72 Facts About Friedrich Engels


Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, critic of political economy, historian, political theorist and revolutionary socialist.


Friedrich Engels's family owned large textile factories in England and Prussia.


In 1848, Friedrich Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and authored and co-authored many other works.


Later, Friedrich Engels supported Marx financially, allowing him to do research and write Das Kapital.


Additionally, Friedrich Engels organised Marx's notes on the Theories of Surplus Value which were later published as the "fourth volume" of Das Kapital.


On 5 August 1895, aged 74, Friedrich Engels died of laryngeal cancer in London.


Friedrich Engels was born on 28 November 1820 in Barmen, Julich-Cleves-Berg, Prussia, as eldest son of Friedrich Engels Sr.


The wealthy Friedrich Engels family owned large cotton-textile mills in Barmen and Salford, England, both expanding industrial metropoles.


Friedrich Engels's parents were devout Pietist Protestants and they raised their children accordingly.


Friedrich Engels's parents expected that he would follow his father into a career in the family business.


Friedrich Engels engaged in other literary work and began writing newspaper articles critiquing the societal ills of industrialisation.


Friedrich Engels wrote under the pseudonym "Friedrich Oswald" to avoid connecting his family with his provocative writings.


In 1841, Friedrich Engels performed his military service in the Prussian Army as a member of the Household Artillery.


Friedrich Engels anonymously published articles in the Rheinische Zeitung, exposing the poor employment- and living-conditions endured by factory workers.


Friedrich Engels acknowledged the influence of German philosophy on his intellectual development throughout his career.


Friedrich Engels developed atheistic beliefs and his relationship with his parents became strained.


Friedrich Engels was to work in Weaste, Salford, in the offices of Ermen and Engels's Victoria Mill, which made sewing threads.


Friedrich Engels's father thought that working at the Manchester firm might make his son reconsider some of his radical opinions.


On his way to Manchester, Friedrich Engels visited the office of the Rheinische Zeitung in Cologne and met Karl Marx for the first time.


Marx mistakenly thought that Friedrich Engels was still associated with the Berliner Young Hegelians, with whom Marx had just broken off ties.


In Manchester, Friedrich Engels met Mary Burns, a fierce young Irish woman with radical opinions who worked in the Friedrich Engels factory.


Friedrich Engels was often described as a man with a very strong libido and not much restraint.


Friedrich Engels later collected these articles for his influential first book, The Condition of the Working Class in England.


Archival resources contemporary to Friedrich Engels's stay in Manchester shed light on some of the conditions he describes, including a manuscript held by special collections at the University of Manchester.


Friedrich Engels frequented areas popular among members of the English labour and Chartist movements, whom he met.


Friedrich Engels wrote for several journals, including The Northern Star, Robert Owen's New Moral World, and the Democratic Review newspaper.


Friedrich Engels met Marx for a second time at the Cafe de la Regence on the Place du Palais, 28 August 1844.


Friedrich Engels stayed in Paris to help Marx write The Holy Family.


Marx and Friedrich Engels made many new important contacts through the Communist League.


The Communist League commissioned Marx and Friedrich Engels to write a pamphlet explaining the principles of communism.


Friedrich Engels's parents hoped that young Friedrich Engels would "decide to turn to activities other than those which you have been pursuing in recent years and which have caused so much distress".


In July 1851, Friedrich Engels's father arrived to visit him in Manchester, England.


In 1849, Friedrich Engels travelled to the Kingdom of Bavaria for the Baden and Palatinate revolutionary uprising, an even more dangerous involvement.


Friedrich Engels brought two cases of rifle cartridges with him when he went to join the uprising in Elberfeld on 10 May 1849.


Friedrich Engels travelled through Switzerland as a refugee and eventually made it to safety in England.


Once he was safe in Switzerland, Friedrich Engels began to write down all his memories of the recent military campaign against the Prussians.


On 5 October 1849, Friedrich Engels arrived in the Italian port city of Genoa.


Unlike his first period in England, Friedrich Engels was now under police surveillance.


Friedrich Engels had "official" homes and "unofficial homes" all over Salford, Weaste and other inner-city Manchester districts where he lived with Mary Burns under false names to confuse the police.


Little more is known, as Friedrich Engels destroyed over 1,500 letters between himself and Marx after the latter's death so as to conceal the details of their secretive lifestyle.


Friedrich Engels wrote a number of newspaper articles including "The Campaign for the German Imperial Constitution" which he finished in February 1850 and "On the Slogan of the Abolition of the State and the German 'Friends of Anarchy'" written in October 1850.


