Commune de Paris – Wikipedia
Commune de Paris Partie après le siège de Paris pendant la guerre franco-prussienne, barricade de la rue Voltaire, après la capture de l'armée régulière au cours de la Bloody Week du 18 mars au 28 mai 1871 Lieu Paris, France Résultat
Rébellion réprimée Beligerents
Les communards de la garde nationale sont des voyous et des chefs
Patrice de MacMahon, duc de Magenta
170 000 (1)
Sur papier 200 000; en réalité, probablement entre 25 000 et 50 000 combattants réels (2) Victimes et pertes
877 tués, 6454 blessés et 183 disparus (3)
6 677 confirmés tués et enterrés; (4) estimations non confirmées entre 10 000 (5) et 20 000 (6) morts
La Commune de Paris (français: La Commune de Paris, IPA: (la kɔmyn də paʁi)) était un gouvernement socialiste et révolutionnaire radical qui a gouverné Paris du 18 mars au 28 mai 1871. La guerre franco-prussienne a conduit à la capture de l'empereur Napoléon III en septembre 1870, l'effondrement du Second Empire français et le début de la IIIe République. Paris étant assiégée pendant quatre mois, la IIIe République déménage sa capitale à Tours. Berceau du radicalisme ouvrier, Paris à l'époque était principalement défendu par les troupes souvent politisées et radicales de la Garde nationale, plutôt que par l'armée régulière. Paris se rend aux Prussiens le 28 janvier 1871 et en février Adolphe Thiers, le nouveau directeur exécutif du gouvernement national français, signe une trêve avec la Prusse, qui désarme l'armée mais pas la garde nationale.
Le 18 mars, des soldats de la garde nationale de la commune ont tué deux généraux de l'armée française, et la commune a refusé d'accepter l'autorité du gouvernement français. La commune a régné sur Paris pendant deux mois, jusqu'à ce qu'elle soit supprimée par l'armée régulière française lors de "La semaine sanglante", à partir du 21 mai 1871. (7)
Les débats sur les politiques et les résultats de la Commune ont eu un impact significatif sur les idées de Karl Marx, qui l'a décrit comme un exemple de «dictature du prolétariat» (8).
Prélude (modifier le wikicode)
Le 2 septembre 1870, la France est défaite à la bataille de Sedan lors de la guerre franco-prussienne et l'empereur Napoléon III est capturé. Lorsque la nouvelle est parvenue à Paris le lendemain, des foules choquées et furieuses sont descendues dans les rues. L'impératrice Eugenia, la femme de l'empereur et alors régent acteur, a fui la ville, et le gouvernement du Second Empire s'est rapidement effondré. Des membres républicains et radicaux de l'Assemblée nationale se sont rendus à l'Hôtel de Ville, ont proclamé la nouvelle République française et formé le gouvernement de la Défense nationale avec l'intention de poursuivre la guerre. L'armée prussienne se dirige rapidement vers Paris.
En 1871, la France était profondément divisée entre les grandes populations rurales, catholiques et conservatrices de la campagne française et les villes républicaines et plus radicales de Paris, Marseille, Lyon et plusieurs autres. Au premier tour des élections législatives de 1869, tenues dans l'Empire français, 4 438 000 ont voté pour les candidats bonapartistes qui soutenaient Napoléon III, tandis que 3 350 000 ont voté pour l'opposition républicaine. A Paris, cependant, les candidats républicains dominent, remportant 234 000 voix contre 77 000 pour les bonapartistes. (9)
Sur les deux millions d'habitants de Paris en 1869, selon le recensement officiel, il y avait environ 500 000 ouvriers industriels, soit 15% de tous les ouvriers industriels en France, plus 300 000 à 400 000 ouvriers dans d'autres entreprises. Environ 40 000 étaient employés dans des usines et de grandes entreprises; la plupart étaient employés dans de petites industries dans les domaines du textile, du meuble et de la construction. Il y avait également 115 000 domestiques et 45 000 porteurs. En plus de la population domestique française, il y avait environ 100 000 travailleurs immigrés et réfugiés politiques, et le plus grand nombre venait d'Italie et de Pologne. (9)
Pendant la guerre et le siège de Paris, divers membres des classes moyennes et supérieures ont quitté la ville; en même temps, un afflux de réfugiés en provenance de régions de France occupées par les Allemands. La classe ouvrière et les immigrants ont le plus souffert d'un manque d'activité industrielle dû à la guerre et au siège; ils ont constitué la base du soutien populaire de la commune. (9)
Radicalisation des travailleurs parisiens (bureaux)
La commune résulte en partie d'une montée du mécontentement des travailleurs parisiens. (10) Cette insatisfaction remonte aux premiers soulèvements ouvriers, les soulèvements de Canut, à Lyon et à Paris dans les années 1830 (11) (le seau était en soie de Lyonee, travaillant souvent sur des métiers à tisser jacquard). De nombreux Parisiens, en particulier les travailleurs des classes inférieures et moyennes, soutiennent la république démocratique. Une exigence spécifique était que Paris devrait auto-gouverner son propre conseil élu, dont jouissent les petites villes françaises, mais a été refusé par le gouvernement national en raison de la population indécente de la capitale. Ils voulaient aussi une manière plus "juste" de gouverner l'économie, sinon nécessairement socialiste, a-t-il résumé dans un appel populaire pour "la république démocratique et sociale!". (devis requis)
Les mouvements socialistes, comme la Première Internationale, ont eu une influence croissante sur les centaines de sociétés qui l'ont rejoint dans toute la France. Début 1867, les employeurs parisiens des ouvriers du bronze tentent d'unir leurs ouvriers. Cela a été vaincu par une grève organisée par l'Internationale. Plus tard, en 1867, il a répondu à une manifestation publique à Paris en dissolvant le conseil exécutif et en infligeant une amende à la direction. Les tensions s'intensifièrent: les internationalistes élirent un nouveau conseil d'administration et proposèrent un programme plus radical, les autorités emprisonnèrent leurs dirigeants, et la perspective révolutionnaire fut portée au Congrès international de Bruxelles en 1868. L'Internationale a eu une influence significative même parmi les travailleurs français, en particulier à Paris et dans les grandes villes (12).
L'assassinat du journaliste Victor Noir a mis en colère les Parisiens et les arrestations de journalistes critiques de l'empereur n'ont rien fait pour calmer la ville. L'attaché militaire allemand Waldersee a écrit dans son journal en février: "Chaque nuit, des barricades isolées ont été lancées, construites principalement avec des véhicules de transport inutilisés, en particulier des omnibus, plusieurs coups de feu ont été tirés au hasard et des scènes d'émeutes impliquant plusieurs centaines de personnes, pour la plupart assez jeunes, ont été filmées. ". Cependant, il a noté que "les travailleurs, en tant que classe, n'ont pas participé à la procédure". (13) Une tentative de coup d'État a été tentée au début de 1870, mais les tensions ont considérablement diminué après le plébiscite de mai. La guerre avec la Prusse, lancée par Napoléon III en juillet, a d'abord rencontré un zèle patriotique. (14)
Radicaux et révolutionnaires (modifier le wikicode)
Louis Auguste Blanqui, chef de la faction d'extrême gauche de la Commune, a été emprisonné pendant toute la durée de la Commune.
Paris était le berceau traditionnel des mouvements radicaux français. Les révolutionnaires sont descendus dans la rue pour s'opposer à leurs gouvernements lors des soulèvements populaires de juillet 1830 et juin 1848, et à de nombreuses autres occasions.
Parmi les groupes radicaux et révolutionnaires à Paris à l'époque de la Commune, les plus conservateurs étaient les «républicains radicaux». Ce groupe comprenait un jeune médecin et futur Premier ministre Georges Clemenceau, qui était membre de l'Assemblée nationale et maire du 18e Conseil de district. Clemenceau a essayé de négocier un compromis entre la Commune et le gouvernement, mais aucune des parties ne l'a cru; les envoyés provinciaux de la France rurale le considéraient comme extrêmement radical, mais les chefs de la Commune modérés mais modérés.
Les révolutionnaires les plus extrêmes de Paris étaient les disciples de Louis Auguste Blanqui, un révolutionnaire charismatique professionnel qui a passé la majeure partie de sa vie adulte en prison. (15) Il avait environ un millier d'adeptes, dont beaucoup étaient armés et organisés en cellules de dix personnes chacune. Chaque cellule a agi de manière indépendante et les membres des autres groupes n'étaient pas au courant, ils ne communiquaient avec leurs dirigeants que par code. Blanqui a écrit un manuel sur la révolution, Instructions for Armed Uprising, pour donner des instructions à ses partisans. Bien qu'ils soient peu nombreux, les blanchisseurs ont obtenu bon nombre des soldats les plus disciplinés et plusieurs hauts responsables de communes.
Défenseurs de Paris (modifier)
Le 20 septembre 1870, l'armée allemande avait encerclé Paris et campait à seulement 2 000 mètres (fronts français) des lignes françaises. L'armée française régulière à Paris, sous le commandement du général Trochu, ne comptait que 50 000 soldats de métier; la plupart des soldats français de première ligne étaient des prisonniers de guerre, ou capturés à Metz, entourés d'Allemands. Les moines étaient soutenus par environ 5 000 pompiers, 3 000 gendarmes et 15 000 marins. (16) Les moines étaient également soutenus par Garde Mobile, de nouvelles recrues peu formées ou expérimentées. 17 000 d'entre eux étaient parisiens et 73 000 provinces. Parmi eux, vingt bataillons d'hommes de Bretagne, qui parlaient peu français. (16)
La plus grande force armée de Paris était la garde nationale, ou garde nationale, qui comptait environ 300 000 hommes. Ils avaient également très peu de formation ou d'expérience. Ils étaient organisés par les quartiers; ceux du milieu des classes supérieures et moyennes soutiennent généralement le gouvernement national, tandis que ceux du milieu de la classe ouvrière sont beaucoup plus radicaux et politisés. Les gardes de nombreuses unités étaient connus pour leur manque de discipline; certaines unités refusent de porter des uniformes, refusent souvent d'exécuter les ordres sans leur parler et demandent le droit de choisir leurs propres officiers. Les membres de la Garde nationale de la quatrième classe ouvrière sont devenus la principale force armée de la Commune. (16)
Siège de Paris; premières démonstrations (modifier)
Eugène Varlin a conduit plusieurs milliers de soldats de la Garde nationale à la marche vers l'hôtel de ville en criant "Vive la commune!"
Alors que les Allemands encerclaient la ville, des groupes radicaux ont vu que le gouvernement de la Défense nationale avait peu de soldats pour se défendre et ont lancé les premières manifestations contre lui. Le 19 septembre, des unités de la Garde nationale des principaux quartiers ouvriers – Belleville, Ménilmontant, La Villette, Montrouge, Faubourg Saint-Antoine et le Temple du Faubourg du – ont défilé au centre-ville et ont demandé qu'un nouveau gouvernement, une commune, soit élu. Ils ont été accueillis par des unités de l'armée régulière fidèles au gouvernement de la défense nationale, et les manifestants se sont finalement dispersés pacifiquement. Le 5 octobre, 5 000 manifestants ont marché de Belleville à l'hôtel de ville, exigeant des élections municipales urgentes et des fusils. Le 8 octobre, plusieurs milliers de soldats de la Garde nationale, dirigés par Eugène Varlin de la Première Internationale, ont marché vers le centre en criant «Vive la commune!», Mais ils se sont également dispersés sans incident.
Plus tard en octobre, le général Louis Jules Trochu a lancé une série d'attaques armées pour briser le siège allemand, avec de lourdes pertes et aucun succès. Le 27 septembre, les Allemands coupent une ligne télégraphique reliant Paris au reste de la France. Le 6 octobre, le ministre de la Défense Léon Gambetta a quitté la ville en ballon pour tenter d'organiser une résistance nationale contre les Allemands. (17)
Soulèvement du 31 octobre (modifier)
Le 31 octobre 1870, des unités révolutionnaires de la Garde nationale occupent brièvement l'Hôtel de Ville, mais le soulèvement échoue.
Le 28 octobre, la nouvelle est arrivée à Paris que 160 000 soldats de l'armée française à Metz, encerclés par les Allemands depuis août, s'étaient rendus. La nouvelle est arrivée le même jour de l'échec d'une nouvelle tentative de l'armée française de percer le siège de Paris près du Bourget avec de lourdes pertes. Le 31 octobre, les dirigeants des principaux groupes révolutionnaires de Paris, dont Blanqui, Félix Pyat et Louis Charles Delescluze, ont convoqué de nouvelles manifestations à l'hôtel de ville contre le général Trochu et le gouvernement. Quinze mille manifestants, dont certains armés, se sont rassemblés devant l'Hôtel de Villa pour une pluie battante, appelant à la démission de Trochu et à la proclamation de la municipalité. Des coups de feu ont été tirés de l'Hôtel de Ville, un Trochu de peu disparu, et des manifestants ont pénétré dans le bâtiment, exigeant la formation d'un nouveau gouvernement et dressant une liste de ses membres proposés. (18)
Blanqui, le chef de la faction la plus radicale, a établi son propre quartier général dans la préfecture voisine de Seine, donnant des ordres et des décrets à ses partisans, avec l'intention d'établir son propre gouvernement. Alors que la formation du nouveau gouvernement a eu lieu à l'Hôtel de Ville, des unités de la Garde nationale et de la Garde mobile, fidèles au général Troch, sont arrivées et ont occupé le bâtiment sans violence. Dès trois heures, les manifestants ont obtenu un passage sûr et sont partis, et le court soulèvement a pris fin. (18)
Le 3 novembre, des responsables de la ville ont organisé un plébiscite des électeurs parisiens pour leur demander s'ils avaient confiance dans le gouvernement de la Défense nationale. Il y a eu 557 996 votes "oui", tandis que 62 638 votes "non". Deux jours plus tard, les conseils municipaux de chacun des vingt arrondissements de Paris ont voté pour élire un maire; cinq conseils ont élu des candidats radicaux de l'opposition, dont Delescluze et un jeune médecin de Montmartre, Georges Clemenceau (19).
