How did Karl Marx's ideas impact the lives of people during the Industrial Revolution?

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Marx's ideas mainly impacted on people after the Industrial Revolution, when industrial capitalism had reached an advanced stage. Nevertheless, the Industrial Revolution was crucial for the development of Marxism in that it provided Marx with the raw material—the inspiration—for his ideas.

This particular period of history was characterized by rapid, sudden change. There was mass migration from the countryside to the burgeoning towns and cities, where people found work in the new industries. Marx welcomed this development, as he saw it as an improvement on the old economic system, a system based upon agriculture. At the same time, he acknowledged the great suffering and poverty that the Industrial Revolution brought to the growing urban working class, or the proletariat, as he called them. Working conditions in the new factories were appalling; pay was low, and workplace accidents were frequent.

Marx set out to change things through his writings and his political activity, arguing and agitating for a new economic system—communism—that would replace what he regarded as the inhumanity and exploitation of capitalism. In Marx's lifetime, his ideas provided inspiration to countless working men and women, giving them a sense of hope that they would one day overthrow the existing system. However, it wasn't until long after the Industrial Revolution had passed into an advanced stage of capitalism, and many years after Marx's death, that the impact of his ideas began to be fully felt on millions across the globe, when socialist revolutionaries started to put those ideas into practice.

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Karl Marx was a German philosopher, historian, economist, and political scientist who was born in Prussia in 1818 and lived most of his life in London. Although he started writing for publication in 1837, the works expressing the communist philosophy for which he became famous were the result of his meeting with Engels in 1845. He died in 1883.

The Industrial Revolution refers to a period characterized by rapid improvements in manufacturing, including the application of steam power, between 1760 and 1820. Since the Industrial Revolution began before Marx was born and ended before he started publishing his ideas, we can safely conclude that Marx's ideas had absolutely no impact on the the lives of people during the Industrial Revolution.

In fact, the opposite is the case. Much of Marx's work responds to the plight of the workers in the new manufacturing cities of England in the wake of the Industrial Revolution and its ensuing social upheavals.

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