Marx and Friedrich Engels denounced Louis Bonaparte when he carried out a coup against the French government and made himself president for life on 2 December 1851.


In condemning this action, Friedrich Engels wrote to Marx on 3 December 1851, characterising the coup as "comical" and referred to it as occurring on "the 18th Brumaire", the date of Napoleon I's coup of 1799 according to the French Republican Calendar.


Meanwhile, Friedrich Engels started working at the mill owned by his father in Manchester as an office clerk, the same position he held in his teens while in Germany where his father's company was based.


Friedrich Engels worked his way up to become a partner of the firm in 1864.


Five years later, Friedrich Engels retired from the business and could focus more on his studies.


In 1870, Friedrich Engels moved to London where he and Marx lived until Marx's death in 1883.


Mary Burns suddenly died of heart disease in 1863, after which Friedrich Engels became close with her younger sister Lydia.


Later in their life, both Marx and Friedrich Engels came to argue that in some countries workers might be able to achieve their aims through peaceful means.


In following this, Friedrich Engels argued that socialists were evolutionists, although they remained committed to social revolution.


Similarly, Tristram Hunt argues that Friedrich Engels was sceptical of "top-down revolutions" and later in life advocated "a peaceful, democratic road to socialism".


In spite of this attempt by Friedrich Engels to merge gradualism and revolution, his effort only diluted the distinction of gradualism and revolution and had the effect of strengthening the position of the revisionists.


Friedrich Engels argued that it would be "suicidal" to talk about a revolutionary seizure of power at a time when the historical circumstances favoured a parliamentary road to power that he predicted could bring "social democracy into power as early as 1898".


Friedrich Engels was deeply distressed when he discovered that his introduction to a new edition of The Class Struggles in France had been edited by Bernstein and orthodox Marxist Karl Kautsky in a manner which left the impression that he had become a proponent of a peaceful road to socialism.


On 1 April 1895, four months before his death, Friedrich Engels responded to Kautsky:.


Friedrich Engels made an argument using anthropological evidence of the time to show that family structures changed over history, and that the concept of monogamous marriage came from the necessity within class society for men to control women to ensure their own children would inherit their property.


Friedrich Engels argued a future communist society would allow people to make decisions about their relationships free of economic constraints.


On 5 August 1895, Friedrich Engels died of throat cancer in London, aged 74.


Friedrich Engels's interests included poetry, fox hunting and hosting regular Sunday parties for London's left-wing intelligentsia where, as one regular put it, "no one left before two or three in the morning".


Friedrich Engels's stated personal motto was "take it easy" while "jollity" was listed as his favourite virtue.


Friedrich Engels had a great enjoyment of wine and other "bourgeois pleasures".


Friedrich Engels favoured forming romantic relationships with women of the proletariat and found a long-term partner in a working-class woman named Mary Burns, although they never married.


Historian and former Labour MP Tristram Hunt, author of The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels, argues that Engels "almost certainly was, in other words, the kind of man Stalin would have had shot".


The Hegelian idea of God has already become mine, and thus I am joining the ranks of the "modern pantheists",' Engels wrote in one of his final letters to the soon-to-be-discarded Graebers [Wilhelm and Friedrich, priest trainees and former classmates of Engels].


Friedrich Engels was a polyglot and was able to write and speak in numerous languages, including Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Spanish, Polish, French, English, German and the Milanese dialect.


Tristram Hunt argues that Friedrich Engels has become a convenient scapegoat, too easily blamed for the state crimes of Communist regimes such as China, the Soviet Union and those in Africa and Southeast Asia, among others.


Hunt largely exonerates Friedrich Engels, stating that "[i]n no intelligible sense can Friedrich Engels or Marx bear culpability for the crimes of historical actors carried out generations later, even if the policies were offered up in their honor".


Paul Thomas, of the University of California, Berkeley, claims that while Friedrich Engels had been the most important and dedicated facilitator and diffuser of Marx's writings, he significantly altered Marx's intents as he held, edited and released them in a finished form and commentated on them.


Friedrich Engels attempted to fill gaps in Marx's system and extend it to other fields.


In particular, Friedrich Engels is said to have stressed historical materialism, assigning it a character of scientific discovery and a doctrine, forming Marxism as such.


The Friedrich Engels Guards Regiment was a special guard unit of the East German National People's Army.


Dialectics of Nature is an unfinished 1883 work by Friedrich Engels that applies Marxist ideas, particularly those of dialectical materialism, to science.