The Communist Manifesto HTML version
industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the
revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid
The feudal system of industry, under which industrial production
was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the
growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took
its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the
manufacturing middle class; division of labour between the
different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour
in each single workshop.
Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising.
Even manufacture no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and
machinery revolutionised industrial production. The place of
manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry, the place of
the industrial middle class, by industrial millionaires, the leaders of
whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois.
Modern industry has established the world-market, for which the
discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an
immense development to commerce, to navigation, to
communication by land. This development has, in its time, reacted
on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry,
commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion
the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into
the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.
We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product
of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the
modes of production and of exchange.
Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied
by a corresponding political advance of that class. An oppressed
class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-