The study of violence has emerged as an important analytical category for historical analysis, especially in the areas where Europeans attempted to establish either dominance or colonies, such as Ireland, North America, Asia, and the Middle East. This article surveys some recent work on colonial violence, in which historians have tried to distinguish between different types of violence and have pointed to the importance of intelligence gathering, fear, and emotion as analytical tools for understanding the nature of colonial violence.
William Palmeris Professor of History at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where he has taught since 1984. He is the author of four books and more than thirty-five articles on such subjects as the English Civil War, the Tudor Reconquest of Ireland, historians, and the professionalization of history departments. His publications include two previous contributions to Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques.