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(March 18–May 28, 1871) Insurrection of Paris against the French government. After France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the collapse of the Second Empire, the republican Parisians feared that the conservative majority in the National Assembly would restore the monarchy. On March 18 the National Guard in Paris resisted orders to disarm, and after municipal elections were won by the revolutionaries, they formed the Commune government. Factions included the so-called Jacobins, who wanted the Paris Commune to control the revolution (as its namesake had in the French Revolution); the Proudhonists, socialist followers of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who supported a federation of communes; and the Blanquistes, socialist followers of Auguste Blanqui who demanded violent action. Government forces quickly suppressed communes elsewhere in France, then entered Paris on May 21. In a week of fierce fighting, they crushed the Communards, who had set up barricades in the streets and burned public buildings, including the Tuileries Palace. About 20,000 insurrectionists and 750 government troops were killed. In the aftermath, the government took harsh repressive action; 38,000 suspects were arrested and more than 7,000 were deported.
Variants of PARIS COMMUNE
Paris Commune or Commune of Paris
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Paris Commune, visit Britannica.com.
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