As with many great cities in relation to their nations, Paris is not France. Every once in a while, certain Parisians rise up and rebel against oppression and poverty and, then, the rest of France reacts, with equal excess, with a show of disunity with and disavowal of the rebels. Even today, for almost every demonstration, there will be a counter-demonstration. Perhaps the greatest of these rebellion/counter-rebellion events in French history was the Paris Commune, which was linked to the Franco-Prussian War, both of which were linked to the reaction of the rest of France that was the construction of Sacré Coeur in Paris.
It is one hundred fifty years since the Paris Commune and the press is taking note. We have written about its disastrous effects on Parisian genealogical research:
- By the burning of the City Hall
- Who the Communards were and how to research them
- Interviews with some of the last Communards
Should you be interested to read some of the retrospective reports,
- France 24 has a suitable article in English, albeit by a British historian
- RetroNews has a series of articles and podcasts in French that are pithy and quite good, with lots of pictures
- The BBC gives, of course, the British view again in English
- A detailed discussion of the Commune with many contemporary photographs of it from the Library of Congress, a video on YouTube
An absolutely crucial moment in French history to understand.
©2021 Anne Morddel