The doorway for devils
Bethke, Kellan D.
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In the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a substantial body of scholarship on the subject of terrorism has emerged without a unitary theory and course. What is today described as terrorism is scarcely a phenomenon unique to the 21st century. The roots of modern terrorism instead reside in the political history of the 19th and 20th centuries. This thesis asserts that modern terrorism begun in late imperial Russia and was perpetrated by early revolutionary groups including the nihilists, populists, and Socialist Revolutionaries. This thesis explores the motivations that led young men and women in 19th and early 20th century Russia to resort to organized political violence against the regime of the era. The analysis breaks the roughly fifty year period into three phases based upon the group that was the primary agent of terror and focuses on three categories of influence that shaped the movements environmental conditions, ideological agitation, and individual motivations. The research revealed that in all three phases of terrorism, the three modes of influence help to illuminate why the groups resorted to violence. Moreover, the thesis suggests that the same paradigm can be a useful approach to analyzing other terrorist groups throughout history.
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