Tony Cliff

Class Struggle and Women’s Liberation

3. Women in the Paris Commune



One of the most heroic chapters in the history of working women’s struggles is that of the Paris Commune of 1871.

In the summer of 1870 a war broke out between Bismarck’s Germany and France under Emperor Napoleon III. For France it was a disaster. On 3 September the entire French army at Sedan was surrounded and the Emperor captured by the Prussians. In the political furore that followed, France was proclaimed a republic. On 28 January 1871 a truce was proclaimed and in February elections were held to a new National Assembly. The result was a massive victory for the monarchist-right throughout the French provinces. At the head of the National Government was Adolphe Thiers, for decades an extreme conservative monarchist. The seat of the National Assembly and the government was Versailles, some ten miles from Paris.

Paris, however, was completely out of step with the central government. From 18 September 1870 until the truce four months later, Paris was under siege by the Prussians. This radicalised the population. It also left the capital in a state of economic collapse. The winter had been the severest in memory. Food and fuel were very scarce. In February there were bread riots. The Parisians also suffered from severe unemployment. For most working men the only source of income was the 1.50 francs daily pay of the National Guard. Practically every working man had taken to arms and the National Guard grew to 300,000.

Thiers, as head of a government which did not rule its own capital, was intent on taking control of Paris. The main obstacle to his plans was the National Guard. On 18 March 1871 his troops tried to seize the National Guard cannons. This assault was repulsed. The representatives of the right fled from the city and the workers elected their own government. The Commune was born.

The Paris Commune of 1871 was a new type of state. As Marx wrote in The Civil War in France: “It was essentially a working-class government, the product of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economic emancipation of labour.” [1]

A state without a standing army or bureaucracy was established: all officials, including judges, were elected, were subject to recall, and were paid workmen’s wages.

On March 30 the Commune abolished conscription and the standing army and declared the sole armed force to be the National Guard, in which all citizens capable of bearing arms were to be enrolled. It remitted all payments of rent for dwelling houses from October 1870 until April, the amounts already paid to be booked as future rent payments, and stopped all sales of articles pledged in the municipal loan office. On the same day the foreigners elected to the Commune were confirmed in office, because “the flag of the Commune is the flag of the World Republic.” ... On the 6th, the guillotine was brought out by the 137th battalion of the National Guard, and publicly burnt, amid great popular rejoicing. On the 12th, the Commune decided that the Victory Column on the Place Vendôme, which had been cast from captured guns by Napoleon after the war of 1809, should be demolished as a symbol of chauvinism and incitement to national hatred. This was carried out on May 16. On April 16 it ordered a statistical tabulation of factories which had been closed down by the manufacturers, and the working out of plans for the operation of these factories by the workers formerly employed in them, who were to be organised in co-operative societies, and also plans for the organisation of these co-operatives in one great union. On the 20th it abolished night work for bakers, and also the employment offices, which since the Second Empire had been run as a monopoly by creatures appointed by the police – labour exploiters of the first rank; these offices were transferred to the mayoralties of the twenty arrondissements of Paris. On April 30 it ordered the closing of the pawnshops, on the ground that they were a private exploitation of the workers, and were in contradiction with the right of the workers to their instruments of labour and to credit. [2]



The heritage of petty bourgeois ideas

Sadly the Commune suffered from the spiritual heritage of generations. France’s revolutionary traditions were both an encouragement to revolution and a restrictive mould. As Marx wrote some twenty years before the Commune: “The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.”

This tradition can be summed up as petty bourgeois radicalism. It found nourishment in the backwardness of French industry, where small enterprises dominated.

... the Parisian working population of the end of the Empire was still far from being an industrial proletariat. The 1872 census gave 44 per cent of the working population as industrial, but there were probably only about fifteen factories that employed more than a hundred workers apiece, and a further hundred factories each employing between twenty and fifty workers. [3]

The narrow horizons of French workers in small workshops moulded the attitude of many of them towards women. The ideas that dominated here were those of Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1875), the father of French anarchism, which was an ideology par excellence of the radical petty bourgeoisie. His views on women, which he expounded in great detail, were reactionary. He pointed to the physical smallness of woman and her supposed passivity in the sexual act as proof of her weaker nature; to her large hips, pelvis, and breasts as proof of her sole function as child-bearer; and to the relative smallness of the female brain (an undeniable, though irrelevant, fact) as proof of her intellectual inferiority. Using a curious system of numerical values which he assigned to both sexes, he suggested that man’s relation to woman was physically 3:2 and that this ratio must also prevail in initiative, educability, potential, and so forth: man was master and woman must obey.

