Historic Terrorism

The recent attacks of terrorists (especially in Europe) reminded me that 120 or so years ago, we went through this. You can see it in Chesterton’s The Man who was Thursday. The anarchist bombings seem to have been as random and ultimately ineffective as the current terrorists’ actions.

That said, I don’t know much more about that time than what I’ve written. How did the people of the late 19th century address their terrorists? Were they able to do anything except outlast the nuts?

Tom A.
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” - F.D.R.
“I am thinking and feeling, not only feeling.” - A.E. Van Vogt

Well, the largest wave of terrorism in the US was the post civil war lynchings of blacks, burning their houses, their churches, etc. It was the first large scale domestic terrorism in the US, and it claimed many more US lives than Islamic terrorism.

Somewhat farther back in time, when we faced the Barbary Pirates (a form of asymmetrical warfare on the part of their nation to extort tribute from the Atlantic nations) we sent in the Marines to hand their coccyx’s to them.


The anarchists petered out eventuallly and some of them were shot. Events such as the Sydney Street siege though proved hugely controversial at roughly the time you are thinking of. Other domestic terrorist groups (in the UK and Ireland) would have been groups such as the IRB and the Invincibles and other Irish groups who engaged in bombings. However they had definite aims and were usually more concerned with freeing prisoner or killing soldiers and police whom they regarded as legitimate targets in an ongoing war. Elsewhere you had of course similar groups fighting for various regional causes.

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