The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Engels, Friedrich (1820–1895)

  • Gareth Stedman Jones
Reference work entry


Born in Barmen, the eldest son of a textile manufacturer in Westphalia, Engels was trained for a merchant’s profession. From school onwards, however, he developed radical literary ambitions which eventually brought him into contact with the Young Hegelian circle in Berlin in 1841. In 1842, Engels left for England to work in his father’s Manchester firm. Already converted by Moses Hess to a belief in ‘communism’ and the imminence of an English social revolution, he used his two-year stay to study the conditions which would bring it about. From this visit came two works which were to make an important contribution to the formation of Marxian socialism: Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy (generally called the Umrisse) published in 1844, and The Condition of the Working Class in England, published in Leipzig in 1845.


Cost of production theory of value Engels, F. Kautsky, K. Labour theory of value Marx, K. H. Marxian transformation problem Peasants Rent Subjective theory of value 

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Bibliographic Addendum

  1. Carver, T. 1990. Friedrich Engels: His life and thought. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hunley, J.D. 1991. The life and thought of Friedrich Engels: A reinterpretation of his life and thought. New Haven: Yale University Press, are useful in understanding Engels as an original thinker in his own right.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gareth Stedman Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.