History of Terrorism

3139 Words Feb 8th, 2010 13 Pages
THE CONTEXT OF TERRORISM
Terrorism beams into our homes through television screens, it assaults us in newspapers and magazines, and it sometimes touches our lives in more direct manners. People do not seem to worry about the definition of terrorism at such times. They simply feel terror when they see the violence. Sometimes it seems as though the event itself defines terrorism. For example, when a plane is destroyed by a bomb, it is frequently called terrorism, but when military forces shoot down a civilian aircraft, it can be deemed an unfortunate mistake. The United States may launch missiles at a suspected terrorist base and claim it is defending national interests. Yet, it may condemn another country for doing the same thing in another
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Modern terrorism originated from the French Revolution (1789–1795). It was used as a term to describe the actions of the French government. By 1848, the meaning of the term changed. It was employed to describe violent revolutionaries who revolted against governments. By the end of the 1800s and early 1900s, terrorism was used to describe the violent activities of a number of groups including: labor organizations, anarchists, nationalist groups revolting against foreign powers, and ultranationalist political organizations.
After World War II (1939–1945), the meaning changed again. As people revolted from European domination of the world, nationalistic groups were deemed to be terrorist groups. From about 1964 to the early 1980s, the term terrorism was also applied to violent left-wing groups, as well as nationalists. In the mid-1980s, the meaning changed again. In the United States, some of the violent activity of the hate movement was defined as terrorism. Internationally, terrorism was viewed as subnational warfare. Terrorists were sponsored by rogue regimes.
As the millennium changed, the definitions of terrorism also changed. Today terrorism also refers to large groups who are independent from a state, violent religious fanatics, and violent groups who terrorize for a particular cause such as the environment. It is important to realize that any definition is influenced by the
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