Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848 as a call-to-arms against all the "bourgeois" oppressors. This short, yet powerful document is considered the first definitive expression of communist doctrine. At the time, Marx was 29 and Engels was 27, and they were still youthful idealists when it came to politics and the possibilities of reform and revolution. Marx and Engels belonged to the third generation of the "great Romantic current in European thought and culture" and therefore all of their convictions were idealistic and Romantic in design. Expanding on the philosophical ideas of their predecessor, Hegel, who was also a Romantic intellectual, Marx and Engels confidently predict the turmoil that had yet to begin with their The Communist Manifesto. In fact, the year The Communist Manifesto was published, revolutions erupted in Europe related to attempts of the middle class to increase their power at the expense of the monarchy and the aristocracy. .
The Communist Manifesto had an incredible impact on the way people thought, politically. It dramatically affected the course of history. For example, its teachings helped to ignite the Russian Revolution. This writing was also a contributor to the hostile, anti-democratic attitude that started the Cold War. The Communist Manifesto was one of the earliest examples of a well thought out cry against the current political and social situation. The doctrine presented in this document was the basis (if used loosely) for the Soviet Union"s communistic government. Even though Lenin"s breed of Marxism is considered unorthodox by true Marxists, the changes brought upon Russia, as a Communist state, are indisputable. The 20th century activist and thinker, Bill Mandel wrote, "Did your great grandparents know Dostoyevsky.? They did not, because they could not read.Out of every ten of you who are professionals or intellectuals, only one would have been before 1917.