Lead: Besieged by Prussian armies and its own national government, in 1871 the City of Paris drew up behind barricades and for several exciting weeks of social experiment, constituted itself as an independent commune.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The story of the Paris Commune begins not with a Frenchman but a German, the Chancellor of Prussia, Otto von Bismarck. Originally opposed to the idea of a German nation, Bismarck had been converted when it became clear that Prussia not Austria could be the dominant force in any union of the many small German states. He needed a galvanizing force and found it a war with France.

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