Négociations avec les Allemands; poursuite de la guerre (modifier)
En septembre et octobre, Adolphe Thiers, le chef des conservateurs de l'Assemblée nationale, a effectué une tournée en Europe, en consultant les ministres des Affaires étrangères de Grande-Bretagne, de Russie et d'Autriche, et a constaté qu'aucun d'eux n'était disposé à soutenir la France contre les Allemands. Il a informé le gouvernement qu'il n'y avait pas d'alternative aux négociations de cessez-le-feu. Il a voyagé avec des touristes sous occupation allemande et a rencontré Bismarck le 1er novembre. Le chancelier a exigé la cession de toute l'Alsace, de certaines parties de la Lorraine et d'énormes dégâts. Le gouvernement de la défense nationale a décidé de poursuivre la guerre et de lever une nouvelle armée pour combattre les Allemands. Les armées françaises nouvellement organisées ont remporté une victoire individuelle à Coulmiers le 10 novembre, mais la tentative du général Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot le 29 novembre à Villiers de sortir de Paris a été vaincue avec une perte de 4000 soldats, contre 1700 victimes allemandes.
La vie quotidienne des Parisiens est devenue de plus en plus difficile pendant le siège. En décembre, les températures ont chuté à -15 ° C (5 ° F) et la Seine a gelé pendant trois semaines. Les Parisiens souffraient de pénuries de nourriture, de bois de chauffage, de charbon et de médicaments. La ville était presque complètement sombre la nuit. La seule communication avec le monde extérieur était un ballon, un porteur de pigeons ou des lettres emballées dans des boules de fer flottant sur la Seine. Les rumeurs et les théories du complot abondaient. Alors que les réserves de nourriture ordinaire s'épuisaient, les résidents affamés mangeaient la plupart des animaux du zoo de la ville, puis les mangeaient, les Parisiens ont eu recours à l'alimentation des rats.
Au début de janvier 1871, Bismarck et les Allemands eux-mêmes étaient fatigués du long siège. Ils ont installé soixante-douze pièces d'artillerie de 120 et 150 mm dans les fortifications autour de Paris et le 5 janvier ont commencé à bombarder la ville jour et nuit. Entre 300 et 600 grenades frappent quotidiennement le centre-ville. (20)
Soulèvement et armistice (modifier le wikicode)
Entre le 11 et le 19 janvier 1871, les armées françaises sont défaites sur quatre fronts et Paris est confronté à la famine. Le général Trochu a reçu des informations du préfet de Paris selon lesquelles l'agitation contre le gouvernement et les chefs militaires augmentait dans les clubs politiques et dans la garde nationale des quartiers populaires de Belleville, La Chapelle, Montmartre et Gros-Caillou.
Le 22 janvier à midi, trois ou quatre cents gardes nationaux et membres de groupes radicaux – pour la plupart des blanchisseurs – se sont rassemblés devant l'Hôtel de Ville. Un bataillon de Gardes Mobiles de Bretagne était dans le bâtiment pour le défendre en cas d'attaque. Les manifestants ont exigé que l'armée soit placée sous contrôle civil et que des élections municipales soient organisées immédiatement. L'atmosphère était tendue et au milieu de l'après-midi, une fusillade a éclaté entre les deux côtés; chaque côté a blâmé l'autre d'avoir tiré le premier. Six manifestants ont été tués et l'armée a dégagé la place. Le gouvernement a rapidement interdit deux publications, Le Réveil de Delescluze et Le Combat de Pyat, et arrêté 83 révolutionnaires.
Simultanément aux manifestations à Paris, les dirigeants du gouvernement de la Défense nationale à Bordeaux ont conclu que la guerre ne pouvait pas continuer. Le 26 janvier, ils signent un armistice et une trêve, avec des conditions spéciales pour Paris. La ville n'était pas occupée par les Allemands. Les soldats réguliers abandonneraient les armes, mais ne seraient pas faits prisonniers. Paris versera une indemnité de 200 millions de francs. À la demande de Jules Favre, Bismarck a accepté de ne pas désarmer la Garde nationale afin que l'ordre puisse être maintenu dans la ville.
Adolphe Thiers; élections législatives de 1871 (modifier)
Adolphe Thiers, directeur exécutif du gouvernement français pendant la commune
Le gouvernement national de Bordeaux a convoqué les élections nationales fin janvier, qui n'ont eu lieu que dix jours plus tard, le 8 février. La plupart des électeurs en France étaient ruraux, catholiques et conservateurs, et cela se reflétait dans les résultats; sur les 645 députés réunis à Bordeaux en février, environ 400 soutiennent la monarchie constitutionnelle sous Henri, comte de Chambord (petit-fils de Charles X) ou le prince Philippe, comte de Paris (petit-fils de Louis Philippe) (24)
Sur les 200 républicains du nouveau parlement, 80 étaient d'anciens Orléans (partisans de Philip) et modérément conservateurs. Ils étaient dirigés par Adolphe Thiers, élu dans 26 départements, ce qui était le plus de candidats. Il y avait un nombre égal de républicains plus radicaux, dont Jules Favre et Jules Ferry, qui voulaient une république sans monarque et qui estimaient que la signature d'un traité de paix était inévitable. Enfin, à l'extrême gauche, se trouvaient les républicains et socialistes radicaux, un groupe qui comprenait Louis Blanc, Léon Gambett et Georges Clemenceau. Ce groupe était dominant à Paris, où il a remporté 37 des 42 places. (25)
Le 17 février, le nouveau parlement a élu Thier, 74 ans, directeur exécutif de la Troisième République française. Il était considéré comme un candidat susceptible de ramener la paix et de rétablir l'ordre. Adversaire de longue date de la guerre de Prusse, Thiers a assuré au Parlement que la paix était nécessaire. Il se rend à Versailles, où il est attendu par Bismarck et l'empereur allemand, et une trêve est signée le 24 février.
Litige sur les canons de Paris (modifier)
Un projet moderne de femmes et d'enfants aidant à réaliser deux canons de la Garde nationale à Montmartre
A la fin de la guerre, 400 canons de bronze obsolètes à munitions sont restés dans la ville, que le public parisien a payé en partie avec un abonnement. Le nouveau Comité central de la Garde nationale, désormais dominé par les radicaux, a décidé de placer des canons dans les parcs adjacents à la classe ouvrière de Belleville, Buttes-Chaumont et Montmartre, pour les tenir à l'écart de l'armée régulière et défendre la ville de toute attaque du gouvernement national. Thiers était également déterminé à placer les canons sous le contrôle des gouvernements nationaux.
Clemenceau, ami de plusieurs révolutionnaires, a tenté de négocier un compromis; certains canons resteraient à Paris et d'autres entreraient dans l'armée. Cependant, Thiers et l'Assemblée nationale n'ont pas accepté ses propositions. Le PDG a voulu rétablir l'ordre et le pouvoir national à Paris dès que possible, et les canons sont devenus un symbole de ce pouvoir. L'Assemblée a également refusé de prolonger le moratoire sur le recouvrement des créances imposé pendant la guerre; et suspendu deux journaux radicaux, Le Cri du Peuple de Jules Valles et Le Mot d'Ordre d'Henri Rochefort, qui enflamment encore l'opinion radicale parisienne. Le Thiers a également décidé de déplacer l'Assemblée nationale et le gouvernement de Bordeaux à Versailles plutôt qu'à Paris, pour rester à l'écart des pressions des manifestations, ce qui a mis en colère la Garde nationale et les clubs politiques radicaux (26).
Le 17 mars 1871, une réunion a eu lieu entre Thier et son cabinet, rejoints par le maire de Paris Jules Ferry, commandant de la garde nationale, le général D & # 39; Aurelle de Paladines, et le général Joseph Vinoy, commandant des unités militaires régulières à Paris. Le Thiers a annoncé un plan pour envoyer une armée le lendemain pour reprendre les canons. Le plan a d'abord été opposé par le ministre de la Guerre Adolphe Le Flô, D & # 39; Aurelle de Paladines et Vinoy, qui ont fait valoir que le mouvement était prématuré parce que l'armée avait trop peu de soldats, était indiscipliné et démoralisé et que de nombreuses unités étaient politisées et ils n'étaient pas fiables. Vinoy les a exhortés à attendre que l'Allemagne libère les prisonniers de guerre français et que l'armée revienne en force. Thiers a insisté pour que l'opération envisagée se déroule le plus rapidement possible, afin d'avoir un élément de surprise. Si la capture du canon ne réussit pas, le gouvernement se retire du centre de Paris, renforce ses forces puis attaque avec une force énorme, comme il l'a fait lors du soulèvement de juin 1848. Le conseil accepte sa décision et Vinoy ordonne que l'opération commence le lendemain. (27)
Tentative d'attaque infructueuse et retrait du gouvernement (modifier)
L'assassinat du général Clément-Thomas (ci-dessus) et de Lecomte par la garde nationale le 18 mars a déclenché un conflit armé entre l'armée française et la garde nationale.
Au petit matin du 18 mars, deux brigades militaires escaladent les remparts de Montmartre, où se trouve la plus grande collection de canons, au nombre de 170. Un petit groupe de gardes du peuple révolutionnaires était déjà là et il y eut un bref affrontement entre la brigade dirigée par le général Claude Lecomte et la garde nationale; un garde, nommé Turpin, a été tué. L'histoire de la fusillade s'est rapidement propagée et des membres de la Garde nationale de partout dans la colonie, y compris Clemenceau, se sont précipités sur les lieux pour affronter les soldats.
Alors que l'armée réussit à sécuriser les canons de Belleville et des Buttes-Chaumont et d'autres points stratégiques, une foule se rassemble à Montmartre et continue de croître, et la situation devient de plus en plus tendue. Les chevaux nécessaires pour déplacer le canon ne sont pas arrivés et les unités de l'armée ont été immobilisées. Alors que les soldats étaient encerclés, ils ont commencé à briser les rangs et à rejoindre la foule. Le général Lecomte a tenté de battre en retraite et a ensuite ordonné à ses soldats de charger leurs armes et de réparer les baïonnettes. Il leur a ordonné de tirer trois fois, mais les soldats ont refusé. Certains officiers ont été désarmés et emmenés à l'hôtel de ville de Montmartre, sous la protection de Clemenceau. Les gardes et ses soldats rebelles ont saisi le général Lecomte et ses officiers d'état-major et l'ont emmené au quartier général local de la garde nationale dans la salle de Château-Rouge. Les officiers ont été lapidés, battant, menaçant et insultant la foule. En milieu d'après-midi, Lecomte et les autres officiers ont été emmenés au 6 rue des Rosiers, membres d'un groupe dénommé "Comité de vigilance de la 18e Escadre", qui a exigé qu'ils soient jugés et exécutés (28).
À 17 h 00, la Garde nationale a capturé un autre prisonnier important: le général Jacques Leon Clément-Thomas. Un redoutable disciplinaire républicain et féroce contribua à réprimer le soulèvement armé de juin 1848 contre la Seconde République. En raison de ses convictions républicaines, il a été arrêté et persécuté par Napoléon III, et il n'est revenu en France qu'après la chute de l'Empire. Il était particulièrement détesté par les gardes nationaux de Montmartre et de Belleville en raison de la lourde discipline qu'elle introduisit lors du siège de Paris. (29) Plus tôt dans la journée, vêtu de vêtements civils, il tentait de savoir ce qui se passait, lorsqu'un soldat l'a reconnu, l'a arrêté et l'a conduit dans un immeuble de la rue des Rosiers. Vers 17 h 30, le 18 mars, une foule en colère de gardes nationaux et de déserteurs du régiment de Lecomte, rue des Rosiers, a saisi Clément-Thomas, l'a battu avec un fusil, l'a poussé dans le jardin et l'a abattu à plusieurs reprises. Quelques minutes plus tard, ils font de même avec le général Lecomte. Le docteur Guyon, qui a examiné les corps peu de temps après, a trouvé quarante balles dans le corps de Clément-Thomas et neuf balles dans le dos de Lecomte. (30) En fin de matinée, l'opération de restitution des canons avait échoué, et des foules et des barricades apparaissaient dans tous les quartiers ouvriers de Paris. Le général Vinoy ordonne à l'armée de se retirer sur la Seine, et Thiers commence à organiser une retraite à Versailles, où il peut rassembler suffisamment de troupes pour occuper Paris.
Dans l'après-midi du 18 mars, après une tentative infructueuse du gouvernement de prendre les canons à Montmartre, le Comité central de la Garde nationale a ordonné aux trois bataillons de prendre l'Hôtel de Ville, où ils pensaient que le gouvernement était situé. Ils ignoraient que Thiers, le gouvernement et les commandants militaires étaient au Département d'État, où les portes étaient ouvertes et il y avait peu de gardes. Ils ignoraient également que le maréchal Patrice MacMahon, le futur commandant des forces contre la Commune, venait de rentrer chez lui à Paris, tout juste sorti de prison en Allemagne. Dès qu'il a appris la nouvelle du soulèvement, il s'est dirigé vers la gare, où la Garde nationale s'arrêtait déjà et vérifiait l'identité des passagers au départ. Le sympathique directeur de la station l'a caché dans son bureau et l'a aidé à monter dans le train, et il a fui la ville. Alors qu'il était à la gare, des gardes domestiques envoyés par le Comité central sont arrivés chez lui à sa recherche (32).
