Central Committee of the National Guard

Central Committee of the National Guard

 

(French, Comité Central de la Garde Nationale), the directing body of the Republican Federation of the Paris National Guard. The Central Committee of the National Guard was the first revolutionary government of the Paris Commune of 1871. The committee, which assumed its final form on Mar. 15, 1871, included such prominent socialists and members of the First International as A. A. Assi and L. E. Varlin.

On March 18 the Central Committee organized resistance to the government of A. Thiers, which was attempting to disarm the National Guard. From that day until Mar. 28, 1871, the committee functioned as a provisional revolutionary government. It enacted a series of measures in the interests of the working people of Paris; for example, it allowed tenants to defer rent payments.

After it handed over power to the elected representatives of the Paris Commune on March 28, the Central Committee continued to head the National Guard. Friction occasionally arose between the committee and the Military Commission of the Commune, creating obstacles to unified action in the Communards’ struggle against the Versaillais.

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