1793: Reign of Terror launched in France. The revolutionary government in France is controlled by the Committee of Public Safety, which launches a program of widespread arrests and executions of perceived enemies of the revolution. For a year, known as "the Terror," violence is a tool used by the government to combat its enemies. This period later gives its name to terrorism, the use of violence to achieve political ends.
March, 1811: Luddites attack factories. Skilled textile workers thrown out of work by new machinery stage their first raids against a factory. They are called Luddites after the name of their supposed leader, Ned Ludd.
1869: Catechism of a Revolutionary published. First edition of an anarchist manual, Catechism of a Revolutionary, is published by Sergei Nechayev. He was an advocate of assassination and terrorism as a means of overthrowing strong central governments.
May 6, 1882: Assassination in Dublin. Lord Frederick Cavendish (1836–1882), chief secretary for the British government in Ireland, is stabbed to death in Dublin. His murder is blamed on the pro-Irish-independence Invincibles. Cavendish's assassination is the first in over a century of attacks in the quest to achieve Irish independence and the unification of the six counties of Ulster (Northern Ireland) with the counties of the...
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Words to Know
- Absolute monarch:
- A ruler who is not controlled by law.
- The Arabic name for God; the supreme being of Islam.
- Unselfishly concerned with the good of others.
- A pardon granted by a government for past offenses.
- A political belief system that maintains that people can govern themselves through voluntary associations without any formal government.
- An infectious disease that can be fatal unless a person gets treatment soon after he or she has been exposed.
- Opposed to democracy.
- The upper classes of society.
- Setting a fire with criminal intent.
- In its original meaning, a member of an Islamic group that fought the Christian...
(The entire section is 990 words.)
Appendix: Terrorist Group Profiles
Below are brief profiles of some terrorist groups operating at the end of the twentieth century and in the first years of the twenty-first century.
National Liberation Army (ELN)
The National Liberation Army (ELN) was formed in 1965 by Colombians inspired by the revolution in Cuba led by Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara in the 1950s. (Castro and Guevara led a revolution that overthrew the leader of Cuba in 1956. They became allies of the Soviet Union—today, Russia and neighboring countries—which was ruled by the Communist Party. Communists believe in an ideology under which the government, rather than individuals, controls major factories, mines, and farmland, and, in theory, distributes the wealth to its citizens as needed.) The ELN aims at replacing Colombia's government with a Communist regime. It has carried out a long string of hijackings, kidnappings, bombings, and guerrilla attacks. In 1999 the government of Colombia agreed to negotiate with ELN, but talks progressed very slowly in the face of opposition from the Colombian parliament.
Kidnapping for ransom is the most common tactic of ELN. It especially targets employees of foreign corporations in the petroleum industry. It also attacks Colombia's oil pipelines and electricity network as a means of weakening the central...
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