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FROM THE PREPARATORY MATERIALS Karl Marx DRAFTS OF THE CIVIL WAR IN FRANCE Written by K. Marx between the middle Reproduced from the manuscript of April and May 23, 1871 First published in full, in English and Russian, in Marx-Engels Archives, Vol. Ill (VIII), 1934 437 [FIRST DRAFT OF THE CIVIL WAR IN FRANCE] THE GOVERNMENT OF DEFENCE Four months after the commencement of the war, when the Government of Defence had thrown a sop to the Paris National Guard by allowing them to show their fighting capabilities at Buzenval,115 the Government considered the opportune moment come to prepare Paris for capitulation. To the assembly of the maires of Paris for capitulation, Trochu, in presence of a[nd] supported by Jules Favre and others of his colleagues, revealed at last his "plan". He said literally: "The first question, addressed to me by my colleagues on the evening of the 4th September, was this: Paris can it stand, with any chance of success, a siege against the Prussian army? I did not hesitate to answer in the negative. Some of my colleagues here present will warrant the truth of these my words, and the persistence of my opinion. I told them in these very terms that, under the existing state of things, the attempt of Paris to maintain a siege against the Prussian army would be a folly. Without doubt, I added, this might be a heroical folly, but it would be nothing else... The events have not given the lie to my prevision."3 Hence Trochu's plan, from the very day of the proclamation of the Republic, was the capitulation of Paris and of France. In point of fact he was the commander in chief of the Prussians. In a letter to Gambetta, Jules Favre himself confessed so much that the enemy to be put down, was not the Prussian soldier, but the Paris "demagogue revolutionist". The high-sounding promises to the people, by the Government of Defence, were therefore as many deliberate lies. Their "plan" they systematically carried out by entrusting the defence of Paris to Bonapartist generals, by a "Paris au jour le jour", Le Figaro, No. 74, March 19, 1871.— Ed. 438 Karl Marx disorganizing the National Guard and by organizing famine under the maladministration of Jules Ferry. The attempts of the Paris workmen on the 5th of October, the 31st of October etc, to supplant these traitors by the Commune, were put down as conspiracies with the Prussian!286 After the capitulation the mask was thrown off (cast aside). The capitulards165 became a government by the grace of Bismarck.118 Being his prisoners, they stipulated with him a general armistice the conditions of which disarmed France and rendered all further resistance impossible. Resuscitated at Bordeaux as the Government of the Republic, these very same capitulards through Thiers, their ex-Ambassador, and Jules Favre, their Foreign minister, fervently implored Bismarck, in the name of the majority of the so-called National Assembly, and long before the rise of Paris, to disarm and occupy Paris and put down "its canaille", as Bismarck himself sneeringly told his admirers at Frankfurt on his return from France to Berlin? This occupation of Paris by the Prussians—such was the last word of the "plan" of the government of defence. The cynical effrontery with which, since their instalment at Versailles, the same men fawn upon and appeal to the armed intervention of Prussia, has dumbfounded even the venal press of Europe. The heroic exploits of the Paris National Guard, since they fight no longer under but against the capitulards, have forced even the most sceptical to brand the word "traitor" on the brazen fronts of the Trochu, Jules Favre et Co. The documents seized by the Commune, have at last furnished the juridical proofs of their high treason.15 Amongst these papers there are letters of the Bonapartist sabreursc to whom the execution of Trochu's "plan" had been confided, in which these infamous wretches crack jokes at and make fun of their own "defence of Paris", (cf. for instance the letter of Alphonse Simon Guiod, supreme commander of the artillery of the army of defence of Paris and Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, to Suzanne, General of division of artillery, published by the Journal officiel of the Commune.d ) It is, therefore, evident, that the men who now form the a Report from Germany in the column "Révélations", La Situation, No. 156, March 21...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781909831322
Related ISBN
9780853154433
MARC Record
OCLC
899267023
Pages
819
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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