl’s high school, Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium, was a liberal school who hired teachers that believed in freedom of speech. Because of this, the police raided Karl’s high school as they believed the school was hiding revolutionaries.
5. Karl Marx did not attend his father’s funeral.
This is probably one of the most shocking Karl Marx facts. He was noted to be a wild child and this continued for most of Karl’s life. In fact, when he was in college, Karl became known for partying. Karl’s lifestyle seemed to drive his parents away. In fact, the year before Karl’s father passed away, he told Karl that he needed to find his social respectability. This pushed Karl over the edge as when his father died a year later, he refused to attend the funeral.
6. He was expelled from several countries.
Throughout the 1840s, Karl Marx struggled to find a home because he was often kicked out of the countries he went to. He was forced to leave Prussia in 1842 and 1848, expelled from France and Belgium. He eventually ended up moving to England, but they would not allow him to gain citizenship.
7. Karl and Jenny Marx lived in poverty.
While he was a dedicated and hard worker, he would often spend the money he received of cigarettes and alcohol. Therefore, the couple struggled with such necessities as paying rent and being able to buy food. In fact, sometimes Karl would not be able to leave the house because his wife had to pawn off his pants in order to purchase food.
8. He battled depression.
Karl was known to battle depression throughout his adult life. Several years before he passed away, Karl wrote to a friend that he felt that his life was not worth living because he was living a lousy life. This is probably unknown fact about Karl Marx to most people.
9. Karl was baptized for political reasons.
Karl Marx was not baptized until he was six years old and many historians feel he was only baptized because of political reasons. Karl was born Jewish but after the Napoleonic Wars, the new government banned Jews from being able to hold professional jobs and in public office. Because Karl’s father was a lawyer, he converted to Lutheranism and baptized all his children into the Lutheran faith.
I hope that you enjoyed learning more about Karl Marx by reading these facts. If you want to know more about other important people in history, visit historical people page.