Lead: Besieged by German armies on one side and the government of France on the other, the Paris Commune in the spring of 1871 fought for its life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Angered at the conservative French government of Adolphe Thiers, which they accused of accepting humiliating terms in the treaty ending the Franco-Prussian War, the citizens of Paris expelled the duly elected Assembly and formed a commune, an early socialist form of urban government. While instituting radical reforms such as the separation of church and state and establishing free public schools, the Paris Commune fought off attacks from Thiers regular army forces based in Versailles.

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