NATCHITOCHES – Richard Bach Jensen, a professor of history in the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University, recently delivered a paper at Uppsala University near Stockholm, Sweden.
The paper, “The Pre-1914 Anarchist ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist and Governmental Responses,” focused on two acts of violence committed before World War I by apparent lone anarchists and on police and government responses to this violence.
The two cases chosen were the 1896 bombing of a Corpus Christi procession in Barcelona and the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley. In the paper, Jensen explored the motivations of the different anarchists and compared and contrasted the government responses.
“While the different targets and possible motivations of the anarchist terrorists are interesting in these cases, even more striking are the sharply differing responses of the authorities,” said Jensen. “While the police and government responses in both cases were far from flawless, the ruthless actions of the Spanish provoked violent acts of revenge, while the briefly violent and mostly uncoordinated responses of the Americans led to no further terrorist deeds. The American government was long on anti-anarchist rhetoric but short on concrete acts of repression. This approach produced no martyrs.”
The Centre for Police Research at Uppsala University funded Jensen’s travel.