The Communist Manifesto, 1848 No Work Too Small - photograph by Ian Abley
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1. By 1848 many of the European countries were suffering from an economic crisis; the failure of potato and grain crops in 1845 and 1846 was reflected in the price of food.

Peasants demanded abolition of the feudal system, industrial workers sought radical improvements in their working conditions, and the middle class wanted more political rights.

There were movements for the unification of Italy and of Germany.

Revolutionary agitation began in Paris, forcing the abdication of the King and establishing the Second Republic. Royalty was reasserted in Prussia, while the German Confederation held its first parliament.

Ross WolfeAndrew Kliman

The Communist Manifesto

A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism. All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcize this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police spies.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as Communistic by its opponents in power? Where the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

Two things result from this fact:

I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European Powers to be itself a Power.

II. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.

To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London, and sketched the following Manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.

click1 - Bourgeois and Proletarians

click2 - Proletarians and Communists

click3 - Socialist and Communist Literature

I - Reactionary Socialism

a. - Feudal Socialism

b. - Petty-Bourgeois Socialism

c. - German, or "True", Socialism

II - Conservative, or Bourgeois, Socialism

III - Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism

click4 - Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties

1848 Centres of European Revolution in relation to the German Confederation

Source: Revolution and Reaction in Europe 1815 - 1849, Atlas of World History, Philips, London, 1999, Map 3, p 173 (1)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, 1848, based on the translation by Samuel Moore, and with notes by Engels in 1888, excluding note (1) and (7)

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