Engels in Manchester…


Manchester’s dark satanic mills were the backdrop to the conception of communism.

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, social scientist, and noted communist. This statue was salvaged from the Ukraine, but Engels lived in Manchester for over 20 years.

His father sent him to Manchester to prepare him for taking over the family business, which was based in Weaste, in Salford. He was sent by his father to rid him of his youthful radicalism. However, the horrors of the industrial revolution in Manchester saw him become more entrenched in his views, seeing child labour, extreme poverty and a destroyed environment. Engels met Mary Burns in Manchester, another fierce political radical, who guided him around Manchester and Salford, to observe the poverty in the slums.

In 1845 Engels published ‘the condition of the working class in England’ in Germany, but it was not published in English until 1887. Manchester had a profound effect on Engels, and he co-wrote ‘The Communist Manifesto’ with Karl Marx, who often stayed with him in Manchester.