Sur les conseils du général Vinoy, Thiers ordonne l'évacuation à Versailles de toutes les forces régulières à Paris, environ 40 000 soldats, dont ceux des forteresses autour de la ville; regroupement de toutes les unités militaires à Versailles; et le départ de tous les ministères du gouvernement de la ville.
La Garde nationale prend le pouvoir (modifier)
En février, alors que le gouvernement national était organisé à Bordeaux, un nouveau gouvernement rival a été organisé à Paris. La garde nationale n'a pas été désarmée par l'armistice et possède sur papier 260 bataillons de 1 500 hommes, soit un total de 390 000 hommes. (34) Entre le 15 et le 24 février, quelque 500 délégués élus par la Garde nationale ont commencé une réunion à Paris. Le 15 mars, juste avant l'affrontement entre la Garde nationale et l'armée régulière au sujet des canons, 1325 délégués de l'alliance d'organisations créées par la Garde nationale ont élu un chef, Giuseppe Garibaldi (qui était en Italie et a respectueusement renoncé au titre), a créé un comité central de 38 membres. est basé à l'école de la rue Basfroi, entre la place de la Bastille et la Roquette. Le premier vote du nouveau Comité central a été un refus de reconnaître l'autorité du général D & # 39; Aurella de Paladines, le commandant officiel de la garde nationale nommé par Thiers, ou le général Vinoy, le gouverneur militaire de Paris. (35)
Fin 18 mars, lorsqu'ils apprirent que l'armée régulière quittait Paris, des unités de la garde nationale s'empressèrent de prendre le contrôle de la ville. Les premiers à passer à l'action furent les partisans de Blanqui, qui se rendit rapidement dans le quartier latin et s'occupa de la poudre à canon conservée au Panthéon, jusqu'à la gare d'Orléans. Quatre bataillons traversent la Seine et occupent la préfecture de police, tandis que d'autres unités occupent l'ancien siège de la garde nationale place Vendôme, ainsi que le ministère de la Justice. Cette nuit-là, la Garde nationale a occupé des bureaux libérés par le gouvernement; ils ont rapidement repris les ministères des finances, de l'intérieur et de la guerre. Le lendemain à huit heures du matin, le Comité central se réunit à l'Hôtel de Ville. À la fin de la journée, 20 000 gardes nationaux avaient triomphé sur la place devant l'hôtel de ville, avec plusieurs dizaines de canons. Un drapeau rouge a été hissé au-dessus du bâtiment. (36)
Les membres d'extrême gauche du Comité central, dirigés par les Blanquistes, ont exigé que Versailles soit mis en œuvre à la fois pour disperser le gouvernement de Thierry et pour imposer leur autorité sur toute la France; mais la plupart ont d'abord voulu établir une base plus solide d'autorités juridiques à Paris. Le conseil d'administration a officiellement levé le siège, nommé des commissions d'administration gouvernementale et organisé des élections pour le 23 mars. Ils ont également envoyé une délégation des maires des arrondissements parisiens, conduite par Clemenceau, pour négocier avec le Thiers à Versailles un statut indépendant spécial pour Paris.
Le 22 mars 1871, des manifestants brandissant des banderoles se déclarant «amis de la paix» des gardes bloquent l'entrée de Vendôme, après avoir tiré sur eux, ouvrent le feu sur les rassemblés. Au moins 12 personnes ont été tuées et beaucoup blessées. (37)
Élections au Conseil (modifier)
Célébration de l'élection de la commune, le 28 mars 1871
A Paris, l'hostilité a augmenté entre les maires républicains élus, dont Clemenceau, qui se croyaient des dirigeants légitimes de Paris, et le Comité central de la Garde nationale. (38) Le 22 mars, la veille des élections, le Comité central a déclaré que, non les maires, le gouvernement légitime de Paris. (39) Il a déclaré que Clemenceau n'était plus le maire de Montmartre et qu'il y occupait la mairie, ainsi que les mairies des 1er et 2e arrondissements, qui étaient occupées par les gardes nationales les plus radicales. "Nous nous sommes pris entre deux bandes de fous", se plaint Clemenceau, "ceux assis à Versailles et ceux à Paris".
Les élections du 26 mars ont élu un conseil municipal de 92 membres, un pour 20 000 habitants. A la veille des élections, le Comité central et les dirigeants de l'Internationale ont annoncé leurs listes de candidats, pour la plupart d'extrême gauche. Les candidats n'avaient que quelques jours pour faire campagne. Le gouvernement Thierry de Versailles a appelé les Parisiens à s'abstenir. A l'issue du scrutin, 233 000 Parisiens ont voté, sur 485 000 inscrits, soit 48%. Dans le district de la classe supérieure, beaucoup se sont abstenus: 77% des électeurs des septième et huitième districts; 68 pour cent en 15e, 66 pour cent en 16e et 62 pour cent en 6e et 9e. Mais dans les quartiers populaires, le taux de participation était élevé: 76% dans le 20ème arrondissement, 65% dans le 19ème et 55 à 60% dans les 10ème, 11ème et 12ème (40).
Plusieurs candidats, dont Blanqui (arrêté hors de Paris et emprisonné en Bretagne), ont remporté plusieurs rencontres. D'autres candidats élus, dont une vingtaine de républicains modérés et cinq radicaux, ont refusé de prendre place. Au final, le Conseil ne comptait que 60 membres. Neuf des gagnants étaient des blanquistes (dont certains venaient également de l'international); vingt-cinq, dont Delescluze et Pyat, se sont classés comme «révolutionnaires indépendants»; une quinzaine venaient de l'International; les autres provenaient de divers groupes radicaux. L'un des candidats les plus connus, Georges Clemenceau, n'a obtenu que 752 voix. Les professions représentées au conseil étaient de 33 travailleurs; cinq petits hommes d'affaires; 19 commis, comptables et autre personnel de bureau; douze journalistes; et une sélection de travailleurs des arts libéraux. 20 membres sont des francs-maçons. (41) Tous étaient des hommes; femmes (42) Les gagnants ont été annoncés le 27 mars, et une grande cérémonie et un défilé par la Garde nationale ont eu lieu le lendemain devant l'Hôtel de Ville, décoré de drapeaux rouges.
Organisation et premiers travaux (modifier)
La nouvelle commune a tenu sa première réunion le 28 mars dans une ambiance euphorique. Les membres ont adopté une douzaine de propositions, dont une présidence d'honneur pour Blanqui; l'abolition de la peine de mort; l'abolition de la conscription militaire; une proposition d'envoyer des délégués dans d'autres villes pour aider à lancer des communes là-bas; et une résolution déclarant que l'appartenance à la Commune de Paris était incompatible avec le fait d'être membre de l'Assemblée nationale. Cela visait particulièrement Pierre Tirard, le maire républicain du 2e arrondissement, élu à la fois à la Commune et à l'Assemblée nationale. Voyant la direction politique plus radicale de la nouvelle Commune, Tirard et une vingtaine de républicains décidèrent qu'il était plus sage de démissionner de la Commune. A resolution was also passed, after a long debate, that the deliberations of the Council were to be secret, since the Commune was effectively at war with the government in Versailles and should not make its intentions known to the enemy.(43)
Following the model proposed by the more radical members, the new government had no president, no mayor, and no commander in chief. The Commune began by establishing nine commissions, similar to those of the National Assembly, to manage the affairs of Paris. The commissions in turn reported to an Executive Commission. One of the first measures passed declared that military conscription was abolished, that no military force other than the National Guard could be formed or introduced into the capital, and that all healthy male citizens were members of the National Guard. The new system had one important weakness: the National Guard now had two different commanders. They reported to both the Central Committee of the National Guard and to the Executive Commission, and it was not clear which one was in charge of the inevitable war with Thiers' government.(44)
Administration and actions(edit)
The Commune returns workmen's tools pawned during the siege.
The Commune adopted the discarded French Republican Calendar(45) during its brief existence and used the socialist red flag rather than the republican tricolor. Despite internal differences, the Council began to organise the public services essential for a city of two million residents. It also reached a consensus on certain policies that tended towards a progressive, secular, and highly democratic social democracy. Because the Commune met on fewer than sixty days in all, only a few decrees were actually implemented. These included:
separation of church and state;
remission of rents owed for the entire period of the siege (during which payment had been suspended);
abolition of child labour and night work in bakeries;
granting of pensions to the unmarried companions and children of national guardsmen killed in active service;
free return by pawnshops of all workmen's tools and household items, valued up to 20 francs, pledged during the siege;
postponement of commercial debt obligations, and the abolition of interest on the debts;
right of employees to take over and run an enterprise if it were deserted by its owner; the Commune, nonetheless, recognised the previous owner's right to compensation;
prohibition of fines imposed by employers on their workmen.(46)
The decrees separated the church from the state, appropriated all church property to public property, and excluded the practice of religion from schools. In theory, the churches were allowed to continue their religious activity only if they kept their doors open for public political meetings during the evenings. In practice, many churches were closed, and many priests were arrested and held as hostages, in the hope of trading them for Blanqui, imprisoned in Brittany since 17 March.(47)
The workload of the Commune leaders was usually enormous. The Council members (who were not "representatives" but delegates, subject in theory to immediate recall by their electors) were expected to carry out many executive and military functions as well as their legislative ones. Numerous organisations were set up during the siege in the localities (quartiers) to meet social needs, such as canteens and first-aid stations. For example, in the 3rd arrondissement, school materials were provided free, three parochial schools were "laicised", and an orphanage was established. In the 20th arrondissement, schoolchildren were provided with free clothing and food. At the same time, these local assemblies pursued their own goals, usually under the direction of local workers. Despite the moderate reformism of the Commune council, the composition of the Commune as a whole was much more revolutionary. Revolutionary factions included Proudhonists (an early form of moderate anarchism), members of the international socialists, Blanquists, and more libertarian republicans.
Louise Michel, anarchist and famed "Red Virgin of Montmartre", became an important part of the legend of the Commune.
Women played an important role in both the initiation and the governance of the Commune, though women could not vote in the Commune elections and there were no elected women members of the Commune itself.(42) Their participation included building barricades and caring for wounded fighters.(48) Joséphine Marchias, a washer woman, picked up a gun during the battles of May 22-23rd and said, "You cowardly crew! Go and Fight! If I'm killed it will be because I've done some killing first!" She was arrested as an incendiary, but there is no documentation that she was a pétroleuse (female incendiary). She worked as a vivandiére with the Enfants Perdus. While carrying back the laundry she was given by the guardsmen, she carried away the body of her lover, Jean Guy, who was a butcher's apprentice.(48)(49) There were reports in various newspapers of pétroleuses but evidence remains weak. The Paris Journal reported that soldiers arrested 13 women who allegedly threw petrol into houses. There were rumours that pétroleuses were paid 10 francs per house. While clear that Communards set some of the fires, the reports of women participating in it was overly exaggerated at the time.(50)
Some women organised a feminist movement, following earlier attempts in 1789 and 1848. Thus, Nathalie Lemel, a socialist bookbinder, and Élisabeth Dmitrieff, a young Russian exile and member of the Russian section of the First International, created the Women's Union for the Defence of Paris and Care of the Wounded on 11 April 1871. The feminist writer André Léo, a friend of Paule Minck, was also active in the Women's Union. Believing that their struggle against patriarchy(citation needed) could only be pursued through a global struggle against capitalism, the association demanded gender and wage equality, the right of divorce for women, the right to secular education, and professional education for girls. They also demanded suppression of the distinction between married women and concubines, and between legitimate and illegitimate children. They advocated the abolition of prostitution (obtaining the closing of the maisons de tolérance, or legal brothels). The Women's Union also participated in several municipal commissions and organised cooperative workshops.(51) Along with Eugène Varlin, Nathalie Lemel created the cooperative restaurant La Marmite, which served free food for indigents, and then fought during the Bloody Week on the barricades.(52)
Paule Minck opened a free school in the Church of Saint Pierre de Montmartre and animated the Club Saint-Sulpice on the Left Bank.(52) The Russian Anne Jaclard, who declined to marry Dostoyevsky and finally became the wife of Blanquist activist Victor Jaclard, founded the newspaper Paris Commune with André Léo. She was also a member of the Comité de vigilance de Montmartre, along with Louise Michel and Paule Minck, as well as of the Russian section of the First International. Victorine Brocher, close to the IWA activists, and founder of a cooperative bakery in 1867, also fought during the Commune and the Bloody Week.(52) Louise Michel, the famed "Red Virgin of Montmartre" (see photo), who would later be deported to New Caledonia, was one of those who symbolised the active participation of a small number of women in the insurrectionary events. A female battalion from the National Guard defended the Place Blanche during the repression.
Bank of France(edit)
The Commune named Francis Jourde as the head of the Commission of Finance. A former clerk of a notary, accountant in a bank and employee of the city's bridges and roads department, Jourde maintained the Commune's accounts with prudence. Paris's tax receipts amounted to 20 million francs, with another six million seized at the Hotel de Ville. The expenses of the Commune were 42 million, the largest part going to pay the daily salary of the National Guard. Jourde first obtained a loan from the Rothschild Bank, then paid the bills from the city account, which was soon exhausted.
