Essay One Mans Freedom Fighter, Another Mans Terrorist

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Historical Inquiry - Terrorism

What defines terrorism or freedom fighting depends upon a number of factors. Motivation as a factor in defining terrorism or freedom fighting is particularly significant as it forms the basis of Macquarie’s dictionary definition, “someone who joins in organised resistance usually armed against the established government, or the domination of his or her country by a foreign power” . Therefore it can be stated that a freedom fighters goal is to liberate oppressed people from foreign powers. Where as the motivation of terrorists might also stem from a want of freedom but also has its foundations in other sources, such as religious conflict, more personal motivators such as anger, frustration,
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The IRA came into being due to the reoccurring issue between the English and the Irish over the British occupation of Ireland due to a reigniting of Irish nationalism in the early 1900’s. This period saw the prominent Sinn Fein nationalistic political party preaching the withdraw of “Irish Representation from the British Parliament and by denying the right and opposing the will of the British Government or any other foreign Government to legislate for Ireland” achieved political victory throughout Catholic Ireland in 1918 . The Sinn Fein after this success founded Dail Eireann in Dublin, an Irish Parliament. The revolutionary objectives of the Sinn Fein aligned strongly with the objectives of the newly formed military organisation of the IRA which preached, “the ongoing liberation of Ireland from foreign occupiers” using “A war of attrition against enemy personnel which is aimed at causing as many casualties and deaths as possible so as to create a demand from their people at home for their withdrawal” . The Anglo-Irish War of 1919 and 1921 that saw the IRA Republicans guerrilla tactics unsuccessful resulted in the British partition of Ireland through the Anglo-Irish Treaty that made the whole of Ireland a dominion of Britain but allowed Northern Ireland, predominately made up of Protestants who favoured the relationship between Ireland and England known as the unionists, to remain a region of the United