The Art of Conversation

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Evolution Of Terrorism


Many people look to terrorism as a post 9/11 phenomenon however terrorism has been around for a long time before this one terrorist attack. At one point terrorism used to be a small group creating acts of terror against a group of people or a single person such as the government plot of Guy Fawkes as he and his group attempted to blow up the houses of parliament and assassinate King James 1. However 20th Century began to see changes in terrorism that amounted to acts of war such as IRA in Northern Ireland and in England. In 21st Century it has become a global phenomenon such as the events of 9/11, and the acts of ISIS.


Terrorism used to be localised acts of terror against a small group of people. These were not generally considered acts of war or even organised in a military kind of way. Often these acts of terrorism were politically motivated and carried out by groups of people who were unhappy with a political system. These early acts of terrorism include:

  • Guy Fawkes and the attempt to blow up government
  • The French Revolution and the assassination of the French royal family
  • Hijacking of three Roman Ships

As the above examples show, terrorism has always been a part of society including events that stem from ancient Roman history.


Political acts of terrorism continued into the 20th Century and some of the most famous acts of terrorism during this period included:

  • Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
  • Assassination of Russian Tsar family
  • IRA
  • One thing that seems to have emerged during the 20th Century is how acts of terrorism seemed now to be more military based. Consequences of 20th century terrorist acts also had the potential to start wars and in the case of the Russian Tsar and his family, this had the power to create a whole revolution.


    Terrorism in the 21st century has changed yet again. Yes it is still military based but now acts of terrorism have global consequences. Acts of terrorism in 21st century include:

    • Events of 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London
    • Spanish terrorist attacks of ETA
    • ISIS

    As seen from the above acts of terrorism in 21st Century, many have global effects although others are more localised such as ETA. Each act of terrorism however is no less terrifying than another.


    Acts of terrorism therefore are forever growing larger in number and becoming more and more organised with military precision.

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