The gold reserves of the Bank of France had been moved out of Paris for safety in August 1870, but its vaults contained 88 million francs in gold coins and 166 million francs in banknotes. When the Thiers government left Paris in March, they did not have the time or the reliable soldiers to take the money with them. The reserves were guarded by 500 national guardsmen who were themselves Bank of France employees. Some Communards wanted to appropriate the bank's reserves to fund social projects, but Jourde resisted, explaining that without the gold reserves the currency would collapse and all the money of the Commune would be worthless. The Commune appointed Charles Beslay as the Commissaire of the Bank of France, and he arranged for the Bank to loan the Commune 400,000 francs a day. This was approved by Thiers, who felt that to negotiate a future peace treaty the Germans were demanding war reparations of five billion francs; the gold reserves would be needed to keep the franc stable and pay the indemnity. Jourde's prudence was later condemned by Karl Marx and other Marxists, who felt the Commune should have confiscated the bank's reserves and spent all the money immediately.(53)
From 21 March, the Central Committee of the National Guard banned the major pro-Versailles newspapers, Le Gaulois and Le Figaro. Their offices were invaded and closed by crowds of the Commune's supporters. After 18 April other newspapers sympathetic to Versailles were also closed. The Versailles government, in turn, imposed strict censorship and prohibited any publication in favour of the Commune.
At the same time, the number of pro-Commune newspapers and magazines published in Paris during the Commune expanded exponentially. The most popular of the pro-Commune newspapers was Le Cri du Peuple, published by Jules Valles, which was published from 22 February until 23 May. Another highly popular publication was Le Père Duchêne, inspired by a similar paper of the same name published from 1790 until 1794; after its first issue on 6 March, it was briefly closed by General Vinoy, but it reappeared until 23 May. It specialised in humour, vulgarity and extreme abuse against the opponents of the Commune.(54)
A republican press also flourished, including such papers as Le Mot d'Ordre of Henri Rochefort, which was both violently anti-Versailles and critical of the faults and excesses of the Commune. The most popular republican paper was Le Rappel, which condemned both Thiers and the killing of generals Lecomte and Clement-Thomas by the Communards. Its editor Auguste Vacquerie was close to Victor Hugo, whose son wrote for the paper. The editors wrote, "We are against the National Assembly, but we are not for the Commune. That which we defend, that which we love, that which we admire, is Paris."(55)
From the beginning, the Commune had a hostile relationship with the Catholic Church. On 2 April, soon after the Commune was established, it voted a decree accusing the Catholic Church of "complicity in the crimes of the monarchy." The decree declared the separation of church and state, confiscated the state funds allotted to the Church, seized the property of religious congregations, and ordered that Catholic schools cease religious education and become secular. Over the next seven weeks, some two hundred priests, nuns and monks were arrested, and twenty-six churches were closed to the public. At the urging of the more radical newspapers, National Guard units searched the basements of churches, looking for evidence of alleged sadism and criminal practices. More extreme elements of the National Guard carried out mock religious processions and parodies of religious services. Early in May, some of the political clubs began to demand the immediate execution of Archbishop Darboy and the other priests in the prison. The Archbishop and a number of priests were executed during Bloody Week, in retaliation for the execution of Commune soldiers by the regular army.(56)
Destruction of the Vendôme Column(edit)
Destruction of the Vendôme Column during the Paris Commune. The column's destruction realized an official proposition made the previous September by painter Gustave Courbet, who, after the collapse of the Commune, was sentenced to six months in prison and later ordered to pay for putting the column back up. He could never pay, and died soon after in exile.
The destruction of the Vendôme Column honouring the victories of Napoleon I, topped by a statue of the Emperor, was one of the most prominent civic events during the Commune. It was voted on 12 April by the executive committee of the Commune, which declared that the column was "a monument of barbarism" and a "symbol of brute force and false pride." The idea had originally come from the painter Gustave Courbet, who had written to the Government of National Defence on 4 September calling for the demolition of the column. In October, he had called for a new column, made of melted-down German cannons, "the column of peoples, the column of Germany and France, forever federated." Courbet was elected to the Council of the Commune on 16 April, after the decision to tear down the column had already been made. The ceremonial destruction took place on 16 May. In the presence of two battalions of the National Guard and the leaders of the Commune, a band played "La Marseillaise" and the "Chant du Départ". The first effort to pull down the column failed, but at 5:30 in the afternoon the column broke from its base and shattered into three pieces. The pedestal was draped with red flags, and pieces of the statue were taken to be melted down and made into coins.(57)
On 12 May another civic event took place: the destruction of Thiers' home on Place Saint-Georges. Proposed by Henri Rochefort, editor of the Le Mot d'Ordre, on 6 April, it had not been voted upon by the Commune until 10 May. According to the decree of the Commune, the works of art were to be donated to the Louvre (which refused them) and the furniture was to be sold, the money to be given to widows and orphans of the fighting. The house was emptied and destroyed on 12 May.(58)
War with the national government(edit)
Map illustrating war between Paris Commune and National government
Failure of the march on Versailles(edit)
In Versailles, Thiers had estimated that he needed 150,000 men to recapture Paris, and that he had only about 20,000 reliable first-line soldiers, plus about 5,000 gendarmes. He worked rapidly to assemble a new and reliable regular army. Most of the soldiers were prisoners of war who had just been released by the Germans, following the terms of the armistice. Others were sent from military units in all of the provinces. To command the new army, Thiers chose Patrice MacMahon, who had won fame fighting the Austrians in Italy under Napoleon III, and who had been seriously wounded at the Battle of Sedan. He was highly popular both within the army and in the country. By 30 March, less than two weeks after the Army's Montmartre rout, it began skirmishing with the National Guard on the outskirts of Paris.
In Paris, members of the Military Commission and the Executive Committee of the Commune, as well as the Central Committee of the National Guard, met on 1 April. They decided to launch an offensive against the Army in Versailles within five days. The attack was first launched on the morning of 2 April by five battalions who crossed the Seine at the Pont de Neuilly. The National Guard troops were quickly repulsed by the Army, with a loss of about twelve soldiers. One officer of the Versailles army, a surgeon from the medical corps, was killed; the National Guardsmen had mistaken his uniform for that of a gendarme. Five national guardsmen were captured by the regulars; two were Army deserters and two were caught with their weapons in their hands. General Vinoy, the commander of the Paris Military District, had ordered any prisoners who were deserters from the Army to be shot. The commander of the regular forces, Colonel Georges Ernest Boulanger, went further and ordered that all four prisoners be summarily shot. The practice of shooting prisoners captured with weapons became common in the bitter fighting in the weeks ahead.(59)
Despite this first failure, Commune leaders were still convinced that, as at Montmartre, French army soldiers would refuse to fire on national guardsmen. They prepared a massive offensive of 27,000 national guardsmen who would advance in three columns. They were expected to converge at the end of 24 hours at the gates of the Palace of Versailles. They advanced on the morning of 3 April—without cavalry to protect the flanks, without artillery, without stores of food and ammunition, and without ambulances—confident of rapid success. They passed by the line of forts outside the city, believing them to be occupied by national guardsmen. In fact the army had re-occupied the abandoned forts on 28 March. The National Guard soon came under heavy artillery and rifle fire; they broke ranks and fled back to Paris. Once again national guardsmen captured with weapons were routinely shot by army units.(60)
Decree on Hostages(edit)
Commune leaders responded to the execution of prisoners by the Army by passing a new order on 5 April—the Decree on Hostages. Under the decree, any person accused of complicity with the Versailles government could be immediately arrested, imprisoned and tried by a special jury of accusation. Those convicted by the jury would become "hostages of the people of Paris." Article 5 stated, "Every execution of a prisoner of war or of a partisan of the government of the Commune of Paris will be immediately followed by the execution of a triple number of hostages held by virtue of article four." Prisoners of war would be brought before a jury, which would decide if they would be released or held as hostages.(61)
Under the new decree, a number of prominent religious leaders were promptly arrested, including the Abbé Deguerry, the curé of the Madeleine church, and the archbishop of Paris Georges Darboy, who was confined at the Mazas prison. The National Assembly in Versailles responded to the decree the next day; it passed a law allowing military tribunals to judge and punish suspects within 24 hours. Émile Zola wrote, "Thus we citizens of Paris are placed between two terrible laws; the law of suspects brought back by the Commune and the law on rapid executions which will certainly be approved by the Assembly. They are not fighting with cannon shots, they are slaughtering each other with decrees."(62)
The popular journalist Félix Pyat became one of the most influential members of the Commune and its Committee for Public Safety. He went into exile during the Bloody Week, was later amnestied and elected to the National Assembly.
By April, as MacMahon's forces steadily approached Paris, divisions arose within the Commune about whether to give absolute priority to military defence, or to political and social freedoms and reforms. The majority, including the Blanquists and the more radical revolutionaries, supported by Le Vengeur of Pyat and Le Père Duchesne of Vermersch, supported giving the military priority. The publications La Commune, La Justice and Valles' Le Cri du Peuple feared that a more authoritarian government would destroy the kind of social republic they wanted to achieve. Soon, the Council of the Commune voted, with strong opposition, for the creation of a Committee of Public Safety, modelled on the eponymous Committee that carried out the Reign of Terror (1793–94). Because of the implications carried by its name, many members of the Commune opposed the Committee of Public Safety's creation.
The Committee was given extensive powers to hunt down and imprison enemies of the Commune. Led by Raoul Rigault, it began to make several arrests, usually on suspicion of treason, intelligence with the enemy, or insults to the Commune. Those arrested included General Edmond-Charles de Martimprey, the governor of the Invalides, alleged to have caused the assassination of revolutionaries in December 1851—as well as more recent commanders of the National Guard, including Gustave Cluseret. High religious officials had been arrested: Archbishop Darboy, the Vicar General Abbé Lagarde, and the Curé of the Madeleine Abbé Deguerry. The policy of holding hostages for possible reprisals was denounced by some defenders of the Commune, including Victor Hugo, in a poem entitled "No Reprisals" published in Brussels on 21 April.(63) On 12 April, Rigault proposed to exchange Archbishop Darboy and several other priests for the imprisoned Blanqui. Thiers refused the proposal. On 14 May, Rigault proposed to exchange 70 hostages for the extreme-left leader, and Thiers again refused.(64)
Composition of the National Guard(edit)
A barricade constructed by the Commune in April 1871 on the Rue de Rivoli near the Hotel de Ville. The figures are blurred due to the camera's lengthy exposure time, an effect commonly seen in early photographs.
Since every able-bodied man in Paris was obliged to be a member of the National Guard, the Commune on paper had an army of about 200,000 men on 6 May; the actual number was much lower, probably between 25,000 and 50,000 men. At the beginning of May, 20 percent of the National Guard was reported absent without leave. The National Guard had hundreds of cannons and thousands of rifles in its arsenal, but only half of the cannons and two-thirds of the rifles were ever used. There were heavy naval cannons mounted on the ramparts of Paris, but few national guardsmen were trained to use them. Between the end of April and 20 May, the number of trained artillerymen fell from 5,445 to 2,340.(2)
The officers of the National Guard were elected by the soldiers, and their leadership qualities and military skills varied widely. Gustave Clusaret, the commander of the National Guard until his dismissal on 1 May, had tried to impose more discipline in the army, disbanding many unreliable units and making soldiers live in barracks instead of at home. He recruited officers with military experience, particularly Polish officers who had fled to France in 1863, after Russians crushed the January Uprising; they played a prominent role in the last days of the Commune.(65) One of these officers was General Jaroslav Dombrowski, a former Imperial Russian Army officer, who was appointed commander of the Commune forces on the right bank of the Seine. On 5 May, he was appointed commander of the Commune's whole army. Dombrowski held this position until 23 May, when he was killed while defending the city barricades.(66)
Capture of Fort Issy(edit)
One of the key strategic points around Paris was Fort Issy, south of the city near the Porte de Versailles, which blocked the route of the Army into Paris. The fort's garrison was commanded by Leon Megy, a former mechanic and a militant Blanquist, who had been sentenced to 20 years hard labour for killing a policeman. After being freed he had led the takeover of the prefecture of Marseille by militant revolutionaries. When he came back to Paris, he was given the rank of colonel by the Central Committee of the National Guard, and the command of Fort Issy on 13 April.
The army commander, General Ernest de Cissey, began a systematic siege and a heavy bombardment of the fort that lasted three days and three nights. At the same time Cissey sent a message to Colonel Megy, with the permission of Marshal MacMahon, offering to spare the lives of the fort's defenders, and let them return to Paris with their belongings and weapons, if they surrendered the fort. Colonel Megy gave the order, and during the night of 29–30 April, most of the soldiers evacuated the fort and returned to Paris. But news of the evacuation reached the Central Committee of the National Guard and the Commune. Before General Cissey and the Versailles army could occupy the fort, the National Guard rushed reinforcements there and re-occupied all the positions. General Cluseret, commander of the National Guard, was dismissed and put in prison. General Cissey resumed the intense bombardment of the fort. The defenders resisted until the night of 7–8 May, when the remaining national guardsmen in the fort, unable to withstand further attacks, decided to withdraw. The new commander of the National Guard, Louis Rossel, issued a terse bulletin: "The tricolor flag flies over the fort of Issy, abandoned yesterday by the garrison." The abandonment of the fort led the Commune to dismiss Rossel, and replace him with Delescluze, a fervent Communard but a journalist with no military experience.(67)
Bitter fighting followed, as MacMahon's army worked their way systematically forward to the walls of Paris. On 20 May, MacMahon's artillery batteries at Montretout, Mont-Valerian, Boulogne, Issy, and Vanves opened fire on the western neighbourhoods of the city—Auteuil, Passy, and the Trocadero—with shells falling close to l'Étoile. Dombrowski reported that the soldiers he had sent to defend the ramparts of the city between Point du Jour and Porte d'Auteuil had retreated to the city; he had only 4,000 soldiers left at la Muette, 2,000 at Neuilly, and 200 at Asnieres and Saint Ouen. "I lack artillerymen and workers to hold off the catastrophe."(68) On 19 May, while the Commune executive committee was meeting to judge the former military commander Cluseret for the loss of the Issy fortress, it received word that the forces of Marshal MacMahon were within the fortifications of Paris.
