Paris Commune

Created: July 1789

The Paris Commune was established as the new governing authority for the capital in the aftermath of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. It grew out of the Revolutionary political dynamics unleashed by the electoral process for Paris's Third Estate deputies to the Estates General, and also by a desire to provide stability and security as royal authority unravelled in the capital in early July 1789. The Commune had its own elected representatives, headed by the mayor (another post which was new with the Revolution). It became an increasingly radical political force and played a key role in the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792 (in preparation for which members of the Commune declared themselves to be in insurrection against the national government) and the purge of the Girondins from the National Convention on 2 June 1793.





Appears in these Letters:


22 July: Revolutionary Paris in July 1789

The duchess reflects on events in the Revolution so far and the rising power of Paris's new municipal government. She castigates a...

8 August: The Duchess Rides Through the Great Fear

The duchess felt trapped in Paris following the Revolutionary events of July 1789. She decided to leave Paris for her provincial estates at Moreuil in...

14 October: A King Imprisoned? The October Days

On 5-6 October 1789, a Parisian crowd led by thousands of women marched out to demonstrate at Versailles and forced the royal family to relocate to...


14 August: The August Revolution: The Fall of the Monarchy

The summer of 1792 was a perfect storm for the French monarchy, with rising demands for a Republic amid military defeats and the lasting resentment...


5 June: Purge of the Girondins. Part 3

The political implications of the Purge of the Girondins began to be felt immediately, and the duchess emphasises the political importance of the...

5 June: Reflections on Political Repression

The duchess explains how the balance of political power in the capital has recently shifted in a more radical direction, and considers the...

31 July: Revolutionary Justice in the summer of 1793

The duchess offers news and personal reflections on recent developments in the French Revolution (as seen from her home in the heart of the capital)...


8 January: The Last Words of the Duchess

The final entry in the duchess's notebook series. She observes that France's improving military situation has not resulted in a reduction in domestic...