The Civil War in France. First and Second Drafts


Source: Notes compiled by Marx2Mao editor from various sources.

111. "The Drafts of The Civil War in France ” were written by Marx in April and May of 1871. In the first days after the Revolution of March 18, Marx began carefully to study all the material on the event in Paris; he collected cuttings and made numerous extracts from French and English newspapers. In the latter half of April Marx began on the first draft and continued working until about May 10; then he began the second draft of The Civil War in France which he completed by the middle of May. Thereupon, he went on to write the final text and put it in the form of an address of the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association. The newspaper cuttings and the extracts he had collected in a notebook during the last week of the Paris Commune were not used in the second draft, but were first used in the text of the address itself.

Both the first and second drafts were originally written on large sheets of paper. The manuscript of the first draft, the longest one, is apparently preserved intact. It fills both sides of 11 written sheets, or 22 pages, which were numbered by Marx with the exception of pages 6 and 13. The manuscript of the second draft, according to the page numbers marked by

Marx (not on all the sheets), probably consisted of 13 sheets; 11 sheets are preserved (8 are written on one side only, and 3 on both sides). It is assumed that the missing part of the manuscript is Section 4 of the draft, which precedes the preserved Section 5, “Opening of the Civil War. The 18 March Revolution. Clément Thomas. Lecomte. The Vendôme Affair.” The last three pages which bear no page numbers (see pp. 253-260 of this book), are mainly revisions of individual passages in the second draft. The larger part of the manuscripts of the first and second drafts has been crossed out by Marx with perpendicular and slanting lines. Apparently in this way Marx marked those portions which he had already used while working on the final text of The Civil War in France. The only words and sentences not included in the present edition are those which Marx crossed out in the manuscripts with horizontal lines. In the manuscripts of both drafts there are many marginal notes, round and square brackets, and so on, which are marks used by the author in his work. These are not to be found in the present edition.

When Marx cited or quoted the decrees and proclamations of the Commune, he referred to the date of their promulgation or to the date of their publication in the London press.

The two drafts of The Civil War in France were not published during the lifetime of Marx and Engels, and remained unknown long after their death. Extracts of the first draft appeared for the first time in the Soviet Union, in Pravda, Nos. 72 and 76, published respectively on March 14 and 18, 1933. The complete text of the first and second drafts was first published in the original (English) and in Russian in 1934 in the Archives of Marx and Engels, Vol. III (VIII).

112. The Battle of Buzenval (also known as the Battle of Montretout or Mont-Valérien) took place on January 19, 1871, four months after Paris had been besieged. It was Trochu’s last onslaught from the encircled Paris aimed at thoroughly destroying the forces of the National Guards, dampening their morale and convincing the Parisians and the army that the capital was indefensible. During the onslaught, which was carried out without adequate preparation and the necessary reserve force, the French forces failed to co-ordinate their actions. And though the French army fought bravely, the onslaught was repulsed on all points.

113. Under the leadership of Gustave Flourens the Worker’s Battalions of the National Guard demonstrated in front of the Hôtel de Ville of Paris on October 5, 1870, demanding that the Government of National Defence hold elections to the Commune, take measures to strengthen the republic and energetically resist the invading enemy. The government rejected these demands and forbade the National Guards to assemble or hold armed demonstrations without instructions.

For the uprising of October 31, 1870, see Note 66.

66. On October 31, 1870, workers and the revolutionary section of the National Guard in Paris launched an insurrection after receiving news that Metz had capitulated, Le Bourget was lost, and Thiers, by order of the Government of National Defence, had begun negotiations with the Prussians. The insurgents occupied the Hôtel de Ville and established a revolutionary organ of political power, the Committee of Public Safety, headed by Louis Auguste Blanqui. Under the pressure of the workers, the Government of National Defence promised to resign and hold an election to the Commune on November 1. However, taking advantage of the incomplete organization of the revolutionary forces of Paris and the differences between the leading sections of the insurrection – the Blanquists and the petty-bourgeois democrats, the Jacobinists – the government went back on its words, and, with the help of the few battalions of the National Guard which remained on its side, reoccupied the Hôtel de Ville and regained power.]

