Timeline of Marx and Engels

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A short timeline of Marx and Engels, much of it taken from the 4th reprint of March 2020 of Critique of the Gotha Program published by Boitempo in Brazil.

Year Marx Engels

Karl Marx was born in Trier, capital of the Rhine province in the Kingdom of Prussia on May 5, into a small bourgeois family.


Engels was born on November 28 in Barmen, Prussia. He grows up in a religious and conservative bourgeois industrial family.


Marx writes Reflections of a young man on the choice of a profession and takes the final examination for a Bachelor's degree in Trier.

Although he wanted to study philosophy and literature, he went on to study law at the University of Bonn at the age of 17 under pressure from his father.


In the summer, she is engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, her neighbor and childhood friend in Trier.

1837 You transfer to the University of Berlin.

In a letter to his father, he describes his contradictory relationship with Hegelianism, the prevailing doctrine of the time.

At his father's insistence, Engels starts working in the family business.
1838 Marx leaves law school and begins to study philosophy.

Karl Marx's father dies on May 10.

Engels begins to write literary and socio-political essays, poems and philosophical pamphlets in different periodicals.
1839 Engels starts to dedicate himself to the study of Hegel's philosophy.
1841 He finishes his doctoral thesis on the differences between the philosophies of Democritus and Epicurus and receives his doctoral degree from the University of Jena on April 15.
1842 He begins to collaborate with the newspaper Rhenish Gazette (Rheinische Zeitung, in German).
On November 16th, Marx and Engels contact each other for the first time, on a visit of Engels to the headquarters of the Rheinische Zeitung.
1843 The Rheinische Zeitung is closed by the Prussian regime.

Marx marries Jenny von Westphalen.

In December, he finalized his manuscript Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law, although not published in life, an excerpt would be released in articles for Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher in 1844.

In Manchester, Engels met Mary Burns (1823-1863), a young working woman with radical opinions. They began a relationship that lasted until her death two decades later, although they never married.

In letters to her sister Marie, Engels describes her enthusiasm for nature, music, books, painting, travel, sports, wine, beer and tobacco.

1844 Writes the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844.

The Prussian government decrees the arrest of Marx and others for their collaboration with Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher.

In Paris, Marx and Engels develop a close friendship and together they develop militant activities, which leads them to create ever deeper ties with the workers' organizations of Paris and Brussels.
1845 In collaboration with Engels, the book The Holy Family is published.

Marx writes the Thesis on Feuerbach.

1846 Due to the lack of an editor, Marx and Engels gave up publishing The German Ideology, which would only be published for the first time in 1932 in the Soviet Union.
1847 Marx and Engels joined the League of the Righteous, which would then be called the League of Communists. Both participated together in the First Congress of the League of the Righteous, where they were asked to write the Communist Manifesto.
1848 In February, Marx and Engels publish the Communist Manifesto.
1859 Publishes in Berlin, Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. The book had not previously been published for lack of money. Marx comments on the case: "Surely this is the first time anyone has written about money with such a lack of it". The book, though expected, was not well received by his colleagues.
1867 Publisher Otto Meissner publishes the first volume of Capital in Hamburg.
1875 He writes observations to the Gotha Program of the German Social Democracy. At the initiative of Engels, it is published Critique of the Gotha Program, by Marx.
1878 Publishes Anti-Dühring.
1883 Marx dies in London on March 14. He began to sketch the dialectics of nature, which would be published posthumously in 1927. At Marx's burial, he delivers the Speech at the grave of Karl Marx.
1884 Publishes The origin of the family, private property and the State.
1885 Edited by Engels, the second volume of Capital is published.
1894 Also edited by Engels, the third volume of Capital is published.
1895 After long medical treatment, Engels dies in London on August 5.