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The Communist Manifesto, originally the Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 political document by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Commissioned by the Communist League and originally published in London just as the Revolutions of 1848 began to erupt, the Manifesto was later recognised as one of the world's most influential political documents. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and then-present) and the conflicts of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.

The Communist Manifesto summarises Marx and Engels' theories concerning the nature of society and politics, namely that in their own words "[t]he history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles". It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism. In the last paragraph of the Manifesto, the authors call for a "forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions", which served as a call for communist revolutions around the world.[1][2]

In 2013, The Communist Manifesto was registered to UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme along with Marx's Capital, Volume I.[3]

political influences were wide-ranging, reacting to and taking inspiration from German idealist philosophy, French socialism, and English and Scottish political economy. The Communist Manifesto also takes influence from literature. In Jacques Derrida’s work, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International, he uses William Shakespeare’s Hamlet to frame a discussion of the history of the International, showing in the process the influence that Shakespeare's work had on Marx and Engels’ writing.[21] In his essay, "Big Leagues: Specters of Milton and Republican International Justice between Shakespeare and Marx", Christopher N. Warren makes the case that English poet John Milton also had a substantial influence on Marx and Engels' work.[22] Historians of 19th-century reading habits have confirmed that Marx and Engels would have read these authors and it is known that Marx loved Shakespeare in particular.[23][24][25] Milton, Warren argues, also shows a notable influence on The Communist Manifesto, saying: "Looking back on Milton’s era, Marx saw a historical dialectic founded on inspiration in which freedom of the press, republicanism, and revolution were closely joined".[26] Milton’s republicanism, Warren continues, served as "a useful, if unlikely, bridge" as Marx and Engels sought to forge a revolutionary international coalition.