One of the most dramatic chapters in the history of nineteenth-century Europe, the Commune of 1871 was an eclectic revolutionary government that held power in Paris across eight weeks between 18 March and 28 May. Its brief rule ended in ‘Bloody Week’ – the brutal massacre of as many as 15,000 Parisians, and perhaps even more, who perished at the hands of the provisional government’s forces. By then, the city’s boulevards had been torched and its monuments toppled. More than 40,000 Parisians were investigated, imprisoned or forced into exile – a purging of Parisian society by a conservative national government whose supporters were considerably more horrified by a pile of rubble than the many deaths of the resisters. In this gripping narrative, John Merriman explores the radical and revolutionary roots of the Commune, painting vivid portraits of the Communards – the ordinary workers, famous artists and extraordinary fire-starting women – and their daily lives behind the barricades, and examining the ramifications of the Commune on the role of the state and sovereignty in France and modern Europe. Enthralling, evocative and deeply moving, this narrative account offers a full picture of a defining moment in the evolution of state terror and popular resistance.
Opening with the military preparations before Paris was besieged by the invading German army in September 1870, Alistair Horne's compelling account of this dramatic episode takes the reader through the fall of Paris and German victory to the last days of the Paris Commune in May Week 1871.
`A lucid and wide-ranging survey of the changing role of women in insurgent movements in nineteenth-century France that will be invaluable for those interested in both women's studies and French history' - Pamela M. Pilbeam, Royal Holloway, University of London. This book provides a broad survey of the development of female insurgency in France between 1789 and 1871, and lays particular emphasis on the conflicts of 1830-51. Drawing on unused archival material, Barry demonstrates that a tradition of women's protest evolved from the 1789 Revolution, assuming particular forms associated with the exclusion of females from political and civil rights, and inviting both praise and vilification. The conclusions challenge the view that in nineteenth-century France women retreated altogether from popular movements.
The Multinational Fighting Force that Defended the Vatican
Author: Charles A. Coulombe
Pubpsher: St. Martin's Press
With Arthurian grandeur the Papal Zouaves marched into Italy in the mid-nineteenth century, summoned by the Pope under siege as the Wars of the Risorgimento raged. Motivated by wanderlust, a sense of duty and the call of faith, some 20,000 Catholic men from around the world rallied to Vatican City to defend her gates against Sardinian marauders. Volunteers came from France, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Austria, and many other countries, including the United States. The battles that ensued lasted over 10 years, among a shifting array of allies and enemies and are among history's most fascinating yet largely overlooked episodes. Napoleon, Pius IX, and Bismarck all make appearances in the story, but at the center were the Zouaves--steeped in a knightly code of honor, and unflinching in battle as any modern warrior--as the Church they vowed to defend to the death teetered at the brink of destruction.