What Role Do Leaders Play In Genocide Essay

799 Words4 Pages
What role do leaders play in genocide?
Discuss with reference to the Armenian Genocide. The United Nations defines genocide as an act “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Analysis Framework). A lot of deliberate thought and calculation goes into organizing genocide and leaders play a very important role in this process. However, leaders cannot create hatred; they can only take and manipulate what already exists and use it to their advantage. Over 3,000 years ago, the Armenians made their home in a region of Eurasia called Caucasus. While independent, Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion. This caused many problems for them
…show more content…
The Turks were scared: scared that the Armenians would steal their jobs; scared that the Armenians would side with the Russians; scared that the Armenians would take over Turkey. This is where the leaders came in. Both leaders, the Sultan and the Young Turks, knew how to draw what they wanted out of people. Propaganda was used to depict the Armenians as second-class citizens, or lesser people. They were subjected to different laws and the consequences for breaking those laws were much more severe than those of the Turks. The Armenians were slowly stripped of everything they had: their goods, their property, their jobs and their leaders. They were left with nothing. The Armenians were no longer considered a people; they’d become a group of individuals not deemed worthy of life. The Turks eventually began to believe that the Armenians weren’t human beings at all. This, combined with fear of the consequences of disobeying authority, is what made the Armenian genocide possible. Using the divide between the Turks and the Armenians combined with the hatred and tension that already existed throughout the Ottoman Empire, the leaders manipulated the people into doing terrible things, things they might not have otherwise done. As evidenced by the Armenian genocide, it is not necessary to have one ruler throughout. There is no one “evil” tyrant. The capacity lies

More about What Role Do Leaders Play In Genocide Essay

Open Document