Daggers, Rifles, and Dynamite:
Anarchist Terrorism in 19th Century Europe
By Richard Jenson
By the 1880s, anarchist terrorism erupted as the result of harsh socio-economic conditions in Europe and America, regional and national traditions of social warfare and justified regicide, government repression of more peaceful and organized forms of protest and labor activity, the spellbinding examples of the Paris Commune and the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, the invention of dynamite and anarchist incitement to "propaganda by the deed". These ignited chain reactions of social protest, repression and revenge. While the number of assassinated heads of state and government, and of monarchs of major countries was unprecedented, the anarchists, outside of Spain, killed relatively few people. Nonetheless, the anarchists' desire for dramatic signs of vindication, the authorities' and the public's fears of a vast anarchist conspiracy and the media's hunger for sensational news combined to create the mirage of a powerful terrorist movement sweeping through nations and across the world.
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