"Bloody Week" (edit)
Semaine sanglante (fr) (Bloody Week) was the final assault by the French Armed Forces that ended the Paris Commune.
21 May: Army enters Paris(edit)
Jaroslav Dombrowski, a Polish exile and former military officer, was one of the few capable commanders of the National Guard. He was killed early in the Bloody Week.
The final offensive on Paris by MacMahon's army began early in the morning on Sunday, 21 May. On the front line, soldiers learned from a sympathiser inside the walls that the National Guard had withdrawn from one section of the city wall at Point-du-Jour, and the fortifications were undefended. An army engineer crossed the moat and inspected the empty fortifications, and immediately telegraphed the news to Marshal MacMahon, who was with Thiers at Fort Mont-Valérien. MacMahon immediately gave orders, and two battalions passed through the fortifications without meeting anyone, and occupied the Porte de Saint-Cloud and the Porte de Versailles. By four o'clock in the morning, sixty thousand soldiers had passed into the city and occupied Auteuil and Passy.(69)
Once the fighting began inside Paris, the strong neighborhood loyalties that had been an advantage of the Commune became something of a disadvantage: instead of an overall planned defence, each "quartier" fought desperately for its survival, and each was overcome in turn. The webs of narrow streets that made entire districts nearly impregnable in earlier Parisian revolutions had in the centre been replaced by wide boulevards during Haussmann's renovation of Paris. The Versailles forces enjoyed a centralised command and had superior numbers. They had learned the tactics of street fighting and simply tunnelled through the walls of houses to outflank the Communards' barricades.
The trial of Gustave Cluseret, the former commander, was still going on at the Commune when they received the message from General Dombrowski that the army was inside the city. He asked for reinforcements and proposed an immediate counterattack. "Remain calm," he wrote, "and everything will be saved. We must not be defeated!".(70) When they had received this news, the members of the Commune executive returned to their deliberations on the fate of Cluseret, which continued until eight o'clock that evening.
The first reaction of many of the National Guard was to find someone to blame, and Dombrowski was the first to be accused. Rumours circulated that he had accepted a million francs to give up the city. He was deeply offended by the rumours. They stopped when Dombrowski died two days later from wounds received on the barricades. His last reported words were: "Do they still say I was a traitor?"(71)
22 May: Barricades, first street battles(edit)
On the morning of 22 May, bells rang around the city, and Delescluze, as delegate for war of the Commune, issued a proclamation, posted all over Paris:
In the name of this glorious France, mother of all the popular revolutions, permanent home of the ideas of justice and solidarity which should be and will be the laws of the world, march at the enemy, and may your revolutionary energy show him that someone can sell Paris, but no one can give it up, or conquer it! The Commune counts on you, count on the Commune!(72)
The Committee of Public Safety issued its own decree:
TO ARMS! That Paris be bristling with barricades, and that, behind these improvised ramparts, it will hurl again its cry of war, its cry of pride, its cry of defiance, but its cry of victory; because Paris, with its barricades, is undefeatable …That revolutionary Paris, that Paris of great days, does its duty; the Commune and the Committee of Public Safety will do theirs!(73)
Despite the appeals, only fifteen to twenty thousand persons, including many women and children, responded. The forces of the Commune were outnumbered five-to-one by the army of Marshal MacMahon.(74)
On the morning of 22 May, the regular army occupied a large area from the Porte Dauphine; to the Champs-de-Mars and the École Militaire, where general Cissey established his headquarters; to the Porte de Vanves. In a short time the 5th corps of the army advanced toward Parc Monceau and Place Clichy, while General Douay occupied the Place de l'Étoile and General Clichant occupied the Gare Saint-Lazaire. Little resistance was encountered in the west of Paris, but the army moved forward slowly and cautiously, in no hurry.
No one had expected the army to enter the city, so only a few large barricades were already in place, on the Rue Saint-Florentin and Rue de l'Opéra, and the Rue de Rivoli. Barricades had not been prepared in advance; some nine hundred barricades were built hurriedly out of paving stones and sacks of earth. Many other people prepared shelters in the cellars. The first serious fighting took place on the afternoon of the 22nd, an artillery duel between regular army batteries on the Quai d'Orsay and the Madeleine, and National Guard batteries on the terrace of the Tuileries Palace. On the same day, the first executions of National Guard soldiers by the regular army inside Paris took place; some sixteen prisoners captured on the Rue du Bac were given a summary hearing, and then shot.(75)
23 May: Battle for Montmartre; burning of Tuileries Palace(edit)
On 23 May the next objective of the army was the butte of Montmartre, where the uprising had begun. The National Guard had built and manned a circle of barricades and makeshift forts around the base of the butte. The garrison of one barricade, at Chaussee Clignancourt, was defended in part by a battalion of about thirty women, including Louise Michel, the celebrated "Red Virgin of Montmartre", who had already participated in many battles outside the city. She was seized by regular soldiers and thrown into the trench in front of the barricade and left for dead. She escaped and soon afterwards surrendered to the army, to prevent the arrest of her mother. The battalions of the National Guard were no match for the army; by midday on the 23rd the regular soldiers were at the top of Montmartre, and the tricolor flag was raised over the Solferino tower. The soldiers captured 42 guardsmen and several women, took them to the same house on Rue Rosier where generals Clement-Thomas and Lecomte had been executed, and shot them. On the Rue Royale, soldiers seized the formidable barricade around the Madeleine church; 300 prisoners captured with their weapons were shot there, the largest of the mass executions of prisoners.(71)
On the same day, having had little success fighting the army, units of national guardsmen began to take revenge by burning public buildings symbolising the government. The guardsmen led by Paul Brunel, one of the original leaders of the Commune, took cans of oil and set fire to buildings near the Rue Royale and the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Following the example set by Brunel, guardsmen set fire to dozens of other buildings on Rue Saint-Florentin, Rue de Rivoli, Rue de Bac, Rue de Lille, and other streets.
The Tuileries Palace, which had been the residence of most of the monarchs of France from Henry IV to Napoleon III, was defended by a garrison of some three hundred National Guard with thirty cannon placed in the garden. They had been engaged in a day-long artillery duel with the regular army. At about seven in the evening, the commander of the garrison, Jules Bergeret, gave the order to burn the palace. The walls, floors, curtains and woodwork were soaked with oil and turpentine, and barrels of gunpowder were placed at the foot of the grand staircase and in the courtyard, then the fires were set. The fire lasted 48 hours and gutted the palace, except for the southernmost part, the Pavillon de Flore.(76) Bergeret sent a message to the Hotel de Ville: "The last vestiges of royalty have just disappeared. I wish that the same will happen to all the monuments of Paris."(77)
The Richelieu library of the Louvre, connected to the Tuileries, was also set on fire and entirely destroyed. The rest of the Louvre was saved by the efforts of the museum curators and fire brigades.(78) Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray, later a lover of Eleanor Marx, asserted that many of the fires were caused by artillery from the French army, and that women in the Commune were wrongly blamed for arson.(79) The consensus of later historians is that most of the major fires were started by the National Guard and several organised Communard groups; but that few if any fires were started by the Army or by local women.(80) Furthermore, besides public buildings, the National Guard also started fires at the homes of a number of residents associated with the regime of Napoleon III, such as that of the historian and playwright Prosper Merimee, the author of Carmen.(80)
24 May: Burning of Hotel de Ville; executions of Communards, the Archbishop and hostages(edit)
The ruins of the Hôtel de Ville of Paris, the headquarters of the Commune, burned by the National Guard on 24 May and later rebuilt
At two in the morning on 24 May, Brunel and his men went to the Hotel de Ville, which was still the headquarters of the Commune and of its chief executive, Delescluze. Wounded men were being tended in the halls, and some of the National Guard officers and Commune members were changing from their uniforms into civilian clothes and shaving their beards, preparing to escape from the city. Delescluze ordered everyone to leave the building, and Brunel's men set it on fire.(81)
The battles resumed at daylight on 24 May, under a sky black with smoke from the burning palaces and ministries. There was no co-ordination or central direction on the Commune side; each neighborhood fought on its own. The National Guard disintegrated, with many soldiers changing into civilian clothes and fleeing the city, leaving between 10,000 and 15,000 Communards to defend the barricades. Delescluze moved his headquarters from the Hotel de Ville to the city hall of the 11th arrondissement. More public buildings were set afire, including the Palais de Justice, the Prefecture de Police, the theatres of Châtelet and Porte-Saint-Martin, and the Church of Saint-Eustache. Most of the Palais de Justice was destroyed, but the Sainte-Chapelle survived. Fires set at the Louvre, Palais-Royal and Notre-Dame were extinguished without causing significant damage.(82)
As the army continued its methodical advance, the summary executions of captured Communard soldiers by the army continued. Informal military courts were established at the École Polytechnique, Châtelet, the Luxembourg Palace, Parc Monceau, and other locations around Paris. The hands of captured prisoners were examined to see if they had fired weapons. The prisoners gave their identity, sentence was pronounced by a court of two or three gendarme officers, the prisoners were taken out and sentences immediately carried out.(83)
Amid the news of the growing number of executions carried out by the army in different parts of the city, the Communards carried out their own executions as a desperate and futile attempt at retaliation. Raoul Rigaut, the chairman of the Committee of Public Safety, without getting the authorisation of the Commune, executed one group of four prisoners, before he himself was captured and shot by an army patrol. On 24 May, a delegation of national guardsmen and Gustave Genton, a member of the Committee of Public Safety, came to the new headquarters of the Commune at the city hall of the 11th arrondissment and demanded the immediate execution of the hostages held at the prison of La Roquette. The new prosecutor of the Commune, Théophile Ferré, hesitated and then wrote a note: "Order to the Citizen Director of La Roquette to execute six hostages." Genton asked for volunteers to serve as a firing squad, and went to the La Roquette prison, where many of the hostages were being held. Genton was given a list of hostages and selected six names, including Georges Darboy, the Archbishop of Paris and three priests. The governor of the prison, M. François, refused to give up the Archbishop without a specific order from the Commune. Genton sent a deputy back to the Prosecutor, who wrote "and especially the archbishop" on the bottom of his note. Archbishop Darboy and five other hostages were promptly taken out into the courtyard of the prison, lined up against the wall, and shot.(84)
25 May: Death of Delescluze(edit)
Delescluze, the last military leader of the Commune, was shot dead after he stood atop a barricade, unarmed.
By the end of 24 May, the regular army had cleared most of the Latin Quarter barricades, and held three-fifths of Paris. MacMahon had his headquarters at the Quai d'Orsay. The insurgents held only the 11th, 12th, 19th and 20th arrondissements, and parts of the 3rd, 5th, and 13th. Delescluze and the remaining leaders of the Commune, about 20 in all, were at the city hall of the 13th arrondissement on Place Voltaire. A bitter battle took place between about 1,500 national guardsmen from the 13th arrondissement and the Mouffetard district, commanded by Walery Wroblewski, a Polish exile who had participated in the uprising against the Russians, against three brigades commanded by General de Cissey.(85)
During the course of the 25th the insurgents lost the city hall of the 13th arrondissement and moved to a barricade on Place Jeanne-d'Arc, where 700 were taken prisoner. Wroblewski and some of his men escaped to the city hall of the 11th arrondissement, where he met Delescluze, the chief executive of the Commune. Several of the other Commune leaders, including Brunel, were wounded, and Pyat had disappeared. Delescluze offered Wroblewski the command of the Commune forces, which he declined, saying that he preferred to fight as a private soldier. At about seven-thirty Delescluze put on his red sash of office, walked unarmed to the barricade on the Place du Château-d'Eau, climbed to the top and showed himself to the soldiers, and was promptly shot dead.(86)
26 May: Capture of Place de la Bastille; more executions(edit)
On the afternoon of 26 May, after six hours of heavy fighting, the regular army captured the Place de la Bastille. The National Guard still held parts of the 3rd arrondissment, from the Carreau du Temple to the Arts-et-Metiers, and the National Guard still had artillery at their strong points at the Buttes-Chaumont and Père-Lachaise, from which they continued to bombard the regular army forces along the Canal Saint-Martin.(87)
A contingent of several dozen national guardsmen led by Antoine Clavier, a commissaire and Emile Gois, a colonel of the National Guard, arrived at La Roquette prison and demanded, at gunpoint, the remaining hostages there: ten priests, thirty-five policemen and gendarmes, and two civilians. They took them first to the city hall of the 20th arrondissement; the Commune leader of that district refused to allow his city hall to be used as a place of execution. Clavier and Gois took them instead to Rue Haxo. The procession of hostages was joined by a large and furious crowd of national guardsmen and civilians who insulted, spat upon, and struck the hostages. Arriving at an open yard, they were lined up against a wall and shot in groups of ten. National guardsmen in the crowd opened fire along with the firing squad. The hostages were shot from all directions, then beaten with rifle butts and stabbed with bayonets.(88) According to Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray, a defender of the Commune, a total of 63 people were executed by the Commune during the bloody week.(6)
27–28 May: Final battles; massacre at Père-Lachaise Cemetery(edit)
Eugène Varlin, one of the leaders of the Commune, was captured and shot by soldiers at Montmartre on 28 May, the last day of the uprising.
