Friedrich Engels

German philosopher, sociologist and economist (1820–1895)

Friedrich Engels II (28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German political thinker and writer. He wrote about Communism with philosopher Karl Marx. They wrote the book The Communist Manifesto together.

Friedrich Engels
Photograph by William Hall, 1879
Born(1820-11-28)28 November 1820
Died5 August 1895(1895-08-05) (aged 74)
London, England
Political party

Philosophy career
EducationGymnasium zu Elberfeld
University of Berlin
(no degree)[1]
Notable workThe Condition of the Working Class in England, Anti-Dühring, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, The German Ideology, The Communist Manifesto
Partner(s)Mary Burns (died 1863)
Lizzie Burns
(m. 1878; died 1878)
Era19th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolContinental philosophy
Main interests
Political philosophy, political economy, class struggle, criticism of capitalism
Notable ideas
Alienation and exploitation of the worker, dialectical materialism, historical materialism, false consciousness



Friedrich Engels II was born in Barmen, Germany in 1820. His father was a very rich factory owner. His father sent Friedrich to England to run one of his factories. Engles became upset with the way the workers were living at the factory. He was upset with the class system. At about this time, Engles began to write about politics and the struggles of the workers.

In 1844, he met Karl Marx in France. The two men became friends. They also began to write together. The two men worked together until the death of Marx in 1883. Engels' influential work, "The Condition of the Working Class in England," highlighted the harsh realities of industrialization. His partnership with Marx laid the foundation for modern communism, and his writings continue to shape discussions on class struggle and societal transformation. After Marx died, Engels spent the rest of his life editing and translating Marx' writings. He also wrote about women and marriage. Engles died of throat cancer in London in 1895, leaving a lasting legacy in the realms of political philosophy and social critique.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Norman Levine, Divergent Paths: The Hegelian Foundations of Marx's Method, Lexington Books, 2006, p. 92: "the Young never graduated from the gymnasium, never went to university..."