The 1871 Paris Commune encouraged, officially and in practice, the participation of non-French nationalities in its many concerns, both in decision-making and in actual ground-level actions. Thus it was not only following the internationalist tradition of the 1848 Revolution, but strengthened it further. Increasingly, its internationalism advanced along proletarian-socialist lines, especially thanks to the direct role of many members of the International in the Commune’s leadership.

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Vive La Commune women on the frontlines

The editors of PRISM has prepared this “Primer on the 1871 Paris Commune on its 150th Anniversary” as one of our contributions in commemorating the historic and world-shaking event.

This three-part primer starts in Part I with major events that shook Europe in the 19th century and set the stage for the war that broke out between France and Germany in 1870—the Franco-Prussian War. This war directly resulted in the fall of the Second French Empire and the rise of the Third Republic—which in turn triggered a rapid chain of events leading to the Paris Commune of 1871.

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