How did the ideas and theories of Karl Marx impact the development of socialism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Of course, the ideas and theories of Karl Marx were essentially what made socialism into a widespread and fairly radical political movement.  There were socialists before Marx, but Marx made the movement more relevant to the modern and industrialized world of the late 1800s.

By the late 1800s (Marx died...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Of course, the ideas and theories of Karl Marx were essentially what made socialism into a widespread and fairly radical political movement.  There were socialists before Marx, but Marx made the movement more relevant to the modern and industrialized world of the late 1800s.

By the late 1800s (Marx died in 1883), however, Marx's ideas were coming to have somewhat less of an impact.  There were other ideas that were pulling at socialism and leading it away from Marx's revolutionary vision.  This can be seen most clearly in the move towards "Social Democracy" by people who believed in "evolutionary socialism."  To these socialists, revolution as not likely to happen.  Socialists should, instead of working for revolution, work within democratic systems to help improve the lives of workers.  With the rise of this sort of socialism, Marx's ideas were coming to have less and less impact on socialism and its development.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team