Paris Commune (French Revolution)

Last updated

Hotel de Ville, Paris, on 9 Thermidor Attaque de la maison commune de Paris.jpg
Hôtel de Ville, Paris, on 9 Thermidor

The Paris Commune during the French Revolution was the government of Paris from 1789 until 1795. Established in the Hôtel de Ville just after the storming of the Bastille, it consisted of 144 delegates elected by the 48 divisions of the city. The Paris Commune became insurrectionary in the summer of 1792, essentially refusing to take orders from the central French government. It took charge of routine civic functions but is best known for mobilizing extreme views and actions among the people and for its campaign to dechristianize the churches and the people. It lost much power in 1794 and was replaced in 1795. [1]

The first mayor was Jean Sylvain Bailly; he was succeeded in November 1791 by Pétion de Villeneuve after Bailly's unpopular use of the National Guard to disperse a riotous assembly in the Champ de Mars (17 July 1791).

In 1792, the Commune was dominated by those Jacobins who were not in the Legislative Assembly due to the Self-Denying Ordinance.

On the night of 9 August 1792 a new revolutionary Commune, led by Georges Danton, Camille Desmoulins and Jacques Hébert took possession of the Hôtel de Ville; the next day insurgents assailed the Tuileries, where the royal family resided. During the ensuing constitutional crisis, the collapsing Legislative Assembly of France was heavily dependent on the Commune for the effective power that allowed it to continue to function as a legislature. The all-powerful Commune demanded custody of the royal family, imprisoning them in the Temple fortress. A list of "opponents of the Revolution" was drawn up, the gates to the city were sealed, and on 28 August the citizens were subjected to domiciliary visits, ostensibly in a search for muskets.

It was not until 1792 that the government had a formal cabinet in place, with the appointment of the Ministers of the French National Convention and the decision of the Commissioners of the Committee of Public Safety in 1794 to take charge of administrative departments.

The government of the republic was succeeded by the French Directory in November 1795.

Notes

  1. François Furet and Mona Ozouf, eds. A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (1989), pp 519-28


Related Research Articles

French Revolution Revolution in France, 1789 to 1799

The French Revolution was a period of social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789 and ending in 1799. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy; established a republic; catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil; and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon, who brought many of the revolution's principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas such as equality before the law, the Revolution influenced the decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies.

Jean Sylvain Bailly French astronomer, mathematician, freemason, and political leader (1736-1793)

Jean Sylvain Bailly was a French astronomer, mathematician, freemason, and political leader of the early part of the French Revolution. He presided over the Tennis Court Oath, served as the mayor of Paris from 1789 to 1791, and was ultimately guillotined during the Reign of Terror.

National Constituent Assembly (France) Revolutionary legislature of France, 1789 to 1791

The National Constituent Assembly was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789 during the first stages of the French Revolution. It dissolved on 30 September 1791 and was succeeded by the Legislative Assembly.

Jacobin political club during the French Revolution

The Society of the Friends of the Constitution, after 1792 renamed Society of the Jacobins, Friends of Freedom and Equality, commonly known as the Jacobin Club or simply the Jacobins, became the most influential political club during the French Revolution of 1789. The period of its political ascendancy includes the Reign of Terror, during which time well over ten thousand people were put on trial and executed in France, many for political crimes.

The Girondins, or Girondists, were members of a loosely knit political faction during the French Revolution.

National Convention Single-chamber assembly in France from 21 September 1792 to 26 October 1795

The National Convention was a parliament of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795.

The Thermidorian Reaction is the common term, in the historiography of the French Revolution, for the period between the ousting of Maximilien Robespierre on 9 Thermidor II, or 27 July 1794, to the inauguration of the French Directory on 1 November 1795. The "Thermidorian Reaction" was named after the month in which the coup took place, and was the latter part of the National Convention's rule of France. It was marked by the end of the Reign of Terror, decentralization of executive powers from the Committee of Public Safety, and a turn from the radical leftist policies of the Montagnard Convention to more conservative positions. Economic and general populism, dechristianization, and harsh wartime measures were largely abandoned, as the members of the Convention, disillusioned and frightened of the centralized government of the Terror, preferred a more stable political order that would have the approval of the affluent. The Reaction saw the Left suppressed by brutal force, including massacres, as well as the disbanding of the Jacobin Club, the dispersal of the sans-culottes, and the renunciation of the Montagnard ideology.

Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet French revolutionary (1746-1825)

Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet was a French politician of the Revolutionary period. His brother, Robert Thomas Lindet, became a constitutional bishop and member of the National Convention. Although his role may not have been spectacular, Jean-Baptiste Lindet came to be the embodiment of the growing middle class that came to dominate French politics during the Revolution.

Louis XVI and the Legislative Assembly

The French Revolution was a period in the history of France covering the years 1789 to 1799, in which republicans overthrew the Bourbon monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church in France perforce underwent radical restructuring. This article covers the one-year period from 1 October 1791 to September 1792, during which France was governed by the Legislative Assembly, operating under the French Constitution of 1791, between the periods of the National Constituent Assembly and of the National Convention.

This is a glossary of the French Revolution. It generally does not explicate names of individual people or their political associations; those can be found in List of people associated with the French Revolution.

September Massacres Wave of killings in France in 2–7 Sept. 1792 during the French Revolution, in which half the prison population of Paris (that is, approx. 1200–1400 people) were summarily executed

The September Massacres were a series of killings of prisoners in Paris that occurred from 2–6 September 1792 during the French Revolution. They lasted from Sunday afternoon until Thursday evening. Charlotte Corday held Jean-Paul Marat responsible, but for Madame Roland it was Georges Danton. Danton was also accused by the French historians Adolphe Thiers, Alphonse de Lamartine, Jules Michelet, Louis Blanc and Edgar Quinet. According to Albert Soboul there is no proof, however, that the massacres were organized by Danton or by anyone else, though it is certain that he did nothing to stop them.

National Legislative Assembly (France) former legislature of France

The Legislative Assembly was the legislature of France from 1 October 1791 to 20 September 1792 during the years of the French Revolution. It provided the focus of political debate and revolutionary law-making between the periods of the National Constituent Assembly and of the National Convention.

Maximin Isnard French politician (1755-1825)

Maximin Isnard, French revolutionary, was a dealer in perfumery at Draguignan when he was elected deputy for the département of the Var to the Legislative Assembly, where he joined the Girondists.

Claude-Emmanuel de Pastoret French politician

Claude-Emmanuel Joseph Pierre, Marquess of Pastoret was a French lawyer, author and politician.

Liège Revolution conflict

The Liège Revolution, sometimes known as the Happy Revolution, started on 18 August 1789 and lasted until the destruction of the Republic of Liège and re-establishment of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège by Austrian forces in 1791. The Liège Revolution was concurrent with the French Revolution and its effects were long-lasting and eventually led to the abolition of the Bishopric of Liège and its final annexation by French revolutionary forces in 1795.

Maximilien Robespierre French revolutionary lawyer and politician

Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was a French lawyer and statesman who was one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, he campaigned for universal manhood suffrage and the abolition both of celibacy for the clergy, and slavery. In 1791, Robespierre became an outspoken advocate for the citizens without a political voice, for their unrestricted admission to the National Guard, to public offices, and for the right to carry arms in self-defence. He played an important part in the agitation which brought about the fall of the French monarchy on 10 August 1792 and the summoning of a National Convention. His goal was to create a united and indivisible France, equality before the law, to abolish prerogatives and to defend the principles of direct democracy.

Insurrection of 31 May – 2 June 1793

The insurrection of 31 May – 2 June 1793, during the French Revolution, resulted in the fall of the Girondin party under pressure of the Parisian sans-culottes, Jacobins of the clubs, and Montagnards in the National Convention. By its impact and importance, this insurrection stands as one of the three great popular insurrections of the French Revolution, following those of 14 July 1789 and 10 August 1792.

Paris in the 18th century

Paris in the 18th century was the second-largest city in Europe, after London, with a population of about 600,000 people. The century saw the construction of Place Vendôme, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Élysées, the church of Les Invalides, and the Panthéon, and the founding of the Louvre Museum. Paris witnessed the end of the reign of Louis XIV, was the center stage of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, saw the first manned flight, and was the birthplace of high fashion and the modern restaurant.