The “Demands of the Communist Party in Germany” was written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in Paris between March 21 (when Engels arrived in Paris from Brussels) and March 24, 1848, and discussed by members of the Central Authority of the Communist League, who approved and signed it as their political programme in the German revolution. It was printed as a leaflet in March and distributed in Paris, and soon reached members of the Communist League in other countries, including German emigrant workers in London.
Early in April, it was published in numerous radical newspapers in Germany.
Marx and Engels, who left for Germany round about April 6 and some time later settled in Cologne, did their best along with their followers to popularise this programme document during the revolution. In 1848 and 1849 it was repeatedly published in the periodical press and in leaflet form. In September, the “Demands” were printed in Cologne as a leaflet for circulation by the Cologne Workers’ Associationm ad at the Second Democratic Congress held in Berlin in October 1848, Friedrich Beust, delegate from the Cologne Workers’ Association, spoke, on behalf of the social question commission, in favour of adopting a programme of action closely following the “Demands.” In November and December 1848, various points of the “Demands” were discussed at meetings of the Cologne Workers’ Association.
Unlike the “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” published in February 1848, the “Demands of the Communist Party in Germany” reflects the immediate demands of the democratic Revolution which had broken out in Germany. Clearly, the aims of the “Manifesto” were more far-reaching than the movement in Germany at the time, and unlike the “Demands,” the “Manifesto” was to outlive the immediate conditions in Germany.