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Terrorism and the Causes of Terrorist Attacks

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The continuing successful and attempted terrorist attacks in the USA and the endless wars and conflicts in which we are involved are caused by the very same reasons experienced in the expansion of Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries.  The economic, political, and cultural conditions present in each of these periods in history, although hundreds of years apart, are still very much alike.  The same desires for money, relations between different countries, and differing religious views are what caused this tragedy and similar conflicts during the expansion of Europe.  By examining these causes in the present as well as in the past, Americans might have a better understanding of the current situation and come up with some ways to prevent such a tragedy in future.

The exploitation of many of the native peoples in the New World during the period of European expansion can be seen to have been centered on greed.  According to the class film Conquest of Paradise, Columbus' goal even before he set out on the expedition was to find a shorter trade route to the Indian Ocean.  He thought that by sailing west he would eventually hit India, thereby avoiding the long trip around Africa (Bulliet et al. 430).  Columbus' voyage, however, resulted in the discovery of a new continent when he reached the islands of the Caribbean in October of 1492.  The voyage of Christopher Columbus had "laid the basis for Spain's large colonial empires in the Americas... these empires promoted, among the four Atlantic continents, the growth of a major new trading network whose importance rivaled and eventually surpassed that of the Indian Ocean network" (Bulliet et al. 431).  But this trading network, however, was not gained without ...


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Presentation.  Class Film.  HSS-212-003.  Fall Semester, September 6, 2001.

Conquistadors.  Dir.  David Wallace.  Narr.  Michael Wood.  Maya Vision.  PBS

Presentation, 7 Aug. 2001.  Class Film.  HSS-212-003.  Fall Semester, September 13, 2001.

King, John and Ian C. MacCaleb.  "White House, Air Force One possible targets."

CNN.com.  12 Sept. 2001.  9 October 2001 <http://www.cnn.com/2001/US /09/12/bush.terrorism/index.html>.

Krugman, Paul.  "The Fear Economy."  New York Times on the Web  30 Sept. 2001.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/30/magazine/ECONOMY.html>.

Meyer, Josh, and Carol J. Williams.  "$100 Million in Suspect Assets Frozen."  Los

Angeles Times on the Web  3 Oct. 2001.  3 Oct. 2001 <http://www.latimes.com

/news/printedition/asection/la-000079106oct03.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Da%5F

section>.

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