The Impact Of Terrorism On American Politics

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Terrorism has both been driven by and helped shape American politics. In the traditional sense of the word, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, terrorism is the “systematic use of terror, especially for coercion”. In her paper Terrorism and the American Experience, expert Beverly Gage notes that “In contrast to ordinary crime, terrorism is widely understood to be a political act, a gesture—however immoral or misguided—toward promoting some greater cause”. She also cites the example of terrorism during the civil war, (admittedly more war crime than terror attack), when opposing side would plant bombs in the corpses of their enemies, so the bombs would blow up when soldiers would return to pick up the bodies.It has been used by groups…show more content…
The September 11th attacks severely wounded the economy: the Dow Jones index dropped 10.57% the week after the attacks. However, as Dr. Marrie-Ann Cam notes in her paper The Impact of Terrorism on United States Industries, many interests continued to fall in value, a domino effect which triggered price movements between investments. For example, businesses with offices in the World Trade Center Towers that fell were hit very hard by the attacks, and investors put pressure on those companies to deliver compensation for some of the higher-risk investments. In fear of losing money, many individuals shifted their portfolios to less-risky assets, raising their price dramatically. This unintentional market manipulation by the public took place in the course of months after the attack. Additionally, certain sectors of industry are regarded as more affected by terrorism than others. For example, in the Bali, London and Madrid bombings, terrorists used transportation utilities to carry out their attacks, which ended up pushing the transportation industry over the high-risk line. An anomaly against the downward trend of the economy following the September 11th attacks was the defense sector: the quasi-war declared by the United States helped many in the defense industry score government contracts. A general trend was observed by researchers McDonald and Kendall in 1994 pointed to…show more content…
Terrorism can be seen as a large-scale psychological attack against the majority of the population. Consequently, such an attack is bound to effect change in the lives of many Americans. Many of tjhe major changes were implemented or observed after 9/11. The major difference (other than the sheer scale of the attack) between 9/11 and those previously mentioned was the source. Previously, as seen in the Centennial Olympic Park and Oklahoma City bombings, the perpetrator was a domestic “lone wolf” who wished to carry out a specific agenda. Americans were undoubtedly grief-stricken following those attacks, but the fear created by the attacks seemed temporary and less real for a large portion of the population. In fact, 25 years before the Oklahoma City bombing, Senator McClellan of Arkansas stated that "Bombing, terrorism and sabotage are not subjects which have been historically and traditionally familiar to the American people". After 9/11, Americans were shaken awake when foreigners were able to damage such integral parts of the economic and political structure. After the 9/11 attacks, life changed forever for many Americans. A direct response to the attacks, the Transportation Security Administration helps secure air travel to and from America, in the air and on the ground. Today, not a single person can step past check-in at an airport without a comprehensive and thorough
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