The Greatest Public Relations Coup of All Time

The branding campaign which transformed the labor movement into the "Worldwide Communist Conspiracy"

By Jack Barkstrom

The Paris Commune

The first communist commune or just an out of control mob

The Paris Commune - Dawn of a New Age or Proletarian Dictatorship?

When the first three-man team of Soviet cosmonauts went into space on the Voskhod in 1964, they carried with them a ribbon off a Communard flag - a flag which had flown over Paris during the very short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, which was set up on March 28th and crushed on May 29th. The Communard flag was viewed as a sacred relic, on a par with pictures of Marx and Lenin, which were also carried on the Voskhod.[1] Marx had elevated the status of the Commune with an essay he called 'The Civil War in France,' which he delivered as a talk in London on May 30, 1871, within a day or two of the end of resistance in Paris. In his essay he held up the Paris Commune as the first example of a "dictatorship of the proletariat."[2] In his eyes, it symbolized the emergence of a new, egalitarian society - a major, promising, achievement for mankind.

Others were not so sure. They saw the Commune as an example of everything that could go wrong when the proletariat did away with the established order and created their dictatorship. What the Communards had established was not a Utopian society, but an environment of chaos and disorder, which engaged in acts of savagery and lawlessness, even going so far as the massacre of innocents. They pointed to the murder of those held as hostages, among them the Archbishop of Paris. If this was an example of the 'dictatorship of the proletarian,' it represented the total breakdown of all civil order. Marx found himself under attack shortly after the publication of his pamphlet, infamous around the world, as the Red Terrorist Doctor, the theorist responsible for the creation of Communism.[3]

Paris had experienced a lot in the space of a year. France had declared war on Prussia on July 19, 1870, and Parisians had cheered as their troops left Paris for the front. By September 2, the entire French army was trapped in the fortress city of Sedan, together with the French emperor Napoleon III, had surrendered. On September 20th, Prussian units completed the encirclement of Paris and began a siege. On October 29, the French army at Metz surrendered.[4] Paris held out and, on January 5, 1871, the Prussians started shelling the city. Paris would finally surrender on January 28th. Under the terms of surrender German troops were to be allowed a triumphal march through Paris and to occupy the city for two days. On March 1st the Germans entered the city. The King of Prussia watched some 30,000 troops pass in review, after which the troops wandered around the city in small groups. Most Parisians watched in silence, but did not attack them. On March 3rd, the Germans marched out of the city.

With the Germans gone, France was left to deal with its own problems. When elections were held across France on February 8th, the results revealed a deep divide, with the city of Paris pitted against the rest of France. To the outside world, Paris symbolized, even represented France; within France it was just one city, viewed with resentment by other regions and smaller cities, an ongoing rivalry. Paris elected radicals to the Assembly; the rest of France elected conservative monarchists. With a majority of the seats in the Assembly the monarchists had a legitimate claim to being the real government of France. Yet they also recognized that without the ability to physically or militarily maintain order that legitimacy could be challenged by anyone who could organize a military force. The most sought-after prize in military terms was possession of two hundred cannon still within the city. In the short run possession of the cannon was the key to military control of Paris. If the guns were seized Paris would be defenseless. On March 18, 1871, regular army units attempted to remove the guns but proved too small a force to deal with the mobs of Parisians who were determined to stop them. Failing in their mission the army units were withdrawn from the city, with the government and army units moving to Versailles.

On March 26th, Paris held its own election. The radicals, (or Reds, as they were labeled by more moderate elements) controlled the new assembly by nearly four-to-one. On March 28th, from the Hôtel de Ville, they proclaimed the Paris Commune - 'Commune de Paris.'[5] Perhaps buoyed by their success in preventing the seizure of the guns and the forced retreat by the national government forces, they had already committed a major blunder. Of far greater military importance than the two hundred cannon in Paris, was the huge fortress of Mont-Valérien, overlooking Paris, which dominated the city's western approaches. The rebels, fearing a direct attack against Paris, had spent the time reinforcing buildings in the city but sent no force to occupy the fortress. Regular army garrison units had been withdrawn on the 18th, along with other units. Realizing that the fortress was largely empty, a small force of regulars was ordered back in after three days.[6]

The government began its build-up slowly. On April 2, Palm Sunday, just as the forces of the Commune were contemplating an attack against Versailles, Parisians heard the sound of a cannonade about ten in the morning which eventually died away.[7] By April 12th, shells were hitting the center of the city.[8] On May 21st, government infantry forces managed to enter Paris.[9] It took a week, but the national troops, fighting block-by-block, managed to clear the streets. By May 28th, they had control of Paris.[10]

The Commune may have impacted French political life in one significant way - not in suppressing Marxist views or in promoting reactionary ideas. It may have been more in the advancement of populist or democratic governments. Following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, there had been a presumption that a monarchy was the form of government which could maintain order. In the aftermath of the Commune, those who considered themselves monarchists concluded that, while a conservative government was needed, a monarchy was not. There was a brief attempt to restore the monarchy in 1873, when the Count of Chambord was offered the throne. He decided he would take the title of Henry V. Unfortunately, he decided that official flag of France would be the lily flag of the Bourbons. Monarchists concluded he was a little too rigid in his views to be allowed to run a government. In 1875 it was decided to structure the government with two houses: a Senate of 300 members and a popularly-elected Chamber of Deputies.[11]

There has sometimes been speculation that the Paris Commune was named for or was a derivative of the word Communism, as associated with Marx. The goal of the leaders of the Paris Commune was not an association with the ideas of Karl Marx or Communism, rather it was more likely an association with the revolutionary ideals of the French Revolution and the government of 1792. While it sounded revolutionary, Commune in French was the word for any self-governing town or municipality, a word which had been around since the Middle Ages. The Commune de Paris was technically nothing more than the administrative town unit or district of Paris, following the fall of the Bastille. Since the Commune of Paris of 1789 existed during a revolutionary period, it had an almost mythical association with the French Revolution, although not necessarily an association with Communism.[12] On the other hand, when the term crossed the Atlantic to the United States, it may have re-acquired an association with Marx's Communism simply because the word Communard sounded very similar to Communist, which to American ears, may have sounded like a derogatory slang term for Communist or like one of the residents of Paris during the Commune, except that it sounded a lot worse.

Louis Philippe - Interim Government (1830-1848)

Following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the Allies decided that the best political option was to force the French to restore the monarchy. They clearly did not want a popular government, such as the Revolutionary government of 1789, which might create conditions for another Napoleon. But they also did not want to continue occupying France, which would involve paying for a large army. The compromise was to restore the Bourbon dynasty. The monarchy, while not totally destroyed, had been seriously weakened by the French Revolution and Napoleon's rule. The person chosen to lead the new government was Louis XVIII, the brother of the executed King, Louis XVI.[13] He actually proved an able administrator, putting the French government on a sound fiscal basis and raising the money, by 1818, which allowed France to pay off the war indemnity. As a result foreign troops were withdrawn.[14] Louis XVIII died in September 1824. His younger brother, Charles, Duke of Artois, succeeded him as Charles X.

Charles X was charming, but stubbornly obsessed with restoring the Catholic Church and the nobility to their former place with the privileges they had enjoyed. Unfortunately, in 1829, France was suffering an economic depression, and Charles' policies of promoting members of the nobility were alienating moderates and liberals.[15] In March 1830 he found himself challenged by a liberal Chamber of Deputies. His solution was to dissolve the Chamber and call new elections, which resulted in a more liberal Chamber. Charles assumed he could solve the crisis by issuing decrees. On July 26, 1830, he issued four ordinances, among which were restrictions on freedom of the press, a dissolving of the Chamber, and a date for new elections. He then left to go hunting.[16]

In Paris, four newspapers defied the ban, and protesters began to assemble on the streets. Several protesters were killed when they were fired on by police. In response the protesters began building barricades, some fifty to eighty feet high. On July 28th, the military commander Maréchal de Marmont ordered troops in to clear the barricades. After three days of hard fighting, Marmont ordered a cease-fire. A mob attacked troops housed at the Louvre and they fled.[17] The Chamber offered the throne to Louis Philippe, the Duc d'Orleans. On August 2, 1830 Charles X abdicated and, a week later left for exile in Scotland.[18]

Louis-Philippe managed to hold onto power for eighteen years. In the mid-1840s France began experiencing economic problems. Poor harvests in 1845 and 1846 led to food shortages and high prices, although a better harvest in 1847 eased the situation somewhat.[19] An international financial crisis in 1846 led to a reduction in demand, production cut-backs, and a rise in unemployment. Paris had attracted people looking for work but the factory cut-backs left about a third of the working population of Paris starving or being supported by charity in 1847.[20] The problem for the government was that it failed to understand that there was a problem, and made no attempt to change conditions. A second problem was that it overestimated its own power, overestimated the strength of the groups it allied itself with, and finally, offended or ignored groups it needed for support.

In 1840, Louis-Philippe appointed François Guizot Prime Minister. He would remain in that position until 1848. He was the ultimate political operative within the political world he operated in; successful at manipulating people and maintaining power. He was able to control local elections enough to win majorities in the Chamber of Deputies and distributed patronage so as to maintain the loyalty of his supporters. Where he failed was in his inability to reconcile his political world with the larger political forces at work in France. Worse yet, he was almost totally blind to those outside forces. Unless they favored his constituency, he saw no need to deal with potential problems. He was able to block most reform measures.[21] In mid-1848, Europe began to experience a new industrial boom. However, during the early part of 1848 it was still suffering the effects of a downturn.[22]

The Provisional Government of 1848

In February 1848, the economic problems were still there and neither Guizot nor Louis-Philippe appreciated how serious they had become, especially in Paris. Even worse, they failed to recognize that the economic problems of job loss and business difficulties were turning into a major political problem. Compounding this was the fact that, while they had police and military units they could call on, both would prove inadequate when dealing with the level of resistance in Paris. Political opponents of the regime had one outlet for expressing opposition, so-called "reform banquets," where the public could buy tickets and listen to speeches. They seemed harmless enough at first, until the government realized they were becoming popular and their popularity was tied to the anti-government tone of the speakers. The government finally acted and banned a banquet planned for February 22, 1848. Unable to hold the banquet, the opposition called for demonstrations. On February 23, an encounter between the demonstrators and soldiers left some fifty people dead. While the confrontation had resulted in a large number of deaths, there was a sense among the protesters that the government was indecisive and weak.[23]

In a repeat of 1830, protesters began erecting barricades and fighting with the troops. On February 24th, the military commander ordered his troops to cease fire. Unsure of whether the remaining National Guard force would even support the government, Louis-Philippe, by days end, was persuaded to abdicate. He fled to England.[24] A Provisional Government was formed and the Second Republic proclaimed. It was decided that elections to the Constituent Assembly would be held in April. When the elections were held on Easter Sunday, April 23, 1848.[25] The turnout was huge - 84 percent had participated - but the result was overwhelmingly conservative, evidence of a major split in France. The conservative countryside had voted decisively against the urban residents of Paris. It was in Paris that the newly-elected National Constituent Assembly would begin meeting on May 4.[26] With the French electorate so divided, Paris may have been a bad location choice to begin the new government.

The Provisional Government of 1848 was far more radical and socialist in its programs than the Paris Commune of 1871, but received less criticism, (or credit) for its programs than the 1871 Commune. The Commune spent so much time defending Paris from army attacks, that most of its life was consumed by fighting. It had little time to legislate or carry out any socialist agenda. The French national army seized Courvevoie, a suburb of Paris, on April 2, just six days after the Commune had proclaimed its existence - March 28, 1871. On May 21st, regular army troops, having found an undefended gate, entered Paris, marking the beginning of what would be called 'Bloody Week.' By May 28th, the fighting was mostly over. Both the 1871 Commune and the 1848 Revolution would be marked by a ruthless government crackdown, although the numbers from the 1871 military action were much higher.[27]

If Karl Marx immortalized the Paris Commune with his 'Civil War in France' essay, it was hard to point to any concrete accomplishments by the proletarian government. It did introduce some reform measures. On March 29th, it repealed the rent act - tenants now were exempt from paying rent for the previous nine months. On April 2nd the Church was disestablished.[28] Also on April 2nd, it passed a decree which limited the salaries of all Government officials to 6,000 francs a year. On the 16th, an edict was issued calling for the 'nationalization' of all workshops abandoned by their bourgeois owners, although it would not be carried out.[29] On the 27th, it abolished the system of fines imposed upon workers, and on the 28th it decreed an end to night baking. (Bakery workers were, on the whole, pleased, although there was some grumbling that Parisians, without bread baked during the night, would be reduced to eating stale bread.)[30] Such attempts to create an egalitarian society would be overshadowed by a decision, on May 1st, to create a Committee of Public Safety. Those Jacobins who supported it, looked back on the dictatorship and terror methods of 1793, with a certain nostalgia.[31] The killings carried out under the authority of the Committee would be used to justify the retaliatory killings engaged in by government forces while creating a more memorable and lasting legacy of the Commune. Perhaps the only memorable achievement of the Commune was the toppling of the statue of Napoleon I in Place Vendôme, which had been erected to celebrate Napoleon's campaign of 1805. The toppling of the statue, on May 16th, brought mixed reactions. There were cries of 'Treason' from some among the assembled crowd while others spat on the remains once it had been toppled. Victor Hugo labeled the toppling an act of vandalism.[32]

The Provisional Government of 1848 managed to survive two months longer than the Paris Commune of 1871 would. Yet it had some success in putting socialist theories into practice. Louis Blanc, one of the most influential French socialists became a minister in the new government. He had long advocated for the elimination of the competitive system of free enterprise and replacing it with a national economy where the government would organize national workshops, or communal plants, in the most important industries.[33] Most of the other ministers disliked Blanc's ideas, and effectively sidelined him with a position studying economic theory and ideas. At the same time they recognized the need to do something to solve economic problems. Ignoring problems had cost François Guizot his job and Louis-Philippe his crown. If the ministers did not trust Blanc with ministry power, they apparently saw some merit in his ideas. They authorized a national workshops program, which would administered by a young engineer named Emile Thomas. They were semimilitary organizations of unemployed which would attempt to find work for their members. They would pay workers two francs a day when employed. More innovative was the idea of paying one franc a day when members were not working. It was a form of unemployment insurance, a revolutionary idea for its day. It proved extremely popular with workers. It might have proved workable, if it had been confined to the unemployed of Paris. Unfortunately, it attracted thousands of unemployed from areas outside Paris.[34]

By June 1848, 120,000 Parisians were employed by the workshops. They did some useful work, such as replanting trees, leveling the Champ de Mars, and other public works. They were also very expensive, and, at a time when the Provisional Government was short of cash, not fiscally responsible. They were damaging politically because the rest of France had the impression that Paris was filled with idlers living at public expense, while doing very little work.[35] They were adding to the national budget deficit. To cover the growing deficit created by the workshops, the Provisional Government hiked the land tax by 45 per cent, an unpopular move in the countryside.[36]

It should have come as no surprise that the elections held April 23, 1848 delivered a solid victory for the right. It also should have come as no surprise that they would not vote for most of the measures pushed by the Provisional Government. The new French National Assembly began meeting on May 4th.[37] Almost immediately they demanded that the Provisional Government drop Louis Blanc, known and distrusted in the provinces for his socialist views. Despite their conservative views, the new Assembly members might still have been willing to compromise, until a Paris mob broke into the Assembly on May 15th.[38] On May 24th, the Assembly, acting through an executive commission, responded to the May 15th disruption, with an ultimatum. Emile Thomas, the engineer who had overseen the workshop projects, was to begin winding them down. Those who had been employed by the workshops had three choices: join the army, accept employment in public works projects in the provinces, or find work in Paris, which practically meant accepting work at lower wages. If they stayed in Paris, the government would not support them.[39]

June 23rd was the day army enlistments were supposed to start. Some national workshop leaders and worker groups called for a democratic and social republic on June 18th. On June 20th the Assembly voted to dissolve the National workshops.[40] On June 23rd, rather than enlist, a great throng of workers assembled at the Place de la Bastille, pledged to fight, and began to build barricades across the streets of Paris.[41] Some were heard to shout "Work! Bread! We will not leave!" They had not reckoned with the hostility of Provincial France. When the Assembly called for volunteers, other towns sent contingents to help. Amiens sent 3000 national guard volunteers, which arrived in Paris on June 23rd. Brittany, 200 miles away, sent a force of 1500, which arrived a few days later. While many of the unemployed were determined to defend Paris, others were tempted to fight for the government side, especially when the Assembly offered to pay 1.5 francs a day. Unemployed Parisians, who had resisted calls to join the regular army, volunteered in sufficient numbers to fill twenty-four battalions of Mobile Guards. The Assembly, which had been reluctant to fund unemployment relief, seemed more than eager to use funds to pay for a volunteer army.[42]

