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