61. This refers to Charles Cousin-Montauban, a French general who commanded the joint French and British aggressive forces which invaded China in 1860. He was given the title of comte de Palikao by Napoleon III because he defeated the troops of the Ching dynasty (1644-1911) at Palichiao, a village east of Peking.

114. Alarmed by the victory of the democrats and the socialists in the election of March-April 1850, the Party of Order led by Thiers had an election law adopted by the Legislative Assembly on May 31, 1850, which abolished universal suffrage. Under this law – directed against the workers in town and countryside as well as against the small peasants – the vote was only given to those who had settled down in one place for three years and paid direct tax. Consequently, the number of voters in France was reduced by nearly three million.

Soon after the adoption of the election law of 1850 the parliament in creased the yearly salary of the President of the Republic, Louis Bonaparte, from 600,000 to 3,000,000 francs.

115. At the end of 1868 the factory owners of Normandy tried to make a considerable cut in the wages of the textile workers in order successfully to compete with English-made goods. This caused a great strike in early 1869 of the textile workers in Sotteville-lès-Rouen. The strikers appealed to the International for support and the General Council organized collections for them through the trade unions of London and France. Though the strike was defeated, Marx pointed out in the “Report of the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association to the Fourth Annual Congress at Basle": “It enlisted the Norman cotton-workers into the revolutionary army of labour, it gave rise to the birth of trades unions at Rouen, Elboeuf, Darnétal, and the environs; and it sealed anew the bond of fraternity between the English and French working classes.” (See Marx and Engels, Works, Ger. ed., Vol. XVI, pp. 374-75.)

116. Le Rappel – a daily paper of the Left-wing Republicans, founded by Victor Hugo and Henri Rochefort. Appearing in Paris from 1869 to 1928, it sharply criticized the Second Empire and supported the Paris Commune.

117. This refers to the armed uprising of the Blanquist Society of the Seasons which took place on May 12, 1839 (see Note 94).

94. This refers to Dufaure’s efforts to consolidate the regime of the July Monarchy during the period of the armed uprising of the Société des saisons (Society of the Seasons) in May 1839, and to the role played by Dufaure in the struggle against the opposition petty-bourgeois Montagnards at the time of the Second Republic in June 1849.

An attempt at a revolution by the secret Republican-socialist Society of the Seasons on May 12. 1839, headed by Louis Auguste Blanqui and Armand Barhes, did not rely on the masses and bore a conspiratorial character; the rising was suppressed by the government army and the National Guard. In order to combat the danger of revolution, a new cabinet was formed, which Dufaure joined.

During a growing political crisis in June 1849 – caused by the Montagnards’ opposition to the President of the Republic, Louis Bonaparte – the Minister of Interior, Dufaure, proposed the adoption of a series of decrees against the revolutionary section of the National Guard, the democrats and socialists.]

118. A slip of the pen in Marx’s manuscript. In fact, it was on October 13, 1848 that Jules Dufaure and Alexandre Vivien joined Cavaignac’s cabinet as Minister of Interior and Minister of Public Works respectively. On June 2, 1849, Dufaure became minister in Odilon Barrot’s cabinet.

119. I.e., the Rue de Poitiers Committee, leading organ of the so-called Party of Order, which was dominated by the Orleanists headed by Thiers.

120. By the “Union libérale” in 1847 Marx is referring to the Progressist-Conservatives who emerged in the French Chamber of Deputies after the 1846 election. The chief representatives of this group were Orleanists like Emile de Girardin, Alexis de Tocqueville and Dufaure. In order to consolidate the July Monarchy the Progressist-Conservatives demanded that the Gizot government extend suffrage and carry out a series of economic reforms in the interest of the big industrial bourgeoisie. They were opposed to Gizot and exposed the discreditable acts of members of his government.

