Introduction xi and the manner in which it had been instituted. At the same time, the Founding documents of this period became tantamount to scripture as an American citizenry recognized the uniqueness of its government and its differences from all other governments then in existence. The people and not the actual stakeholders of government became the most vocal supporters and proponents of government. Yet when government fell short of expectations or the people supposed that government was not fulfilling the purposes for which it had been designed, the people would undertake actions to remind the government who it served. This “reminder” often came in the form of political violence. Such violence has occurred between opposing groups since the beginning of time. In the field of political science, researchers have long sought an- swers to the causes of interstate and intrastate wars (e.g., Ted Gurr’s work, Why Men Rebel).7 Yet with revolutions of all kinds happening in recent years—eVelvet, Orange, and the like—and the recent Arab Spring that occurred in the Middle East, it seems necessary to ask the question why people rebel against their own governments. In the case of dictatorships, authoritarian rule, or monarchies that have lost their appeal, the answer seems quite clear. Yet in the case of democracies— where people have the right, indeed the obligation, to participate in their government—why does violence occur? Thomas Jefferson once quipped that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants” (to William Stephens Smith, Paris, November 15, 1787).8 This basic idea has given voice to much of the political dissent and violence the United States has experienced over its nearly 240 years of existence. The coun- try itself was birthed through violent revolution, and those who fo- mented such revolution were hailed as heroes. Indeed, from that day to this, they are often referred to as “patriots.” In the beginning, political violence was never intended to overthrow the government of the United States. Rather, it was meant to hold government to the ideals that had been articulated in the Founding documents. American citizens, unlike their fellow citizens of the world, could, during the years following the Founding, demand accountability of their government, for it was a gov- ernment “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Never be- fore in history had such words been so forcefully put forth as the outline of an entirely new relationship between those who were to govern and those who were to be governed. Within the Founding itself was an expectation of governmental accountability and governmental limita- tions. That is, citizens demanded of their government that it fulfill its promises, but there was also the expectation that government would not
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