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Paris under the Commune eBook

John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.
efforts of the Deputies of the Seine and the Mayors of Paris have been unequal to rouse the apathy of the Assembly.[21] In vain did Louis Blanc entreat the representatives of France to approve the conciliatory conduct of the representatives of Paris.  “May the responsibility of what may happen be on your own heads!” cried M. Clemenceau.  He was right; a little condescension might have saved all; such obstinacy is fatal.  Deprived of the countenance of the Assembly, and left to themselves, the Deputies and Mayors of Paris, desirous above all of avoiding civil war, have been obliged to accede to the wishes of the Central Committee, and insist upon the municipal elections being proceeded with immediately.  They could not have acted otherwise, and yet it is humiliating for them to have to bow before superior force, and their authority is compromised by so doing.  What the Assembly, representing the whole of France, could have done with no loss of dignity, and even with honour to itself, the former accomplish only at the risk of losing their influence; what to the Assembly would have been an honourable concession is to them dangerous although necessary submission.  The Committee would have been annulled if the Government had consented to the municipal elections, but thanks to a tardy consent, rung from the Deputies and Mayors of Paris, it triumphs.  The result of the humiliation to which the representatives of Paris have been forced to submit to prevent the effusion of blood, will be the entire abdication of their authority, which will remain vested in the Central Committee until the members of the Commune are elected.  Abandoned by the Government since the departure of the chief of the executive power and the ministers, we rallied round the representatives, who, unsustained by the Government, are obliged to submit to the revolutionists.  We must now choose between the Commune and anarchy.

Therefore, to-day, Sunday, the 26th March, the male population of Paris is hurrying to the poll.  It is in vain that the journals have begged the people not to vote; the elections were only announced yesterday, and the electors have had no time to reconsider the choice they have to make, and yet they insist on voting.  Those who decline to obey the suggestions of the Central Committee, will re-elect the late mayors or choose among the deputies, but vote they will.  The present attitude of the regular Government has done much towards furthering the revolution.  The mistakes of the Assembly have diminished in the eyes of the public the crime of revolt.  Everywhere the murder of Generals Clement Thomas and Lecomte is openly regretted; but those who repeat that the Central Committee declares having had nothing to do with it, are listened to with patience.  The rumour that they were shot by soldiers gains ground, and seems less incredulously received.  As to the massacres of the Rue de la Paix, we are told that this event is enveloped in mystery, that the evidence is most contradictory, etc., etc.[22]

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