“Genius,” he proclaimed, “is virility of spirit and its accompanying powers of abstraction, generalisation, creation, and conception; the child, the eunuch, and the woman lack these gifts in equal measure.”

According to Proudhon, woman has been chosen by nature merely as an instrument of reproduction; that is, her only use to society is to function as a bearer of children and in herself she does not otherwise have a reason for being. To man, she costs more than he earns and her existence, therefore, is sustained by the perpetual sacrifice he makes.

Only two careers were open to woman, said Proudhon: “housewife or harlot”. “... every woman who dreams of emancipation has lost, ipso facto, the health of her soul, the lucidity of her intellect, the virginity of her heart.” To guard against such corruption, Proudhon recommended that grounds for wife-killing include “adultery, impudence, treason, drunkenness or debauchery, wastefulness or theft, and persistent insubordination.” Why not? Woman was only a “pretty animal”. To listen to the “literary eunuchs” who argued for woman s equality was reprehensible: “... its inevitable consequences are free love, condemnation of marriage, condemnation of womanhood, jealousy and secret hatred of men, and, to crown the system, inextinguishable lechery: such, invariably, is the philosophy of the emancipated woman.” [4]

A historian of French socialism and feminism, M.J. Boxer, summed up the social roots of Proudhon’s ideas accurately:

Proudhon, the son of a cooper and a cook, represented very well the typical French worker, peasant, or artisan, who distrusted the power of centralised hierarchical command. Within the province of the family, French Catholic tradition overshadowed anticlericalism. Proudhon’s maxim, “No family, no civilization, no republic”, expressed the sentiment of many French workers. [5]

His attitude to women was part and parcel of his general petty bourgeois world outlook. Reflecting the ideals of independent artisans, owners of property and patriarchal rulers of the household, he stressed co-operation rather than class struggle, opposed state ownership of industry, and was against strikes. He was against the rich, but also against the workers who fought them:

... the poor exploit the rich, the workers their employers, the tenant his landlord, the company promoter his shareholders, no less than the capitalist exploits and puts pressure on the industrialist, the industrialist his workers, and the landlord his tenants. [6]

The International Workingmen’s Association – later known as the First International – was founded in 1864 and its General Council, led by Marx, voted to admit women to membership. But the French delegation voted against this by a “large majority”, on the grounds that “he place of woman is by the home fire, not at the Forum ... To men belong labour and the study of human problems; to women, child care and adornment of the worker’s home”. The conflict was resolved by allowing each section to define its own membership. [7] (The French decision was not retroactive, so some women were allowed to continue as members.)

The French delegates wanted to end women’s work. The “greatest name on earth is the name of father,” the earner, they asserted. Woman nevertheless played an important role in society, since her “department”, the family, constituted the “cornerstone of the entire social edifice ... the soothing refuge of saddened hearts, anguished and distressed souls ... We do not believe it useful for society to give her yet another vocation. If the wife of a worker became a deputy who would salt the worker’s soup?” She must also serve as educator of his children, “on the express condition (however) that the father acts as directing force.” Industrial labour would prevent her from “obeying her natural disposition.” They would not accept it, they declared, “either in present society or, especially, in the reorganised socialist society.” [8]

The majority of the members of the Paris Commune of 1871 who were also members of the International Workingmen’s Association were adherents of Proudhon. The life of the Commune – 72 days – was too short to overcome the contradiction between its revolutionary impetus and the dead burden of the past which weighed upon it.



Women in the Commune

There are many witnesses to the crucial role played by women in the Commune. One reactionary writer declared:

The weaker sex behaved scandalously during these deplorable days ... Those who gave themselves to the Commune – and there were many – had but a single ambition: to raise themselves above the level of man by exaggerating his vices ... They were all there, agitating and squawking ... the gentleman’s seamstresses; the gentleman’s shirt- makers; the teachers of grown-up schoolboys; the maids-of-all-work ... What was profoundly comic was that these absconders from the workhouse unfailingly invoked Joan of Arc, and were not above comparing themselves to her ... During the final days, all of these bellicose viragos held out longer than the men did behind the barricades.