The Union libérale was a coalition of the bourgeois Republicans, the Orleanists and a section of the Legitimists. It was formed on the basis of common opposition to the Empire during the election of the Corps législatif in 1863. An attempt was made to form the Union libérale again during the election campaign of 1869, but this failed due to quarrels between the different parties which had joined the Union in 1863. The moderate bourgeois Republicans, such as Jules Favre and Jules Simon, advocated an alliance with the monarchists in 1869 and supported the Orleanist Dufaure as a candidate. However, Dufaure was defeated.

121. This refers to Thiers, who, as Home Minister, played a shameless part in ruthlessly suppressing the Republicans’ rising in Paris, April 13-14, 1834, and, particularly, in butchering the inhabitants of the Rue Transnonain (see Note 47).

122. This means a coup d’état to be staged in the way as Louis Bonaparte did on December 2, 1851.

123. Journal officiel de la République française, No. 96, April 6, 1871.

124. Ibid.

125. This was said by the French Prime Minister, Emile Ollivier, on the eve of the declaration of war against Prussia. He declared that he accepted the responsibility for war “with a light heart.”

126. La commission des quinze – an organization formed by the National Assembly on March 20, 1871 to assist the Thiers government in the struggle against revolutionary Paris. The commission was mainly composed of monarchists as well as some bourgeois Republicans who supported Thiers. It called upon the provinces to organize volunteers to fight the Paris Commune, but there was no response. The commission broke up after the fall of the Commune.

127. In his The Civil War in France Marx probably wanted to cite examples of the monarchists’ intrigues in the Versailles National Assembly. The material Marx collected from newspapers during this period included news items about the conspiracies of Duke Aumale and his brother Prince Joinville in Versailles, rumours about the merger of the Bourbons and the Orleans, and the scheme to place Duke Aumale on the throne of France.

128. Journal officiel de la Commune de Paris, No. I, March 30, 1871.

129. Chouannerie – a revolt of the monarchists during the bourgeois French Revolution which took place in the Vendée in March 1793 and later spread to Brittany and Normandy. The rebels mainly consisted of local peasants incited and controlled by counter-revolutionary priests and aristocrats. The revolts in the Vendée and Brittany were quelled in 1795-96, but similar attempts were made in 1799 and in later years.

91. Chouans – originally the participants of the counter-revolutionary riots in northwestern France during the bourgeois French Revolution. At the time of the Paris Commune the Communards used this name to describe the monarchist-minded Versailles army recruited at Brittany.

92. Zouave – a corps of colonial infantry troops in the French Army – derived its name from a tribe of Algeria. First organized in Algeria in the 1830s, the corps was composed of local inhabitants. Later it became a purely French body but retained the original Oriental costume. The Pontifical Zouaves were the Pope’s guards, organized and trained on the pattern of the original Zouaves and recruited from volunteers of the young French noblemen. After the occupation of Rome by the Italian troops and the end of the temporal power of the Pope, the Pontifical Zouaves were dispatched to France in September 1870, and reorganized under the name of the “Legion of Volunteers of the West.” Incorporated into the 1st and the 2nd Loire Army, they fought in the war against Germany. After the war the Legion took part in the suppression of the Paris Commune. Later it was disbanded.

130. The “municipals" (known as the Republican Guards since 1871) were a military police force consisting of infantry and cavalry, founded by the July Monarchy in Paris in 1830 to suppress revolutionary movements. In 1871 it became a crack force of the Versailles counter-revolutionary army.

131. As a result of a concession made by France to other European powers following the signing of the convention of London of 1840 (see Note 53), she was allowed to take part in the concluding of the treaty of London of 1841. This treaty forbade the passage of foreign warships through the Straits (Bosporus and Dardanelles) in time of peace. It was signed on July 13, 1841 by Russia, Britain, France, Austria and Prussia on the one side and Turkey on the other.

In the third English edition of The Civil War in France Marx mentioned the London convention of 1840 as an example of France’s defeat in foreign policy.

132. La Situation – a Bonapartist newspaper in French published in London from September 1870 to August 2, 1871. It was opposed to the Government of National Defence and Thiers.

