In this, the fourth and final part of his series on Napoleon, Alan Woods looks at the final demise of the Emperor, as he outstretched himself in one war after another, finally being betrayed by the same bourgeoisie that had earlier fawned on him.

The Paris Commune of 1871 was one of the greatest and most inspiring episodes in the history of the working class. In a tremendous revolutionary movement, the working people of Paris replaced the capitalist state with their own organs of government and held political power until their downfall in the last week of May. The Parisian workers strove, in extremely difficult circumstances, to put an end to exploitation and oppression, and to reorganise society on an entirely new foundation. 130 years later the lessons of these events are of fundamental importance for socialists today.

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