Jones, Ernest Charles

Jones, Ernest Charles,

1819–69, English radical, lawyer, journalist, and poet. He was a prominent leader of the more militant wing of the Chartists (see ChartismChartism,
workingmen's political reform movement in Great Britain, 1838–48. It derived its name from the People's Charter, a document published in May, 1838, that called for voting by ballot, universal male suffrage, annual Parliaments, equal electoral districts, no
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). After imprisonment for sedition (1848–50), he edited a radical journal and later practiced as a lawyer. The Battle Day and Other Poems (1855) and his other labor verse have more literary merit than his sensational novels.

Bibliography

See his writings and speeches (ed. by J. Saville, 1952).

Jones, Ernest Charles

 

Born Jan. 25, 1819, in Berlin; died Jan. 26, 1869, in Manchester. Figure in the English and international workers’ movement, writer, and publicist. Born into an aristocratic family. A lawyer.

Jones, having aligned himself with the Chartist movement, became one of the leaders of its left revolutionary wing at the beginning of 1846. K. Marx considered Jones “the most talented, consistent, and energetic representative of Chartism” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 8, p. 364 [originally published in English in the New York Daily Tribune, Aug. 25, 1852, pp. 5-6]). Jones was an active participant in the work of the international society called the Fraternal Democrats and, beginning in the summer of 1847, of the Communist League. Friendship with Marx and Engels played a major role in the formation of his world view. He was a firm supporter of revolutionary action by the masses.

In the 1840’s, Jones published the collection Chartist Poems and the novels The Confessions of a King and The Romance of a People. He spent the years from 1848 to 1850 in prison, where he wrote the narrative poem The New World. In the 1850’s he waged a struggle for the regeneration of Chartism on a socialist foundation. Jones was one of the authors of the Chartist program of 1851, in which the socialist goals of the movement were openly proclaimed. In the journal Notes to the People (1851-52) and the newspaper People’s Paper (1852-58), which he published, Jones propagandized the ideas of scientific communism and proletarian internationalism and agitated on behalf of the merging of the workers’ economic and political struggles. In 1854, at his initiative, the Workers’ Parliament was convened in Manchester. Jones castigated English domination in India, Ireland, and other countries. Beginning in the mid-1850’s, however, Jones manifested reformist hesitations, which he eventually overcame. He participated in the work of the First International.

WORKS

Selections From the Writings and Speeches. (Introduction and notes by J. Saville.) London, 1952. [Excerpts.] In Antologiia chartistskoi literatury. Moscow, 1956. [Texts in English.]

REFERENCES

Marx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vols. 8-11. (See Index of Names.)
Galkin, V. V. “Ernest Dzhons.” In Marks i Engel’s i pervye proletarskie revoliutsionery. Moscow, 1961.
Gol’man, L. I. “O vzgliadakh E. Dzhonsa po kolonial’nomu voprosu.” Chartizm: Sb. st. Moscow, 1961.
Rozhkov, B. Revoliutsionnoe napravlenie v angliiskom rabochem dvizhenii 50-kh gg. XIX v. Moscow, 1964.

L. I. GOL’MAN

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