General Cavignac, the new minister of war, began using his army of recruits to clear the Paris streets on June 22nd. It would take four days, later known as the June Days, to clear the streets. The fighting ended on June 26th. An estimated fifteen hundred people died in the fighting, while another three thousand were hunted down and executed in reprisal killings. Up to fifteen thousand others were arrested, with forty-five hundred of those arrested were deported to Algeria.[43]

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte - The Comeback Kid

The March revolution of 1848, which had followed the abdication of Louis-Philippe, had benefited one seemingly small-time politician named Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.[44] He had been elected to the Assembly in June, just in time to support the army's fight to recover Paris.[45], [46] Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the future Emperor Napoleon III, had been born in 1808, the son of Napoleon's brother, Louis.[47] As a nephew of Napoleon, Louis-Napoleon had been forbidden by the restored Bourbons to live in France. As a result, he became something of a renegade, particularly if he could take revenge on governments who had participated in the defeat of his uncle. Austria had been one such country. As a reward for joining the alliance against France it had been granted the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Venetia in 1815.[48]

Louis-Napoleon in his early years had lived in Switzerland, then moved to Germany, where he was educated. From there he moved to Italy. In contrast to the hostile attitude of Bourbon France toward Louis-Napoleon, Italy may have been at least moderately more welcoming to him, based in part on how they remembered the his uncle Napoleon I. The Emperor Napoleon, in 1800, had at least promised Italians a free and united Italy.[49] Some kept that vision alive through a secret revolutionary movement known as the 'Carbonari' or (Charcoal Burners).[50] Whether Louis-Napoleon joined because he liked the idea of a secret society or simply because the role promised action and adventure, he soon distinguished himself as an intriguer, which brought him to the attention of the police. He fled north and made his way to Paris. He still could not live in France, but managed to be in Paris on the tenth anniversary of Napoleon I's death (May 5, 1821). He observed that ordinary people still laid wreaths at monuments to the Emperor and cried "Vive l'Empereur!" Such sentiments made the government nervous enough to have Louis-Napoleon arrested, but, not wanting to keep him in prison in France, they saw him safely out of the country and on his way to exile in England.[51]

Louis-Napoleon was not exactly an inspiring figure. He was short in stature and usually quiet.[52] At the same time he was outwardly pleasant, while inwardly, calculating, with a keen understanding and insight into the political forces at work in France. Extremely capable at analyzing the political forces at work in France, perhaps his fatal flaw was a tendency to overestimate his own abilities, particularly when it came to his famous uncle. What he observed about the French view of Napoleon while in Paris, he projected unto himself. In 1836, perhaps convinced that he could rally the French people to his cause, as his uncle had done in 1815, Louis-Napoleon planned a coup of sorts. Napoleon I, had escaped imprisonment at Elba, and had found the French rallying to his cause during the "Hundred Days." [53] Louis-Napoleon overlooked the fact that Napoleon I had commanded an army which conquered Europe, so perhaps he had an established political base of supporters, which could be counted on to rally around him.

The coup which Louis-Napoleon staged in 1836 began as an attempt to take the fort of Strasbourg. Louis-Napoleon and a small entourage marched up to the gates of the fort. He then demanded that the garrison join him to "restore the Empire" and oust the "illegitimate" government of King Louis-Philippe d'Orléans.[54] Louis-Napoleon's "Hundred Days" was far shorter than his uncle's. An alert commander had Louis-Napoleon arrested, then took him to Paris. The King held him only briefly, then ordered him out of the country.[55]

Louis-Napoleon spent a brief time in the United States, then returned to Europe. In August 1840, he tried again to overthrow the monarchy, this time at Boulogne. His revolutionary force consisted of sixty companions. After declaring the deposition of the House of Orleans, he was again arrested. Tried before the Chamber of Peers, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, or 'perpetual confinement,' to be served in the fortress of Ham. He apparently did not take the sentence seriously, since he remarked: "in France, nothing is perpetual."[56] The speech he gave before the Chamber, which recalled the French defeat at Waterloo, may have solidified his association with Napoleon. He made use of his prison time writing, including one brochure entitled "The Extinction of Poverty." Such writings may have suggested a sympathy with the poor, which would help in his future political activities. In the spring of 1846, he disguised himself in workman's clothes, put a pipe in his mouth, and a plank on his shoulder, and walked out the front gates of the fortress Ham. He reached safety in England the next day.[57]

The flight of Louis-Philippe in February 1848, and the proclamation of the Second Republic, provided Louis-Napoleon the opportunity he was looking for. Running as the candidate of the peasant voter, he was elected to the National Assembly in June.[58] Since most of the countryside viewed the residents of Paris with hostility, Louis-Napoleon's decision to back the military against the radical cities, whether calculated or not, was popular.

The suppression of the radical element in Paris during the June Days may have been brutal, but it did eliminate a major source of political division within France. If the political wounds would take time to heal, the Constituent Assembly felt stability had been restored sufficiently to complete its work on finalizing the new constitution. Surprisingly, the conservative assembly kept one of what was considered a radical reform - manhood suffrage. It meant that many of the peasants and poor would be allowed to vote.[59] It would be completed and accepted in October, followed almost immediately by a Presidential election, scheduled to be held in December.[60]

General Cavaignac, the minister of war, would have seemed to hold an advantage, given his role in the conquest of Paris. However, that role earned him the hatred of the poor, many of whom would be able to vote, and even many bourgeois voters who may have supported the military action, now thought his hard-line reputation was too divisive.[61] The election was a perfect opportunity for Louis-Napoleon, who adopted an American-style campaign. Traveling by train, he made whistles across France. With his backing of the government and the military in June, he portrayed himself as a reliable strongman, reinforced with reminders of his ties to Napoleon Bonaparte, still a source of national pride.[62] His writings on the need to abolish poverty assured him a following among the poor.[63]

Louis-Napoleon won the election with 74 per cent.[64] He received 5,434,266 votes to 1,448,107 for Cavaignac. Alphonse de Lamartine, the romantic poet-turned politician, came in a distant third, with 17,910 votes.[65]

Louis-Napoleon proved adept at juggling the conflicting political forces at work in France, once he assumed office. France was moving in a decidedly conservative direction, or at least away from republicanism. When elections were held in May 1849 for the Legislative Assembly, the monarchists obtained a significant majority, with only a third of the seats held by republicans, and the rest by 180 democrats and socialists.[66] Some of the measures were repressive: thirty-three republican deputies were ordered arrested by the majority, a new press law effectively closed opposition newspapers, they revised the franchise laws by introducing property and residence requirements, which took three million workingmen off the voting rolls.[67]

If political freedoms were becoming more restrictive, Louis-Napoleon offset this with almost liberal or progressive economic policies. He invested heavily in road and railway construction and other public works.[68] His political calculation, based on his analysis of the overthrow of Louis-Philippe, was that something needed to be done to help the unemployed. His reading of the failure of the national workshops, was not that people objected to government spending, they only objected when the money was being spent on someone else. The Provisional Government had focused too much on the economic problems of Paris, while ignoring other areas of France. Perhaps there was an element of populism in his appeal. Napoleon traveled around the country to show provincial residents they had not been forgotten. There was a public relations element to his economic program. His appearances at the opening of new bridges or railroad spurs, or at harvest festivals may have been self-serving, a reminder of what he had done for them, but at least he showed up.[69]

While the Assembly had been more than willing to reduce the rights and freedoms accorded to other political parties, it was not pleased when Louis-Napoleon took steps to curb the power of the Assembly itself. The year 1852 was an election year and, what had been a low-level conflict turned into a full-scale battle over a single issue: The constitution of the Second Republic limited the President to a single term. After four years as president, Louis-Napoleon remained popular, and wanted to remain in office.[70] The Assembly refused to consider changing the constitution. Louis-Napoleon's response was to attack, not the Assembly's support of the single-term limitation, but the franchise law - France needed to return to universal suffrage.[71]

Louis-Napoleon had already devised a plan to deal with the Assembly - a coup d'état. He had even chosen a date - December 2nd - the anniversary of his uncle's victory at Austerlitz, forty-six years earlier. Prior to that date he had transferred generals loyal to the republic to Algeria, and brought generals loyal to him to Paris. He had made a point of meeting younger officers, especially those who had commanded troops in Algeria. As early as January 1851, he had dismissed Changarnier, the governor-general of Paris, considered a friend and protector by the Assembly.[72] Prefects and police chiefs regarded as unreliable were replaced. In Paris, Lyon, and other big cities large garrisons of dependable troops were installed.[73]

The coup operations went smoothly. During the night of December 1-2, 1851, troops silently occupied Paris. Police agents arrested seventy-eight persons, including most of the leaders of the Assembly, as well as General Cavaignac, the losing candidate in 1848, and Adolphe Thiers. Placards were plastered on walls and kiosks announcing that the Assembly had been dissolved, the franchise law abrogated, and universal suffrage restored.[74] Some delegates of the Assembly met at noon on December 2, but were arrested by troops before they could decide on what action to take. They would be released singly.[75]

Opposition leaders managed to organize protests on December 3rd in Paris, and crowds once again began erecting barricades. On December 4th, when troops were sent in, they faced angry mobs of protesters. Whether out of panic or rage, they opened fire, leaving some two hundred people dead. Louis-Napoleon had hoped to avoid bloodshed, but would find his political legacy dogged by what happened: the confrontation would be remembered as the massacre of December 4. The Parisians manning the barricades would not have been aware of this. Perhaps expecting to intimidate the government, the rebels may have been shocked by the violent military response; it was enough of a demonstration of the government's resolve, to put an end to further resistance. That was not the limit of the governmental response. Another 26,000 were arrested and transported in hulks.[76] Unpopular as it was with Parisians, the country at large overwhelmingly supported the tough measures. When asked, on December 21, 1851, whether people supported Louis Napoleon, the regions outside of Paris voted 7,500,000 in support against 640,000 who voted no.[77]

Following the coup, a new constitution was proclaimed. His term of office was extended to ten years and the presidential office was given the power to declare war and command armies. The new Senate would have members with lifetime appointments to be appointed by the President.[78] A year later, on December 2, 1852, he dissolved the republic, and proclaimed himself Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.[79]

While Napoleon played the role of despot when it came to politics, he was almost the complete opposite, when it came to economics - a progressive who advocated for free trade. His goal was to make France a prosperous country, and he did everything he could to encourage industry and expand commerce. He built railroads, supported agriculture, and inaugurated public works projects to reduce unemployment. He saw the expansion of credit as the key to new investment, and found public bond issues to be the tool he needed. Up to that time, lending had been essentially a monopoly of the great bankers, who made great profits, but restricted the overall availability of credit.[80]

For much of his reign during the 1850s and 1860s France benefited from an economic expansion and the prosperity that came with it. Part of it was timing. Europe was itself emerging from recession and recovery brought renewed demand. But much of it was due to Napoleon III's economic policies. The Crédit mobilier, founded in 1852, was a semipublic banking corporation. Although it had a relatively short life, failing in 1867, it was successful in financing railroad and harbor construction, public utilities, and shipping companies. Where France had only 2000 miles of track in 1848, by 1870, it had 11,000 miles, with connections, from Paris, to rail systems in Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries. Between 1853 and 1855 Napoleon lowered duties on iron, steel, coal, and certain other raw materials, and food stuffs reduced. In 1860 he negotiated the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty with England, which lowered the duties on English goods entering France, while giving French manufacturers, along with wine and spirit producers a market in England.[81]

Rural France and the agricultural economy were not neglected, in spite of the emphasis on manufacturing and industry. Napoleon encouraged scientific farming and selective breeding, organized agricultural societies, fairs, and model farms. He authorized projects which reclaimed waste land, drained swamps, preserved forests, and otherwise aided rural districts. Napoleon acknowledged that public works projects were socialist programs, yet they provided a social good. He even went so far as to claim that he himself was not a Bonapartist, but a socialist.[82]

Napoleon still viewed cities as the major focus of his efforts. He saw that cities other than Paris benefited. One writer observed that Marseilles owed more to the eighteen years of Napoleon III than to the preceding twenty-five hundred. The total spent on the cities was 5 billion francs.[83] Of all the city projects, the biggest by far was the reconstruction of Paris. Napoleon decided it was necessary to demolish whole quarters of Paris and replace them with neo-Renaissance structures. In the center of the city, 20,000 houses were demolished and replaced by 40,000 new ones.[84] There were suggestions that he replaced the narrow winding streets with wide boulevards so as to give troops a clear field of fire in the event of future insurrections. At the same time, Paris received a modern water supply, a new sewage system and several new parks, rebuilt central markets, and a new opera house. The project also provided employment for laborers.[85]

In 1867 Napoleon and Paris played host to the Great Exhibition.[86] It was intended to showcase industrial wares, much as the Great Exhibition of 1851, in London's Crystal Palace had done.[87] The Krupp works of Essen had provided a monster 50-ton gun which could fire a 1,000-lb. shell.[88] Inside the 482 meter long glass building, the French had set up a gallery they called 'The History of Labor,' which chronicled the social achievements of the Second Empire.[89] The pageantry was marred when a twenty-two-year-old Polish patriot, named Berezowski leaped out of the crowd and fired a pistol at the visiting Tsar. The shot missed.[90]

The Exhibition and the attack were perhaps symptomatic of Napoleon's rule. The attack was unrelated to France and its fortunes. But there were parallels - a glittering show which covered up turmoil underneath. While not immediately apparent, there were troubling signs that the economic expansion and prosperity which France had enjoyed were about to come to an end. After 1866, liberals were demanding more freedom and the bourgeois were turning to other parties. In 1869, Napoleon III found himself facing an uncooperative legislature. They refused to pass military and education bills he wanted. He responded with a call for new elections. One hundred and twenty opposition newspapers appeared in the months before the May elections were to take place. In the cities, angry crowds placed revolutionary socialists on the ballot. Three out of four Parisian voters chose opposition candidates, or abstained. Government-sponsored candidates lost 1 million votes to opposition liberals and republicans. In June, protesters in Paris set fires during a three-day rioting spree. This was followed by a wave of strikes.[91]

Much of Napoleon's troubles have been blamed on failed foreign policy misadventures, and there were plenty. Against the rising power of states such as Prussia, France seemed to lose, even when the losses were diplomatic in nature. France, with a population of 35 million, should have been a leading great power, but was merely average. In spite of the advances she had made, with Napoleon's encouragement, her rate of industrialization was slow. Production in much of France was still in the hands of artisans and small shopkeepers, which hindered modernization.[92] Evidence suggests that, while Napoleon's work programs and economic reforms had created jobs, the numbers were unsustainable in a 'normal' economy. That economy was capable of employing some of the working population, but not all - it had become saturated. The number of workers looking for work exceeded the number of jobs available.

