Kropotkin, Le Révolté, March 20, 1880
On March 18, 1871, the people of Paris rose against a despised and detested government, and proclaimed the city independent free, belonging to itself.
This overthrow of the central power took place without the usual stage effects of revolution, without the firing of guns, without the shedding of blood upon barricades. When the armed people came out into the streets, the rulers fled away, the troops evacuated the town, the civil functionaries hurriedly retreated to Versailles carrying everything they could with them. The government evaporated like a pond of stagnant water in a spring breeze, and on the nineteenth the great city of Paris found herself free from the impurity which had defiled her, with the loss of scarcely a drop of her children’s blood.
Yet the change thus accomplished began a new era in that long series of revolutions whereby the peoples are marching from slavery to freedom. Under the name ”Commune of Paris” a new idea was born, to become the starting point for future revolutions.