47. Marx is referring to the infamous role played by Thiers in suppressing the uprising of April 13-14, 1834, which was against the rule of the July Monarchy. The uprising of the Paris workers, and the petty-bourgeois strata which joined in with them, was led by the Republican secret Society for the Rights of Man. In suppressing the insurrection, countless atrocities were perpetrated by the militarists, including the slaughter of all the dwellers in a house in the Rue Transnonain. Thiers was the chief instigator of the brutal suppression of the democrats both during the uprising and after it was put down.

Under the provisions of the reactionary Laws of September – introduced in September 1835 – the French government restricted the activities of juries and severely inhibited the press by such measures as that which increased the sum of money periodicals had to deposit as a security. The laws also threatened imprisonment and heavy fines for speeches against private ownership and the existing state system.

49. In January 1848 the army of Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies, bombarded the town of Palermo to suppress the people’s uprising, which was a signal for the bourgeois revolution in the Italian states in 1848-49. In the autumn of 1848, Ferdinand II again indiscriminately bombarded Messina, and thus won himself the nickname King Bomba.

89. Francs-fileurs – literally “free absconders,” was an ironical nickname for the bourgeois of Paris who fled the city during its siege. The nickname was ironical because its pronunciation is similar to that of francs-tireurs (free shooters), the appellation for the French partisans who took an active part in the war against Prussia.

133. The Treaties of Vienna were concluded in May-June 1815 as a result of the Vienna Congress of 1814-15, held by the countries that had taken part in the anti-Napoleon wars. To restore the rule of the “legitimate” monarchies, the treaties arbitrarily altered the boundary lines of European countries in violation of their national unity and independence.

The Paris Treaty refers to the preliminary peace treaty signed between France and Germany on February 26, 1871.

134. This refers to the two treaties France was forced to sign with the sixth and the seventh anti-French coalition of Austria, Britain, Prussia and Russia. One was signed in 1814, after the fall of Napoleon’s empire, and the other in 1815, after Napoleon’s restoration and short-lived rule.

According to the peace treaty of Paris of May 30, 1814, France lost nearly all the territories conquered during the republic and the First Empire. With the exception of small tracts of territories on her northern, eastern and southeastern borders, she was allowed only to retain her boundaries of January 1, 1792.

The second peace treaty of Paris, concluded on November 20, 1815, further deprived France of her important, strategic strongholds on the northern, eastern and southeastern frontiers, which had been retained by the Paris peace treaty of 1814. To help consolidate the monarchical regime of the restored Bourbon dynasty, French fortresses on the north eastern frontier were to be garrisoned by 150,000 allied troops till the end of 1818.

135. Marx here refers to Prussia’s partial bourgeois reform of 1807-11. The reform was instituted following Prussia’s defeat in the war against Napoleonic France in 1806, which exposed the rottenness of the social political system of the Prussian states of feudal serfdom. As a result of this reform, personal dependency of the peasants was abolished, but feudal duties and services were still retained and the peasants could redeem themselves only with the lord’s consent. Limited local autonomy was also introduced and the army and the central administrative organs reorganized.

136. The defence of Sevastopol, Russia’s capture of Turkey’s Fort Kars and the defeat suffered by the allied troops at the Baltic Sea enabled Russia to use diplomatic manoeuvres at the Peace Congress of Paris in February-March 1856. Though the Crimean War ended in defeat for Russia, she succeeded in exploiting the conflicts between Britain, Austria and France. As a result, the peace terms were considerably mitigated in that the territories ceded to Turkey were greatly limited, Russia was allowed to retain its rule over the Caucasus, maintain a fleet in the Sea of Azov and build forts along its seacoast. The congress also decided to end Austria’s occupation of Moldavia and Wallachia, thus creating great difficulties for Austria’s policy of expansion in the Balkans.

Marx refers here to the reforms carried out by the czarist government after its defeat in the Crimean War, which involved the emancipation of serfs in 1861, the adoption of a new legal procedure and a new financial system in 1864, and the reforming of the local administrative system, including that of local self-government in 1864 and municipal government in 1870. The reforms marked an important step in Russia’s progress to bourgeois monarchy.