The number of employed or unemployed, expressed in job numbers or unemployment levels, told only part of the story. Workers were struggling, even when they did find jobs. It did not help that employers were enjoying increases in profits while workers saw few benefits. Wages of miners in the Anzin collieries, between 1852 ad 1870, increased only 30 percent while company dividends tripled. Even where wages increased, the increases did not keep up with the cost of living. The average daily wage in Paris rose only 30 per cent over the duration of the Second Empire, while the cost of living rose a minimum of 45 per cent.[93] The Paris renovation project considered one of the major achievements of the regime, created almost as many problems for the poor as it solved. Rents nearly doubled and, rather than solving the slum problem, it simply moved the slums from the center of Paris to the fringes - and conditions in the new slums were every bit as bad as they had been in the center of the city.[94] If Parisian workers in 1848 discovered that their favorable treatment had bred resentment in the provinces, perhaps the provinces failed to understand that the programs they benefited from might be resented by the laborers of Paris.[95]

At a time when economic problems were approaching the tipping point, where they might spill over into political unrest, Napoleon was in no condition to deal with them. Where he had been energetic in his youth, at sixty he was dull and listless. He was stooped, fat, tired, and chronically ill, suffering from gout, gallstones, and hemorrhoids, and frequently drugged to deal with the pain. Like Louis-Philippe, he had become isolated, surrounding himself with men loyal to himself. Where he had shown an interest in the everyday problems of the poor, he now looked out for his own interests or those of his cronies. He became a byword for corruption. Each year he was paying his family members 1 million francs (equivalent to $3 million today) His English mistress was paid a salary of 700,000 francs ($2.1 million) In case his regime was overthrown, he kept 1 million pounds ($75 million) on deposit in London at Baring Brothers.[96]

Had he been more energetic he might have been better able to cope. In his political life he had taken on many roles: dictator, populist, democrat, socialist. After winning in a popular election, he had taken on a new role, that of dictator, when he took power in a coup. At the time he had been willing to turn France into a vigilant police state, ruthlessly using the police powers available to him to deal with political opposition. Perhaps he sensed that the resources available to maintain order as a police state were inadequate. Governing by popular consent would at least use fewer resources, or at least offered that possibility. He believed that a military victory over a power such as Prussia could serve as a substitute for a political campaign, or at least might make a political campaign winnable. A military victory would restore France to its days of glory and might also resurrect Napoleon's political fortunes, if not his popularity.

The Franco-Prussian War

In February 1870, the measures which Emile Ollivier, the new chief minister, had hoped would reduce opposition unrest did not seem to be working. Violent rallies led him to ban public meetings and attacks by the press had forced him to ban several opposition newspapers, just weeks after government controls had been lifted. Napoleon, aware of the growing opposition, was afraid of dissolving parliament and calling for new elections, for fear that the opposition might make gains. The only issue on which nearly all parties - right and left, peasant and bourgeois - agreed was a war with Prussia. In fact most of the French thought it was inevitable - a guerre faite.[97]

As much as the French nation, and Napoleon, seemed to want a war, even the Emperor was reluctant to go to war without some believable justification. July 1870 began quietly enough, with no excuse for war available, and without any expectation that a war might start. At the same time, Napoleon had tried to move things along. In May he had appointed a new foreign minister: Duke Antoine Agénor de Gramont, who vowed to manufacture a war, if needed. In his mind, he was a match for Prussia and its minister president, Count Otto von Bismarck.[98] Unfortunately, Bismarck was just as determined to start a war as Gramont was.

Bismarck thought he had maneuvered the two nations into a war in May. Spain had deposed the Bourbons in 1868 and the Spanish parliament was looking for a new royal leader. They seemed to have found one in Prince Leopold von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. He should have been acceptable to France, since he was Catholic and descended from an adopted daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte. Unfortunately he was also the nephew of the Prussian king, which meant France would have Hohenzollern monarchies in Germany and Spain, seemingly surrounded. Leopold accepted in June. On July 2, the French were informed. Gramont, and many French newspapers and politicians were incensed, attacking Prussia - and pushing for war. However, before a declaration of war could be voted, Prince Leopold's father announced, on July 12th, that his son's candidacy was being withdrawn.[99]

Both sides seemed ready to walk away. Then Gramont stepped in. He wanted something of a formal apology from Prussia - if there was to be no war, he at least wanted a Prussian humiliation. King Wilhelm did not become aware of the new demands until he encountered the French ambassador, Count Vincent Benedetti, at the resort town of Bad Ems, on July 12. Wilhelm was ready to congratulate Benedetti for the withdrawal of Leopold's candidacy, and the avoidance of a crisis, when Benedetti informed him of the new demands. After the talk, Wilhelm decided to cancel a meeting with Benedetti, scheduled for later that day.[100]

It was now Bismarck who acted. He read a copy of a telegram from the Prussian ambassador describing the meeting at Ems. He changed some of the wording and cabled his version to Prussian embassies abroad and to German newspapers. Bismarck's version suggested that the Prussian king's meeting cancellation had been a calculated insult. Bismarck expected - and hoped - that the French would find his version insulting enough, that they would declare war, rather than Prussia.[101] Which country declared war, when both parties were eager to do battle, may have seemed like a minor point, but in the world of diplomacy, it was sometimes helpful to make the other party look bad. And, getting the French to declare war over a diplomatic snub, when they could have avoided conflict, was going to make them look bad.

On July 14th, Napoleon III ordered the French army to mobilize its reserves. As he hoped, the French people were supporting him. In the streets of Paris crowds formed, with shouts of "On to Berlin! Down with Wilhelm! Down with Bismarck!" The chief minister, Ollivier, expected to be greeted with similar enthusiastic and unanimous support when he addressed the Assembly. Instead he found Léon Gambetta and sixteen members of the republican opposition disrespectfully refusing to stand, and, in a series of speeches, challenging the government's push for war.[102] The opposition lacked the votes however to stop the push toward war. On July 15th, the Assembly voted war credits, and, on July 19th, 1870, France formally declared war on Prussia.[103]

The main problem for Napoleon III was that, while he couldn't wait to start the war, he had no real plan for prosecuting the war itself. He planned to install himself as the head of the Army of the Rhine at Metz, so as to personally lead France's principal army into battle. Unfortunately, that was the extent of his planning. On July 28th, he boarded the imperial train in Paris for the journey to Metz. He had appointed his wife regent, to act in his absence. He also felt compelled to leave 15,000 troops in the capital, just in case the crowds who had enthusiastically greeted the start of the war, changed their minds.[104]

It was not that the French army was totally unprepared or inexperienced. It was more that Napoleon III placed too much reliance on the French army's legendary ability to "muddle through" and emerge victorious when it really needed to. Some of that reliance had to do with the military achievements of Napoleon Bonaparte, who had oftentimes collected men and supplies on the move, with enough organization to take advantage of opportunities as they arose.[105] For Napoleon Bonaparte, it had been a formula for success. However, assuming victory could be achieved without any planning, in the age of modern weapons and warfare, could also be a recipe for disaster. It was true that the killing capabilities of modern weaponry had improved. An infantryman with a rifle could easily kill an enemy soldier at three hundred to a thousand yards, with relatively minimal training. But modern combat also required organizational skills - the ability to transport large numbers of troops, feed them, and keep them supplied, when they encountered an enemy force.

It was not that Napoleon III was totally oblivious to advances in weaponry. He had pushed for the development of a new model rifle in 1866, nicknamed the Chassepot, after its inventor, Antoine Chassepot. It had an effective range of 1,000 yards and a maximum range of 1,500.[106] Many of the Prussian troops would die from Chassepot fire, without even seeing the opposing rifleman or the source, the distance and accuracy being so great. The French had also developed a machine gun similar to the American Gatling gun, the Montigny mitrailleuse, which the Prussians dubbed the "hell machine." The problem was that Napoleon III had no systematic approach to military readiness. If a problem came to his attention, he focused on it; if not, it was largely ignored.

The French may have modernized their infantry weapons, with the Chassepot and mitrailleuse, but they had failed to overhaul their artillery arm. The mainstay of the French artillery was a muzzle-loading four-pound gun (four pounds being the weight of the shell), which were armed with an unreliable time-fused shell.[107] The Prussian artillery attacks would prove devastatingly effective. At Sedan, when Saxon and Third Army troops inspected the captured French position, they found, in addition to rows of stacked backpacks, mutilated, dying men, without arms, feet, or legs, some with brains oozing out of open skulls. One Bavarian captain paused at the sight of a French gunner, and vomited. Hit directly by a shell, he had only a head, chest, and one arm, the rest blown away by the shell.[108]

The Prussian artillery, with guns manufactured by Krupp, were heavier - six-pounders after 1866. The guns had superior rifling, breech-loading mechanisms and percussion detonated shells, which gave them three times the accuracy, twice the rate of fire, a third greater range, and many times the destructiveness of the French guns. Just as bad, for the French, was the fact that the upper levels of the French military failed to grasp the advantages and the dangers posed by such an advanced gun, even after low level officers warned them. Even the smaller Belgian army, in 1867, understood its advantages and chose to re-arm with the Krupp gun.[109]

The French understood, even at the start of the war, that the Prussians held an advantage in numbers. The fully mobilized Prussian army would number more than a million men, while the mobilized French force would number around 400,000.[110] The French, in spite of the size differential, relied on the fact that among their military were those with actual fighting experience, which would serve them better than what they considered the 'green' troops of Prussia. In some ways they were proved right, since the French troops fought well, and with tenacity, in their encounters with the Prussians.

Perhaps the biggest difference was in the planning. Prussia had begun planning for war with France in the 1860s and, by 1869, had a completed plan.[111] The French, in contrast, made no plans for a war. They even skimped on maps. In 1867, when General Louis Jarras tried to improvise a blow-up reproduction of maps of Germany, the minister of war, Adolphe Niel, decided it would be cheaper to provide French officers with an allowance to purchase road maps in bookshops.[112] In contrast, General Helmuth von Moltke, head of the Prussian military, had sent teams of staff officers into France, where they studied French fortifications, mapped Alsace and Lorraine, and calculated the food stocks off every town and district in northeastern France.[113]

Moltke saw the railroads as the key to large troop movements and diverted military spending from fortresses to railways, while bringing private rail companies under military control, with better coordination with state companies. Moltke also was among the first to adopt the electric telegraph as a means of communicating with his field commanders. [114]

France had tried to modernize its rail system, but after a few attempts, gave up. The French military itself was in disarray. Where Napoleon III had shown a keen interest in meeting and cultivating military officers at the time of his coup in 1851, so as to have a loyal force in Paris, the military had become a seniority-ridden backwater. The most sought-after positions, in Paris, involved little fighting, and provided little active military service or experience.[115] Corruption was rampant. Exemptions from military service were sold, and the millions raised from such sales went into a fund kept secret from the Assembly. Napoleon III used the fund to buy gifts for his cronies or to settle their gambling debts.[116] Marshall Patrice MacMahon, the Governor-General of Algeria in the 1860s did not have to account for the 45 million francs ($135 million) a year he took out of the colony, five times its actual tax liability.[117]

When it came to planning, Napoleon III seemed more interested in making plans for his victory celebration. In addition to placing himself at the head of the Army of the Rhine, on July 28th, he decided to re-shuffle his staff. Whether he was afraid that his leading generals might get too much credit for any victories, and take away from his association with the Napoleonic name, or simply wanted to reward his political favorites, he exiled France's leading generals - Bezaine, MacMahon, and Canrobert - to outlying corps positions. General Leboeuf was promoted to Marshall, and Generals Lebrun and Jarras became major general aides, although they had relatively little experience.[118]

In March 1870, Marshall Leboeuf had assured the legislative assembly that he was then drafting plans to hurl forces to the German frontier and carry the war to the enemy before the Germans could carry the war to them.[119] He seemed less clear about what his plans were on the evening of July 28th. After arriving in Metz, Napoleon III held a conference with Leboeuf and Lebrun, to which Marshall Bezaine had been invited. Lebrun, Leboeuf, and the emperor pressed Bezaine for "suggestions" for a campaign. He said nothing.[120] In the week before the fighting began, Napoleon improvised a plan for diversionary amphibious operations in the Baltic.[121] The plan might have helped, except that the Mediterranean fleet - twelve ironclads - was ordered to Malta for a port call on July 4th, then took three full weeks to be directed to Brest, almost three weeks to assemble a crew, and would finally reach the North Sea the second week in August. A second fleet, the Channel Fleet, converted into the "Baltic Squadron" consisting of four ironclad frigates, sailed from Cherbourg on July 24th.[122]

Both fleets were hampered by a shortage of coal, and, to preserve their supply, they traveled slowly. The operation was abandoned in September, never having created the hoped-for diversion.[123]

Moltke, for all his planning, was himself taken by surprise. He had sent hundreds of his officers on leave on July 12th, then had to call them back to headquarters on July 14th. Moltke's meticulous preparations had some gaps. He had not fully trusted the southern Roman Catholic Bavarians and would not provide them with German maps. Regimental, company, and platoon commanders from Bavaria and Württemburg, were forced to use 'Reymann's Road Atlas of France' to plot their marches.[124] Yet his overall advance planning had paid off. Where Napoleon III had been asking for "suggestions" for a plan on July 28th, by August 3rd, an army of 320,000 battle-ready Prussian troops was deployed on the Franco-German border.[125]

Whatever the confusion in the top ranks of the French, soldiers in the front-line outposts were ready to fight. On July 25, three French infantrymen held up an entire column of Prussian infantry with non-stop Chassepot fire from 1,200 paces.[126] They would show again that they could fight at Wissembourg on August 4, 1870. It was a relatively minor skirmish, in the context of the war, but the combatants did not feel so at the time. The Bavarians, tried to attack in formation and were cut down by the Chassepot fire of the African Turcos of the 1st Algerian Tirailleur Regiment, who used ditches, walls, and a railway as cover. Although the Bavarian units struggled, units of the Prussian army moved around and behind the town, and soon had it surrounded. It was the townspeople who decided to surrender, to save the town from total destruction. The French soldiers who continued to fight were forced to retreat into the town's château. They continued firing as Prussian infantry tried to storm the walls. The largely Polish 7th Regiment lost twenty-three officers and 329 men in these assaults.[127] It was the Prussian artillery which ended resistance when they put three batteries above the château and fired directly into it. Two hundred surrendered. Nevertheless companies of Algerian tirailleurs and 300 men of the French 74th Regiment continued fighting house-to-house.[128]

The battle of Spicheren, on August 6, 1870, seemed to be a replay of Wissembourg. Prussian troops would make assaults in formation, suffer heavy casualties from Chassepot fire, the French would respond with similar attacks, and finally Prussian artillery would decimate the French positions, forcing them to retreat. On August 4th, General Frossard, had briefly set up a position at Saarbrücken, then pulled back to the elevated village of Spicheren, which overlooked the Saarbrücken-Forbach road and railway.[129] On August 6th, one of the Prussian divisional generals, Georg von Kameke, spotting the French, mistakenly assumed they were retreating, and ordered his troops to attack directly uphill, against the entrenched French, holding what they considered a 'magnificent position.' Columns of Hanoverian and Prussian troops moved to the attack. Hundreds were cut down by Chassepot, mitrailleuse, and artillery fire, and the attack stalled about one o'clock. The French formed into companies to counterattack, but were thrown back by Prussian artillery. The French finally organized a successful counter-attack and drove the Prussians back. General Frossard might have ended the battle with a final attack, but was reluctant to abandon the seemingly perfect defensive positions. The Prussians, with freshly arrived troops, renewed the attack. The French lost 1,300 killed and wounded in the attacks. The French troops on the heights, however, seemed almost invincible, until the Prussian artillery began firing. The shrapnel from the exploding shells - forty zinc balls - began shredding the French defenders. Fresh Prussian infantry managed to reach the heights and drove in from the side. By 9 o'clock, the French began a retreat, which turned into a route. Froussard ordered a general retreat.[130]

Spicheren was considered a minor battle. The battle had cost the Prussians, for all of Moltke's efficient planning, far more than the French. The Prussians lost 5,000 killed. The French had lost 4,000 men, including 250 officers, but included in that number were 2,500 who had been taken prisoner.[131]

The Battle of Froeschwiller (Wörth)

The French troops who retreated from Spicheren assembled at the road junction of Wörth and the village of Froeschwiller. The battle would be known by either name. The French general, Marshall Patrice MacMahon, had about 50,000 troops, while the Germans had 88,000, as they faced off on August 6th.[132] Like Spicheren, the battle was essentially a fight between the Chassepot and the Prussian artillery. Neither side seemed to have changed tactics, and it showed in the casualty figures. French losses were 11,000 killed and Prussian losses about equaled that - 11,000.[133]

On the morning of August 6th, MacMahon was determined to make a stand at Froeschwiller. It was another one of those 'magnificent positions,' for a defensive battle. The heights between the villages of Froeschwiller and Elsasshausen formed a sort of semi-circular bowl, with a clear field of fire. Before walking into this bowl an attacking force would have to cross the Sauer River. Attacking uphill, they would have to advance through vines and hop plantations which filled the slopes. MacMahon had once visited the site and commented: "One day I would like to greet the Germans here: not even a field mouse would come out alive."[134] It seemed unlikely that MacMahon would get his dream battle wishes fulfilled, unless the Prussians were foolish - or stupid enough - to order a direct attack against the entrenched French on the heights. On this morning they were, or at least some of them were.

Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and Prussian General Blumenthal were close enough to hear the sounds of the beginning battle, but were too far away to prevent it. Blumenthal sent messengers with orders to wait, but the messengers could not get through the guns, horses, and supplies clogging the roads, in time to prevent the attacks.[135] Unfortunately for the Prussian forces at the scene, their commander, General Hugo von Kirchbach was guided by his experience in 1866, when he had successfully attacked similarly-entrenched Austrian positions. This time, the attacking Prussian columns were torn to shreds before getting close to the French lines. Bavarians attacking through woods, found themselves facing, not only Chassepot and mitrailleuse fire from infantry, but concentrated artillery fire from 130 guns which MacMahon had positioned on the heights.[136]

General MacMahon may have been pleased with the results of the battle through the middle of the afternoon, stuck in the defensive mindset which had dominated his thinking in his pre-war tour. Expecting that the Prussians would not adjust and would continue sending more troops into the trap, he kept his troops in their trenches. The Prussians might have complied. The Crown Prince, once arriving at the front, was apparently furious when General Ludwig von der Tann, one of the Bavarian officers refused, three times to order an attack. When he did order the attack, the Bavarians were decimated.[137] While the Prussians had difficulty advancing, they also had to contend with French counter-attacks. Not all the French units stayed in their trenches.

MacMahon's plans began to fall apart when the Prussians changed tactics. First, they got their artillery batteries close enough to begin shelling the French positions. Firing from 4,000 yards, they were beyond the range of the French cannon. The French trying to hold the trenches suffered the same devastation as the Prussian columns which had attacked in the morning. Second, the new forces which the Prussians fed into the battle moved around and behind the entrenched French troops, eventually surrounding them. The French were now hit in the flank and rear by infantry rifle fire and artillery shells. Some continued to resist, even after being surrounded, but many threw down their rifles and ran.[138]

The French, in addition to their 11,000 dead and wounded, also lost another 9,000, who surrendered. It was suggested that one of the reasons for the French loss was that it was not just General MacMahon, who was wedded to the defense of the magnificent position, but most of the other French generals, who waited the entire day for an expected massed infantry attack, which never came. A Prussian hussar, sent to scout the French positions, discovered that they had not even posted sentries at the Sauer, but had pulled them back to the positions on the Froeschwiller heights.[139] The defensive tactics and mindset might have been appropriate had the French been defending a fort, but they were not.

The French defeats had an immediate impact in the diplomatic arena. The Austrians, Italians, and Danes, who might have wanted revenge for losses inflicted by the Prussians in earlier conflicts, decided that entering the war on the side of France was too risky, and stood down.[140] The French government was shaken. The legislative assembly was reconvened in an emergency session by Empress Eugénie. The government if shaken had not collapsed. The sixteen republican members who had opposed the war debated taking over the prosecution of the war, even putting the generals responsible for the losses on trial. If such proposals got nowhere, Empress Eugénie felt pressured enough to demand the resignation of the chief minister Emile Ollivier, on August 11.[141] Less than a month before, on July 14th, it was Ollivier who had appeared before the Assembly, enthusiastically calling for war against Prussia.[142]

Napoleon III, like the Empress, felt under pressure to make changes. At Metz, he agreed to relinquish command of the Army of the Rhine, and assign it to Marshal Bazaine - or so it seemed. Yet he could not quite abandon his vision of a resurrected Napoleonic Empire, with himself as its leader.[143] First, he named Bazaine only commander of a new 'Army of Metz,' which suggested that the Emperor, along with was still exercising some control of the Army of the Rhine, along with Marshal Lebouef. Then, when the Assembly tried to impeach General Lebouef on August 11th, Napoleon agreed to remove him, but not immediately - it would take two more days to do that. Then he ordered Bazaine to accept Leboeuf's staff officers. On August 14th, he named Bazaine 'generalissimo,' yet remained at Metz, with the title of 'commander-in-chief.' He sounded like he was still in charge, informing his new chief minister, Count Palikao, that he planned personally to resume the offensive.[144] Perhaps the leader he was trying to emulate was not Napoleon Bonaparte, as he believed, but King John II, who insisted on personally leading his troops and was captured by the English, at the Battle of Poitiers, in September 1356. He lived comfortably under house arrest, while his countrymen tried to raise the money to pay the ransom the English demanded.

Bazaine himself seemed indecisive. Rather than making battle plans, he was asking Frossard how many mess kits and utensils would be needed by his men. On the Prussian side, Moltke's units were close to surrounding the 200,000 French troops gathered around Metz. Neither Bazaine nor Napoleon thought to send out units to locate the Prussians. Instead they posted staff officers in the belfry of the Metz cathedral to watch for them. French intelligence officers did try to warn them of where they thought the Prussians were, but their reports made no impression.[145]

Finally, on August 14th, Bazaine ordered troops out of Metz. On the 16th, Napoleon III left Metz himself, heading west to join Marshall MacMahon at Châlons. Even with the departure of Napoleon III, Bazaine could not decide what to do. Napoleon III had ordered him to retreat toward Verdun on the 13th. He refused. Then, when he did order units out, on the 14th, he ordered them to halt at Borny, where he engaged the Prussians. Although it was labeled a rear-guard action, it was costly. In some ways it was a repeat of Froeshwiller, with the French fighting from fixed positions. It was considered a French defeat, since they stayed in their trenches after beating back the Prussians and then retreated. Nevertheless, they inflicted 4,600 casualties on the Prussians, while suffering 3,900 of their own.[146]

The Battle of Mars-la-Tour - August 16, 1870

The battle of Mars-la-Tour seemed to follow the same pattern as the two earlier battles, only the casualties were higher: 16,500 on the Prussian side against 16,600 on the French. [147] In one sense, on the Prussian side, the cause was the aggressiveness of the front-line officers, ordinarily a highly-valued trait in most armies. The battle opened with four Prussian artillery batteries attacking a French cavalry division at Vionville, just as the French were sitting down to breakfast. Although they had to leave their breakfast, most of the men mounted their horses and galloped away, even riding past Bazaine, who had established his headquarters at Gravelotte.[148]

Bazaine's army was eager to fight, but he ordered them to dig in and wait. The Prussian General Konstantin von Alvensleben, also eager to fight, thought he was encountering the rearguard of a French force in retreat. He had been warned by his cavalry that the French force was large. Nevertheless he ordered his infantry to advance in columns. The French guns and infantry inflicted heavy casualties when they opened fire. Yet before the French could move forward to attack, about 11 a.m, they came under return fire from ninety Prussian guns. About 11:30 the Prussians were ordered to attack again. Heavy French fire forced them to call off the attack.[149]

Many of the French staff officers recognized an opportunity to finish off the Prussian forces pinned down. Bazaine, now cautious, would not give the order to attack and seemed to be wasting time. The Prussians made what was considered a suicidal cavalry charge against the French lines. Gullies and depressions protected them from some of the French fire, but the attack was considered a success, even though 420 out of a total of 800, fell in the charge. Some of the French artillery positions were overrun, and the charge did save some of the Prussian units. Its biggest impact appears to have been on Bazaine, reinforcing his inclination to fight a defensive battle. When Leboeuf sent a corps down the road, Marshall Bazaine on horseback, overtook them and ordered them back. The march had been costly. Prussian guns firing into the would-be attackers killed or wounded 500.[150]

Bazaine would be heavily criticized for his defensive tactics. General Bourbake, commandant of the Guard Corps, was amazed that Bazaine spent most of the day inside his post office headquarters in Gravelotte, concerned about his line of retreat to Metz. Yet, it was difficult to say who was taking a more realistic assessment of the situation - Bazaine or his critics. Bazaine's critics complained that he could have finished off the Prussian units in the area if he had acted, yet the arrival of Prussian reinforcements suggested that Bazaine was facing a bigger army than thought - and worries about being cut off were not unwarranted. Between 3:30 and 4:00 they began arriving.[151] The number of troops was just part of the equation. It was unclear whether either side fully comprehended just how powerful, or devastating, the new weaponry had become.

The newly arrived Prussian units were immediately ordered to attack. In thirty minutes French Chassepot and artillery fire devastated the attacking columns. General Schwarzkoppen's first brigade lost 60 percent of its strength, 45 percent being killed, including the general and colonels leading the assault. If French plans to now finish the Prussians off were frustrated by the refusal of the French infantry to advance. Bazaine's detractors would criticize his timidity, yet senior French officers were increasingly reluctant to lead the attacks. One regimental colonel, when urged by a lieutenant to lead his battalions from the front, flatly refused. The infantry, at first, refused to attack. When they did attack, the attack stalled and, after they had run out of ammunition, were pushed back by a Prussian counter-attack.[152]

Any hopes of a French victory were ended by the size of the Prussian artillery force. By the end of the day, they had assembled twenty-one batteries, along a two-mile front, with a total of 130 guns, which tore large holes in the French lines. Perhaps the French could have won, if they had attacked, but Bazaine never gave the order.[153] Included in the 16,000 casualties suffered by both sides, were casualty figures for the officer corps: 626 Prussian officers were killed or wounded, against 837 suffered by the French. [154]

The Battle of Gravelotte - August 18, 1870

Two days after Mars-la-Tour, the armies would meet again at Gravelotte. Bazaine had pulled his army back to Plappeville, an outlying Metz fort. Figures differ as to the numbers engaged on both sides. The French were outnumbered in either case. They had around 113,000 against 188,000 Prussians by one count, or 160,000 by another, facing some 200,000 Prussians.[155] [156], [157] The Prussians had around 730 guns, against 520 on the French side. Nevertheless, the French were well-dug in in the line of hills between Gravelotte and St. Privat.[158] After the war, an artillery captain thought it "bizarre" that Bazaine stayed at his headquarters at Plappeville, which was two or three miles away from the French lines.[159]

Once again the Prussians opened the battle with an attack, this one ordered by Prince Friedrich Karl. Once again, his assumption was that most of the French army had already retreated into Metz, and he was facing only a rearguard force. What made the attack even worse was that they had to work their away around the unburied corpses from the Mars-la-Tour battle, while dealing with the overwhelming stink from the decaying bodies, which made many nauseous.[160] The Prussian War Minister, General Albrecht von Roon, ominously advised the Prussian command to call off the assault: The Prussians had already achieved their objective and cut the French line of retreat. "To throw them out of a strong position now will entail a useless loss of blood." His warning was ignored and the soldiers would pay.[161]

At noon, General von Mannstein's IX Corps began shelling the French lines, while his infantry began preparations for an assault. Although the Prussians had concentrated fifty-four guns, the French concentrated their fire and the batteries were put out of action. The infantry assault was beaten back. When seven Prussian infantry regiments were ordered to join the attack, they were destroyed after coming under fire from 140 French guns and several divisions of infantry with Chassepot rifles.[162]

At 3:30, the Prussians renewed the attack, but in a different location and more cautious tactics. The Saxons and Prussian Guards assembled an "artillery mass" of 180 guns which began shelling the French positions. Instead of charging these positions, the infantry marched north to Roncourt. The Prussians eventually would increase their artillery force to 270 cannon, which shelled the French lines for the entire afternoon and evening, firing an estimated 20,000 shells into the French positions. The battle seemed to be turning in favor of the Prussians by late afternoon. Worse, for the French, was that they were running out of ammunition and Bazaine would neither send reinforcements nor send them shells or cartridges from the reserve.[163]

General August von Württemberg interpreted the silence from the French lines as a sign that the guns had been knocked out or the line abandoned. Perhaps hoping to take credit for an easy victory, he ordered the Prussian Guard Corps to attack in columns up the slope to St. Privat at 5 P.M. The French infantry, which had taken cover during the bombardment, emerged with their Chassepots and began firing. The fire devastated the Prussian guard units, which lost 8,000 dead or wounded.[164]

The Hessians of the Prussian 25th Division, to the right of the Guards, attacked uphill against the positions at Amanvillers, across 1,800 yards of open ground - and suffered heavily. As the attack faltered, the French would counter-attack, drive them off the heights, and then return to the safety of the trenches. Except for these limited attacks, the French were not ordered to counter-attack the Prussian lines. This allowed the Saxons to assemble fourteen batteries of guns. They began firing at 7 P.M., catching Marshall Canrobert's forces in the flank. This was too much for the French, who began to retreat. General Ladmiralt, with the retreat of Canrobert's VI Corps, was exposed to the Saxon firing on his flank and rear. Many of his troops threw away their packs and ran.[165]

The French retreat had turned into a rout. Not all joined however. Some thought it safer to remain in their positions than to try to cross the open ground behind them. It was a mistake. When General Julius Verdy, under a white flag, rode to inspect the former French position at Moscou Farm, he found it full of troops and rifles, but then realized when he got closer, that the men were all dead, killed by overhead bursts of shrapnel.[166]

The Prussians had taken the French positions and claimed a victory. However, the bulk of the French army, even if in a panicky retreat, had escaped. In their victory, the Prussians had lost 20,000 against French losses of 12,000.[167]

The Battle of Sedan - September 1, 1870

Bazaine still had a force of 140,000 left, even though the Army of the Rhine was in retreat toward Metz. While they retreated, the Prussian troops remaining at Gravelotte had to dig mass graves for the 9,000 decomposing corpses. If the French soldiers could shelter behind the walls of Metz in relative safety, the Prussians had neutralized one of the biggest threats of Napoleon III's France. By August 21, they were swiftly moving to cut off Metz completely, building ramparts and trenches, blocking the westbound roads, tearing up railway lines in and out of the city, and seizing all food, drink, and livestock from surrounding villages. The Prussian force surrounding Metz was large - 300,000 troops - but with a commander as timid as Bazaine on the French side, it would be sufficient.[168] A break-out was not impossible, and two were tried, one on August 26th, a second, on August 31st. Both failed, which seemed to relieve Bazaine.[169]

On the Prussian side, Moltke's biggest problem was locating the French Army of Châlons under General MacMahon, which seemed to have disappeared. They thought it had gone to Châlons, but Prussian cavalry patrols entered the city on August 24th, and found it empty.[170] Napoleon III had finally left Bazaine alone and joined MacMahon there on August 17th.[171] On August 28th, one of the Prussian patrols captured a French lieutenant, along with MacMahon's battle plans he was carrying, for the French Army of Châlons.[172] Nevertheless, Moltke was still at a loss as to MacMahon's, and Napoleon III's exact location. On August 29th, he ordered the Meuse Army northward and the Third Army to march east, guessing that MacMahon's army was north.[173]

On August 29th, the Saxon XII Corps encountered General Pierre de Failly's V Corps near Buzancy. There was a long firefight before Failly broke off the action and retreated into the Belval Forest. Although now alerted to the presence o the Prussians, Failly's men were too fatigued to post sentries. About mid-day on the 30th, they were surprised when a Prussian battery opened fire and the Prussian infantry charged. While they inflicted casualties on the Prussians, they fled. Finally, they set up a battery and halted the Prussian advance, killing 3,400 Germans. The Battle of Beaumont had cost the French 7,500, dead, wounded, and missing.[174]

MacMahon ordered the retreating French to head for Sedan. Sedan housed an old fortress, which seemed to offer the French some hope of defending against a Prussian attack. Unfortunately, for the French the fortress was at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by small hills. They could have set up their lines further north and been able to retreat, but chose instead to defend the heights above Sedan. The Prussians launched their first attack at 4 A.M. on September 1st. Fairly early in the battle, MacMahon was wounded when a shellburst killed his horse and lacerated his leg. He appointed General Ducrot as his replacement.[175]

The French found themselves forced back all along the line, unable to withstand the shelling from the Prussian batteries. As they retreated the Prussian guns moved forward. By end of the battle the Germans had almost 700 guns in action. The 550 which the French started with were neutralized early in the battle, leaving the gunners to fire at the infantry and cavalry. The French lost 3,000 dead, 14,000 wounded and 21,000 prisoners. Despite the outcome, the Prussians had not come away unscathed. Total German losses were 9,000 dead, wounded, and missing.[176]

Although many of the French forces believed that Napoleon III would lead the army in a final breakout attempt from Sedan, he recognized the hopelessness of their position and dispatched an adjutant under a white flag with a letter for the Prussian king. Moltke advised the king to declare a cease fire. However, when the French General Wimpffen tried to negotiate generous terms, it was Moltke who advised Wimpffen that the Prussians would resume their bombardment at 9:00 the next morning. Wimpffen quickly accepted, unaware that the Prussians had used up all their ammunition in the course of the day's fighting.[177]

