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a history podcast about how movements, ideas, or events go off the rails.

a history podcast about how movements, ideas, or events go off the rails.
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a history podcast about how movements, ideas, or events go off the rails.






Episode 6 – The Bloody Week

The Bloody Week Only a few weeks after the Paris Commune had begun on March 18th, 1871, France broke into the city of Paris. The punishments soon began. The moment that France entered Paris was theatrical. Paris was holding a massive open-air benefit concert for war widows. It concluded with an officer taking the stage and proclaiming that Paris' enemies would never enter the city. At that very moment, French soldiers were flooding into the city within gunshot of the concert. Much like the...


Episode 5 - The Civil War Part 2

The Civil War Part 2 In the previous episodes, we learned how Paris lived under this new government known as the Commune. However, as the civil war continued, Parisian residents increasingly knew that a military victory would be impossible. How do people act, how do governments rule, how do soldiers fight when they know that they are on the verge of annihilation? Within a few weeks of the establishment of the 1871 Paris Commune, it became clear that Paris would receive no help from other...


Life in the Commune

Life in the Commune After the spontaneous revolution of March 18th, 1871, how was life different in Paris? Was life better or worse? Before the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1, Paris was a city of extremes. The wealthy in Paris lived lives of opulence, enjoying new-found internationalism as a result of the World Fair of 1867. Furthermore, Baron Haussmann rebuilt the city of Paris as a modern urban space, expanding the roads into grand boulevards and pushing the housing of the poor towards...


The Civil War Part 1

Only two weeks after the spontaneous revolution of March 18th, 1871, France declared war on Paris. While Parisian soldiers outnumbered French soldiers by maybe 200 000 to 30 000, Paris decided not to attack Versailles. Paris saw their new Commune as a local government, and residents didn't want to control national politics. However, national politics would come to them. When France began shelling Paris in the beginning of April, the Commune decided to march out and attack Versailles. The...


Mob Rule

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...


The Foundations of a Revolution

In 1871, France experienced one of the bloodiest civil massacres in European history up to that point. Paris rebelled against France on March 18th, declaring a Commune inside the city. Within 72 days, France broke into the city of Paris. Before the week was done, the streets were littered with tens of thousands of bodies. The first episode delves into the origins of the Commune. How did the Commune begin? What were the foundations of the revolution? France in the 1800s toggled back and...