What Is Terrorism? For The French Revolution And The Jacobin French Government

1651 Words Nov 18th, 2015 null Page
The question ‘What is terrorism?’ can be answered in a varying number of ways. A variety of scholars have attempted to define the term, each with differences but with more similarities. To define it in its most simple format, it is ‘the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims’ . Wyn Rees defines it as ‘a particular type of action, in which violence is employed for a political purpose. It is conducted by non-state actors against non-combatants, with the aim of creating fear amongst a wider target audience.’ As well as being an action, it also important to understand that terrorism is in fact an ideology that has developed, and different people/states have alternative opinions on what in fact terrorism incorporates.
The earliest form of terrorism can be traced back to the French Revolution and the Jacobin French government. In which terrorism was seen as a rational concept to restore order to France by Maximilien Robespierre. He is quoted as saying ‘Terror is nothing else than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible’ . To use the term justice would seem unjustifiable in this modern age, but it shows how terrorism has clearly developed and changed from its earlies origins in France in the late 18th century. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly where it began, as the definition of terrorism is so broad. Who exactly does terrorism target, the state, or the people, or both. Other scholars have attempted to add subtle differences to the meaning of terrorism,…

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