Louis-Napoleon may have hoped that his negotiating skills would yet save his dynastic dreams. On September 2, he road out to Donchéry, expecting to meet with King Wilhelm I. Bismarck intercepted him and, in an hour-long discussion, made clear the bleak reality he faced. When he finally was allowed to meet with the Prussian king, he found him unsympathetic, even though tears were streaming down Napoleon's cheeks. What Wilhelm remembered from history, was that Napoleon Bonaparte, following his victory at Tilset in 1807 had annexed half of Prussia's territory and population. Two hours later, General Wimpffen signed the Prussian-dictated armistice. The French officers were paroled, but the 10,000 French troops captured during the battle were sent to prison camps.[178]

The Battle of Sedan had lasted just one day, September 1, 1870. In March 1871, some seven months after the battle, Napoleon III would begin a life in exile in England.[179] Rather than release him after Sedan, the Prussians held Napoleon III, not as a prisoner of war, but as a "visiting monarch" in the north German state of Kassel. He lived comfortably, with stocks of the best wine and food, even an Imperial Guard of six-foot French guardsmen captured at Sedan.[180] Bismarck found his hostage useful when it came to negotiating with the new French government. Napoleon would die in anguish, with kidney stones in 1873.[181]

France After Sedan - The War Continues

The defeat at Sedan and the surrender of Napoleon III, did not end the war, nor the political turmoil in France. When news of the surrender reached Paris on September 3, indignant mobs formed. By afternoon they had begun looting shops and smashing Napoleonic emblems. On September 4th, the Assembly met in special session and proclaimed a new "provisional government." On September 5th, the Empress Eugénie slipped out Paris. The new "Government of National Defense" itself was soon split between moderates, who favored a prompt peace with the Prussians, and radicals, who wanted all-out war to throw the Prussians out of France. They also wanted a proletarian state with shared wealth.[182]

The Siege of Paris

The Prussian army advanced toward Paris. Bazaine would hold out at Metz until October 29, when he ordered what remained of his army - 133,000 men, along with 600 guns to surrender.[183] The Prussians had reached Paris and begun its encirclement on September 17th.[184] On September 20th, the Prussian Army of the Meuse, moving around the north of Paris, and the Prussian Third Army, advancing around the south, completed their encirclement of Paris when they met at Versailles, which surrendered without a shot.[185]

Having surrounded Paris, the Prussians were somewhat uncertain as to what to do next. General Louis Jules Trochu, appointed Governor of Paris in August, then President of the newly-proclaimed Republic, on September 4th, had miraculously revived the morale of the survivors of a beaten French army.[186] On September 13th he even held a mass military parade and review across much of Paris.[187] Rather than surrender, Paris was preparing to fight. Bismarck, who's only plan seemed to be a negotiation style which refused to make any concessions or to compromise, now found himself facing a defiant France.

Bismarck and the Prussian military staff settled on a siege, almost by default. A frontal assault was one option - which was never seriously considered. The aggressiveness of their commanders, in the early battles of the war, had sometimes gotten results, but it had also produced unnecessarily high casualties. Another option was a cannonade.[188] However, unlike Sedan, where the French had been pushed back into a confined, and relatively small space, where the cannon could concentrate their fire, Paris was huge. When the line of forts defending Paris was included, it had a circumference of forty miles. The city itself was encased inside a 30-foot high wall, which may have been ancient and out-of-date, in comparison to the up-to-date Krupp cannon of the Prussian army, yet still represented a formidable obstacle. In front of the wall was a 10-foot wide moat.[189] [190]

Bismarck underestimated, both the French defenders and the obstacles facing the Prussian military. He commented that 'two or three shells' would be sufficient to scare Paris into capitulation. Moltke was less optimistic. Whether he believed that a few shells would be enough to frighten Parisians, he was more analytical in his approach. He calculated that a bombardment would require at least 250 heavy guns, with an initial supply of 500 rounds each. In reality, in September, he may have been skeptical of even finding Bismarck's two or three shells. Most of his artillery were engaged at Strasbourg and Metz and would not be available until the end of October.[191]

Even as the siege was beginning, the Prussians had to deal with sporadic attacks by the French. On September 19th, General Auguste Ducrot attacked the Germans at Chatillon and Bagneux. They beat off the French attack, but when they counter-attacked, the forts at Issy, Vanves, and Montrouge hit them with artillery fire. On October 13th, seven French battalions attacked Bavarian positions south of the city. When they counter-attacked, the French guns on Mont Velérien hit their lines again.[192]

The one event which gave Parisians hope, or at least relief from boredom, came on September 23rd, when they launched a balloon, complete with a pilot, balloonist Duruof, which flew over the Prussian lines, and after a three-hour flight, landed safely in Evreux, along with a cargo of dispatches. Four other balloons were quickly launched, carrying their crews to safety - none were shot down or captured. A 'Balloon Post' was soon established to carry mail from Paris. The Prussians found them an irritant and tried to shoot them down. Interior Minister Léon Gambetta would volunteer to go, taking off on October 7th.[193] In spite of being shot at as he crossed Prussian lines, and nearly captured, he landed safely near Montdidier, at 3:30 p.m, a quarter of an hour ahead of pursuing Prussians. He made his way to Tours, took over the Ministry of War there, and organized an army which defeated the Prussian force under General Von der Tann at Coulmiers on November 9th. The next morning the French force reclaimed Orléans from the Prussians.[194] They would not remain in control for long. After a three-day battle at Loigny, north of Orléans, beginning on December 2nd, the Germans defeated the French and re-entered Orléans on December 4th. The French lost 7,000 dead, wounded, and missing, although 2,500 would show up as prisoners of war. German attacks would cost them 4,000 dead and wounded.[195]

By the end of November, Paris, with 2 million inhabitants, was facing famine. It was said that the Siege of Paris would be remembered by future generations for two images: rat-eating and balloons.[196] The siege-related shortages had begun to spill over into political unrest in late October. Paris, which had seemed united in its defiance in September, experienced a major riot and attempted coup on October 31st, Halloween. The cause was dubbed the 'Triple Disaster.' The first had been the loss of Le Bourget, a small hamlet about four miles north-east of Paris, which a French force had briefly held, then been forced to abandon. The second was news of the surrender of Metz, which the government reluctantly admitted on October 31st. The third was the announcement, or disclosure, by Adolphe Thiers, of the Prussian armistice terms, under which France was to give up Alsace and pay an indemnity of two milliard francs.[197]

Left-wing politicians viewed the armistice terms as a sellout and some even labeled acceptance as 'treasonous.' During the day on October 31st, angry demonstrators had gathered outside the Hôtel de Ville to protest. When Trochu and his ministers arrived, they found themselves barricaded inside a conference room. Gustave Flourens, Auguste Blanqui, and other left-wing 'Reds' arrived and demanded to form a government.[198] The insurgency fell apart, in the early morning hours of November 1st, after the arrival of loyal troops. Most of the leaders were arrested and imprisoned in the Mazas.[199]

General Trochu, even after re-gaining control, recognized that it would be difficult to repeat the inspirational revival he had achieved in September. In mid-November an English journalist, reported that milk had run out. The American ambassador, Elihu Washburne, wrote that fresh meat was "almost out of the question," and people were resorting to eating dogs, cats, and rats.[200] The last distribution of fresh meat to civilians took place on November 21st.[201] The threat of an epidemic was becoming real. In one week in November, five hundred were reported to have died from smallpox.[202] Price-controls were introduced on bread, but there were "bread panics," near-riots which exploded when bakeries ran out of bread.[203]

Hoping to break the siege, Trochu made plans for a 'Great Sortie,' a large-scale attack on the eastern outskirts of Paris. General Ducrot planned the attack for November 29th. There was a problem getting some of the pontoon bridges into place on the 28th. The Marne River had risen and the current slowed the progress of a tug towing the bridges. After the French had crossed, the main fighting took place on November 30th, around the villages of Champigny and Villiers. The French attacks were met by German counterattacks. By the time General Ducrot ordered the French to retreat back into Paris, on December 4th, the French had lost 12,000 men.[204], [205] General Ducrot would order another breakout attempt, on December 21st, to the north, toward Le Bourget. It would be beaten back, with the French suffering over 2,000 casualties.[206]

The failure of the breakout attempts destroyed what was left of morale in the city and did nothing to relieve the hunger. Most of the animals in the Paris zoo were finally sacrificed, although the lions and tigers survived because they were deemed too dangerous to kill.[207] There was food available, for those rich enough to pay for it.

Bismarck had been fearful that, without an end to the siege, the major European powers would intervene. Toward the end of December, Moltke felt he had enough guns in place to act. During the Great Sortie, the French had seized an outpost at Avron, which sat on a plateau east of Paris. It was an isolated position, outside the line of French forts surrounding the city. The French had done little to improve the defenses. The ground had been frozen, making it difficult for the undernourished men to dig. Opposite their positions the Saxons had been felling trees and moving up guns. The French seemed almost not to notice and ignored the warnings. Seventy-six heavy guns were in place when the bombardment began on December 27th, most of which fired shells weighing 56-lbs, heavier guns which could fire shells of 110 lbs. Among the first casualties were those attending a breakfast party being hosted by a French colonel. A Prussian shell exploded in the middle of the room, killing six of the guests and seriously wounding the colonel and his wife. Troops manning the trenches were terrified when shells began falling on their positions, and ran screaming for the rear. The shelling lasted all day and continued on the 28th. On the 29th, the French ordered a withdrawal from the plateau.[208]

Ironically, the German shells caused less than a hundred casualties, since most of the shells penetrated into the ground before exploding and they were filled with black powder. (The battle took place before the invention of T.N.T.) Those who were killed however, were badly mutilated, psychologically more terrifying than the shelling itself. Fort Vanves, the next target, would lose only 20 men killed during its bombardment, out of a garrison of 1,730, although the Prussians were estimated to have fired 60,000 shells against its walls, while Fort Issy, would suffer only 18 deaths, out of its 1,900 member garrison, during its bombardment.[209]

It took several days before the Prussians were able to attack the forts. The shelling of Forts Vanves, Issy, and Mntrouge began on January 5th. Paris suffered its first casualties on January 4th, when twenty-five Parisian noncombatants - including many women and children - were killed or wounded by Prussian shells.[210] The Prussians soon were lobbing shells into Paris itself at the rate of three hundred to four hundred a day, yet the shelling soon became a largely-ignored routine for Parisians. It was largely ineffective and many saw it as a form of entertainment. Shell fragments were sold as souvenirs and some entrepreneurs even found customers willing to pay for a look through a telescope at the Prussian artillerymen as they fired.[211]

If the shelling was not that effective, the siege was nevertheless taking its toll. Cold and hunger were killing 3,000 to 4,000 Parisians every week in January, compared to 189 civilian casualties reported by Trochu in mid-January from the shelling.[212] Rather than surrender, General Trochu was persuaded to order a third sortie. On January 19th ninety thousand French troops, under General Ducrot, marched out of Paris to attack German positions at St. Cloud and Buzenval. German artillery pounded them as they advanced, the attack stalled, and they retreated back into Paris. Many were so starved that they stopped to dig for potatoes or to ransack German supply dumps. The French had lost 8,000 men and officers, dead, wounded, or missing. General Ducrot, on his return, resigned his commission.[213]

Despite the defeat, there were some who wanted the war to continue, including Georges Clemenceau, the mayor of Montmartre (and future French Premier). Jules Favre, in contrast, favored capitulation. Whatever their disagreements, both sides felt that Trochu could no longer lead the government. It was decided that General Vinoy was to take over as military commander, while Favre would handle negotiations. By January 27th, he had negotiated a temporary armistice, which was to last until February 19th. Under the terms of the armistice, France was to elect an Assembly, which would then decide whether to continue the war or to conclude a permanent peace. Bismarck granted Favre a final concession - Paris would be allowed to fire the final shot of the siege.[214]

If three weeks was a short time to form a new government capable of ruling, the armistice did have some immediate results. While Prussian troops would not enter Paris itself for the duration of the armistice, the forts and walls of Paris would be surrendered, which would deliver 2,000 cannon, 177,000 rifles, and a large supply of ammunition into Prussian hands.[215] The final treaty terms would be negotiated by Adolphe Thiers, and signed on February 26th, 1871. They were not as generous as hoped, particularly when the key area of contention related to the province of mineral-rich Alsace. France would be forced to give up Alsace and most of Lorraine, and pay an indemnity of five milliard francs, reduced from six milliards, under pressure from the British. France was allowed to keep the city of Belfort, which had never surrendered during its siege, but in return, Paris was to allow a triumphal march by the Germans through Paris.[216]

The Commune of Paris - March 28, 1871

The official beginning of the Paris Commune could be said to be March 28, 1871, when Adolphe-Alphonse Assi, the chairman of the Comité Central of the National Guard, attempted to make a speech before a Parisian crowd assembled at the Hôtel de Ville at 4 in the afternoon. He could hardly be heard, since the crowd kept shouting 'Vive la Commune!' Finally he gave up on his speech, and shouted: 'in the name of the people, the Commune is proclaimed!' It was perhaps the closest thing to an official declaration by a government official, but that official only represented the municipality of Paris, not the national government of France.[217]

National elections had been held on February 8th. The problem for Paris was, not only that most of France had elected conservative, Catholic, and rural-leaning delegates - over 400 out of the total of 768 seats had been won by monarchists - but the Electoral Law assigned Paris just 43 seats out of the 768.[218] What made the results even worse, for the radical Republicans, who claimed, or believed, that they represented the interests of the proletarian working class of Paris, was that they had lost seats.

The majority of the Assembly appointed Adolphe Thiers to the leadership of France and he set about organizing a government. Thiers was known as a conservative, even reactionary. As Minister of the Interior in 1834 he had brutally put down an attempted revolt.[219] Whatever his conservative leanings said about the direction of the government, his immediate job was to negotiate terms with Bismarck. He arrived at Versailles on February 21st. Once the treaty had been negotiated, Thiers presented it to the Assembly on February 28th. Despite misgivings, the Assembly ratified the Peace Treaty by 546 votes to 107, with 23 abstentions. Having lost most of Alsace-Lorraine under the terms, the only thing left for the delegates from that region was to resign, which they did, along with Gambetta.[220]

The Assembly, meeting in Bordeaux, now turned to its domestic agenda, and seemed to do its utmost to antagonize Paris. First, it sentenced some of the participants in the October 31st uprising to death and suspended some of the left-wing journals. The Assembly also passed a Law of Maturities, which provided that all debts, suspended during the war, needed to be paid within forty-eight hours, and a related law decreed that landlords could demand payment of all accumulated rents. In addition, the one source of money for National Guard members had been a payment of 1.50 francs per day, and the Assembly voted to end the payments. Having passed these measures, the Assembly voted to adjourn on March 10th, and to reconvene in Versailles on March 20th.[221]

The most humiliating treaty term, for Parisians, had been implemented almost immediately. On March 1st, Prussian military units entered the city for their triumphal march and two-day occupation. At 8 a.m. on that day, troopers of the 14th Prussian Hussars jumped their horses over the chains and obstacles surrounding the Arc de Triomphe, to be followed by 30,000 picked troops, who passed in review before the King of Prussia, watched silently by Parisians. Afterwards they strolled around the city in small groups, mostly sight-seeing. On March 3rd, they left, without incident.[222]

Parisians may have been outraged by events, but there was little they could do, except to express their feelings. On February 26th, the day the Peace Treaty had been signed, some 300,000, including units of the National Guard, took part in a march. The march itself was peaceful, until some thought they had discovered a government spy. They attacked him, beat him, and finally bound him and threw him in the river, where he finally drowned.[223]

Until the Assembly adjourned on March 10th, there was an uneasy stalemate. The government took few concrete steps to control Paris or enforce the new legislation, and Parisians found no concrete cause to rally around or against. However, there were two hundred cannon still in Paris, which could be used by the National Guard, if it chose to confront the regular army, reduced to one division. The government ordered regular army units to recover the guns on March 8th, but the National Guard units holding the guns refused to hand them over and the army backed down.[224] The army decided to try again on March 18th, this time with a much larger force - 3,000 gendarmes and police, plus 12,000 to 15,000 regulars. In addition, the operation began at 3 a.m., which caught the village of Montmartre, the location of most of the guns, asleep. The guns were soon in the hands of the government troops. Unfortunately, the soldiers discovered that they had failed to bring the teams of horses needed to tow the guns.[225]

