The Paris Commune 1871

The Central Committee of the Twenty Arrondissements of Paris to all the Defenders of the Revolution

Written: 1871
First Published: 1871
Source: Original document (from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France)
Translated: From the French, by Mitch Abidor
Transcription/Markup: Mitch Abidor/Brian Baggins
Copyleft: Creative Commons (Attribute & Share-alike) Paris Commune Hitsory Archive 2006.

The country is rising up en masse in a sublime effort. It has once again become conscious of itself, with the consciousness it had in ’92 that this is a revolutionary struggle.

It is up to the Central Republican Committee of Paris’s twenty arrondissements, the spokesmen for democratic thought, to make the party of the revolution understand what this war should be and how it should be conducted.

Under the threat of a double peril, the foreigner in front of us and reaction behind us, the war must be merciless, with neither truces nor weakness.

No armistice, no diplomatic interventions: these are what we must fear above all else. An armistice and intervention would mean the preparation of a peace that could only be shameful and provisional. The suffocating of the republic would be the token of this, for due to the incompetence of our rulers and our own cowardice, we would yet again have betrayed the fatherland and restored the monarchy.

No peace with the enemy as long as he is on our sacred soil! It is up to the republic to dictate the terms of peace, not to submit to them.

Let them know this well: the war they will find before them is no longer that conventional art, that art of killing reduced to the classic formulas of what is called "great war." Wissembourg, Reischoffen, and Sedan have spoken the last word on this subject.

The war they will find will be that of a mass uprising, irregular corps, hidden marksmen, ambushes, surprises, shrubbery, ravines. It’s extermination by all means, the people in a fury, the unknown...

REPUBLICANS OF THE WORLD, arise in the name of Liberty! In France, in Italy, in Spain, in Hungary, in Denmark, in Poland! And you, our German brothers, proletarians from the other side of the Rhine, will you wait for our victory and the Germanic disaster for the triumph of your freedoms?

Fooled by our common enemies, will you, at the same time as us, rise up to conquer them?

Arise, all who labor! Fight and suffer for justice, for all who are oppressed! For the hour has come for the great combat that will pass judgment on peoples and kings. A superhuman duel of the two principles, of force and of right, of the cannon that screams and kills and of reason that instructs, of the fatalism of Attila and the revolutionary idea.

Courage and the dedication are ours, individually and as a group. Ours are the volunteers, ours are the veterans of the fights for our demands who know how to fight for freedom!

Italy has already sent us its must illustrious representative.


Greeting to the citizen soldier! Greetings in the name of France and the revolution! Let him come to us, the hero of America, the liberator of Italy, let him teach us that irregular war that delivered his nation and that will deliver France. Let him come to us. Only among us will he find his soldiers and his army.

Let our brothers from Lyons come. Let their revolutionary army, led by our brave Cluseret join with that international army of the revolution commanded by Garibaldi.

Let the Communes of Marseilles, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille, Dijon, Rouen, let all our republican cities send us their armed citizens. Revolutionary Parris will come out and meet them. Harassed, overpowered by numbers and despair, the enemy will cede before that unknown force: an entire people in arms to save its honor and to conquer its liberty.


For the 180 Delegates of the Central Committee, The members of the Commission:Leverdays, Oudet, Napias-Piquet, Vaillant The Bureau: President of the session; E. Dupas. Assessor, Em. Roy. Secretary: Goulle. Treasurer, D-Th. Regere.