And from Dauban, also an extreme reactionary:

The women were like the men: ardent, implacable, frenzied. Never had they turned out in such great number, braving peril and defying death. They dressed the horrible wounds made by case-shot, shells, and cylindrical bullets; they ran to the side of those who, under the pressure of unheard-of tortures, were howling, sobbing, and bellowing with pain and rage; then, their eyes filled with blood, their ears full of those cries torn from the last living shreds of flesh, they resolutely took up the chassepot [a kind of gun] and ran toward the same wounds and the same agony. And what dauntlessness at the barricades, what ferocity in combat, what presence of mind, against the wall, before the firing squad ...

“If the French nation were composed only of French women,” wrote the correspondent of The Times on 19 May 1871, “what a terrible nation it would be.” [9]

On the first day of the Commune, 18 March, women played a crucial role in neutralising the troops sent by Thiers to seize the cannons of the National Guard. At Montmartre General Lecomte gave the order to fire. At this the women spoke to the soldiers: “Will you fire upon us? On your brothers? Our husbands? Our children?” General d’Aurelles de Paladine describes what happened:

The women and children came and mixed with the troops. We were greatly mistaken in permitting these people to approach our soldiers, for they mingled among them, and the women and children told them: “You will not fire upon the people”. This is how the soldiers of the 88th, as far as I can see, and of another line regiment, found themselves surrounded and did not have the power to resist these ovations that were given them. People were shouting, “Long live the line!”

Faced with this unexpected intervention, the soldiers hesitated. A warrant officer stood in front of his company and shouted: “Mutiny!” Thereupon the 88th battalion fraternised with the crowd. The soldiers arrested their general.

In the rue Houdon crowds of women assembled. General Susbielle gave the order to charge. “But, intimidated by the women s cries, the cavalry, ‘backed up their horses’, which made people laugh. Everywhere ... the crowd, mostly composed of women, surrounded the soldiers, stopped the horses, cut the harnesses, forced the ‘bewildered’ soldiers to fraternise with their ‘brothers’ in the National Guard.” [10]



The Union des Femmes

One of the most important and by far the most clearsighted revolutionary organisation of women was the Union des Femmes pour la Défense de Paris a les Soins aux Blessés (Women’s Union for the Defence of Paris and for Aid to the Wounded). This was the women’s section of the French section of the First International. It was founded in April 1871 by Elizabeth Dmitrieff (1851-1910), the daughter of a Russian nobleman who had made a fictitious marriage in order to escape from Russia and study in Switzerland. When she came to London she met Marx and became friendly with his daughters. After the fall of the Commune she escaped back to Russia, married a prisoner condemned to deportation in Siberia, accompanied him, and died there. The composition of the Union des Femmes was strongly working-class.

Out of 128 members, we know the professions of 60. All women s trades are represented there: fifteen seamstresses, nine waistcoat- makers, six sewing-machine operators, five dress-makers, five linen- drapers, three makers-up of men’s clothing, two boot-stitchers, two hat-makers, two laundresses, two cardboard-makers, one embroiderer of military decorations, one braid-maker, one tie-maker, one schoolteacher, one perfume-maker, one maker of jewellery, one gold-polisher, one bookstitcher, and one bookbinder. The Central Committee, which in principle was made up of twenty members representing the twenty arrondissements of Paris, accurately reflected this social composition.

The Union was “a responsible organisation of Paris citoyennes who are resolved to support and defend the cause of the people, the Revolution, and the Commune.” In each arrondissement committees were set up to recruit women to serve at ambulance stations, at field kitchens, to administer funds from voluntary collections, to summon the women of the Union “at any hour of the day or night”, on the orders of its Central Committee and at the request of the Commune commissions. “In short, the arrondissement committees were charged with the mobilisation of women.” [11]

In its first call to battle, issued on 11 April, the Union boldly declared its socialism and internationalism:

Paris is being blockaded. Paris is being bombarded. Citoyennes ... Do you hear the roaring cannon, the tocsin ringing out the sacred call? To arms! The homeland is in danger! Were those foreigners who were coming to attack Paris threatening those triumphs called “liberty, equality, and fraternity”? No, these enemies, these murderers of the people and of liberty, are Frenchmen.

Citoyennes of Paris, descendants of the women of the Great Revolution, the women who, in the name of the people and justice, marched upon Versailles and carried Louis XVI off as a captive – we, the mothers, wives, and sisters of the French people, will we go on allowing poverty and ignorance to make enemies of our children? Allowing them to kill each other – father against son, brother against brother – under our very eyes, for the whim of our oppressors, who want Paris handed over to foreigners and annihilation? ... “Citoyennes, the gauntlet is down. We must win, or die.” [12]

The Union des Femmes summed up its goal as

total social revolution, for the abolition of all existing social and legal structures, for the elimination of all privileges and forms of exploitation, for the replacement of the rule of Capital by the rule of Labour – in short, for the emancipation of the Working Class by the Working Class. [13]

There were many other clubs which organised women, but none were politically so advanced. [14]




Women were also central in the production of arms needed for the defence of the Commune.