The delay allowed a crowd to form and surround the recovery force. General Lecomte, the commanding officer was taken prisoner. Later that day, the recently-retired General Clément Thomas was captured. Both were killed, the killers egged on by a furious mob.[226] Thiers decided it was not safe to remain in Paris, and ordered his ministers and staff to withdraw to Versailles. He himself escaped down a concealed staircase in the Foreign Office building and, guarded by an escort, escaped Paris to Versailles.[227]

Thier's departure left Paris in limbo. The national government did not need to reside in Paris to govern France. At the same time, Paris, or at least the mayors of its districts, felt they needed some form of official approval, or recognized governmental body, to govern Paris. The Mayors were worried about an ad hoc organization of radicals and left-leaning leaders, calling itself the 'Central Committee of the National Guard' (Comité Central de la Garde Nationale), which had formed at the end of January.[228] The Mayors, representing the twenty arrondissements of Paris, attempted to mediate between the Central Committee and the national government. The Central Committee, unofficial as it was, had enough power to call for municipal elections, which it planned to hold on March 22nd. On March 20th, the Mayors got the Committee to agree to a postponement - until the Assembly should vote on a municipal law for Paris.[229]

Abruptly, the Committee reversed course and decided that elections would be held on March 26th. It was a resounding victory for the Reds, who dominated the new municipal council, four to one. It was resounding only in the sense that the Reds had won among those who voted, 220,167 votes, out of a voter registration roll of 485,569. The winners simply called themselves, and their government the 'Commune of Paris.' On the morning of March 28th, the day Assi would proclaim the Commune, they set up their government in the Hôtel de Ville. While the body they were elected to was the city council of Paris, they began calling themselves the Commune of Paris, or at least that's what they now called the city council.[230]

Between the time Thiers left Paris for Versailles, on March 18th, and the Proclamation of the Commune, on March 28th, the national government had reason to fear for its survival. Favre had agreed to Prussian demands that the regular army would be limited to one division.[231] There was some question as to whether the military could count on the supposedly loyal units. It was estimated that the rebels inside Paris numbered three hundred battalions, armed with the abandoned cannon. If they chose, they could march on Versailles, defended by just twenty loyal troops. The government set up posts between Paris and Versailles, although it was not clear if they were to defend against such an attack, or just provide a warning of its coming. [232]

What saved Thiers and his government was dissent within the Central Committee. There were some who wanted to launch an attack; others who focused on less pressing matters. Some of the rebels seemed more concerned that the government would itself launch an attack against Paris. In almost the defensive mindset of the army during the war, they began fortifying Paris against such an attack. The attack did not come. The government however, was beginning to recover its self-confidence - three days after leaving Paris, Thiers ordered regulars to reoccupy the fortress of Mont-Velérien, between Paris and Versailles, which the rebels had left unoccupied. Five days later, on March 28th, the Central Committee made its defiant proclamation.[233]

The Paris Commune came into existence almost exactly two months after the January 28th armistice declaration, when Paris had been starving. The Commune leaders on March 28th were preparing to defend Paris against a national army, forgetting that the national government, with all its resources, had been unable to protect Paris against the Prussian army. They did not even have the resources to feed the people of Paris, let alone fight a battle. In the immediate aftermath of the siege, it had been forced to rely on outside help. It would appeal to Britain and America for help and both countries would respond. The British government would send Army stores by ship and employ ovens to bake bread. The United States would send some $2,000,000 worth of food. Even the Prussians would respond and, in fact, were the first to help. The Kaiser himself instructed that six million army rations be sent into Paris. The Prussians had also begun repairing the bridges and railway tunnels destroyed during the fighting.[234]

The Commune, in its first hours, seemed oblivious to the military and practical demands of a war it expected to wage with the national government. Like General Bazaine, it focused on small matters. It repealed the rent act, which required tenants to immediately pay their arrears. It abolished conscription for the regular army, and decreed the death penalty for looters.[235] Yet, it made no real military preparations or took any action.

Thiers had not wasted time on small matters. By the first days of April, he had put together a force of 60,000 at Versailles. On March 30th, two squadrons of cavalry had conducted a reconnaissance of the Courbevoie area, across from the Paris suburb of Neuilly, capturing a small outpost.[236] On April 1st Thiers made a public announcement to the Assembly that the reorganization of the army was complete. On April 2nd, there was a small skirmish which resulted in the capture, by the national forces, of the bridge at Neuilly. Beyond the capture, there was an incident which would reduce the fighting to a series of revenge killings. The rebels killed the principal doctor, Surgeon-Major Pasquier of the Gendarmerie, who had approached the rebel lines under a flag of truce to negotiate with them.[237] The next day, April 3rd, National Guard units of the Commune marched out to attack the forces at Versailles. The determination of the advancing columns fell apart when shells from the fortress of Mont Valérien exploded in their midst. The rear half of the column fled in panic back across the Seine. About 3,000 continued forward, led by Gustave Florens and Jules Bergeret. The advance fell apart under a cavalry attack. Florens reached an inn in the village of Rueil, which was surrounded by troops during the night. He was taken prisoner and killed, it was said, by a mounted gendarmerie captain, who split his head with a saber. He was the first of the Commune's leaders to die. The Versailles forces also executed five captured insurgents, officially on the grounds that they were deserters from the regular army, although it appeared the killings were reprisals for the killing of Surgeon-Major Pasquier.[238]

On April 6th, the Commune held a state funeral for those killed in the two-days of fighting. They were buried in a communal grave at the Père-Lachaise cemetery. Many Parisians, possibly in the thousands, chose to leave or go into hiding. The Commune leadership, threw those they felt responsible, into prison. On April 5th, a measure called the 'Law of Hostages' was passed, which provided that if Commune prisoners of war were executed, the Commune would execute three 'hostages' it was holding.[239]

Thiers was content to leave Paris alone for the time being, despite the recent successes. Government forces, on April 8th, had successfully put down a Commune proclaimed at Marseilles. Government troops shelled the Prefecture, killing over 150 rebels and arrested another 500.[240] Favre returned to Prussian headquarters in hopes of raising the number of troops allowed under the Peace Treaty terms. Bismarck was beginning to fear that the example set by the Commune might encourage German Socialists at home. He agreed to raise the allowable numbers for the French army, initially to 80,000, then to 110,000, and finally, to 170,000. He also took measures to speed the return of the 400,000 French prisoners held in Germany.[241]

Although there were no infantry assaults, federal forces began shelling Paris in early April, mostly hitting the suburb of Neuilly, then expanding to other areas as guns and ammunition became available.[242] On April 25th, both sides agreed to a truce in the Neuilly area, in order to evacuate its inhabitants. During the truce, government guns were moved from the Neuilly sector to that facing Issy-les-Moulineaux. Over 53 batteries were assembled there. On the 26th, a combined bombardment and assault led to the capture of the village of Les Moulineaux. By the 30th the army had advanced to the foot of Fort Issy. The Commune defenders abandoned the fort to the government. [243] It would be discovered that evening that the Versailles forces had not occupied the fort, apparently believing that it was still holding out, and the fort was re-occupied by the Commune.[244]

At a time when the Commune was experiencing military reverses, it was having to navigate internal political struggles, primarily between the Central Committee members and the Commune leadership. Gustave-Paul Cluseret, in charge of military operations, was the person who had gone out to Fort Issy, and discovered that it was unoccupied, was not hailed as a hero on his return, but was instead arrested. Fort Issy would not remain in Commune hands for long. On May 8th, national forces, following an intense bombardment, re-took the fortress.[245]

The Committee of Public Safety, Raoul Rigault, and the Terror

On April 28th, Jules Miot introduced a proposal in the Commune Assembly, calling for the creation of a Committee of Public Safety to take over the Commune's executive functions. For many, it was viewed positively - a resurrection of the 'dictatorship and terror' methods employed by the Jacobins during the French Revolution, or the 'methods of '93' - necessary to survival of the revolutionary Commune. After three days of debate, the proposal was adopted by a vote of 45 to 23. Running the Committee of Public Safety would eventually become the responsibility of Raoul Rigault, then Police Chief, and later Public Prosecutor of the Revolutionary Tribunal.[246]

Regault had the perfect resume to run a spy network and terrorist operation since, he was in a sense a professional. He had studied the methods used during the Revolution, and had even set up an operation to spy on the Imperial Police. On March 20th, he was appointed Prefect of Police. He took the position seriously, and by May 23rd, had achieved an arrest total of more than 3,000, which was a remarkable achievement, considering that he had been forced to resign on April 24th, under political pressure for the arbitrary nature of many of the arrests. His successor was an ally. Three days after his resignation he made a political re-appearance as State Prosecutor of the newly created Revolutionary Tribunal.[247]

If the Commune leadership had an on-again, off-again relationship with Rigault, there was one issue they both agreed on - a strong anticlericism, an instinctive hatred of the Catholic Church. In keeping with that view, Rigault had arrested the Archbishop of Paris, Mgr. Darboy, on April 4th. It was followed by a later roundup of priests. If Rigault hated the Archbishop, he nevertheless saw him as a useful hostage. On April 6th, he sent a message to the government at Versailles, offering to trade the Archbishop for Auguste Blanqui, the leader of the Commune, now in government hands. The day before the Commune Assembly had passed its 'Law of Hostages,' which threatened the execution of three hostages held by the Commune for every hostage killed by the government. Thiers refused to bargain and both Blanqui and the Archbishop remained in jail.[248]

Closing in on Paris

Without attacking Paris, the government forces continued to move forward. General MacMahon's troops captured Fort Vanves on May 13th. This was followed on May 15th by the surrender of the village of Issy.[249] Inside Paris, on May 16th, the statue of Napoleon I, was toppled, with some difficulty.[250] Thiers was coming under pressure to move more quickly. Bismarck threatened to send in Prussian troops, if Thiers did not end the rebellion. He pinned his hopes on buying his way in - paying someone going into Paris to open one of the gates to let his army in. On May 13th, 80,000 troops waited during the night for a gate to open, but nothing happened. On May 21st, he convened a Council-of-war to at least set a date for the final assault.[251]

As it happened, the army had found a way in and was entering the city about the time of the scheduled War Council. A civil engineer, named Ducatel, with the Department of Roads and Bridges, had taken an afternoon stroll, on a Sunday, near the battlements at the Point-du-Jour and observed that no one on the defender's side could be seen. The reason was probably not totally due to carelessness, but the pounding that area had been receiving in the prior days. Part of the ramparts had been demolished and the defenders had pulled back. Ducatel, curious, got in close enough to observe that there was no one guarding the gate. There was no movement even when he mounted the ramparts and waved a white flag. A Versailles major noticed the flag and left his lines to talk to Ducatel. The army moved quickly, once the story was verified, ordering units to move forward.[252]

The Assembly, meeting at the Hôtel de Ville, knew nothing of the entry until 7 o'clock in the evening, when Billioray, a member of the Committee of Public Safety, rushed into the room with a dispatch from Dombrowski, the officer in charge of the section, reporting the entry. Dombrowski's forces, taken by surprise, had fought back, then panicked. Assi, the man who had proclaimed the Commune on March 28th, went out about 11 o'clock that night, hoping to find out anything. He ended up being captured by government troops. By 3 a.m., the Versailles forces were on the heights of the Trocadéro and 70,000 government troops were inside the city and had taken 1,500 prisoners. Most Parisians, who had been celebrating that afternoon, slept through the night and did not learn of the troop movement until Monday morning. [253]

The advance of the troops marked the beginning of what would be known as 'bloody week.' The forces of the Commune seemed incapable of stopping the advance of the Army on Monday. However, at the Tuileries Gardens, the defenders suddenly opened a concentrated fire on the leading columns, which took heavy losses before retreating. The advance continued elsewhere. Although there were pockets of resistance, where Commune forces fought with determination, they were hampered by the overall lack of planning in the early period of the resistance. Many of the cannon at Montmartre, which had been defended so vigorously on March 18th, had not been prepared for action. Eighty-five were scattered about and dirty. It was 9 o'clock in the morning before any were fired. National forces captured Parc Monceau after Commune forces fired into the rear of their front-line defenders, believing they were national troops.[254]

By Monday afternoon, the national troops found themselves facing more determined resistance and the advance slowed.[255] On Tuesday however, when they made an assault on the Fortress of Montmartre, most of the Commune defenders on the north side had slipped away, leaving only about a hundred to hold off a division of attackers. By 1 p.m. the attackers signaled the fort's capture by raising the tricolor flag. More than one hundred of the original two hundred Montmartre cannon were also captured.[256]

Taking Revenge

The capture of the Montmartre Fortress was the first sign that this was no ordinary fight between professional soldiers. The Versailles forces, following the capture, collected some 49 Communards and marched them to No. 6 Rue des Rosiers, where Generals Lecomte and Thomas had been murdered. The captives were made to kneel down in front of a wall and shot. Among those killed, it was claimed, were three women and four children.[257]

In some places the Communards continued fighting. On the Left Bank, they fought for two days, stopping, or at least slowing, the Government advance.[258] Another group held out at the barricades in the Rue Royale and the Place de la Concorde, as well as the Rue St.-Florentin. Brunel, commanding the defense at the Rue Royale, found his forces under fire from sharp-shooters on the roofs of nearby buildings. He ordered the buildings to be set on fire. Once started, the flames spread up the street, consuming expensive houses and cafes. Realizing that it was pointless to remain, his men began retreating in small packets down the street.[259]

The fighting was bad enough, but what accompanied the fighting had a savagery of its own. Having captured one barricade, the national troops led an old woman to the Tuilleries Gardens, where she was placed with her back to the wall and executed by firing squad. The bodies of another forty or fifty Communards killed in the barricade fighting were dumped in a ditch, which was filled in, creating a path over which the national troops could move their guns.[260]

On the Commune side, one of the early commanders of the Commune, decided to destroy the Tuileries Palace, not because his units were being fired on from the Tuileries, but simply because it symbolized Royalty and the ruling class. He stacked barrels of gunpowder, then smeared the walls and curtains with tar and petroleum and withdrew. Just after 10 p.m. a fire began to spread down the halls of the palace. When it reached the gunpowder, the force of the explosion destroyed the central dome. The fires continued burning, illuminating the streets outside.[261]

Most of the Communards were coming to the realization that the Commune was finished. Raoul Rigault seemed oblivious to everything going on around him. He proceeded to the Ste.-Pélagie Prison, where Gustave Chaudey was being held. He claimed to have orders for his execution, had him brought from his cell, and organized a firing squad. Chaudey was being killed for giving the order to fire on the demonstrators on January 22nd. The firing squad only wounded Chaudey on the arm, and prison warders killed him with their revolvers. Rigoult then ordered three gendarmes, seized on March 18th to be executed.[262]

The day before, on May 22nd, the Archbishop Darboy and fifty other hostages had been moved to the La Roquette Prison. It was more secure, but the neighborhood surrounding it was one of the tougher areas of Paris. The neighborhood had produced the tough 66th Battalion of the National Guard. Rather than being treated as prisoners of war, its members captured in the barricade fighting on May 23rd had been shot on the spot. In a mood for vengeance, on the 24th, a Captain de Beaufort, of the Commune, was accused of being a spy. Arrested and taken to the Battalion Headquarters, a mob assembled outside demanding that he be handed over. He was taken outside and shot.[263]

It would not prove enough. Reports of the fighting also brought stories of summary executions by the national army troops. They were aware that there were 'prisoners of note' being held in the prison. During the day the members of the 66th Battalion pressured their superiors to execute them. Finally, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. the Archbishop and five other hostages were led into an alley in the prison. The first volley by the would-be firing squad left the Archbishop still standing. A second volley brought him down. The National Guard troops then thrust bayonets into the body. The bodies of the hostages were carried to the Père-Lachaise cemetery and thrown into an open ditch.[264]

Raoul Rigault was not there. He had been killed that afternoon. He had actually taken part in the barricade fighting on the Left Bank. He may have made a mistake in putting on the uniform of a National Guard major. Seeing that the fight was lost, about 3 p.m. he withdrew and and sought refuge in a hotel where he kept lodgings. When the Versailles troops reached the hotel, they were informed that a National Guard major had been seen going into the hotel. When they threatened the hotelier with death, his wife begged Rigault to save him. When he went outside to help, he was recognized and seized. There was no trial. A sergeant shot him several times through the head, then his body was thrown into a gutter.[265]