137. The Great Unpaid – a nickname for the unpaid magistrates and justices in England.

138. Le Mot d’ordre, a Left-wing Republican daily newspaper under the editorship of Henri Rochefort, was founded in Paris on February 3, 1871. It was banned by Joseph Vinoy, governor of Paris, on March 11 and resumed publication from April 8 to May 20, 1871, during the period of the Paris Commune. The paper sharply criticized the Versailles government and the monarchist majority in the National Assembly, but it never sided completely with the Commune. It was opposed to the Commune’s measures of suppressing the counter-revolutionaries in Paris.

139. The report on the result of the investigation by a Commune commission into the killing of the National Guards was published on April 29, 1871 in the Journal officiel de la République française, No. 119, and Le Mot d’ordre, No. 65. Marx quoted the passage from the commission’s report which appeared in Le Mot d’ordre.

140. New York Daily Tribune was an American newspaper published in 1841-1924, first as the organ of the Left wing of the American Whig Party before the mid-fifties and later that of the Republicans. Marx’s contributions to the newspaper covered the period between August 1851 and March 1862. In fact, however, Engels wrote most of the articles in this period at Marx’s request. During the reactionary period in Europe, Marx and Engels made use of this widely-circulated progressive paper to make a factual exposure of the maladies of capitalist society. During the American civil war, Marx completely severed connections with the paper chiefly because the forces advocating compromise with the slave-owners had increased in the editorial board and the paper had departed from its former progressive stand. Later the paper turned further Right.

141. Marx quoted the address of the delegates of the Chambres Syndicales from Le Rappel, No. 669, April 13, 1871.

142. The Ligue de l’Union républicaine pour les droits de Paris was a bourgeois organization founded in Paris in early April 1871. Its aims were peacefully to abolish the Paris Commune and end the civil war and it tried to do this by mediating between Versailles and Paris, proposing that the two sides reach agreement on the basis of recognition of the republic and the municipal freedom of Paris.

The demonstration of the Freemasons was staged by Paris Freemasons on April 29, 1871 in front of the city fortifications, demanding that the Versailles troops cease military actions. In order to win the sympathy of the middle- and petty-bourgeois Republicans, the Commune received the representatives of their political viewpoint – the Freemasons – at the Hôtel de Ville on April 26 and 29. The Freemasons declared their support of the Commune during the two meetings as their proposal for a ceasefire had been rejected by Thiers. Their demonstration in front of the fortifications took place after the interview of April 29 with the participation of a delegation from the Commune.

143. Quoted from the resolution of the Ligue de l’Union républicaine pour les droits de Paris, published in Le Rappel, No. 673, April 17, 1871.

144. This refers to the Moniteur des communes, a French government newspaper published in Versailles during the period of the Paris Commune. It appeared as an evening supplement to the Journal officiel of the Thiers government.

145. Marx here refers to La Défense républicaine, a French Republican paper published in Limoges in 1871.

146. This evidently refers to Le Vengeur’s comment of May 6, 1871, on the result of the election to the municipal council of April 30, 1871.

147. The Laws of Suspects – passed on February 19, 1858 by the Corps législatif – vested the emperor and the government with unlimited authority to mete out punishment to people suspected of being hostile to the Second Empire. Under this law people could be jailed or banished to any part of France or Algeria or even expelled altogether from French territory.

148. The petition of the Lyons municipal council presented by deputy Greppo to the National Assembly demanded that the civil war be stopped and that Versailles negotiate peace with Paris. It also proposed to clearly limit the authority of the assembly and the Paris Commune and restrict the Commune’s activities within the area of municipal questions.

