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A barricade erected in Paris during the French Revolution.

The French Revolution was an uprising that occurred in France in 1879, following French defeat in the Franco-German War. By November 1879, France's overseas territories had been occupied by the Germans, and two German armies surrounded Paris. In that month, a series of riots erupted in the French capital, and the government of King Louis XX was unable to maintain control.

In early December, King Louis gave a dramatic speech in which he announced the beginning of formal negotiations to end the war. He also announced his own abdication in favor of his eldest son, who succeeded to the French throne as Louis XXI. However, by then the royal government had lost all legitimacy, and the Paris mobs stormed the Palace of Versailles on 25 December and put the royal family to death.

Two days after the deaths of the royal family, German troops entered Paris and attempted to restore order. However, by the beginning of the new year two German regiments had gone over to the rioters, and by the middle of January 1880 much of the German army occupying France had been radicalized. The uprisings spread to the Germanic Confederation in February, and from there to the rest of Europe. By March, the uprisings had been put down, and the Germans were able to establish a puppet government in France. The new French government was unable to assert control, and in late autumn 1880 the puppet regime was replaced by a republican government under the socialist leader Léon Gambetta. By 1884 Gambetta's government had control over most of France.