Boulevard Voltaire is one of those created by Baron Haussmann. The street connects two places which are important parts of the history of the French Left, the Place de la Republique and Place de la Nation. Very quickly the Boulevard Voltaire became the place of many parades of leftist political parties, unions or protest movements.
The street was originally named Boulevard du Prince Eugene before taking the current name in 1870.
During the Paris Commune, on 25 May 1871, Auguste-Jean-Marie Vermorel, the publisher of L’Ami du Peuple, was seriously injured during the Bloody Week on the barricade erected between numbers 1 and 2 of the Boulevard. Captured, he died a few days later from lack of care.
The same day, the Comité central de Salut Public met for the last time in the 11th arrondissement town hall located on place Voltaire (now Place Léon-Blum). On leaving the meeting, Charles Delescluze, founder of the newspaper Le Réveil and mayor of the 19th arrondissement, went on the barricade at the beginning of the Boulevard Voltaire, where he was killed.