On the morning of 27 May, the regular army soldiers of Generals Grenier, Ladmirault and Montaudon launched an attack on the National Guard artillery on the heights of the Buttes-Chaumont. The heights were captured at the end of the afternoon by the first regiment of the French Foreign Legion. One of the last remaining strongpoints of the National Guard was the cemetery of Père-Lachaise, defended by about 200 men. At 6:00 in the evening, the army used cannon to demolish the gates and the First Regiment of naval infantry stormed into the cemetery. Savage fighting followed around the tombs until nightfall, when the last 150 guardsmen, many of them wounded, were surrounded; and surrendered. The captured guardsmen were taken to the wall of the cemetery, known today as the Communards' Wall, and shot.(89)
On 28 May, the regular army captured the last remaining positions of the Commune, which offered little resistance. In the morning the regular army captured La Roquette prison and freed the remaining 170 hostages. The army took 1,500 prisoners at the National Guard position on Rue Haxo, and 2,000 more at Derroja, near Père-Lachaise. A handful of barricades at Rue Ramponneau and Rue de Tourville held out into the middle of the afternoon, when all resistance ceased.(90)
Communard prisoners and casualties(edit)
Prisoners and exiles(edit)
Hundreds of prisoners who had been captured with weapons in their hands or gunpowder on their hands had been shot immediately. Others were taken to the main barracks of the army in Paris and after summary trials, were executed there. They were buried in mass graves in parks and squares. Not all prisoners were shot immediately; the French Army officially recorded the capture of 43,522 prisoners during and immediately after Bloody Week. Of these, 1,054 were women, and 615 were under the age of 16. They were marched in groups of 150 or 200, escorted by cavalrymen, to Versailles or the Camp de Satory where they were held in extremely crowded and unsanitary conditions until they could be tried. More than half of the prisoners, 22,727 to be exact, were released before trial for extenuating circumstances or on humanitarian grounds. Since Paris had been officially under a state of siege during the Commune, the prisoners were tried by military tribunals. Trials were held for 15,895 prisoners, of whom 13,500 were found guilty. Ninety-five were sentenced to death; 251 to forced labour; 1,169 to deportation, usually to New Caledonia; 3,147 to simple deportation; 1,257 to solitary confinement; 1,305 to prison for more than a year; and 2,054 to prison for less than a year.(91)
The Commune's deputy prosecutor Théophile Ferré, who handed over six hostages for execution, was executed in November 1871.
A separate and more formal trial was held beginning 7 August for the Commune leaders who survived and had been captured, including Théophile Ferré, who had signed the death warrant for the hostages, and the painter Gustave Courbet, who had proposed the destruction of the column in Place Vendôme. They were tried by a panel of seven senior army officers. Ferré was sentenced to death, and Courbet was sentenced to six months in prison, and later ordered to pay the cost of rebuilding the column. He went into exile in Switzerland and died before making a single payment. Five women were also put on trial for participation in the Commune, including the "Red Virgin" Louise Michel. She demanded the death penalty, but was instead deported to New Caledonia.
In October 1871 a commission of the National Assembly reviewed the sentences; 310 of those convicted were pardoned, 286 had their sentences reduced, and 1,295 commuted. Of the 270 condemned to death—175 in their absence—25 were shot, including Ferré and Gustave Genton, who had selected the hostages for execution.(92) Thousands of Communards, including leaders such as Felix Pyat, succeeded in slipping out of Paris before the end of the battle, and went into exile; some 3,500 going to England, 2,000–3,000 to Belgium, and 1,000 to Switzerland.(93) A partial amnesty was granted on 3 March 1879, allowing 400 of the 600 deportees sent to New Caledonia to return, and 2,000 of the 2,400 prisoners sentenced in their absence. A general amnesty was granted on 11 July 1880, allowing the remaining 543 condemned prisoners, and 262 sentenced in their absence, to return to France.(94)
When the battle was over, Parisians buried the bodies of the Communards in temporary mass graves. They were quickly moved to the public cemeteries, where between 6,000 and 7,000 Communards were buried.
Participants and historians have long debated the number of Communards killed during Bloody Week. The official army report by General Félix Antoine Appert mentioned only Army casualties, which amounted, from April through May, to 877 killed, 6,454 wounded, and 183 missing. The report assessed information about Communard casualties only as "very incomplete".(3) The issue of casualties during the Bloody Week arose at a National Assembly hearing on 28 August 1871, when Marshal MacMahon testified. Deputy M. Vacherot told him, "A general has told me that the number killed in combat, on the barricades, or after the combat, was as many as 17,000 men." MacMahon responded, "I don't know what that estimate is based upon; it seems exaggerated to me. All I can say is that the insurgents lost a lot more people than we did." Vacherot continued, "Perhaps this number applies to all of the siege, and to the fighting at Forts d'Issy and Vanves." MacMahon replied, "the number is exaggerated." Vacherot persisted, "It was General Appert who gave me that information. Perhaps he meant both dead and wounded." MacMahon replied, "Ah, well, that's different."(95)
In 1876 Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray, who had fought on the barricades during Bloody Week, and had gone into exile in London, wrote a highly popular and sympathetic history of the Commune. At the end, he wrote: "No one knows the exact number of victims of the Bloody Week. The chief of the military justice department claimed seventeen thousand shot." Lissagaray was referring to General Appert, who had reportedly told a National Assembly deputy that there had been 17,000 Commune casualties. "The municipal council of Paris," Lissagaray continued, "paid for the burial of seventeen thousand bodies; but a large number of persons were killed or cremated outside of Paris." "It is no exaggeration," Lissagaray concluded, "to say twenty thousand, a number admitted by the officers."(6) In a new 1896 edition Lissagaray emphasized, "Twenty thousand men, women and children killed after the fighting in Paris and in the provinces."(96) Several historians have accepted the 20,000 figure, among them Pierre Milza,(97) Alfred Cobban(98) and Benedict Anderson.(99) Vladimir Lenin said that Lissagaray's estimate demonstrated ruling-class brutality: "20,000 killed in the streets… Lessons: bourgeoisie will stop at nothing."(100)
Communards killed in 1871
Between 1878 and 1880, a French historian and member of the Académie française, Maxime Du Camp, wrote Les Convulsions de Paris. Du Camp had witnessed the last days of the Commune, went inside the Tuileries Palace shortly after the fires were put out, witnessed the executions of Communards by soldiers, and the bodies in the streets. He studied the question of the number of dead, and studied the records of the office of inspection of the Paris cemeteries, which was in charge of burying the dead. Based on their records, he reported that between 20 and 30 May, 5,339 corpses of Communards had been taken from the streets or Paris morgue to the city cemeteries for burial. Between 24 May and 6 September, the office of inspection of cemeteries reported that an additional 1,328 corpses were exhumed from temporary graves at 48 sites, including 754 corpses inside the old quarries near Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, for a total of 6,667.(101) Modern Marxist critics attacked du Camp and his book; Collette Wilson called it "a key text in the construction and promulgation of the reactionary memory of the Commune" and Paul Lidsky called it "the bible of the anti-Communard literature."(102) In 2012, however, historian Robert Tombs made a new study of the Paris cemetery records and placed the number killed between 6,000 and 7,000, confirming du Camp's research.(4) Jacques Rougerie, who had earlier accepted the 20,000 figure, wrote in 2014, "the number ten thousand victims seems today the most plausible; it remains an enormous number for the time."(5)
Contemporary artists and writers(edit)
View of the Rue de Rivoli after Bloody Week
French writers and artists had strong views about the Commune. Gustave Courbet was the most prominent artist to take part in the Commune, and was an enthusiastic participant and supporter, though he criticised its executions of suspected enemies. On the other side, the young Anatole France described the Commune as "A committee of assassins, a band of hooligans (fripouillards), a government of crime and madness."(103) The diarist Edmond de Goncourt, wrote, three days after La Semaine Sanglante, "…the bleeding has been done thoroughly, and a bleeding like that, by killing the rebellious part of a population, postpones the next revolution… The old society has twenty years of peace before it…"(104)
On 23 April, George Sand, an ardent republican who had taken part in the 1848 revolution, wrote "The horrible adventure continues. They ransom, they threaten, they arrest, they judge. They have taken over all the city halls, all the public establishments, they’re pillaging the munitions and the food supplies."(103) Soon after the Commune began, Gustave Flaubert wrote to Sand, "Austria did not go into Revolution after Sadowa, nor Italy after Novara, nor Russia after Sebastopol! But our good Frenchmen hasten to pull down their house as soon as the chimney takes fire…" Near the end of the Commune, Flaubert wrote to her again, "As for the Commune, which is about to die out, it is the last manifestation of the Middle Ages." On 10 June, when the Commune was finished, Flaubert wrote to Sand:(105)
I come from Paris, and I do not know whom to speak to. I am suffocated. I am quite upset, or rather out of heart. The sight of the ruins is nothing compared to the great Parisian insanity. With very rare exceptions, everybody seemed to me only fit for the strait-jacket. One half of the population longs to hang the other half, which returns the compliment. That is clearly to be read in the eyes of the passers-by.
Victor Hugo blamed Thiers for his short-sightedness. At the news that the government had failed to have the cannons seized he wrote in his diary, "He touched off the fuse to the powder keg. Thiers is premeditated thoughtlessness." (106) On the other hand, he was critical of the Commune but sympathetic to the Communards. At the beginning of April, he moved to Brussels to take care of the family of his son, who had just died. On 9 April, he wrote, "In short, this Commune is as idiotic as the National Assembly is ferocious. From both sides, folly."(103) He wrote poems that criticized both the government and the Commune's policy of taking hostages for reprisals, and condemned the destruction of the Vendôme Column.(107) On 25 May, during the Bloody Week, he wrote: "A monstrous act; they’ve set fire to Paris. They’ve been searching for firemen as far away as Brussels." But after the repression, he offered to give sanctuary to members of the Commune, which, he said, "was barely elected, and of which I never approved."(103) He became the most vocal advocate of an amnesty for exiled Communards, finally granted in the 1880s.(108)
Émile Zola, as a journalist for Le Sémaphore de Marseille, reported on the fall of the Commune, and was one of the first reporters to enter the city during Bloody Week. On 25 May he reported: "Never in civilised times has such a terrible crime ravaged a great city… The men of the Hotel de Ville could not be other than assassins and arsonists. They were beaten and fled like robbers from the regular army, and took vengeance upon the monuments and houses…. The fires of Paris have pushed over the limit the exasperation of the army. …Those who burn and who massacre merit no other justice than the gunshot of a soldier."(109) But on 1 June, when the fighting was over, his tone had changed, "The court martials are still meeting and the summary executions continue, less numerous, it's true. The sound of firing squads, which one still hears in the mournful city, atrociously prolongs the nightmare … Paris is sick of executions. It seems to Paris that they're shooting everyone. Paris is not complaining about the shooting of the members of the Commune, but of innocent people. It believes that, among the pile, there are innocent people, and that it's time that each execution is preceded by at least an attempt at a serious inquiry … When the echoes of the last shots have ceased, it will take a great deal of gentleness to heal the million people suffering nightmares, those who have emerged, shivering from the fire and massacre.(110)
Anarchists participated actively in the establishment of the Paris Commune. They included "Louise Michel, the Reclus brothers, and Eugène Varlin (the latter executed in the repression afterwards). As for the reforms initiated by the Commune, such as the re-opening of workplaces as co-operatives, anarchists could see their ideas of associated labour beginning to be realised…Moreover, the Commune's ideas on federation obviously reflected the influence of Proudhon on French radical ideas. Indeed, the Commune's vision of a communal France based on a federation of delegates bound by imperative mandates issued by their electors and subject to recall at any moment echoed Bakunin's and Proudhon's ideas (Proudhon, like Bakunin, had argued in favour of the 'implementation of the binding mandate' in 1848…and for federation of communes). Thus both economically and politically the Paris Commune was heavily influenced by anarchist ideas."(111) George Woodcock manifests that "a notable contribution to the activities of the Commune and particularly to the organization of public services was made by members of various anarchist factions, including the mutualists Courbet, Longuet, and Vermorel, the libertarian collectivists Varlin, Malon, and Lefrangais, and the bakuninists Elie and Elisée Reclus and Louise Michel."(112) Mikhail Bakunin was a strong supporter of the Commune. He saw the Commune as above all a "rebellion against the State," and commended the Communards for rejecting not only the State but also revolutionary dictatorship.(113) In a series of powerful pamphlets, he defended the Commune and the First International against the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini, thereby winning over many Italian republicans to the International and the cause of revolutionary socialism.
Louise Michel was an important anarchist participant in the Paris Commune. Initially she worked as an ambulance woman, treating those injured on the barricades. During the Siege of Paris she untiringly preached resistance to the Prussians. On the establishment of the Commune, she joined the National Guard. She offered to shoot Thiers, and suggested the destruction of Paris by way of vengeance for its surrender. In December 1871, she was brought before the 6th council of war and charged with offences, including trying to overthrow the government, encouraging citizens to arm themselves, and herself using weapons and wearing a military uniform. Defiantly, she vowed to never renounce the Commune, and dared the judges to sentence her to death.(114) Reportedly, Michel told the court, "Since it seems that every heart that beats for freedom has no right to anything but a little slug of lead, I demand my share. If you let me live, I shall never cease to cry for vengeance."(115) Following the 1871 Paris Commune, the anarchist movement, as was the whole of the workers' movement, was decapitated and deeply affected for years.
