Communist Manifesto Primary Source Assignment

Balde 1Fatoumata Foly BaldeProf. SantelliHistory 10205/04/20161.) The Passage I am choosing is from The Communist Manifesto, which was co-authored by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The title of the original source is called The Communist Manifesto, and the type of perspective it represents is called First person, plural form in this case.Also it represents the perspective of that time The Communist Manifesto was written on 1848 and published on January 1848 in London. (Spielvogel 783). The intended audience was for a group of German-born revolutionary socialists called the “Communist League.” (Spielvogel 783). The genre of the source is a short book, specifically a political manuscript. * What was occurring at the time of composition was that were a lot of wealthy aristocrats who owned the means of production in Europe. The agrarian economy that was progressing towards a manufacturing economy. There was a large disparity in wealth between the serfs or working classand the wealthy. Kings, nobles, dukes and barons were still around in England and had a lot of power, overall most people were in poverty and a small minority were wealthy. These conditions were occurring right before the beginning of the Industrial revolution. Mass production was a new idea that also entailed bad conditions in the factories because there were no rights for the workers or regulations in the factories.2.) First the author defined the new rich as the bourgeois and the working poor as the proletarians. The main point in the first passage was about defining classes of society throughout time and history. The history of mankind is the struggle for the control over money. Freeman is a person in a “trade”, for example that makes shoes and are former slaves basically they made stuffif you were a freeman. The authors are trying to make a contrast between these two groups of people throughout history.

Primary Sources | »

Karl Marx: the Communist Manifesto (Excerpt)


The opening section of Karl Marx's iconic Communist Manifesto provides one theory about the way free market, command, and mixed economies work. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations presents another theory of economic systems.

Karl Marx developed many of his theories during the height of the Industrial Revolution, when economic systems and the nature of labor was changing radically. His work was published in 1848 - sometimes dubbed the "Year of Revolution" - which was a time of great social unrest. In this excerpt, Marx outlines the way class struggle has impacted the history of society and the economy. He begins by discussing feudalism, and moves to his views of the industrialization happening in 1848.

According to Marx, who are the bourgeois? What are the problems with a "constantly expanding market"? How does Marx compare with Adam Smith?

Source: Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, 1948.

How to Cite This Source

Karl Marx, "Karl Marx: the Communist Manifesto (Excerpt)," in Virginia Civics, Item #549, (accessed March 10, 2018).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *