Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Historical origin and common usage
The original "White Terror" took place in 1794 in the aftermath of the Reign of Terror. Throughout France, many who had been involved in the Terror were attacked and often murdered. Jacobins were executed with little more due process than they had extended to their victims a few months earlier. The Convention itself approved some of these trials. In other cases, gangs of youths who had aristocratic connections or who had avoided serving in the army roamed the streets beating known Jacobins. These "bands of Jesus" dragged suspected terrorists from prisons and murdered them much as alleged royalists had been murdered during the September Massacres of 1792.
ROC's white terror
In reference to the Chinese Civil War, the "White Terror" was an attempted suppression of Communists and Communist sympathizers by Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang government. Beginning in 1927, the White Terror spread through many major Chinese cities, most notably Shanghai.
A direct cause for the failure of the First United Front , Chiang's "Bloody Double Cross" saw his armies turn against their former Communist allies. Death Squads patrolled the cities, on order to shoot anyone suspected of Communist leanings.
In reference to the 228 Incident on Taiwan in 1947, the "White Terror" describes the suppression of political dissent and public discussion of the massacre. In the decades following the 228 incident, many thousands of Taiwanese were imprisoned or executed for their real or perceived opposition to the Kuomintang government, leaving many native Taiwanese with a deep-seated bitterness to the mainlanders.
Fear of discussing the 228 Incident gradually decreased with the lifting of martial law in 1987, cumulating in the establishment of an official public memorial and an apology by President Lee Teng-hui in 1995.
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