Marx, Karl
(1818-1883)
   German social philosopher Karl Marx arrived in Brussels in February 1845. He came to Belgium from Paris, having been expelled from France and unable to return to his native Prussia as a warrant for his arrest awaited him at the border. His wife and 19-month-old daughter joined him and, while in Brussels, his son Edgar was born. The family was followed by Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), the colleague on whom Marx, destitute, depended for financial support. Together with several others, Marx and Engels formed the Communist Correspondence Committee in February 1846, which became the springboard for the communist movement. A Communist League was set up on 5 August 1847, followed by the German Workers' Association in late August, which soon counted about 100 members. Meeting at the Cygne guildhall on the Grand' Place, the group served as a school for communism in which Marx delivered lectures. In late summer 1847, publication began of the Deutscher-Brüsseler Zeitung, which was smuggled into Germany.
   At the same time, Marx and his coworkers sought to create a joint front of communists and democrats. He joined the Association démocratique, a political grouping in which proletarian revolutionaries and petit bourgeois democrats joined together to effect social change. The united front aroused the suspicions of the Belgian and Prussian authorities, and the latter pressured the former to expel Marx. February 1848 saw both the publication in London of the Communist Manifesto, which had been written in Brussels, and the outbreak of revolution in Paris. Popular demonstrations in Brussels prompted the government to take action. On 3 March 1848, the provisional government in Paris invited Marx to return and, on the same day, he was ordered to leave Belgium within 24 hours. Arrested and briefly detained, he departed on 4 March. Engels followed on 21 March.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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