Paris Commune of 1871

The Paris Commune of 1871 was a short-lived revolutionary government established in the city of Paris after France’s crushing defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Despite lasting only two months, the Paris Commune introduced many concepts now considered commonplace in modern democracies, including women’s rights, worker’s rights and the separation of church and state. The uprising came to an end when troops from the Third Republic reclaimed power following a vicious week of fighting that left at least 10,000 Parisians dead and much of the city destroyed. 

Roots of the Paris Commune

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Prince Otto von Bismarck sought to unify all German states under the control of his native state, Prussia. But the Second Empire of France, ruled by Napoleon III (the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte), declared war against Prussia to resist their ambitions.

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