Coercion and Reconciliation: Post-Conflict Resolution After the American Civil War
Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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This monograph suggests generalized conclusions about the efficacy of military coercion and reconciliation as concepts used to resolve conflict. To accomplish this, it analyzes the differences in US government and military methods and outcomes achieved in two states, Tennessee and Virginia, following the American Civil War. The findings show that occupation forces in Tennessee lacked military coercive potential, which led to political domination by one party and subsequent oppression of the population, ultimately leading to violence and instability. In contrast, the federally imposed military government in Virginia retained coercive potential for a sufficient period of time for political discourse to occur without socio-political oppression, leading to relative stability and transition back to civil government, although later, the civil government adopted repressive policies. The conclusion is that during post-conflict resolution, having a moderate coercive body to maintain security, while allowing for political reconciliation and equilibrium to develop organically, leads to lower overall levels of violence and instability.