“Harney was not alone in typifying the fading of a militant proletarianism under the influence of development in the ‘fifties’. The commercial crisis of late 1857 and 1858 which sent a rejuvenated Engels hastening back to England from his cure in Jersey – “I now feel in splendid form in this general collapse”, he wrote to Marx (2) – did not deter Ernest Jones from his attempt to wed the remnant of Chartism with the middle-class Radicals whom he had so bitterly assailed a few years before. Jones had finally given way to the despair over the prospects of an independent working-class party which had overwhelmed Harney some years earlier. Engels declared exultantly to Marx as the economic crisis became more acute, “In 1848 we thought our time was coming and in a certain sense it was, … this time it is really coming and everything is at stake” (3). The fact was that nothing happened in the way of a revival of a class-conscious movement and Jones succeeded in his aim of carrying the majority of those Chartists who remained into the middle-class camp in his conference of 1858. Within the short period of five years, first Harney, then Jones, had as Marx put it – “sold out”. The two leaders who had tried to resuscitate Chartism by making it a socialist as well as democratic movement had, in fact, succumbed to the apathy of those to whom their appeal was directed. Revolutionary socialism obviously had little appeal in a generally rising labour market; the short commercial crisis of 1857-58 led to grumbling about the government, not demands for its forcible overthrow. There was a kind of truth in Marx’s judgment, however. As a contemporary wrote later, “Jones was starved into surrender” (4); and the necessities which had driven Harney from the movement need not be reviewed” [A.R. Schoyen, The Chartist Challenge. A Portrait of George Julian Harney, 1958] [(2) Quoted in Mehring, Karl Marx, p. 254-; (3) Ibid.; (4) Adams, Memoirs of a Social Atom, vol. I, p. 161]