149. This refers to the municipal councils elected in 1865 under the pressure of the government of the Second Empire.

150. La Ligue des villes – an abbreviated name for La Ligue patriotique des ville républicaines. The League was planned in April-May 1871 by the bourgeois Republicans who were afraid of the resurgence of a monarchy after the defeat of the Paris Commune. Its provisional committee, with the active participation of the Ligue de l’Union républicaine pour les droits de Paris, decided to hold a congress of delegates of the municipal councils at Bordeaux on May 9, 1871, to find ways to end the civil war, consolidate the republic and formally establish the League. After the Versailles government banned the convening of the congress the provisional committee stopped its activities.

Le Rappel of May 6, 1871 published the programme of the abortive congress of the Ligue des villes.

151. Journal officiel de la République française, No. 103, April 13, 1871.

152. Quoted from the summary of the election commission of the Commune, which appeared in the Journal officiel de la République française, No. 90, March 31, 1871.

153. Journal officiel de la République française, No. 95, April 5, 1871.

154. Following news of the defeat at Sedan, of the revolutionary outbreak in Paris and of the collapse of the Empire on September 4, 1870, workers in many other French cities such as Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse staged revolutionary armed uprisings and set up Communes as the organs of people’s political power. In spite of their short existence, the provincial Communes, particularly the one in Lyons, put into effect a series of important revolutionary measures. For instance, they abolished the police-bureaucrat apparatus, released political prisoners, introduced secular education, levied a tax on the wealthy people and gratuitously redeemed pawned articles from pawnshops. The Government of National Defence ruthlessly suppressed these provincial Communes.

155. The revolutionary events of October 31, 1870, indicated the instability of the Government of National Defence. To strengthen its position, the government conducted a plebiscite in Paris on November 3, 1870. Although a large section of Parisians voted against the government, it won a majority through heavy pressure on the people, demagoguery and the state of the siege.

156. Quoted from the “Proclamation of the Central Committee of the National Guard to the Citizens of Paris” on March 22, 1871, which appeared in the form of a government ordinance and was also printed in the Journal officiel de la République française, No. 84. March 25, 1871.

157. In these words Marx summed up the gist of an article which elucidated the stand of the Central Committee of the National Guard on the payment of the war indemnity. The article appeared in the Journal officiel de la République française, No. 83, March 24, 1871.

83. On April 27, 1825, the reactionary government of Charles X promulgated a law compensating former émigrés for the loss of their estates confiscated in the years of the bourgeois French Revolution. The greater part of the indemnity – totalling 1,000 million francs and paid by the government in the form of three-per-cent securities – was obtained by the chief aristocrats at court and the big landlords of France.

84. The Provisional Government of France decided on March 16, 1848 to add a 45 centimes tax to each franc of direct tax collected. The burden of this additional tax fell mainly on the peasants. As a result of this policy adopted by the bourgeois Republicans, the peasants were estranged from the revolution and voted for Louis Bonaparte in the presidential election of December 10, 1848.

85. This refers to the laws that divided France into military districts and gave commanders extensive powers, granted the president of the republic the right to appoint and remove burgomasters, placed school-masters under the control of the prefects, and extended the clergy’s influence over national education. Marx gave a characterization of these laws in his work “The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850” (Marx and Engels, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1951, Vol. I, pp. 199-200).

158. This probably refers to the Alliance républicaine des Départements (see Note 81).

81.Union républicaine ” (Alliance républicaine des Départements ) – a political organization of the petty-bourgeois elements who came from different provinces and lived in Paris. It called on the provinces to support the Commune and fight against the Versailles government and the monarchist National Assembly.]

79. This refers to the rejection of the bill on the “concordats à l’amiable ” by the Constituent Assembly on August 22, 1848. The bill provided for the deferment of the payment of debts by any debtor who could prove he had become bankrupt owing to stagnation of business caused by the revolution. As a result of this, a considerable number of the petty bourgeoisie became totally ruined and were left to the tender mercy of the big bourgeois creditors.

159. The French Estates-General on June 17, 1789, took the title of National Assembly. In opposition to Louis XVI’s order that the three estates were to sit separately, the representatives of the third estate assembled at Jeu de Paume (Tennis Court) in Versailles on June 20 and took an oath not to disperse until a constitution for France was worked out. The Tennis Court oath was one of the events that heralded the bourgeois French Revolution.

