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    Hi all,

    My first posting, so I apologize if this topic has been regurgitated. I am attempting to write a paper with essential topic “Winners write history”. My idea was to compare George Washington and Gavrilo Princip.

    One has been vilified as, basically, the instigator of the two world wars. The other has been the most celebrated freedom fighter in the history of humanity. One is a poor peasant, who often went hungry, in his twenty something years of life, the other was the owner of hundreds of slaves whom he was known to cruelly beat by himself for the slightest mistakes.

    While I don’t intend to compare military skills, or statesman skills (Washington is obviously superior in that regard), I do intend to compare them in their understanding of “fighting for the right cause” and national/ideological identity.

    My worry is that I am subjective, considering that I come from ex-Yu (I live in US). Can anyone confirm my thoughts on this, or give me some counterarguments and tell me that I am full of it?

    Thank you.



    The thing is that a freedom fighter may be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who uses certain methods to achieve a goal. 

    The thing here is that Gavrilo Princip’s deed have resulted in the World War I (and indirectly in the World War II, but on this one I would not blame Princip), even if that was npt his intention. George Washington’s deeds resulted in the American independence. So it is basically about the result of an action of individual. 



    Both are criminals.



    One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.  :D 

    Michael Collins of Ireland comes to mind here. Ireland: Freedom Fighter/Irish Hero. Britain: Terrorist/Villain. Some people liken Stepan Bandera of Ukraine to Collins.

    At the turn of the century Britain was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. 

    Despite the extent of its power. its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland. For seven hundred years Britain’s rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure.

    Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerrilla war, which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. 




    I dont think Michael Collins is a good example. I’m pretty sure he is universally accepted as freedom fighter.  I mean if Liam Neeson plays you in a movie as a hero, you are a f-ing hero, period. Princip’s reputation is nowhere near there. 

    Shaokang, are there freedom fighters that you wouldnt consider terrorists? Ho Shi Min? Algerian fighters in the 50s? Are Fidel and Che Guevarra terrorists? Why or why not? 

    GaiusCoriolanus, yes, that is technicaly true. But, one term definitely has negative connotations and the other positive connotations. Connotations/perceptions is what I want to address, not technical definitions, which really are just communicational labels.



    In regards to Princip, does 1908 annexation justify his actions? What were other means available to him to further his just (most would agree) cause?



    we had a topic on Princip here-Gavrilo Princip: hero or villain. Naturally it caused  a fight, so you can see arguments for both stances on that issue.



    People who are willing to risk their life for a purpose higher than material wealth or immediate gratification deserve respect.
    By virtue of that alone they’re better people than 99% of the herd.



    The wors “terrorist” has negative connotations due to modernity and our current issues with very specific kind of terrorists. In the past it was just a method of fighting. I read somewhere that Polish Army before World War II was training some paramilitary group of Jews in implementing terror in their struggle for Israeli indepedence. The IRA was usin such methods as well when fighting for indepedence. The thing with Princip is mainly connected to a bit of bad luck which led to a global conflict and stopped being connected to the region of his interest. 

    Personally, I would not blame him for causing the Great War, politicians of various superpowers and their actions caused it. On the other hand, this war brought the indepedence to many nations, so that seems to be one good thing.



    >so that seems to be one good a thing.
    Good for some, bad for others. This or that nation gaining independence is not a good thing in and of itself. There’s no universal standard, just allegiances.



    George Washington is so boring. I prefer Nathan Hale. He was a captain in the Continental army and volunteered to spy on the British during the American Revolution. In 1776, at age 21, he was hanged without a trial by the British. I gave a speech in fourth grade about Nathan Hale and got an A.  :D  

    From the memoirs of Captain William Hull, quoting British Captain John Montresor, who was present and who spoke to Hull under a flag of truce the next day:

    “On the morning of his execution,” continued the officer, “my station was near the fatal spot, and I requested the Provost Marshal [William Cunningham] to permit the prisoner to sit in my marquee, while he was making the necessary preparations. Captain Hale entered: he was calm, and bore himself with gentle dignity, in the consciousness of rectitude and high intentions. He asked for writing materials, which I furnished him: he wrote two letters, one to his mother and one to a brother officer. He was shortly after summoned to the gallows. But a few persons were around him, yet his characteristic dying words were remembered. He said, ‘I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.

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