Wednesday, May 24th, would also see the completion of destruction of Parisian buildings by fire. To the Tuileries fire and explosion, were added the Palais-Royal, the Palais de Justice, and the Légion d'Honneur. At 11 a.m, the Hôtel de Ville, the place where the Commune had been proclaimed, was being consumed by flames.[266]

By midday on the 24th, the army troops were pushing back the last of the Commune's defenders. The defenders were still able to organize an orderly withdrawal. The huge powder magazine at the Luxembourg Gardens was blown as they retreated. Some of the Communards surrendered, but those who did were summarily executed by the advancing troops. If the government troops seemed to be facing stiff resistance on every street, there some locations where their arrival was greeted with enthusiasm. Four hundred employees at the Bank had been holding out against the rebels, and felt that rescue had come just in time.[267]

On Thursday, the 25th, the national General Cissey assembled a concentration of fifty cannon, which began a non-stop bombardment against the hilltop of Butte-aux-Cailles, held by the 101st Battalion of the National Guard. By mid-afternoon, they retreated through the Left Bank. Some twenty Dominican monks, who had earlier been arrested by Rigault and held at Battalion headquarters, were told they could leave. As they walked out of the building, they were shot down by National Guardsmen, in retaliation for the summary execution of those who had surrendered.[268]

Around 7 p.m. that Thursday, Charles Deslescluze, who had assumed leadership of the Commune a few weeks before, climbed to the top of an abandoned barricade at the Boulevard Voltaire, as if to survey the scene, then was shot dead. Three men who ran out to pick him up were also shot. Most of the remaining fighters retreated into the Belleville slums.[269]

Friday, May 26th brought rain to Paris. It helped put out the fires which were still burning, including that at the Ministry of Finance.[270] The suicidal barricade stroll of Charles Deslescluze the evening before was symbolic of the collapse of the Commune's defenses. Most of the National Guard units, which might have been considered an army, had either been killed, surrendered, or pushed back. The only area still in their hands was the 20th district, but it was their home district. The national army did receive help from the Prussians, who moved up 10,000 troops behind the district, sealing it in and blocking any possible retreat to the east.[271]

The French army may have accomplished its major objectives, and was now engaged in a mopping up operation, but the fighting would prove to be some of the toughest. The 1859 demolition and reconstruction of Paris by Baron Haussman, had created broad, straight boulevards through much of Paris. Once inside the city on May 22, 1871, those streets helped Thiers' national army to advance with relative ease. They were too wide for barricades to be easily built and even if something of an obstacle, advancing troops could go around them. Once past any barricades, cannon had a clear field of fire. Haussman's architectural project had seemingly ended where the 20th district began. In contrast to the rest of Paris, its narrow, winding streets and alleys remained. Cannon fire directed at individual fighters was as likely to hit the side of a building as the defenders sheltering behind it.

The stubbornness of the defense may have also enraged the Versailles units. Those even suspected of sympathizing with the Communards could be killed. Squads of soldiers entered and searched houses. In one house, after finding a Communist hiding there, they took him out and shot him. They also shot the woman who had denied there was anyone hiding in the house. According to one witness, 25 women who had poured boiling water on the soldiers were executed. At one clearing station, full of Communard wounded, they killed a number of the wounded, as well as the twenty-seven-year-old non-Communard doctor who was treating them.[272]

Not all who surrendered or were taken prisoner were killed, or at least killed immediately within the walls of Paris. Many were forced into columns and marched through the streets of Paris, on their way to Versailles. They were attacked as they passed through the anti-Communard parts of Paris. The guards prevented their being killed, but the attacks left them bleeding, some had even had their ears torn off, and faces and necks gashed.[273]

Many of those leaving Paris alive, were killed before reaching Versailles. General the Marquis de Gallifet, in command of the cavalry, selected those for execution almost randomly, ordering them into separate columns where they were executed. Gallifet had fought under Bazaine in Mexico and transferred the tactics used against 'irregulars' there to France. Apart from his arbitrary selection, he applied other standards as well: men with gray hair were chosen, on the assumption they had fought at the barricades of '48; those with watches were considered probable 'officials' of the Commune; others considered ugly or with course features were also selected. Former members of the regular Army were subject to automatic execution.[274]

Being weak or falling behind was also a death sentence. Those who fell out of line, or were too weak were shot. One woman who sat down by the side of the road was shot by one of the escorts. One man was dragged by two cavalrymen with a rope, until he fell, then was shot by both troopers. One crippled woman, who was unable to walk very well, was killed by revolver fire, along with her husband, when she refused to continue.[275]

Whether reports of the killings along the roads outside of Paris reached the defenders, or they witnessed atrocities themselves, they were as enraged as the government troops. One woman's battalion at Belleville had fought ferociously, even while surrounded, then were captured. One witness reported seeing fifty-two shot down, even after they had been disarmed. He also saw sixty men shot at the same time. Such reports may have motivated five National Guards to force their way into La Roquette prison, take the prisoner Jecker, a Swiss banker reputed to have pushed for Louis-Napoleon's involvement in the Mexican campaign. Jecker was led into an alleyway, shot, and left in a ditch.[276]

Émile Gois, president of one the Committee's 'courts,' then demanded that fifty prisoners be handed over to him. The prisoners included thirty-six gendarmes and ten priests. They were marched to a small courtyard on the Rue Haxo. As they huddled together, the squad of soldiers and perhaps anyone with a weapon, opened fire. By the time the shooting stopped, fifty-one bodies lay on the ground, one more than the number of hostages. One of the National Guardsmen may have gotten too close and been caught in the firing. On Saturday, the 27th, the survivors still in prison expected to be killed, but were saved when one of their jailers had a change of heart, freeing them from their cells and telling them to barricade themselves in the prison against any National Guard execution squads. They managed to prevent a break-in, although some priests who chanced the open courtyard were shot down as they ran. Those still inside would manage to hold out until government troops arrived to free them the next day.[277]

Despite what they had witnessed, thousands of Communards were taking their chances and laying down their arms on the 27th. The last pocket of resistance would hold out until about mid-afternoon on Sunday, May 28th - Whit Sunday. Most were surrendering in large groups. One of the largest was in the Rue Haxo, where some 2,000 surrendered. Marshall MacMahon issued a proclamation that afternoon, noting that the last defended position had been occupied by his troops at four o'clock. The proclamation stated: "The Army of France has come to save you. Paris is delivered."[278]

General Vinoy's troops had, by that time, discovered the unburied corpse of the Archbishop of Paris at Père-Lachaise cemetery. That Sunday morning they took 147 of the captured Communards, lined them up against a wall in the eastern corner of the cemetery and shot them down.[279] The Archbishop's murder and the retaliatory execution were perhaps the most remembered and symbolic events of the Commune. But they were remembered differently, depending on how events were viewed. For anti-communists and critics of socialism, the murder of the Archbishop was a savage and depraved murder. Marxist theory and 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' would lead, not to an egalitarian society, but to the brutality of Stalinist Russia. The execution of the 147 Communards was a kind of righteous or divine retribution for the evils of communism. That view was not universally shared. Those sympathetic to the Commune came to view the 147 who died as martyrs. Every year, on May 28th, the place where they were killed would draw visitors, hoping to pay their homage to those sacrificed fighting capitalist repression.[280]

The Communards, during the fighting of 'Bloody Week' are believed to have lost over 3,000 dead and wounded. The army troops lost 83 officers and 790 men killed.[281] Assigning such casualty figures to the organized fighting of 'Bloody Week,' suggests that the story of the Paris Commune is just another battlefield story, like that of the Battle of Gravelotte, or the Battle of Sedan, during the Franco-Prussian War itself. To some extent this was true. The story had its battlefield phase, starting with the attempted seizure of the guns of Montmartre and ending with the last days of 'Bloody Week.'

The next phase of the story might be called the active suppression, or restoration of order, phase - or, more realistically - the dictatorial phase. This would be followed by what might be called a 'return to normalcy' phase, during which the Commune faded into memory, just a chapter in the history of Paris or France, or part of the history of Marxism or Communism.

The end of the Commune received a lot of newspaper coverage in America. Perhaps with a relatively booming economy in the U.S., events in France, both in 1870 and 1871, provided the most exciting news anywhere. American reporters sent back reports of the Franco-Prussian battles, which were read with great interest. Readers continued to follow reports from France during the siege and the Commune. However, with the restoration of order, headline-grabbing reports of street battles and summary executions fell to almost nothing. By the end of summer American readers lost interest.[282] During the life of the Commune, it had sparked a lot of discussion in major newspapers. Whether it was sympathetic or critical depended on the political views of the newspaper and its editors. Conservative writers focused on the destruction, the confiscation of property, and the closure of churches. In May 1871, the Chicago Tribune went so far as to advocate the 'mowing down' of rebellious Parisians 'without hesitation'.[283]

The idea that the Commune, and Communism, represented the true face of a 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat,' which would inevitably lead to tyranny and repression, probably was in the back of the minds of the 'capitalist' class. That view was not limited to capitalists, however. The national army, which put down the rebellion, viewed itself as the champion of liberty against tyranny.[284] The idea of a working class, while professing a belief in justice and equality, but whose only goal was dictatorial power would remain. However, its impact on political thought faded over time as the public lost interest in the Commune. It did not disappear altogether. When news of the Great Purges of 1937 and 1938, under Stalin, in the Soviet Union came to light, it was pointed to as proof of where Marxist theory, taken to its logical conclusion, would lead. Yet, if there was a model for repression, it was the Thiers government and the actions of the army, rather than the actions of the Communards, which provided it. It was the same model used by the French government during the June Days of 1848, with government troops attacking those manning the barricades, then continued that with reprisal killings following the fighting. The July Revolution of 1830 had partially followed the same model. Protesters had erected barricades in Paris, the government had sent in troops, and the result was three days of fighting. Less determined or experienced than the troops of 1848, they gave up, leaving Charles X to abdicate and go into exile.[285] While the leaders of the Commune could be inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, which had gotten rid of the monarchy, the end of the French Revolution was itself a model for repression. When Parisians rioted in May 1795, the government sent in troops to disperse them.[286] France and Paris could look to an even earlier example, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of August 24, 1572, when government troops and Catholic supporters massacred some 3,000 Protestant Huguenots in the city of Paris.[287]

In Paris, the pace of killing, following the end of Bloody Week, almost matched that of Bloody Week itself. Some 1,900 prisoners were said to have been shot in two days, against the 3,000 who died as combat casualties during the fighting. [288] The government gave insurgents forty-eight hours in which to surrender all weapons. The penalty for violating the decree was summary execution. Although most rebels were killed by rifle-fire, it was said that five hundred were killed by with the machine-gun mitrailleuses. The Communards not only had to deal with the threat from the military, but also the anger of fellow Parisians. Within a month the authorities had to deal with 350,000 denunciations. There were simple tests to determine guilt or innocence of involvement. Blackened hands, oftentimes resulting from firing a rifle, were one indication. In one instance, a chimney-sweep, after finished a job, was seized by government troops and shot, after his blackened hands suggested he had been involved in the fighting.[289]

Many of the mass executions, in the days immediately following the end of bloody week, were carried out in wide, open areas, such as cemeteries or public parks, or at army barracks or railway stations. Yet, the government, aware of the continued presence of journalists, may have worried about the negative press which such public displays of retribution would provide. The executions began to be carried out inside prison walls. The killing of the 1,900 prisoners was carried out at the La Roquette prison. Another 400 were killed at the Mazas prison.[290]

The government could limit public awareness of mass executions by moving them inside prison walls. It was difficult to conceal all evidence of what was going on. One difficulty was disposing of the bodies. Wagons carrying the corpses moved through the streets of Paris at night. Many of the bodies were buried in mass graves, some located under the recently-defended barricades, others under newly-laid roads. At the forts outside of Paris, huge funeral pyres were built, although a by-product of the fires was the smell of burning flesh, which remained in the air for several days.[291] Just how many died is unclear. The French government would subsequently reveal that the Municipality of Paris alone paid for the burial or disposal of 17,000 corpses.[292]

To deal with the survivors, the government set up 'reception centers,' some in the stables at Versailles. Those held there were kept short of water, food, and medical attention. Some died of suffocation, others were shot. The government would eventually close the facilities, once it realized that the unsanitary conditions posed a health risk, which might spread disease beyond the camps. Prisoners were dispersed to fortresses or naval hulks.[293]

Marshall MacMahon had proclaimed the delivery of Paris on May 28th, 1871.[294] It would not be until June 29th that he would feel confident enough to hold a military review. The review was held at the Longchamp racetrack and saw 120,000 troops march past the reviewing stand. Thiers arrived about 1:30 p.m.[295] Paris itself seemed well on the road to recovery. The smoldering fires had been put out and what remained of damaged, but dangerous walls had been pulled down. The Louvre museum, centerpiece of art and culture, had escaped destruction. Tours of the 'ruins' of Paris were being promoted abroad, which led to the arrival of English tourists. Theaters reopened on June 3rd. Cafes, under an 11 p.m. curfew, began to fill up again.[296]

While order had been restored to Paris, there were still some loose ends to tie up. The government was holding more than 40,000 prisoners. It would hold twenty-six courts martial which, although begun in August, would not be completed until 1875. If it had killed thousands during bloody week and the reprisals without trial, it carried out only twenty-three death sentences after holding trials. Seventy-two individuals sentenced to death had their sentences commuted. There were 251 sentenced to forced labor for life, 1,160 to transportation to a fortified place, and another 3,417 to simple transportation - distant locations, such as New Caledonia in the South Pacific - not prisons, but difficult to leave or escape from. Five thousand received lesser sentences.[297]

In 1872, over 20,000 of the Communard prisoners would be acquitted. In 1880, Léon Gambetta, the balloon-flying Minister of the Interior during the siege, would introduce an amnesty bill, which would be adopted.[298] Karl Marx, sitting in London, would not escape punishment. Having come out with 'The Civil War in France' at the end of May 1871, he became known as the 'Red Terrorist Doctor,' the evil architect behind the Commune.[299], [300] The Thiers government needed a scapegoat. It did not want to acknowledge that the measures passed by the Assembly in March might have contributed to the resentment and anger of Parisians. The 'Law of Maturities' which had decreed the immediate repayment of debt, and another measure, which allowed landlords to collect back rent, had almost been designed to punish Paris. The Assembly had also voted to immediately suspend payment of the National Guard. [301] Far easier to blame the unrest on Marx, than to take responsibility for its vindictive and inept legislative activities, or admit that it might have come up with a more innovative compromise.