Three thousand women seem to have been employed making cartridges. Lissagray describes the workroom in the Corps Législatif building where fifteen hundred women were sewing sandbags for the barricades: “A tall and beautiful girl, Martha, distributed the work; she wore a red, silver-fringed scarf that her friends had given her. Happy songs alleviated their tasks. Every evening, the wages were paid out, and the workers received full payment for their work, 8 centimes per bag. The middleman of former days would have left them 2 centimes at the most.” [15]

Dmitrieff saw the co-operative production, which was taking over as owners neglected their enterprises and ran away from Paris, as the beginning of the socialist re-organisation of the economy. In a report to the Commission of Labour and Exchange set up by the Commune she wrote:

Any re-organisation of labour tending to assure the producer of the proceeds can be effectuated only by means of free productive associations making advantageous use of the various industries to their collective profit. In taking work away from the bondage of capitalist exploitation, the formation of these organisations would eventually allow the workers to run their own business.

It would modify not only the social relations of production, but also the forms of work which were inhuman. It was absolutely necessary that there be variety, for “the continual repetition of the same manual movement has a deadly influence upon the organism and the brain.” The shortening of the working day should also be taken into consideration, for “the exhaustion of physical strength inevitably brings about the extinction of moral strength.” Finally, it would be a good idea to abolish “any competition between workers of different sexes”, since, in the struggle they were waging against capitalism, their interests were identical. Wages ought to be equal for equal work. [16]

Women were active in running ambulances to nurse the wounded. They bore the main responsibility for organising soup kitchens and helping the poor.

Women played an important part in formulating and partially implementing a series of progressive educational reforms. One Parisian child in three did not get any formal education at all. Of those who did more than half had to go to church schools. Girls’ education was even more under church control than boys’. The Commune took significant steps to change the situation, towards a state-funded system of compulsory education, free of clerical influence, balancing humanities and sciences and combining them with useful technical training. Girls’ education was given special attention, having been the most neglected area. A special commission with an all-female membership was formed to oversee attempts made to set up girls’ schools. An industrial school for girls was established. As a means of helping working women, early efforts were made to establish day nurseries near the factories. [17]

These educational efforts of the Commune were the first steps towards women’s equality and liberation. Unfortunately history did not allow the opportunity to achieve significant and permanent results.

Many women and their organisations had a hostile, reactionary attitude toward prostitutes. Thus

The Club de I’Ecole de Médicine demanded “that all women of suspect morality plying their shameful trade on the public thoroughfares” be immediately arrested, and likewise “the drunkards who have forgotten their self-respect”; that the cafes be closed at 11 o’clock at night; that smoking at concerts be forbidden. This document was approved unanimously. The residents of the 1st and 2nd arrondissements congratulated the municipal council of the 11th for having taken measures concerning prostitutes and drunkards, and asked that a decree of the same sort be applied to their neighbourhood ... The members of the Commune in the 15th arrondissement had prostitutes and drunkards arrested. [18]

But many other women adopted a different attitude, and many prostitutes revealed a courageous readiness to fight for the Commune. Amanda, a prostitute, suggested at the Club Saint-Séverin that the Commune should form a special battalion of prostitutes.

Louise Michel, a leading woman Communard, went out of her way to reject any moral condemnation of the prostitutes. “Who had more of a right than they, the saddest victims of the old world, to give their life for the new one?” Therefore she directed them to a committee of women (the 18th arrondissement Vigilance Committee of the Union des Femmes) “whose spirits were generous enough to let these women be welcomed.”

“We shall never bring shame down upon the Commune,” these prostitutes said. Many, indeed, died courageously on the barricades during the bloody week in May when the Commune was suppressed. [19]

According to Edith Thomas, however, most prostitutes were not reliable supporters of the Commune: “... most of them, degraded for good by their ‘profession’, much more often than not collaborated with the police, and were ‘respectful’ of the established order.” [20]

The Commune also saw the first growing shoots of a new sexual morality and women’s emancipation. Marriage came in for strong condemnation. The Commune decreed on 10 April a pension for the widows and children of “all citizens killed defending the rights of the people”, whether the children were legitimate or not. This in effect meant putting the free unions common among the working-class population of Paris on an equal footing with marriage. “This decree,” said Arnould afterwards and rather hopefully, “delivered a mortal blow to the religio-monarchical institution of marriage as we see it functioning in modern society.”

