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As you know, the structure make somebody do something has, at least, these two meanings:

  1. to cause somebody to do something
  2. to force somebody to do something

The latter is stronger. Now, I'm wondering which was meant by Bertrand Russell when he wrote:

The stage we have reached in the affairs of Europe corresponds to the stage reached in our internal affairs during the Wars of the Roses, when turbulent barons frustrated the attempt to make them keep the king's peace.

(the emphasis is from me)

Is it necessary to know the related historical facts in order to understand it correctly?

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    Common sense should tell you that powerful people can't be made to keep the peace when they don't want to, except by force. – Kate Bunting Jan 20 at 8:40
  • @KateBunting, Thanks. I felt this way myself, but wanted to know how other people understand it. – Arham Jan 20 at 8:45
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    Actually, the quote says nothing about the nature of the attempt, which could be diplomatic just as well as military. – michael.hor257k Jan 20 at 9:59
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    Also, I don't agree that make somebody do something has two distinct meanings. It always means bringing somebody to do something which they wouldn't do of their own volition. The method can be mild or harsh - that's merely a difference of degree. – michael.hor257k Jan 20 at 10:17
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These might be called causative clauses.

When you use the verb have with a causative clause, you get the meaning of cause.

When you use the verb make, you get the meaning of force.

more info on causative clauses can be found here: https://www.englishpage.com/minitutorials/let.html

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