On June 6, 1871, a little over a week after 'The Civil War in France' came out, the French foreign minister was asking all European governments to work together to destroy the International Workingmen's Association, the London-based organization founded by Marx in September 1864. Its members were to be hunted down, he said, since the group was the "enemy of family, religion, order and property."[302], [303]

France After the Commune

Adolpe Thiers, following the suppression of the Commune, made paying off the war indemnity of five billion francs to Germany his primary goal. He wanted German troops out of France. To do this, he floated two government bond issues. In September 1873 the indemnity was paid, six months ahead of schedule. Not wanting to see another military defeat of the magnitude of the Franco-Prussian conflict, he got a law passed in July 1872, which reorganized the military.[304] The recovery of France so quickly alarmed Bismarck so much by 1875, that he sounded ready to go to war again. This time France found allies in Britain and Russia, who pressured Germany to back down.[305]

Domestically, Thiers faced his own political political problems. Despite his suppression of the Republican Paris Commune, he found himself sympathetic to, even openly favoring a republican form of government. Local elections suggested that many French held that view. The Assembly, heavily monarchist, felt they needed to restore the monarchy, and in May 1873 withdrew their support, forcing Thiers to resign. They expected their replacement choice, Marshall MacMahon, to go along. However, his response was that if they wanted a monarchy, they had to decide among three claimants. Unfortunately, when the perfect candidate, the Count of Chambord was found, he proved so inflexible on major issues, that the monarchists backed down. Rather than replacing MacMahon, they kept him in the position and, in addition fixed his presidential term at seven years.[306]

As committed as they were to the monarchy, the monarchists could read the political winds. Even the provinces were showing signs of discontent with the government. In 1875, the Assembly would pass the constitutional reforms creating a new structure for the government. There would be a legislature with two houses, a 300-member Senate and a Chamber of Deputies, elected by universal manhood suffrage for four years. Every seven years they were to convene to elect a president. Following the dissolution of the National Assembly in 1875, elections gave the republicans a majority of the Chamber of Deputies but fell short of control in the Senate. Republicans increased their strength during the next two years.[307]

In 1877, MacMahon attempted something of a political coup, attempting to prevent further republican gains. New elections were called for October 1877. Léon Gambetta threw a wrench into MacMahon's plans and campaigned across France for the republicans, who won another majority in the Chamber. A year later the republicans won in the Senate. In January 1879 MacMahon resigned.[308]

In 1880 the republicans would move the capital back to Paris. They also attempted to modernize France. One major area of improvement was in education. Primary education in state schools was free and elementary education was made compulsory. Illiteracy was reduced to less than 10 percent.[309] After 1878, the government embarked on a national scheme of public improvements. Railways, canals, roads, and harbors were improved. France's rail network would double before 1914. Tonnage carried on internal waterways increased from 21,000,000 metric tons in 1886 to 42,000,000 in 1913.[310]

If the educational reforms and industrial investment improved economic performance, France still lagged behind other countries, such as Britain or Germany in the rate of economic progress. It was still predominantly agricultural, with more than half its population living in rural areas as late as 1914. The economic problems which had led to the Paris Commune, now spread to other regions of France. The Valenciennes coal fields experienced a violent strike in 1884, followed by strikes at Decazeville and Vierzon in 1886. Work stoppages increased after 1890.[311] There appeared to be an attempted coup in 1889 by General Georges Boulanger. He was popular and was encouraged by some to overthrow the government. However, when the cabinet summoned him to appear before the Senate on charges of conspiracy against the state, in the spring of 1889, he fled to Belgium.[312]

Marxist socialism did attract new followers in the late 1870s, marked by the formation of a new "Workers party" in 1879, which proclaimed itself Marxist, revolutionary, and self-sufficient (in terms of other political parties).[313] At the same time, French socialists viewed Marxism as too Germanic for France. If French socialists formed a new organization called the "Federation of Labor Socialists of France," they seemed more interested in compromise and cooperation with the government than the leadership of the Paris Commune.[314]

Perhaps the explanation for the loss of an appetite for revolutionary confrontation was the overall improvement in economic conditions. If France's economic gains were not as spectacular as those of Germany or Britain, more of the population had benefited. There was discontent, but the conditions which led to the explosive violence in Paris during the Commune had improved sufficiently to limit demonstrations. In 1904 the French Socialist parties combined into the French Section of the Workers International (SFIO), declaring themselves a "class and revolutionary party." They claimed to be unwilling to compromise with bourgeois governments.[315] If they professed themselves to be revolutionary, their militancy was a toned-down version of that of the Commune. Streets were not torn up to make barricades and no street battles with French army units were fought.


(1) Alistair Horne, "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-71," (London:Penguin Books, 1990), p. 443.
(2) Robert C. Tucker, ed., "The Marx-Engels Reader" 2nd edition, (New York;W.W. Norton & Company, 1978), p. 618.
(3) Mary Gabriel, "Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution," New York:Little, Brown and Company, 2011, p.413.
(4) Geoffrey Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France," (New York:Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 250.
(5) Horne, op.cit., p. 288.
(6) Horne, ibid, p. 281.
(7) Horne, ibid, p. 307.
(8) Horne, ibid, p. 323.
(9) Horne, ibid, p. 363.
(10) Horne, ibid, p. 413.
(11) Gordon A. Craig, "Europe Since 1815," 2nd edition, (New York:Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1966), p. 356.
(12) Horne, op.cit., p. 293.
(13) Mark Almond, "Revolution: 500 years of struggle for change," (London:De Agostini Editions, 1996), p. 92.
(14) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 77.
(15) Almond, op.cit., p. 93.
(16) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 80.
(17) Almond, op.cit., p. 94.
(18) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 81.
(19) Craig, ibid, p. 87.
(20) Craig, ibid, p. 92.
(21) Craig, ibid, p. 91.
(22) Craig, ibid, pp. 130-131.
(23) Almond, op.cit., p. 99.
(24) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 133.
(25) Almond, op.cit., p. 100.
(26) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 134.
(27) Almond, op.cit., p. 114.
(28) Horne, op.cit., p. 302.
(29) Horne, ibid, p. 330.
(30) Horne, ibid, p. 331.
(31) Horne, ibid, pp. 333-334.
(32) Horne, ibid, pp. 349-351.
(33) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 88.
(34) Craig, ibid, p. 134.
(35) Craig, ibid, p. 134.
(36) Almond,"Revolution," op.cit., p. 99.
(37) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 134.
(38) Craig, ibid, p. 142.
(39) Craig, ibid, p. 142.
(40) Almond,"Revolution," op.cit., p. 101.
(41) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 142.
(42) Almond,"Revolution," op.cit., p. 101.
(43) Mary Gabriel, "Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution," (New York:Little, Brown and Company, 2011), p. 148.
(44) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 90.
(45) Craig, ibid, p. 143.
(46) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 6.
(47) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 90.
(48) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., pp. 3-4.
(49) J. Christopher Herold, "The Horizon Book of the Age of Napoleon," (New York:American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1963), p. 118
(50) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 90.
(51) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 4.
(52) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 181.
(53) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 4.
(54) Wawro, ibid, p. 4.
(55) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 90.
(56) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 4.
(57) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., pp. 90-91.
(58) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 6.
(59) Wawro, ibid, p. 6.
(60) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 143.
(61) Almond,"Revolution," op.cit., p. 101.
(62) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 6.
(63) Almond,"Revolution," op.cit., p. 101.
(64) Almond, ibid, p. 101.
(65) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 144.
(66) Craig, ibid, p. 181.
(67) Craig, ibid, p. 182.
(68) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 7.
(69) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 183.
(70) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 7.
(71) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 184.
(72) Craig, ibid, p. 183.
(73) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 7.
(74) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 184.
(75) Craig, ibid, p. 185.
(76) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 27.
(77) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 185.
(78) Craig, ibid, p. 186.
(79) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 7.
(80) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 187.
(81) Craig, ibid, p. 188.
(82) Craig, ibid, p. 189.
(83) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 8.
(84) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 23.
(85) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 189.
(86) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 18.
(87) Gabriel, op.cit., p. 201.
(88) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 4.
(89) Horne, ibid, pp. 5-6.
(90) Horne, ibid, p. 12.
(91) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 27.
(92) Wawro, ibid, p. 9.
(93) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 25.
(94) Horne, ibid, p. 25.
(95) Horne, ibid, p. 24.
(96) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 25.
(97) Wawro, ibid, pp. 29-30.
(98) Wawro, ibid, p. 33.
(99) Wawro, ibid, pp. 34-36.
(100) Wawro, ibid, pp. 36-37.
(101) Wawro, ibid, p. 37.
(102) Wawro, ibid, pp. 38-39.
(103) Wawro, ibid, p. 65.
(104) Wawro, ibid, pp. 67-68.
(105) Wawro, ibid, p. 66.
(106) Wawro, ibid, p. 52.
(107) Wawro, ibid, p. 58.
(108) Wawro, ibid, p. 223.
(109) Wawro, ibid, p. 58.
(110) Wawro, ibid, p. 42.
(111) Wawro, ibid, p. 48.
(112) Wawro, ibid, p. 50.
(113) Wawro, ibid, p. 48.
(114) Wawro, ibid, p. 47.
(115) Wawro, ibid, p. 49.
(116) Wawro, ibid, p. 46.
(117) Wawro, ibid, p. 25.
(118) Wawro, ibid, p. 68.
(119) Wawro, ibid, p. 69.
(120) Wawro, ibid, p. 72.
(121) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 258.
(122) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 191.
(123) Wawro, ibid, pp. 190-191.
(124) Wawro, ibid, p. 83.
(125) Wawro, ibid, p. 84.
(126) Wawro, ibid, p. 93.
(127) Wawro, ibid, p. 102.
(128) Wawro, ibid, pp. 104-105.
(129) Wawro, ibid, p. 106.
(130) Wawro, ibid, pp. 110-117.
(131) Wawro, ibid, p. 119.
(132) Wawro, ibid, p. 132.
(133) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 45.
(134) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., pp. 122-133.
(135) Wawro, ibid, p. 123.
(136) Wawro, ibid, p. 126.
(137) Wawro, ibid, pp. 128-129.
(138) Wawro, ibid, p. 134.
(139) Wawro, ibid, pp. 135-136.
(140) Wawro, ibid, p. 138.
(141) Wawro, ibid, pp. 140-141.
(142) Wawro, ibid, p. 38.
(143) Wawro, ibid, p. 141.
(144) Wawro, ibid, pp. 141-142.
(145) Wawro, ibid, pp. 142-143.
(146) Wawro, ibid, p. 145.
(147) Wawro, ibid, p. 160.
(148) Wawro, ibid, p. 151.
(149) Wawro, ibid, p. 54.
(150) Wawro, ibid, pp. 156-157.
(151) Wawro, ibid, p. 157.
(152) Wawro, ibid, p. 158.
(153) Wawro, ibid, pp. 158-159.
(154) Wawro, ibid, p. 160.
(155) Wawro, ibid, p. 169.
(156) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 46.
(157) Jeremy Black, ed., "Great Military Leaders and Their Campaigns," (London:Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2008), p. 215.
(158) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 169.
(159) Wawro, ibid, p. 182.
(160) Wawro, ibid, pp. 169-170.
(161) Wawro, ibid, p. 170.
(162) Wawro, ibid, p. 173.
(163) Wawro, ibid, p. 175.
(164) Wawro, ibid, p. 176.
(165) Wawro, ibid, pp. 177-178.
(166) Wawro, ibid, p. 184.
(167) Wawro, ibid, p. 184.
(168) Wawro, ibid, pp. 186-187.
(169) Wawro, ibid, p. 198.
(170) Wawro, ibid, p. 201.
(171) Wawro, ibid, p. 167.
(172) Wawro, ibid, p. 203.
(173) Wawro, ibid, p. 206.
(174) Wawro, ibid, pp. 207-208.
(175) Wawro, ibid, p. 215.
(176) Wawro, ibid, p. 234.
(177) Wawro, ibid, p. 227.
(178) Wawro, ibid, p. 228.
(179) Wawro, ibid, p. 299.
(180) Wawro, ibid, p. 240.
(181) Wawro, ibid, p. 299.
(182) Wawro, ibid, pp. 233-234.
(183) Wawro, ibid, p. 251.
(184) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 75.
(185) Horne, ibid, p. 79.
(186) Horne, ibid, p. 49.
(187) Horne, ibid, p. 69.
(188) Horne, ibid, p. 202.
(189) Horne, ibid, p. 63.
(190) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 236.
(191) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 203.
(192) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 254.
(193) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., pp. 83-85.
(194) Horne, ibid, pp. 138-140.
(195) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., pp. 274-275.
(196) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 121.
(197) Horne, ibid, p. 107.
(198) Horne, ibid, p. 110.
(199) Horne, ibid, p. 119.
(200) Horne, ibid, p. 136.
(201) Horne, ibid, p. 149.
(202) Horne, ibid, p. 136.
(203) Horne, ibid, p. 176.
(204) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 278.
(205) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 160.
(206) Horne, ibid, p. 193.
(207) Horne, ibid, p. 179.
(208) Horne, ibid, pp. 209-210.
(209) Horne, ibid, p. 212.
(210) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 282.
(211) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., pp. 215-216.
(212) Wawro, "The Franco-Prussian War," op.cit., p. 282.
(213) Wawro, ibid, p. 283.
(214) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 240.
(215) Horne, ibid, p. 240.
(216) Horne, ibid, p. 258.
(217) Horne, ibid, p. 288.
(218) Horne, ibid, p. 255.
(219) Horne, ibid, p. 257.
(220) Horne, ibid, p. 259.
(221) Horne, ibid, pp. 260-261.
(222) Horne, ibid, pp. 262-264.
(223) Horne, ibid, pp. 266-267.
(224) Horne, ibid, p. 269.
(225) Horne, ibid, pp. 268-270.
(226) Horne, ibid, p. 272.
(227) Horne, ibid, p. 275.
(228) Horne, ibid, p. 268.
(229) Horne, ibid, p. 283.
(230) Horne, ibid, p. 288.
(231) Horne, ibid, p. 268.
(232) Horne, ibid, p. 280.
(233) Horne, ibid, p. 281.
(234) Horne, ibid, pp. 247-251.
(235) Horne, ibid, p. 302.
(236) Horne, ibid, p. 306.
(237) Horne, ibid, pp. 307-308.
(238) Horne, ibid, p. 310.
(239) Horne, ibid, pp. 312-313.
(240) Horne, ibid, p. 314.
(241) Horne, ibid, p. 314.
(242) Horne, ibid, p. 321.
(243) Horne, ibid, pp. 324-325.
(244) Horne, ibid, p. 326.
(245) Horne, ibid, p. 342.
(246) Horne, ibid, pp. 333-334.
(247) Horne, ibid, pp. 335-336.
(248) Horne, ibid, pp. 337-338.
(249) Horne, ibid, pp. 346-347.
(250) Horne, ibid, p. 351.
(251) Horne, ibid, p. 363.
(252) Horne, ibid, pp. 363-364.
(253) Horne, ibid, pp. 366-367.
(254) Horne, ibid, pp. 370-371.
(255) Horne, ibid, p. 376.
(256) Horne, ibid, p. 380.
(257) Horne, ibid, p. 380.
(258) Horne, ibid, p. 380.
(259) Horne, ibid, p. 385.
(260) Horne, ibid, p. 386.
(261) Horne, ibid, pp. 386-387.
(262) Horne, ibid, p. 388.
(263) Horne, ibid, p. 393.
(264) Horne, ibid, pp. 395-396.
(265) Horne, ibid, p. 397.
(266) Horne, ibid, pp. 389-390.
(267) Horne, ibid, p. 398.
(268) Horne, ibid, p. 400.
(269) Horne, ibid, pp. 401-402.
(270) Horne, ibid, p. 403.
(271) Horne, ibid, p. 408.
(272) Horne, ibid, p. 404.
(273) Horne, ibid, p. 406.
(274) Horne, ibid, pp. 406-407.
(275) Horne, ibid, p. 407.
(276) Horne, ibid, pp. 408-409.
(277) Horne, ibid, pp. 409-410.
(278) Horne, ibid, p. 413.
(279) Horne, ibid, p. 414.
(280) Horne, ibid, p. 430.
(281) Horne, ibid, p. 414.
(282) James Green, "Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing That Divided Gilded Age America," (New York:Anchor Books, 2006), pp. 39-41.
(283) Green, ibid, p. 40.
(284) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 418.
(285) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 81.
(286) Almond,"Revolution," op.cit., p. 81.
(287) Michael Worth Davison, ed., "When, Where, Why & How It Happened," (London:The Reader's Digest Association Limited, 1993), p. 135.
(288) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 416.
(289) Horne, ibid, pp. 414-415.
(290) Horne, ibid, p. 416.
(291) Horne, ibid, p. 416.
(292) Horne, ibid, p. 418.
(293) Horne, ibid, p. 418.
(294) Horne, ibid, p. 413.
(295) Horne, ibid, p. 419.
(296) Horne, ibid, pp. 421-422.
(297) Horne, ibid, pp. 422-423.
(298) Horne, ibid, p. 424.
(299) Horne, ibid, p. 430.
(300) Gabriel, op.cit., p. 413.
(301) Horne, "The Fall of Paris," op.cit., p. 260.
(302) Gabriel, op.cit., p. 414.
(303) Craig, "Europe Since 1815," op.cit., p. 353.
(304) Craig, ibid, p. 354.
(305) Craig, ibid, pp. 275-276.
(306) Craig, ibid, pp. 354-356.
(307) Craig, ibid, pp. 356-357.
(308) Craig, ibid, p. 359.
(309) Craig, ibid, p. 360.
(310) Craig, ibid, pp. 361-362.
(311) Craig, ibid, p. 365-366.
(312) Craig, ibid, pp. 366-367.
(313) Craig, ibid, p. 366.
(314) Craig, ibid, p. 368.
(315) Craig, ibid, p. 374.