Condition of municipal institutions -- Feudal rights still exist -- Need of municipal reform -- Townspeople revolt -- New municipality voted -- Importance of communalist movement -- Paris Commune -- Other cities follow -- Troubles at Strasbourg -- New corporation constituted -- Middle classes freed from feudalism -- Riots in Troyes, Amiens and other cities -- Significance of popular action during Revolution In the eighteenth century the municipal institutions had fallen to utter decay, owing to the numerous measures taken by royal authority against them for two hundred years. Since the abolition of the plenary assembly of the townspeople, which formerly had the control of urban justice and administration, the affairs of the large cities were going from bad to worse. The posts of "town councilors" introduced in the eighteenth century had to be bought from the commune, and, often enough, the patent so purchased was for life.
On the 5th of May last the celebration of the centenary of the French Revolution began by the commemoration of the opening of the States-General at Versailles, at the same date, in the memorable year of 1789. And Paristhat city which in January last so clearly manifested its dissatisfaction with Parliamentary ruleheartily joined in the festivities organized to celebrate a day when parliamentary institutions, crossing the Channel, went to take firm root on the Continent. Must we see in the enthusiasm of the Parisians one of those seeming contradictions which are so common in the complicated life of large human agglomerations? Or was it the irresistible attraction of a spring festival which induced the Parisians to rush in flocks to Versaille... (From : Anarchy Archives.)