Terrorism has been practiced throughout history
and throughout the world.
The ancient Greek historian Xenophon (c. 431c.
350 BC) wrote of the effectiveness of psychological
warfare against enemy populations.
Roman emperors such as Tiberius (reigned AD 1437)
and Caligula (reigned AD 3741) used banishment,
expropriation of property, and execution as means
to discourage opposition to their rule.
The Spanish Inquisition used arbitrary arrest,
torture, and execution to punish what it viewed
as religious heresy. The use of terror was openly
advocated by Robespierre as a means of encouraging
revolutionary virtue during the French Revolution,
leading to the period of his political dominance
called the Reign of Terror (179394).
After the American Civil War (186165) defiant
Southerners formed a terrorist organization called
the Ku Klux Klan to intimidate supporters of Reconstruction.
In the latter half of the 19th century, terrorism
was adopted by adherents of anarchism in Western
Europe, Russia, and the United States. They believed
that the best way to effect revolutionary political
and social change was to assassinate persons in
positions of power.
From 1865 to 1905 a number of kings, presidents,
prime ministers, and other government officials
were killed by anarchists' guns or bombs.