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Commemorating TraumaThe Paris Commune and Its Cultural Aftermath$
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Peter Starr

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226030

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823226030.001.0001

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Why Confusion? Why the Commune?

Why Confusion? Why the Commune?

(p.13) 1 Why Confusion? Why the Commune?
Commemorating Trauma

Peter Starr

Fordham University Press

Historians have generally seen the French declaration of war against Prussia on July 19, 1870, as doubly determined. From its inception, the Government of National Defense took as its primary objective the establishment of peace with Prussia; in this it was faithful to the will of both the peasantry and the provincial ruling class. But when Parisians learned on October 31 that Thiers was on the verge of signing an armistice with Prussia, large numbers took to the streets. Internally, the Commune was plagued by deep uncertainties as to where power effectively lay, with the Central Committee of the National Guard, the mayors of the twenty arrondissements, the Commune itself, and the Committee of Public Safety all staking their claims.

Keywords:   French, Prussia, Commune, Government of National Defense, National Guard, Committee of Public Safety

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