Credit: Kathryn Fuller Seeley
by Zach Lewis Feature Articles Featured Film

Cowboy Boots of Padre Park: A Quick History of Star Film Ranch

January 20, 2023

In 1843, Karl Marx decided he would move away from Cologne to a land that would be more open to his ideas, more open in every way possible: Texas. Not yet a part of the United States, the Republic of Texas offered bountiful tracts of land for cheap to anyone who was willing to work the land. There was no harsh winter and no taxes. Johann Friedrich Ernst, an early German immigrant to Texas, wrote back to those in his home country that working a small parcel of land for one of the German kingdoms paled in comparison to working your own ranch in this new utopia. Though his praise was overblown, Ernst’s words began a series of migrations from Germany, as families followed their neighbors to the big sky idyll. Perhaps Marx saw Texas as a possible break from the historical events that formed capital and inequality in Europe, or perhaps he thought of Texas ranch life as a Rousseauian utopia. Regardless, he did not follow his friends and neighbors. He instead moved to Paris, where he would forge the friendships that would create the Karl Marx that history knows.

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Published as part of InRO Weekly — Volume 1, Issue 3.