Marx, Engels, and Lenin(edit)
Communists, left-wing socialists, anarchists, and others have seen the Commune as a model for, or a prefiguration of, a liberated society, with a political system based on participatory democracy from the grassroots up. Marx and Engels, Bakunin, and later Lenin, tried to draw major theoretical lessons (in particular as regards the "dictatorship of the proletariat" and the "withering away of the state") from the limited experience of the Commune.
Marx, in The Civil War in France (1871), written during the Commune, praised the Commune's achievements, and described it as the prototype for a revolutionary government of the future, "the form at last discovered" for the emancipation of the proletariat. Marx wrote that, "Working men's Paris, with its Commune, will be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society. Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class. Its exterminators, history has already nailed to that eternal pillory from which all of the prayers of their priest will not avail to redeem them."(116)
Engels echoed his partner, maintaining that the absence of a standing army, the self-policing of the "quarters", and other features meant that the Commune was no longer a "state" in the old, repressive sense of the term. It was a transitional form, moving towards the abolition of the state as such. He used the famous term later taken up by Lenin and the Bolsheviks: the Commune was, he said, the first "dictatorship of the proletariat", a state run by workers and in the interests of workers. But Marx and Engels were not entirely uncritical of the Commune. The split between the Marxists and anarchists at the 1872 Hague Congress of the First International (IWA) may in part be traced to Marx's stance that the Commune might have saved itself had it dealt more harshly with reactionaries, instituted conscription, and centralised decision-making in the hands of a revolutionary direction. The other point of disagreement was the anti-authoritarian socialists' opposition to the Communist conception of conquest of power and of a temporary transitional state: the anarchists were in favour of general strike and immediate dismantlement of the state through the constitution of decentralised workers' councils, as those seen in the Commune.
Lenin, like Marx, considered the Commune a living example of the "dictatorship of the proletariat". But he criticised the Communards for not having done enough to secure their position, highlighting two errors in particular. The first was that the Communards "stopped half way … led astray by dreams of … establishing a higher (capitalist) justice in the country … such institutions as the banks, for example, were not taken over". Secondly, he thought their "excessive magnanimity" had prevented them from "destroying" the class enemy. For Lenin, the Communards "underestimated the significance of direct military operations in civil war; and instead of launching a resolute offensive against Versailles that would have crowned its victory in Paris, it tarried and gave the Versailles government time to gather the dark forces and prepare for the blood-soaked week of May".(117)
National Guard commander Jules Bergeret escaped Paris during the Bloody Week and went into exile in New York, where he died in 1905.
The American Ambassador in Paris during the Commune, Elihu Washburne, writing in his personal diary which is quoted at length in noted historian David McCullough's book, The Greater Journey (Simon & Schuster 2011), described the Communards as "brigands", "assassins", and "scoundrels"; "I have no time now to express my detestation…. (T)hey threaten to destroy Paris and bury everybody in its ruins before they will surrender."
Edwin Child, a young Londoner working in Paris, noted that during the Commune, "the women behaved like tigresses, throwing petroleum everywhere and distinguishing themselves by the fury with which they fought".(118) However, it has been argued in recent research that these famous female arsonists of the Commune, or pétroleuses, may have been exaggerated or a myth.(119)(120) Lissagaray claimed that because of this myth, hundreds of working-class women were murdered in Paris in late May, falsely accused of being pétroleuses, but he offered no evidence to support his claim. Lissagaray also claimed that the artillery fire by the French army was responsible for probably half of the fires that consumed the city during the Bloody Week.(121) However, photographs of the ruins of the Tuileries Palace, the Hotel de Ville, and other prominent government buildings that burned show that the exteriors were untouched by cannon fire, while the interiors were completely gutted by fire; and prominent Communards such as Jules Bergeret, who escaped to live in New York, proudly claimed credit for the most famous acts of arson.(80)
Academic dispute over Thiers' handling of the crisis(edit)
Historian J.P.T. Bury considers that Thiers tackled the crisis in a ruthless but successful way, thus giving a solid base to the Third Republic. As he put it , "the exile of so many extremists enabled the new Republic to (…) develop in a peaceful and orderly fashion. (122)"
This view is shared by French historian A. Plessis who writes that "the crushing of the communards (…) was ultimately to facilitate the advent of the Third Republic. (123)"
For David Thomson, Thiers had no other option to restore the unity of a country fractured by an overwhelming defeat and innumerable factions.(124)
Another French historian, Paul Lidsky, argues that Thiers felt urged by mainstream newspapers and leading intellectuals to take decisive action against ‘the social and democratic vermin’ (Le Figaro), ‘those abominable ruffians’ (Comtesse de Ségur).(125)
Even a moderate daily newspaper like le Drapeau tricolore wrote, " even though we were to drown this uprising in blood, were we to bury it under the ruins of the burning city, there would be no room for compromise.(126) "
Theodore Zeldin in France 1848-1945, vol.I goes so far as to say that Thiers deliberately ordered Paris to be evacuated in order to incite part of the population to rise up and eventually have a pretext for crushing Paris as a rebellious force.(127)
Influence and legacy(edit)
The Paris Commune inspired other uprisings named or called Communes: in Moscow (December 1905); Budapest (March–July 1919); Canton (December 1927), most famously, Petrograd (1917), and Shanghai (1927 and 1967). The Commune was regarded with admiration and awe by later Communist and leftist leaders. Vladimir Lenin wrote: "We are only dwarves perched on the shoulders of those giants." He celebrated by dancing in the snow in Moscow on the day that his Bolshevik government was more than two months old, surpassing the Commune. The ministers and officials of the Bolshevik government were given the title Commissar, which was borrowed directly from the Commissaires of the Commune. Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow was (and still is) decorated with red banners from the Commune, brought to Moscow in 1924 by French communists.(128) Stalin wrote: "In 1917 we thought that we would form a commune, an association of workers, and that we would put an end to bureaucracy…That is a goal that we are still far from reaching."(128) The Bolsheviks renamed their dreadnought battleship Sevastopol to Parizhskaya Kommuna. In the years of the Soviet Union, the spaceflight Voskhod 1 carried part of a Communard banner.
The National Assembly decreed a law on 24 July 1873, for the construction of the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre, near the location of the cannon park and where General Clément-Thomas and General Lecomte were killed, specifying that it was to be erected to "expiate the crimes of the Commune".(129) A plaque and a church, Notre-Dame-des-Otages (fr) (Our Lady of the Hostages) on rue Haxo mark the place where fifty hostages, including priests, gendarmes and four civilians, were shot by a firing squad.(130)
A plaque also marks the wall in Père Lachaise Cemetery where 147 Communards were executed, commonly known as the Communards' Wall.(131) Memorial commemorations are held at the cemetery every year in May to remember the Commune. Another plaque behind the Hôtel de Ville marks the site of a mass grave of Communards shot by the army. Their remains were later reburied in city cemeteries.
Other communes of 1871(edit)
Soon after the Paris Commune took power in Paris, revolutionary and socialist groups in several other French cities tried to establish their own communes. The Paris Commune sent delegates to the large cities to encourage them. The longest-lasting commune outside Paris was that in Marseille, from 23 March to 4 April, which was suppressed with the loss of thirty soldiers and one hundred and fifty insurgents. None of the other Communes lasted more than a few days, and most ended with little or no bloodshed.
Lyon. Lyon had a long history of worker's movements and uprisings. On 28 September 1870, even before the Paris Commune, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin and socialist Paul Clusaret led an unsuccessful attempt to seize the city hall in Lyon, but were stopped, arrested and expelled from the city by national guardsmen who supported the Republic. On 22 March, when the news of the seizure of power by the Paris Commune reached Lyon, socialist and revolutionary members of the National Guard met and heard a speech by a representative of the Paris Commune. They marched to the city hall, occupied it, and established a Commune of fifteen members, of whom eleven were militant revolutionaries. They arrested the mayor and the prefect of the city, hoisted a red flag over the city hall, and declared support for the Paris Commune. A delegate from the Paris Commune, Charles Amouroux, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of several thousand people in front of the city hall. However, the following day the national guardsmen from other neighborhoods gathered at the city hall, held a meeting, and put out their own bulletin, declaring that the takeover was a "regrettable misunderstanding," and declared their support for the government of the Republic. On 24 March, the four major newspapers of Lyon also repudiated the Commune. On 25 March, the last members of the Commune resigned and left the city hall peacefully. The Commune had lasted only two days.(132)
Saint-Étienne. On 24 March, inspired by the news from Paris, a crowd of republican and revolutionary workers and national guardsmen invaded the city hall of Saint-Étienne, and demanded a plebiscite for the establishment of a Commune. Revolutionary members of the National Guard and a unit of regular army soldiers supporting the Republic were both outside the city. The prefect, an engineer named de L'Espée, was meeting with a delegation from the National Guard in his office when a shot was fired outside, killing a worker. The national guardsmen stormed the city hall, capturing the prefect. In the resulting chaos, more shots were fired and the prefect was killed. The National Guard members quickly established an Executive Committee, sent soldiers to occupy the railway station and telegraph office, and proclaimed a Commune, with elections to be held on 29 March. However, on the 26th, the more moderate republican members of the National Guard disassociated themselves from the Commune. An army unit entered the city on the morning of 28 March, and went to the city hall. The few hundred revolutionary national guardsmen still at the city hall dispersed quietly, without any shots being fired.(133)
Marseille. Marseille, even before the Commune, had a strongly republican mayor and a tradition of revolutionary and radical movements. On 22 March, the socialist politician Gaston Cremieux addressed a meeting of workers in Marseille and called upon them to take up arms and to support the Paris Commune. Parades of radicals and socialists went into the street, chanting "Long live Paris! Long live the Commune!" On 23 March, the Prefect of the city called a mass meeting of the National Guard, expecting they would support the government; but, instead, the national guardsmen, as in Paris, stormed the city hall and took the mayor and prefect prisoner, and declared a Commune, led by a commission of six members, later increased to twelve, composed of both revolutionaries and moderate socialists. The military commander of Marseille, General Espivent de la Villeboisnet, withdrew his troops, along with many city government officials, outside Marseille, to Aubagne, to see what would happen. The revolutionary commission soon split into two factions, one in the city hall and the other in the prefecture, each claiming to be the legal government of the city. On 4 April, General Espivent, with six to seven thousand regular soldiers supported by sailors and National Guard units loyal to the Republic, entered Marseille, where the Commune was defended by about 2,000 national guardsmen. The regular army forces laid siege to the prefecture, defended by about 400 national guardsmen. The building was bombarded by artillery and then stormed by the soldiers and sailors. About 30 soldiers and 150 insurgents were killed. As in Paris, insurgents captured with weapons in hand were executed, and about 900 others were imprisoned. Gaston Cremieux was arrested, condemned to death in June 1871, and executed five months later.(134)
Other cities. There were attempts to establish Communes in other cities. A radical government briefly took charge in the industrial town of Le Creusot, from 24 to 27 March, but left without violence when confronted by the army. The city hall, prefecture and arsenal of Toulouse were taken over by revolutionary national guardsmen on 24 March, but handed back to the army without fighting on 27 March. There was a similar short-lived takeover over the city hall in Narbonne (23–28 March). In Limoges, no Commune was declared, but from 3 to 5 April revolutionary National Guard soldiers blockaded the city hall, mortally wounded an army colonel, and briefly prevented a regular army unit from being sent to Paris to fight the Commune, before being themselves disarmed by the army.(135)
Adolphe Thiers was formally elected the first President of the French Third Republic on August 30, 1871. He was replaced by the more conservative Patrice MacMahon in 1873. In his last years he became an ally of the republicans against the constitutional monarchists in the Assembly. When he died in 1877, his funeral was a major political event. The historian Jules Ferry reported that a million Parisians lined the streets; the funeral procession was led by the republican deputies Leon Gambetta and Victor Hugo. He was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery, where one of the final battles of the Commune had been fought.
Patrice MacMahon, the leader of the regular army that crushed the Commune, served as the President of the Third Republic from 1873 to 1879. When he died in 1893, he was buried with the highest military honours at the Invalides.
Georges Clemenceau, the mayor of Montmartre at the beginning of the Commune, became the leader of the Radical Party in the French Chamber of Deputies. He was Prime Minister of France during the crucial years of World War I, and signed the Versailles Treaty, restoring Alsace and Lorraine to France.
Some leaders of the Commune, including Delescluze, died on the barricades, but most of the others survived and lived long afterwards, and some of them resumed political careers in France.
Felix Pyat, the radical journalist, slipped out of Paris near the end of the Commune and reappeared as a refugee in London. He was sentenced to death in absentia, but he and the other Communards were granted an amnesty. He returned to France, where he again became active in politics. He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in March 1888, where he sat on the extreme left. He died in 1889.
Louis Auguste Blanqui had been elected the honorary President of the Commune, but he was in prison during its entire duration. He was sentenced to be transported to a penal colony in 1872, but because of his health his sentence was changed to imprisonment. He was elected a Deputy for Bordeaux in April 1879, but was disqualified. After he was released from prison, he continued his career as an agitator. He died after giving a speech in Paris in January 1881. Like Adolphe Thiers, he is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery, where one of the last battles of the Commune was fought.