Some women wanted to go further. A woman in one popular club in the church of Saint-Jacques declaimed against marriage as “the greatest error of past humanity”, and proposed that only the unmarried companions of National Guards killed in the fighting should receive the pension. “Everything for the free women, nothing for the slaves.” [21]

The strong traditions of Republicanism had exercised a powerful influence over the political and intellectual life of France since 1789. Because the Catholic Church had fought against the revolution, the Republican tradition put anti-clericalism in a central position in the political debate and gave great importance to education, for whose control it struggled against the church throughout the nineteenth century.

In the course of the French revolution, when working women and their children were starving, they had swung from an extreme revolutionary position to counter-revolutionary Catholicism. Because of this the Republican tradition had become anti-feminist. It was based on a general mistrust of women politically, because it was believed they were much more under the influence of the priests than men. Hence the Commune did not even think of giving women the vote.

... the goals of the Commune, set forth in a Declaration to the French people, took no account of women’s existence. The men of the Commune did not foresee for a single instant that women might have civic rights, any more than did their “great forbears” of 1789 and 1793, or the revolutionaries of 1848. [22]

Thus we have one of the strangest paradoxes of the Commune: that working-class women played a massive role in a revolution which did not even allow them to vote. This must be seen, however, not lust as anti-feminism, but as part of the Commune’s general political immaturity. Elections to the Commune were held on the basis of the existing franchise and even the overwhelmingly hostile wealthy arrondissements took part. The Communards never understood the role and nature of the State and insisted on “rebelling constitutionally”.



The final days

But the days of the Commune were numbered. The revolutionary changes that were taking place in Paris remained largely isolated from the rest of France because of the siege by German troops, while, with the connivance of the Germans, Thiers was able to build up an army. The troops gathered at Versailles without any attempt by the Communards to stop them. They first shelled the city, then invaded. The Communards fought back, barricade by barricade. When the Communards were eventually defeated and disarmed, the vengeance of the government was bloody and appalling. Thousands of men, women and children were simply lined up and shot.

Until the last moments women showed exceptional courage in defending the Commune.

National Guards, women and children, workers in their blouses, worked all day and into the night constructing the defences on which many of them were to die. On the Place du Pantheon a barricade was built by women, wearing long scarves and red cockades, and children singing the Chant du Depart and the Marseillaise. In the Place Blanche on the Boulevard Clichy a battalion of 120 women erected the legendary barricade which they defended vigorously on the Tuesday, many being massacred after it fell. In the eastern part of the 18th arrondissement Josephine Courtois, who had already earned the title, “Queen of the Barricades”, for her role in the Lyon uprising in 1848, and a member of the clubs in her district, was requisitioning empty casks to help build a barricade at the corner of the rue Doudeauville and the rue Stephenson. She handed out cartridges and sent her little girl to take ammunition to the fighters. Edith Thomas in her book on women during the Commune lists many other similar figures, afterwards arrested and tried for their part on the barricades. [23]

When the Commune fell, women and children followed their husbands and their fathers, crying to the soldiers: “Shoot us with them!” And they were shot. Women were seen to come down into the streets, enraged by these butcheries, strike the officers and then throw themselves against a wall waiting for death. [24]

The heroic activities of the women of the Commune, combined with the fires started by Versailles shells and by counter-revolutionaries trying to destroy evidence of their past corruption, gave rise to a mass hysteria about women incendiaries, the

legend of the petroleuses, which, born of fear and propagated by the press, cost hundreds of unfortunate women their lives. The rumour was spread that furies were throwing burning petroleum into the cellars. Every woman who was badly dressed, or carrying a milk-can, a pail, an empty bottle, was pointed out as a pétroleuse, her clothes torn to tatters, she was pushed against the nearest wall, and killed with revolver-shots. [25]

After the defeat of the Commune 1,051 women were brought before the Councils of War:

The Parisian working and artisan class claimed 756 of them, seamstresses, embroiderers, journeywomen, laundresses, linen-drapers, dressmakers, bookbinders, and so forth. We find only one woman of property, four schoolteachers, thirty-three proprietresses of hotels or cafes, eleven shop- or workroom-owners; 246 are “without profession”. [26]

