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What is Peaceful Coercion?

Coercion is defined as the power to use force in gaining compliance, as a government or a police force. So therefore, peaceful coercion is to gain compliance in a peaceful matter. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison attempted to enforce the idea of peaceful coercion. In other words, Jefferson and Madison wanted to avoid any confrontation of war. They were both pacifists and wanted to avoid violent war measures at all costs. In the time of the presidency of Jefferson and Madison, there were many international disputes and there was talk of war.

However, Jefferson and Madison wanted to conduct foreign affairs peacefully through negotiations. Thomas Jefferson made an attempt at peaceful coercion through the Embargo Act. James Madison also attempted to enforce peaceful coercion through Macon’s Bill #2. They wanted to form alliances with Europe by peaceful negotiations. Jefferson and Madison wanted the United States to set an example by avoiding military force and gaining allies through the concept of peaceful coercion. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wanted to prove the superiority of peaceful means of coercion in international disputes, in which the common resort was to go to war. However, these acts accomplished none of these things and failed in all of their major objectives. Instead of being their greatest triumphs, these acts were their greatest defeats.

Instead of proving the effectiveness of peaceful coercion in international disputes, they seemed to prove its inadequacy. Thomas Jefferson and James strategy of peaceful coercion failed due to the ineffectiveness of the Embargo Act and the alliance created by Macon’s Bill #2.