In 1835, he travelled to Moscow to study philosophy and the following year he translated German philosopher Johann Fichte’s works - ‘Some Lectures Concerning the Scholar's Vocation’ and ‘The Way to a Blessed Life’.
In 1840, he moved to Berlin after getting a teaching offer in the department of philosophy. Here, he became part of the German intellectual group ‘Young Hegelians’ and also became a supporter of the socialist movement in Berlin.
In 1842, he authored the well-known essay, ‘The Reaction in Germany-A Fragment by a Frenchman’, which put forth the ideas of the prevalent social and political revolution.
In 1844, as a consequence of his strong socialistic ideals, the Russian government stripped off his status of a noble, curbed his privileges and confiscated his property, after which he was banished to Siberia.
On November 29, 1847, he gave a political speech that supported the Polish Independence movement. As a result, he was forced to leave France on the order of the Russian Ambassador and soon, shifted to Brussels.
During his stay in Berlin, his interest in socialism grew deeper and he abandoned his academic career and became part of the revolutionary, socialistic movement.
In 1848, he authored ‘Appeal to the Slavs’, a proposal to overthrow the European autocracies.
Following his participation in the ‘Czech rebellion of 1848’, a series of political upheavals throughout Europe, he was arrested in Dresden, Germany. He was imprisoned in the Peter-Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg, where he remained until 1857. Following his imprisonment, he was ordered to work in Siberia.
In 1859, he moved to Eastern Siberia along with his wife, to work at the Amur Development Agency.
Continue Reading Below
In 1861, he escaped from Siberia via sea route in an American ship ‘SS Vickery’ and reached Yokohama, Japan. Here, he met fellow revolutionaries, Wilhelm Heine and Philipp Franz von Siebold.
He left Japan and sailed on ‘SS Carrington’ to San Francisco, where he met members of the ‘Forty-Eighters’, veterans of the 1848 revolutions in Europe.
He re-entered Western Europe and partook in the Polish revolutionary movement, after which he sailed across the Baltic in the ‘SS Ward Jackson’ to be a part of the Polish insurrection. Sadly, he failed to reach his destination and planned to travel to Italy instead.
In 1863, he began his journey to Italy and reached his destination on January 11, 1864. It was here, he began to develop his ideas on anarchy.
In Italy, he founded the ‘International Brotherhood’, an underground association of revolutionaries that carried out propaganda for which he recruited Italians, Frenchmen, Scandinavians and Slavs.
He began expanding his association, the ‘International Brotherhood’ to other countries and had members in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, England, France, Spain, and Italy, apart from Polish and Russian members.
From 1867 to 1868, he became a prominent member of the ‘League of Peace and Freedom’, the Inaugural congress of the bourgeois-pacifist and also authored the essay ‘Federalism, Socialism, and Anti-Theologism’.
In 1868, he became a member of the ‘First International’, an association of the working class and remained associated with it until he was expelled by Karl Marx, the revolutionary socialist.
From 1869 to 1870, he became involved in the Russian Revolutionary projects along with Sergey Nechayev, a Russian revolutionary.