The International Working Men's Association was founded in 1864 and later known as the First International.
After ordering Paris to be bombarded and putting the city to siege so that he could negotiate with representatives authorized to speak for the French people as a whole, Bismarck insisted on national elections based on universal manhood suffrage so that he could negotiate with representatives authorized to speak for the French people as a whole.
The elections held in February 1871 were very conservative.
Most of France's rural and propertied population believed that further war was futile and a continuing war only promised to deliver the country into the hands of the Parisian radicals.
Beyond that, what the revolutionaries hoped to accomplish was not easy to describe because they were so divided among themselves.
The fear and hatred of the newly elected National Assembly, headed by Adolphe Thiers, a prominent politician who feared and hated the Parisian radicals, united the left in the early spring.
The Franco-Prussian War evolved into a French civil war between the Parisian radicals and the conservatives in the National Assembly.
This civil war is one of the most haunting chapters of French history, not so much because of its brutal violence, but because of what the leaders of the Paris Commune tried to do with the power they temporarily had.
Military defense was the most pressing concern.
The residents of Paris experienced terrible hardship as a result of the siege by the Versailles forces.
They were driven to eat their pets, stray cats, rats, wallpaper, boiled weeds and grass, and the animals of the Paris zoo.
There was a festive quality to life in Paris even as gunfire could be heard daily.
Mass rituals to honor those who died in battle against the Versailles troops were similar to those in the 1790s.
The lower orders were removed from the inner city because of the urban redevelopment of the Second Empire.
The lower classes attended the concerts and plays to benefit the wounded, widowed, and orphan.
What the Communards believed they could accomplish in the long run is a puzzle.
The idea of leaving their mark on history as an inspiration for future generations may have been what drove some of them.
The leaders of the Commune ordered the burning of the guillotine, abolished the death penalty, and toppled the Vendome Column in order to popularize their actions.
The red flag of Paris was raised over the meetings of the Commune rather than the republican tricolor.
Giving the vote to women was one of the progressive measures of the time.
The property of the church was taken over by the school.
The intent of many laws was to alleviate the hardship of the lower classes.
The abandoned properties were handed over to associations of workers when the propertied part of the population left.
It was debated if the rule of the Commune constituted a "dictatorship of the proletariat".
The rule of the Commune was claimed to be what Marx meant by the term.
The level of violence and wanton destruction rose in the spring despite the Commune's dictatorship being mild.
Executions of hostages, including the archbishop of Paris, were part of an increase in atrocities by both sides.
The last week of May was known as "Bloody Week", when a lot of downtown Paris was on fire.
Some 150 Communards were taken prisoner, lined up along a wall, and executed in a legendary battle among the tombstones of the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
Executions continued for days in all parts of the city.
Many of the captured were sentenced to prison, and the final toll of dead and wounded was much higher than during the June days of 1848.
Thousands of others went into hiding.
More than 300,000 denunciations were made to the Versailles authorities after a mass exodus of left-wingers from the city.
The French left wouldn't recover for a long time.
It would take nearly five years for a new constitution to be agreed upon.
Bonapartists couldn't reach an agreement.
France's third republic, which was just a temporary one, was later to be converted into a monarchy.
Observers in other nations were appalled by the savagery of the Paris Commune.
Left-leaning observers blamed the right for the violence, while the right blamed the left.
British observers of all stripes could not help but be happy that their own country had taken a different path.
The overall mood in Britain was positive by 1871.
The 1850s and 1860s had been excellent years for the country in terms of economic productivity but also in the peaceful relations between the working class and the owners of capital.
It wasn't a happy story.
The disease and slaughter of the Crimean War cost the country 60,000 lives, even if it was Britain's only major involvement in Continental warfare until 1914.
The possibility of a future solution to the Social Question was viewed with a more widely shared optimism than before, despite the dark side of modern times.
Napoleon I's troops were named after him because of his efforts to make them feel that any one of them could aspire to the heights he had attained.
In Britain, the tone was more upbeat and anti-statist, and was embraced by a larger part of the population.
Men who are constantly complaining about their ill luck are only reaping the consequences of their own mismanagement.
He was not considered to be one of the most sophisticated thinkers of the age, though he had a large audience and a readership that was much larger than that of Marx or Proudhon.
His negative experience in the Chartist movement contributed to his later pro-capitalist effusions and his belief that political solutions to social problems only made things worse, as they did the all important virtues of individual initiative and self-reliance.