160. This refers to the Paris Society of Proletarian Positivists whose programme smacked of Auguste Comte’s bourgeois philosophy. Though the General Council sharply criticized the programme, it accepted the society as a section of the International in early 1870 because of its working-class composition.

161. Phalanstère – this is the name given by Charles Fourier, the French utopian socialist, to describe the co-operative settlement in an ideal socialist society.

Icarie – an imaginary communist land described by an exponent of utopian communism, Etienne Cabet, in his social-philosophical novel, Voyage en Icarie.

73. Journal officiel de la République française, No. 80, March 21, 1871.

162. During the period of the Paris Commune, the reactionary Paris-Journal published a libellous report, stating that the Paris sections of the International had expelled all the German members from the International in accordance with the wish of the Anti-German League (see Marx and Engels, Works, Ger. ed., Vol. XVII, pp. 296-97).

163. Quoted from an editorial of the Journal officiel de la République française, No. 91, April 1, 1871.

164. From the “Proclamation to the People of France,” issued by the Paris Commune on April 19, 1871, and published io the Journal officiel de la République française, No. 110, April 20, 1871.

165. La Vérité – a daily published in Paris by radical bourgeois Republicans from October 1870 to September 3, 1871. At first it supported the Paris Commune, but later turned against the social measures the Commune had adopted.

42. Le Vengeur, No. 30, April 28, 1871.

166. L’Association générale des Défenseurs de la République – a bourgeois democratic organization, formed in Paris in February 1871 to fight for a republic. The association supported the Commune and criticized the policies of the Versailles government. The resolution of the association quoted here appeared in the Journal officiel de la République française. No. 129, May 9, 1871.

167. Charles Montesquieu, De l’Esprit des lois, Genève, 1748, Vol. II, p. 165.

168. Journal officiel de la République française, No. 79, March 20, 1871.

169. Charles Montesquieu, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 204-06.

170. The Constitution of 1793 – constitution of the French Republic, adopted by the National Convention of the revolutionary Jacobin dictatorship during the bourgeois French Revolution. It was more democratic than any other bourgeois constitutions of the 18th and 19th centuries.

171. Quoted from the “Proclamation to the Paris National Guards,” issued by the Executive Committee of the Commune on April 2, 1871, and published in the Journal officiel de la République française, No. 93, April 3, and also in the form of a government ordinance.

172. Le Vengeur, No. 6, April 4, 1871.

53. France faced the danger of war with an anti-French coalition of the European powers following the conclusion of the Convention of London on July 15, 1840 by Britain, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Turkey, which agreed to aid the Turkish sultan against the French-backed Mohammed Ali, governor of Egypt. The French government was forced to withhold support for Mohammed Ali in order to avert the war.

173. This refers to the invasions of France in 1814 and 1815 by the sixth and the seventh anti-French coalition headed by Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia, for the purpose of overthrowing the First Empire of Napoleon and restoring the Bourbons.

174. This refers to the influence exerted on the development of international trade by the discovery of gold mines in California and Australia in the mid-19th century.

175. Here Marx makes an ironical allusion to the saying of the French king Louis XIV: “I am the state,” which later became a motto of absolutism.

176. The peace treaty of Frankfort signed on May 10, 1871, set down the definitive terms for the ending of the war between France and Germany. The treaty confirmed the cession of Alsace and the eastern part of Lorraine to Germany, as was provided for in the preliminary peace treaty of February 26, 1871. The Frankfort treaty imposed even more severe war indemnity terms on France than the preliminary peace treaty and lengthened the time of occupation of French territory by the German troops – a price the Versailles government had to pay for Bismarck’s collaboration in suppressing the Commune. The plunder of France as a result of the Frankfort treaty made the future armed conflict between France and Germany inevitable.

177. This probably refers to the municipality law of 1831 which rigorously restricted the power of municipal councils, and that of 1855 which prohibited connections between municipal councils.

For the planned Bordeaux congress of delegates of the municipal councils, see Note 150.