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.
There is evidently a decided reactionary movement in favour of the partizans of the Commune.  Without approving their acts their activity is incontestable.  They have done much in a short time.  People exclaim, “There are men for you!” This state of things is very alarming to all those who have remained faithful to the Assembly, which in spite of its errors has not ceased to be the legal representative of the country.  It is a cruel position for the Parisians who are obliged to choose between a regular Government which they would desire to obey, but which by its faults renders such obedience impossible, and an illegitimate power, that, although guilty in its acts, and stained with crime, still represents the opinions of the republican majority.  By to-night, therefore, the Commune will have been called into existence; an illegal existence it may be argued, doubtless, by the partizans of constitutional legality, who would consider as null and void elections carried on without the consent of the nation, as represented by the Assembly.  Legal or not, however, the elections have taken place, and the fact alone is of some importance.  In a few hours the Executive Power of the Republic will have to treat, whether it will or no, with a force which has constituted itself with as much legality as it had in its power to assume under the circumstances.

FOOTNOTES: 

[Footnote 21:  The news of the check which the Maires of Paris had suffered in the Assembly suddenly loosened the bond which for two days had united the friends of order, and profound discouragement seized upon the public mind.  It was at this moment that the deputies from the Committee presented themselves at the Mairie of the first arrondissement, preceded by three pieces of artillery, a very warlike accompaniment to a deputation.  It was arranged that the Communal election should be managed by the existing Maires, and that the battalions of each quarter of the city, whether federal or not, should occupy the voting places of their sections; but this did not prevent the Committee on the following morning occupying the Mairie of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, in spite of the arrangement, by their most devoted battalions.]

[Footnote 22:  The following are the terms in which the Commune spoke of the events of the 18th March, and excused the murder of the two generals: 

“CITIZENS,—­The day of the 18th of March, which for interested reasons has been travestied in the most odious manner, will be called in history, The Day of the People’s Justice!

The Government, now subverted—­always maladroit—­rushed into a conflict without considering either its own unpopularity, or the fraternal feeling that animates the armies; the entire army, when ordered to commit fratricide, replied with cries of “Vive la Republique!” “Vive la Garde Nationale!”

Two men alone, who had rendered themselves unpopular by acts which we now pronounce as iniquitous, were struck down in a moment of popular indignation.

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Paris under the Commune from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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