At that moment, Europe was at the height of the development of the industrial era and wars of conquest for the accumulation of market, labour and resources for the bourgeois economy. It was a time of rapid changes ensuing on all borders. Expansion of industrial interests was grappling Europe. Colonies in Asia, Africa and Latin America were continuously ransacked while the European continent was in a constant scrabble of migration from different nations in search of industrial work. Indeed an era of accumulation of wealth and technological advances to improve productivity .
With these changes in the economic landscape came the winds of liberal thought. New machines that were never seen before were conceived side by side with political ideas never heard before. Thus the revolutionized industry became a breeding ground for a revolutionary spectre. Friedrich Engels was never detached from these changes. From his childhood until his intellectual career was on its full bloom, the economic transformations in Europe became the solid foundations of Marxist historiography.
His nascent years had been vital for the development of his future philosophical pursuit. In his poem To My Grandfather, written December 20, 1833, Friedrich had shown his early acquaintances in history through stories in the Greek mythology which he described as many a beautiful story that his grandfather had told him . Another untitled poem written 3 years after described characters in stories from all over Europe seen by young Friedrich as pictures to delight . He was an observer and the environment drew much attention from him.
Once he wrote about the conditions in Wuppertal, one of his first attempts to explain the seemingly complicated miseries of the working class , even the columns of a building and the style of architecture did not escape his watch. It was the beginning of his acquisition of his most powerful weapon in his revolutionary battle excellence in textual conveyance. Not only was it a peek to his future history inclinations but also his superb literary talent that has greatly manifested in his works. In such a young age, Engels had learned that his wealth was a curse.
The environment in which Friedrich Engels lived was full of stark contradictions. External factors greatly affected his inner resolve. His father, a German textile mill owner, wanted him to become an industrialist too like himself. Knowing in his self that he was not fit for that kind of life, a strained relationship developed between them. A supporter of the Prussian government, Friedrichs father held conservative views in politics and religion which were attributed to his Protestant Pietist devotion.
He enrolled Friedrich in local Pietist schools where he was indoctrinated with narrow fundamentalist views of society. Those were never acceptable to his broad interests. Hoping that the radical youth in Friedrich could still be doused with cold waters of isolation, he was sent to Bremen before he finished his high school studies to work as a clerk. These efforts were put to waste. There he exhibited despise to autocracy and religion, enjoyed life at its fullest and studied literature, philosophy, theology and history . Engels was drawn to the democratic struggles that were gaining political momentum at that time.
Using a pen name of Friedrich Oswald, he participated in the literary movement. His first work, a poem titled The Bedouin was published in the Bremisches Conversationsblatt No. 40. In September 1838 and many other literary works and commentaries proceeded thereafter. As an active radical, Engels wrote articles for the democratic movement while attending lectures at Berlin University with his military service all at the same time. When he moved to Berlin to join the Household Artillery of the Prussian Army, he already had attractions to the Young Hegelians .