Terrorism

Terrorism
   A distinct organized practice considered to have emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century in which the systematic use of fear or terror is used as a means of coercion against a people or government. The term was introduced through the French language, in the context of the French Revolution, as terrorisme, derived from the Latin verb terrere, meaning “to frighten.” It appeared in 1795 and it was used to characterize Jacobin rule known as the “Reign of Terror” (1793–1794), involving arrest and execution, usually by guillotine, of opponents to the revolutionary government. The term therefore was initially applied to the acts of a regime, not those of its opponents.
   In mid-nineteenth century anarchists like the Russian Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876) and later the Italian Errico Malatesta (1853–1932) regarded the use of violence as necessary, and even moral, in the pursuit of social reform. Some Russian anarchists and nihilists, organized in secret societies, engaged constantly in acts of violence, which culminated with the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. In Italy, too, there were several attempts to assassinate members of the royal family. In Great Britain there appeared what was to become known as “republican terrorism” - attacks organized and carried out by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a nationalist group founded in Dublin in 1858 that called themselves Fenian Brotherhood and organized the failed Fenian Rising of 1867. The group reemerged in 1910 and then organized another revolt, also doomed, the Easter Rising of 1916. They were the precursors of the Irish Republican Army. The American counterpart of the Irish Republican Brotherhood was the Clan na Gael, founded in New York by Irish immigrants who also pursued the goal of an independent Irish republic. By 1868, they even raised an army for this purpose, made up mostly of veterans of the American Civil War. In support of the cause of Irish independence, they planned attacks on British military bases in Canada between 1866 and 1871. Other terrorist occurrences in the United States included the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886; the assassination in 1901 of President William McKinley by anarchist Leon Czolgosz; and the bombing of the Los Angeles Times building in 1910, which killed 20 workers.
   Other heroes of fin-de-siècle “nationalist terrorism,” besides the Irish, were the members of the Bulgarian Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Committee, which pursued Bulgarian and Macedonian independence. It was founded by Bulgarians in 1893 in Thessaloniki, now part of Greece but then under Ottoman occupation, like Macedonia and parts of Bulgaria. The group changed its name in 1902 and again in 1906, and, since 1920, it has been known as the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary
   Organization. It was revived in the 1990s as a nationalist political party in both Macedonia and Bulgaria. It was also an act classified as terrorism that marked the end of the Age of Imperialism - the assassination of the Habsburg Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, by Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip, a member of both the Bosnian nationalist youth organization Young Bosnia and the Serbian nationalist secret society Black Hand .
   See also <>; Nationalism.
   FURTHER READING:
    Laqueur, Walter. A History of Terrorism. Somerset, NJ: Transaction, 2001;
    Sinclair, Andrew. An Anatomy of Terror: A History of Terrorism. London: Pan Macmillan, 2004.
   GEORGIA TRES

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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  • terrorism — ter·ror·ism / ter ər ˌi zəm/ n 1: the unlawful use or threat of violence esp. against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion 2: violent and intimidating gang activity street terrorism ter·ror·ist / ist/ adj …   Law dictionary

  • terrorism — 1795, in specific sense of government intimidation during the Reign of Terror in France (1793 July 1794), from Fr. terrorisme (1798), from L. terror (see TERROR (Cf. terror)). If the basis of a popular government in peacetime is virtue, its basis …   Etymology dictionary

  • Terrorism — Ter ror*ism, n. [Cf. F. terrorisme.] 1. The act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; a mode of government by terror or intimidation. Jefferson. [1913 Webster] 2. The practise of coercing governments to accede to political demands by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • terrorism — [ter′ər iz΄əm] n. [Fr terrorisme] 1. the act of terrorizing; use of force or threats to demoralize, intimidate, and subjugate, esp. such use as a political weapon or policy 2. the demoralization and intimidation produced in this way terrorist n …   English World dictionary

  • Terrorism — Terrorist redirects here. For other uses, see Terrorist (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • terrorism — /ter euh riz euhm/, n. 1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a… …   Universalium

  • terrorism —    by Rex Butler   Baudrillard s response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, The Spirit of Terrorism , was published in Le Monde on 2 November. In his article, Baudrillard urges us not to rush to conclusions …   The Baudrillard dictionary

  • terrorism — noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear • Syn: ↑act of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • terrorism —    Apart from small, professedly left wing groups like FRAP and GRAPO, the main terrorist organization in Spain since the late 1960s is ETA, which has been responsible for by far the largest number of deaths and injuries. The peak of ETA activity …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture

  • terrorism — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ urban ▪ global, international, transnational (esp. AmE) ▪ cross border ▪ state, state sponsored …   Collocations dictionary

  • Terrorism —    One of the more important factors shaping political life in Israel has been the ever present threat of terrorism. The prestate Yishuv was confronted with extended periods of violence perpetrated by elements of the local Arab community in… …   Historical Dictionary of Israel


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