Marx, Karl 1818–1883
Karl Marx was the author of the profoundly influential Communist Manifesto (1848) and Capital (vol. 1, 1867; vols. 2–3 posthumous). In his theory, often called historical materialism, class struggle over the organization of labor, and appropriation of its products, is the central historical dynamic that leads society from one stage to another. Earlier stages included primitive communism, slavery, and feudalism. Marx described modern society as capitalism. Capitalists had a monopoly over the means of production, whereas proletarians (wage earners) produced unpaid surplus labor, the source of capitalist profits. World trade created new markets and helped realize these profits, transforming commodities into money. While many German progressives favored protection of domestic industries, Marx supported free trade, to hasten the development of capitalism and precipitate proletarian revolution that would lead to the next stage, socialism or collective control of production (with full communism a distant prospect).
For Marx, European capitalism emerged from feudalism through "primitive accumulation," dispossessing peasants and artisans of land and tools. World trade (e.g., wool and textiles) stimulated this process. Later Marxists (Maurice Dobb, Paul Sweezy) debated whether trade initiated changes in social relations or responded to them.
In precapitalist areas such as nineteenth-century India, trade and competition from (then) cheaper European manufactured goods dissolved the traditional village community that had combined handicrafts and agriculture. The integration of these regions into the world market was described as imperialism (Vladimir Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg). Contemporary globalization changes the division of labor among old and newly industrialized economies.
Avineri, Shlomo, ed. Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernisation. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1969.
Carver, Terrell, ed. Cambridge Companion to Karl Marx. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Marx, Karl. Capital, vols. 1–3. New York: International Publishers, 1967.
Marx, Karl. The Communist Manifesto, ed. Gareth Stedman Jones. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 2002.
"Marx, Karl 1818–1883." History of World Trade Since 1450. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 17, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/marx-karl-1818-1883
"Marx, Karl 1818–1883." History of World Trade Since 1450. . Retrieved November 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/marx-karl-1818-1883
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.