Anarchist Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Europe and the World, 1878–1934

Authored by: Richard Bach Jensen

The Routledge History of Terrorism

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415535779
eBook ISBN: 9781315719061
Adobe ISBN: 9781317514879


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Soon after an anarchist shot United States President William McKinley in September 1901, the St. Paul Pioneer Press of Minnesota editorialized that: “It is not too much to say that the whole of Europe in the last two years has been in a condition of constant terror as to when and where the murderous brotherhood who style themselves anarchists would find their next victim.” 1 While doubtless an exaggeration, the comment does convey a sense of the moral panic that seized much of the world at various times between the late 1870s and the mid-1930s. A significant number of anarchist bombings and assassinations occurred during this period, but the phenomenon of anarchist terrorism that exercised such a powerful impact on the mentality of the world was much greater than these violent deeds. Overwhelmingly it was a cultural construction. The present chapter will discuss the causes, progress, and decline of anarchist terrorism as a worldwide phenomenon (Chapter 9 will examine it in the United States). A second focus of this chapter will be on government and police reactions to anarchism. 2

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