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The author of the passage uses the word contemporary in order to
To denounce means to harshly criticize; however, GMAT authors, as you may recall, are cool scientists and academics, who never feel so strongly about anything! You can eliminate this answer choice as it is too extreme. The author does not use this word (or any word) to express such a strong view.
The word contemporary means 'of the same time'. It tells us that the Europeans who criticized the colonial Americans lived at the same time as they did.
Since the word contemporary describes the European militants, it is likely the author used it to describe that group and not the American colonial style of warfare.
The word contemporary means 'of the same time'. It tells us that the Europeans who criticized the colonial Americans lived at the same time as they did. Therefore, the author did not use it to report the opinion of later generations of Europeans.
The word contemporary refers to European militants who lived at the same time as the colonial Americans whom they criticized. The author uses this word to emphasize that this criticism came from the past, not the present.