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Historical Patterns of Violence (From Violence in America, Volume 2: Protest, Rebellion, Reform, P 23-61, 1989, Ted Robert Gurr, ed. -- See NCJ-119368)

NCJ Number
R M Brown
Date Published
39 pages
Although violence is strongly rejected for inclusion in the American creed, its use over the long sweep of American history has made violence a compelling, albeit unacknowledged, element in our values and culture.
Violence is not only associated with such negative aspects of American history as crime, political assassination, and racial conflict. It has also been at the heart of the most positive events of U.S. history. This includes independence (Revolutionary violence), the freeing of the slaves and the preservation of the Union (Civil War violence), land settlement (white-Indian wars), the stabilization of frontier society (vigilante violence), the social elevation of the farmer and the laborer (agrarian and labor violence), and the preservation of law and order (violent law enforcement). Often, political and economic power has incited violence by its refusal to heed and appease just grievances. It can also be argued that in American history the aggrieved have been too quick to resort to violence. This "trigger-happy" tendency has been enhanced by the legal principle of "no-duty-to-retreat." 131 notes.