Compiled by Corrie Glanville
Can’t keep all the events leading up to and surrounding the Paris Commune straight? This timeline (adapted from http://www.marxists.org/history/france/paris-commune/timeline.htm) might help! Brush up on your historical background before you head over to the Paramount Center Mainstage to see The Civilians’ Paris Commune SEP 20-23.
July 19, 1870: After a diplomatic struggle over the Prussian attempt for the Spanish throne, Louis- Napoleon Bonaparte III declares war on Prussia.
August 4-6, 1870: Crown Prince Frederick, commanding one of the three Prussian armies invading France, defeats French Marshal MacMahon at Worthand Weissenburg, pushes him out of Alsace (Northeastern France), surrounds Strasbourg, and drives on towards Nancy.
September 1, 1870: The Battle of Sedan; MacMahon and Bonaparte are defeated at Sedan.
September 4, 1870: At news of Sedan, Paris workers invade the Palais Bourbon and force the Legislative Assembly to proclaim the fall of the Empire. By evening, the Third Republic is proclaimed and the provisional Government of National Defense (GND) is established to continue the war effort to remove Germany from France.
September 6, 1870: The GND issues a statement: blames war on Imperial government, it now wants peace, but “not an inch of our soil, not a stone of our fortresses, will we cede.”
October 27, 1870: French army, led by Bazaine with 140,000-180,000 men at Metz, surrenders.
October 30, 1870: French National Guard defeated at Le Bourget.
October 31, 1870: Upon the receipt of news that the GND had decided to start negotiations with the Prussians, Paris workers and revolutionary sections of the National Guard rise up in revolt.
November 1, 1870: Under pressure from the workers the GND promises to resign and schedule national elections to the Commune — promises it has no intention to deliver. With the workers pacified, the government violently re-establishes its domination over the besieged city.