How Many Ways To Conspire? Let Me Count The ‘They’s
Civil conspiracy is the actions of two or more parties to act against a third party. Also known as collusion, it is illegal in the United States. A conspiracy in and of itself is illegal, whether it uses legal methods or not and whether the ends are legal or not. Civil conspiracy is often used to manipulate prices; two parties agree to withold services to drive up prices, or, in the sports world, to not sign a player in order to drive down his price. One of the more well known types of collusion took place in Major League Baseball during the 1980s, when owners refused to sign free agents to large contracts, forcing them to take smaller deals.
Criminal conspiracy is similar to civil conspiracy, in that two or more parties plan to act against a third, but it is always for the purposes of committing a crime. It is important to note that actually committing the crime is not required for a criminal conspiracy; merely the intention is. For instance, two or more parties could plan to commit murder – even if they never take further steps towards the actual crime, they have conspired and can be charged. In many cases, it is an additional charge on top of whatever other crimes a person is accused of.
A political conspiracy involves a plot to overthrow, remove, or replace a government. Among the more famous political conspiracies are the assassination of Julius Caesar by the Roman Senators, the French Revolution, and the American Revolution, as well as the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and many coups by military dictators in the 20th century. As is evidenced by this varied list, political conspiracies can be a positive or negative force in world history. All that matters is that there is some sort of plot to overthrow the current government and replace it. Political conspiracies also cover failed plots, such as the Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
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