In our last episode, the Foundations of a Revolution, we learned about the origins of the Commune. Paris rebelled against France, and the government of France fled to Versailles. Louise Michel and a band of national guards captured the French general Lecomte, who was trying to steal the guns of Montmartre. The Paris mob killed Lecomte and another general, Clément-Thomas.
After the revolution on March 18th, who was left in Paris? While many rich and powerful citizens accompanied the government to Versailles, much of the population in Paris remained. There were several powers in Paris, including the mayors, the Central Committee of the National Guard, and the Blanquists.
The mayors were generally conservative. They supported the National Assembly, which was the government sitting in Versailles who tried to steal the artillery of Montmartre from Paris. The Central Committee was a left-wing body elected to lead the National Guard, or the military force in Paris. The Blanquists wanted social and political revolution, as they were leftist radicals.
Together, these groups would form the Paris Commune. To many Parisians, residents finally controlled their own city. To many Frenchmen, Paris was under mob rule.