These women showed magnificent courage. A woman replied to the accusation of having killed two soldiers: “May God punish me for not having killed more. I had two sons at Issy; they were both killed. And two at Neuilly. My husband died at this barricade – and now do what you want with me.” She was undressed and shot. [27]

Louise Michel, in her court appearance, assumed total responsibility, before the tribunal and before history, for her acts:

I have been told that I am an accomplice of the Commune. Certainly, yes; for the Commune wanted, above all else, the Social Revolution, and the Social Revolution is the dearest of my desires. Even more, I am honoured in being one of the promoters of the Commune ... Since it seems that every heart that beats for freedom has no right to anything but a little slug of lead, I demand my share. If you let me live, I shall never cease to cry for vengeance. [28]

The Vengeance of Versailles was terrible – especially the vengeance of the Versailles ladies. When the Commune fell, Lissagray writes, “Elegant and joyous women, as in a pleasure trip, betook themselves to the corpses, and, to enjoy the sight of the valorous dead, with the ends of sunshades raised their last coverings.” [29] One sees, said the liberal-conservative newspaper La Siècle on 30 May 1871, “elegant ladies insult the prisoners on their passage, and even strike them with their sunshades.” [30] At the anniversary of the Commune a historian remarked: “According to reports, the elegantly dressed ladies were the most violent, especially against their own sex.” [31]



In conclusion

The Parisian workers, women and men, revealed – for a moment – a glimpse of human potential, of human freedom. Women demonstrated fantastic courage and initiative on the barricades, in the new co-operatives and education and in the new ideas concerning sexual morality. The Commune showed, however, that though working-class brothers and sisters fought and died together, they did not achieve complete unity.

The revolutionary tradition of France and Paris was double-edged: it encouraged the revolutionary actions of the workers – men and women – but also acted as a conservative mould to their thoughts and actions. The artisan nature of industry strengthened this mould. The ideas of Proudhon were the result and the cause of contradictions and splits between men and women. The Commune gave us a glimpse of women’s liberation, as if through an opaque glass.

For women Communards, the winning of women’s rights depended on the winning of workers’ rights. Both were won only very partially. The Parisian working class was still immature and lacked a clear political leadership; the conditions of siege hemmed tin. Above all, the lifespan of the Commune was far too short.

While between women Communards and men Communards complete unity was not achieved, between the women Communards and the bourgeois women there was no common ground whatsoever: a life-and-death struggle took place to settle accounts. The vengeance and venom of the bourgeois women towards their working-class “sisters” knew no bounds.


1. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Writings on the Paris Commune, edited by Hal Draper (New York 1971), p.76.

2. Writings on the Paris Commune, pp.27-8.

3. S. Edwards, The Communards of Paris 1871 (London 1973), p.15.

4. Quoted in F. Hyams, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (London 1979), p.274.

5. M.J. Boxer, Socialism faces Feminism in France 1879-1913 (PhD thesis, University of California), p.33.

6. Hyams, p.246.

7. Minutes of the General Council of the First International (Moscow, no date given), Vol.1, pp.92-241.

8. Boxer, pp.33-4.

9. Quotes from P Lissagray, History of the Paris Commune (London 1976), page 419.

10. Edith Thomas, The Women Incendiaries (London 1966), p.45-6.

11. Thomas, pp.62-4.

12. Thomas, pp.55-6.

13. E. Shulkind, The Paris Commune of 1871 (London 1971), pp.33-4.

14. See Thomas, chapter 6.

15. Thomas, pp.66-7.

16. Thomas, p.70.

17. Edwards, pp.117-20.

18. Thomas, p.89.

19. Thomas, p.90.

20. Thomas, p.202.

21. Edwards, The Paris Commune of 1871 (London 1971), p.290.

22. Thomas, p.53. It is astonishing that Marx writes that the Commune gave “universal sufffrage” (in The Civil War in France, Writings on the Paris Commune, p.74), not noticing that half the adult population – women – were excluded. Lenin, writing on the Commune in State and Revolution, makes the same mistake.

23. Edwards, The Paris Commune 1871, pp.3 17-8.

24. Lissagray, p.307.

25. Lissagray, pp.277-8.

26. Thomas, pp.20 1-3.

27. Edwards, The Paris Commune 1871, p.330.

28. Thomas, pp.167-70.

29. Lissagray, p.305.

30. Lissagray, p.316.

31. Edwards, The Paris Commune 1871, p.201.


Last updated on 31.7.2002