Louise Michel, the famous "Red Virgin", was sentenced to transportation to a penal colony in New Caledonia, where she served as a schoolteacher. She was amnestied in 1880, and returned to Paris, where she resumed her career as an activist and anarchist. She was arrested in 1880 for leading a mob which pillaged a bakery, was imprisoned, and then pardoned. She was arrested several more times, and once was freed by the intervention of Georges Clemenceau. She died in 1905, and was buried near her close friend and colleague during the Commune, Théophile Ferré, the man who had signed the death warrant for the Archbishop of Paris and other hostages.
Among the first to write about the Commune was Victor Hugo, whose poem "Sur une barricade", written on 11 June 1871, and published in 1872 in a collection of poems under the name L' Année terrible, honours the bravery of a twelve-year-old Communard being led to the execution squad.
William Morris' sequence of poems, "The Pilgrims of Hope" (1885), features a climax set in the Commune.(138)
Jules Vallès, editor of Le Cri du Peuple, wrote a trilogy Jacques Vingtras: L'Enfant, Le Bachelier, L'insurgé, between 1878 and 1880, the complete novels being published only in 1886, after his death.
Émile Zola's 1892 novel La Débâcle is set against the background of the Franco-Prussian War, the Battle of Sedan and the Paris Commune.
British writer Arnold Bennett's 1908 novel The Old Wives' Tale, is in part set in Paris during the Commune.
Guy Endore's 1933 horror novel The Werewolf of Paris is set during the Paris Commune and contrasts the savagery of the werewolf with the savagery of La Semaine Sanglante.
French writer Jean Vautrin's 1998 novel Le Cri du Peuple deals with the rise and fall of the Commune. The Prix Goncourt winning novel is an account of the tumultuous events of 1871 told in free indirect style from the points of view of a policeman and a Communard tied together by the murder of a child and love for an Italian woman called Miss Pecci. The novel begins with the discovery of the corpse of a woman dumped in the Seine and the subsequent investigation in which the two main protagonists, Grondin and Tarpagnan, are involved. The eponymous newspaper, Le Cri du Peuple, is inspired by the actual Communard newspaper edited by Jules Vallès. The book itself is supposedly his account. The painter Gustave Courbet also makes an appearance.
In The Prague Cemetery, Italian author Umberto Eco sets chapter 17 against the background of the Paris Commune.
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee (2016) depicts the survival of fictional opera singer Lilliet Berne during the siege of Paris. The novel's heroine also interacts with several notable figures of the day, including George Sand and the Empress Eugénie de Montijo.
Several popular British and American novelists of the late 19th century depicted the Commune as a tyranny against which Anglo-Americans and their aristocratic French allies heroically pitted themselves.(139) Among the most well-known of these anti-Commune novels are Woman of the Commune (1895, AKA A Girl of the Commune) by G. A. Henty and in the same year, The Red Republic: A Romance of the Commune by Robert W. Chambers.(139)
In Marx Returns by the British writer and filmmaker Jason Barker, the Commune provides the historical context to Karl Marx's revolutionary struggles, and is depicted "as a symbol of an unfinished political project."(140)
There have been numerous films set in the Commune. Particularly notable is La Commune, which runs for 5¾ hours and was directed by Peter Watkins. It was made in Montreuil in 2000, and as with most of Watkins' other films it uses ordinary people instead of actors to create a documentary effect. Some participants were the children of cast members from Watkin's masterpiece Edvard Munch (1974). La Commune was shot on film by Odd-Geir Saether, the Norwegian cameraman from the Munch film.
Soviet filmmakers Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg wrote and directed, in 1929, the silent film The New Babylon (Novyy Vavilon) about the Paris Commune. It features Dmitri Shostakovich's first film score.
British filmmaker Ken McMullen has made two films directly or indirectly influenced by the Commune: Ghost Dance (1983)and 1871 (1990). Ghost Dance is furthermore of interest due to the appearance of French philosopher Jacques Derrida.
The Italian composer Luigi Nono also wrote the opera Al gran sole carico d'amore (In the Bright Sunshine, Heavy with Love), which is based on the Paris Commune.
Comics artist Jacques Tardi translated the Vautrin's novel (listed above) into a comic, which is also called Le Cri du Peuple.
In the long-running British TV series The Onedin Line (episode 27, screened 10 December 1972), shipowner James Onedin is lured into the Commune in pursuit of a commercial debt and finds himself under heavy fire.
Références (modifier le wikicode)
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^ a b Milza, 2009a, p. 319
^ a b Rapport d'ensemble de M. le Général Appert sur les opérations de la justice militaire relatives à l'insurrection de 1871, Assemblée nationale, annexe au procès verbal de la session du 20 juillet 1875 (Versailles, 1875)
^ a b Tombs, Robert, "How Bloody was la Semaine sanglante of 1871? A Revision". The Historical Journal, September 2012, vol. 55, issue 03, pp. 619–704
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^ a b c Lissagaray, Prosper-Olivier (1876), Histoire de la Commune de 1871, La Decouverte/Poche (2000). p. 383
^ Robert Tombs, The War Against Paris, 1871 (1981).
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^ Edwards 1971, p. 1
^ March, Thomas (1896). The history of the Paris Commune of 1871. London, S. Sonnenschein & co., ltd.; New York, Macmillan & co. pp. 3–6.
^ Waldersee, Alfred von (23 July 2019). A Field Marshal's Memoirs: From the Diary, Correspondence and Reminiscences of Alfred, Count von Waldersee. ISBN 978-1-163-18135-5.
^ March, Thomas (1896). The history of the Paris Commune of 1871. London, S. Sonnenschein & co., ltd.; New York, Macmillan & co. pp. 7–9.
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^ Milza, 2009a, pp. 436–437
^ Milza, 2009a, p. 440
^ Rougerie, Jacques, La Commune de 1871, p. 120
^ Deposition de M. le maréchal Mac-Mahon (28 August 1871) in Enquéte Parlementaire sur l'insurrection du 18 mars 1871 (Paris: Librarie Législative, 1872), p. 183
^ Lissagaray, Prosper-Olivier (1876), Histoire de la Commune de 1871, La Decouverte/Poche (2000). p. 466
^ Milza, Pierre, La Commune
^ A History of Modern France. Vol 2: 1799–1861, Penguin Books, 1965. p. 215
^ Anderson, Benedict (July–August 2004). "In the World-Shadow of Bismarck and Nobel". New Left Review. New Left Review. II (28).CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
^ V.I. Lenin, On the Paris Commune, Moscow, Progress Publishers
^ du Camp, Maxime, Les Convulsions de Paris, Hachette, (1881), p. 303.
^ Wilson, Colette (2007). Paris and the Commune, 1871–1878: The Politics of Forgetting. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 20.
^ a b c d Pivot, Sylvain, "La Commune, les Communards, les ecrivains ou la haine et la gloire." December 2003. La revue des Anciens Élèves de l'École Nationale d'Administration"
^ Edmond de Goncourt, Jules de Goncourt, Robert Baldick, Pages from the Goncourt Journal (Oxford, 1962), p. 194
^ Correspondence between Gustave Flaubert and George Sand. online-literature.com.
^ Hugo, Victor, Choses vues, 1870–1885. Paris. Gallimard (1972). ISBN 2-07-036141-1. p. 159
^ Hugo, Victor, L'Année Terrible
^ Milza, 2009a, pp. 457–460
^ 4th letter of Emile Zola on the Commune, 25 May 1871
^ 11th letter of Emile Zola on the Commune, 1 June 1871
^ "The Paris Commune" by Anarcho Archived 25 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
^ Woodcock, George (1962). Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements. The World Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0140168211.
^ The Paris Commune and the Idea of the State, Mikhail Bakunin, 1871
^ Louise Michel, a French anarchist women who fought in the Paris commune Archived 10 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
^ Thomas, Édith (2007) (1966). The Women Incendiaries. Haymarket Books. ISBN 978-1-931859-46-2.
^ Karl Marx, The Civil War in France, English Edition of 1871
^ Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich (2004) (Originally published 23 March 1908 from speech at Geneva). "Lessons of the Commune". Lenin Collected Works. Volume 13: June 1907 – April 1908. Translated by Isaacs, Bernard. Moscow: Progress Publishers (published 1972). pp. 475–478. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018 – via Marxists Internet Archive and Lenin Internet Archive; originally published in Zagranichnaya Gazeta (Foreign Gazette), No. 2.
^ Eye-witness accounts quoted in 'Paris under Siege' by Joanna Richardson p.197 (see bibliography)
^ Robert Tombs, The War Against Paris: 1871, Cambridge University Press, 1981, 272 pages ISBN 978-0-521-28784-5
^ Gay Gullickson, Unruly Women of Paris, Cornell Univ Press, 1996, 304 pages ISBN 978-0-8014-8318-9>
^ Lissagaray, Prosper-Olivier (2012) (1876). History of the Paris Commune of 1871. London: Verso. pp. 277–278.
^ Bury, J.P.T. (22 July 2003). France, 1814-1940 – 6th edition. Routledge. p. 108. ISBN 978-0415316002.
^ Plessis, Alain (1985). The Rise and Fall of the Second Empire, 1852-1871. Cambridge University Press. p. 173. ISBN 9780521358569.
^ T. Morris, D. Murphy (2000). Europe 1870-1991. Collins Educational. p. 95. ISBN 0003271331.
^ Lidsky, Paul (1982). Les écrivains contre la Commune. Paris: François Maspéro. p. 72. ISBN 9782707113412.
^ "La responsabilité de la presse dans la répression de la Commune de Paris". Le vent se lève. 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
^ T. Morris, D. Murphy (2000). Europe, 1870-1991. Collins. p. 95. ISBN 0003271331.
^ a b Rougerie, Jacques, Paris libre – 1871, p. 264
^ "No. 1262 – Rapport d'information de M. Bernard Accoyer fait au nom de la mission d'information sur les questions mémorielles". www.assemblee-nationale.fr.
^ Gregor Dallas, An Exercise in Terror: the Paris Commune 1871, History Today, Volume 39, Issue 2, 1989
^ Cobban, Alfred (1965), A History of Modern France, p. 215. Penguin Books
^ Milza, 2009a, pp. 158–160
^ Milza, 2009a, pp. 160–162
^ Milza, 2009a, pp. 165–170
^ Milza, 2009a, pp. 173–176
^ "In his later years, the story of the Commune so gripped Morris's imagination that it provided the climax for his long poem, "The Pilgrims of Hope"… E. P. Thompson, William Morris : Romantic to Revolutionary. London : PM Press, 2013. ISBN 9781604868418 (p.196).
^ a b Albert Boime, Olin Levi Warner's Defense of the Paris Commune, Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 29, No. 3/4 (1989), (pp. 4, 13)
^ "Marx as Flawed, Manic, and One of Us: a Review of Marx Returns". 17 September 2018.
Rougerie, Jacques (2014). La Commune de 1871. Paris: Presses universitaires de France. ISBN 978-2-13-062078-5.
Rougerie, Jacques (2004). Paris libre 1871. Paris: Editions du Seuil. ISBN 2-02-055465-8.
Milza, Pierre (2009a). L'année terrible: La Commune (mars–juin 1871). Paris: Perrin. ISBN 978-2-262-03073-5.
Milza, Pierre (2009b). L'année terrible: La guerre franco-prussienne (septembre 1870 – mars 1871). Paris: Perrin. ISBN 978-2-262-02498-7.
du Camp, Maxime (1881). Les Convulsions de Paris. Paris: Hachette.
The Red Republic, A Romance of The Commune, Robert W. Chambers 1895 (a Romantic adventure about the Paris Commune of 1871)
Gluckstein, Donny (2006). The Paris Commune: A Revolution in Democracy. London: Bookmarks. ISBN 978-1-90-519214-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists and Secret Police by Alex Butterworth (Pantheon Books, 2010)
(in German) Haupt, Gerhard; Hausen, Karin: Die Pariser Kommune: Erfolg und Scheitern einer Revolution. Frankfurt 1979. Campus Verlag. ISBN 3-593-32607-8.
Edwards, Stewart (1971). The Paris Commune 1871. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode. ISBN 0-413-28110-8.
De la Croix de Castries, René (1983). Monsieur Thiers. Librarie Academique Perrin. ISBN 2-262-00299-1.
Guiral, Pierre (1986). Adolphe Thiers ou De la nécessité en politique. Paris: Fayard. ISBN 2-213-01825-1.
Ross, Kristin. Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune. London: Verso. ISBN 978-1-78168-839-7.
Collection de caricatures et de charges pour servir à l'histoire de la guerre et de la révolution de 1870-1871, Heidelberg University Library
La Commune de 1871 by JP Achard (in French)
Paris Commune Archive at Marxists Internet Archive
Paris Commune Archive at Anarchist Archive
On the Paris Commune, a collection of writings by Marx and Engels on the subject.
Karl Marx and the Paris Commune by C.L.R. James
The Paris Commune and Marx' Theory of Revolution by Paul Dorn
Association Les Amis de la Commune de Paris (1871) (in French)
Siege and Commune of Paris Collection (c. 1870-1871) at Northwestern University Library: McCormick Library of Special Collections
Paris Commune on Encyclopedia.com
Movie (in Polish): Jarosław Dąbrowski (released: 26 January 1976) directed by Bohdan Poręba (length: 2 hours, 12 minutes); Music by Wojciech Kilar; After opening credits, at 03:37 begins with extensive scenes of the 1871 Siege and Commune of Paris
Documentary (in French): Commune de Paris (LA) (released: 1951) directed by Robert Ménégoz (length: 24 minutes, 55 seconds); Dramatic historical evocation of the Paris Commune, and its Bloody Week, featuring numerous documents, photographs, and drawings, animated with special effects, and underscored with music, describing major events of the Commune, while presenting its leaders