August 11, 2014 by David K. Sutton
British Empire Probably Considered Early American Revolutionaries Terrorists
Do you think the early revolutionaries who declared independence from the British Empire are examples of American heroes? Most Americans probably think so, or at least think positively when reflecting on the early struggle for freedom in the thirteen colonies.
The question is, what did the British Empire call these revolutionaries? The term “terrorist” was still a ways off, but had the term existed at the time, it is not a stretch to believe the British Empire would have considered those early American heroes to be terrorists.
What we do know, the historic figures we now call patriots, were called traitors and deviants by the British Empire. Within the American Revolution, there were factions known as Loyalists and Patriots. Loyalists had greater connection to the British Empire, while Patriots had little or no connection. And it is the Patriots who committed acts in the name of freedom that we could most closely associate with the modern term “terrorism.”
terrorism n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. – The Free Dictionary
It is known that some American revolutionaries used just these kinds of tactics in their fight for independence.
Loyalists were alienated when the Patriots resorted to violence, such as burning houses and tarring and feathering. Loyalists wanted to take a centrist position and resisted the Patriots’ demand to declare their opposition to the Crown. Many Loyalists, especially merchants in the port cities, had maintained strong and long-standing relations with Britain (often with business and family links to other parts of the British Empire).
Many Loyalists realized that independence was bound to come eventually, but they were fearful that revolution might lead to anarchy, tyranny or mob rule. In contrast, the prevailing attitude among Patriots, who made systematic efforts to use mob violence in a controlled manner, was a desire to seize the initiative. – Wikipedia
So you have to wonder, who really is a terrorist anyway? I do not condone violence, ever, but it would help if we had proper perspective before we reduce human beings and their struggles to terminology that alienates us from any sense of compassion for people pushed to the brink. To be clear, there are really horrible people in the world who use violence to make a point, many times under the umbrella of religious doctrine, but we need to stop throwing around the term terrorist every time we see someone who looks different, is leading a revolution, is out in the streets, and has his face cloaked.