This chapter examines the civil disorders that erupted in Paris on May 15–16, 1848. It begins with an assessment of the security situation in republican Paris and goes on to discuss the role of the National Guard of the Seine as a public force in the capital and the National Constituent Assembly's replacement of the Provisional Government with the Commission of Executive Power. It then considers the government's plans of action for the May 15 parade, an unarmed political demonstration that turned into a coup d'état and almost overthrew the National Constituent Assembly. It also recounts the demonstrators' march to the Bridge of the Revolution and their invasion of government buildings, including the Assembly palace. Finally, it explores the responses of the major actors to the May 15 crisis and the lessons that can be learned from it.
Keywords: civil disorders, Paris, National Guard, National Constituent Assembly, Commission of Executive Power, parade, political demonstration, coup d'état, Bridge of the Revolution, government buildings
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