Home > Free Essays > Literature > Historical Literature > P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”

P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful” Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

Introduction

Nonviolence means have been used variously to oppose the oppression of the weak in society. In the book entitled, ‘A force more powerful: a century of nonviolence conflict,’ the author emphasizes the theme of nonviolence, and how the concept was applied in offering resistance to the oppressive regime in Poland and the German occupation in Denmark and the Netherlands.

Main body

In respect to the situation in Poland, Lech Welesa and the other leadership of Solidarity were taken captive after openly opposing the communist regime. Welesa was defiant when he was being arrested as he spoke to the captors telling them that “at this moment, you lost…We are arrested, but you have driven a nail into your communist coffin…You’ll come back to us on your knees” (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 1). Welesa and his colleagues ensured that the oppressive regime in Poland was denied the approval of the people. They made sure that it was a matter of time before the state could not control the people, forcing the state to comply with their demands. Welesa rose to become the president in the year 1990; and he and his colleagues within Solidarity had not resorted to any form of violence (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 2).

Nonviolence means was not only used in Poland, and that many other nations had employed nonviolent means in agitating for regime change. Nonviolent conflicts took various forms that involved disruptive actions aimed at constraining or punishing opponents. Protests were used in inspiring public support for the resistance movements. Noncooperation involved actions such as boycotts, civil disobedience, and strikes among others aimed at subverting government operations. Across the world, there was a shift in the way people understood power. This is because it was argued that real power emanated from the consent of the people which is controlled as opposed to the threat of violence used against the people (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 2).

Many nonviolent measures were taken in opposition to oppression. The Danish and Netherlands citizens were notable in their adoption of nonviolent means while opposing the German occupation during the World War II period. The Germans occupied Denmark in the pretense of offering protection against the impending British attacks. Denmark was isolated and its geographical position was to the advantage of the Germans such that it was difficult for outside assistance to be granted by the Allied forces. This was summed up in the sentiments made in 1940 by the British Premier, Winston Churchill, asserting that “the other two Scandinavian countries, Norway and Sweden, have at least a ditch over which they can feed the tiger, but Denmark is so terribly near Germany that would be impossible to bring help” (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 208). This meant that the Danish citizens were left to exonerate their country from German occupation through their means.

With the King and the government being afraid of confronting the Germans, the citizens took the initiative through nonviolent means. This was accomplished through a lack of cooperation from citizens and sabotage to the Germans to make their stay in Denmark difficult. The Danish government was weak and could not resist the mighty Germans, a factor that led to King Christian calling for cooperation with the Germans. The citizens were not happy with this and they resorted to nonviolent actions that aimed to free Denmark from the German occupation (Ackerman & DuVall, p 212). Apart from the mentioned nonviolent means, the Danes used the underground media to advance their dissatisfaction with the German occupation. This added to the nonviolent means employed in resisting the Germans (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 216).

The German occupation in the Netherlands was not similar to the case in Denmark. This is because, in the Netherlands, the Germans waged a war forcing the royal family to flee to London before Germans took over control of the country (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 232). The Dutch had maintained a neutral stand and had no war experience to resist the mighty Germans. The Germans began targeting the Jews, and this led to massive strikes and protests in the streets. The Dutch, like the Danish, resorted to nonviolence means in showing resistance towards the German occupation (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 233).

It can be noted that the Dane emerged from war while in a better condition compared to other European countries that had been occupied by the Germans during the war. This can be attributed to the nonviolent means employed by the citizens in resisting the Germans. The citizens had shown solidarity in their resistance, and this proved pivotal as it ensured that the Danes were able to withstand German occupation without having to undergo the various rigors as witnessed by other European countries (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 231).

One lesson that can be learned from how the Danes were able to put up a brilliant resistance against the German occupation is that violence is not the only way to show resistance. It does not matter how dreadful the opponent is; and that, if nonviolent resistance can be made resilient and imaginative, then the goal can as well be achieved. Since the Germans needed normalcy within Denmark, the people worked to deny them this vital aspect (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 231).

In both Denmark and Netherlands, the resistance movements took nonviolent means in resisting the German occupation. The resistance was conducted in symbolic and cultural protests, asserting the quest for the respective citizens to take control of their nations. There were strikes, defiance at the workplace, and damage to property among other means which were carried out by the nonviolent actors to sabotage the German occupiers. In Denmark, it has to be noted that an alternative network of communication was developed to counter the lies propagated by the Germans. The Danes involved many people in strikes, demos, and various forms of resistance which forced the Germans to stop using violence and suspend the curfews. The Danes ensured that the Germans did not have ample time to carry out their objective as intended (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 238).

Conclusion

There is no doubt that war becomes part of the history of the nations which are involved and can be used to measure how great the people of these nations are. In the case of the Dutch and the Danes, the people were determined to rise against an oppressive occupation even though they did not have the weaponry to match their oppressors. They resorted to nonviolent means which proved to be useful in distracting the occupiers’ mission and helped in driving the point home (Ackerman & DuVall, p. 239). The Danes were able to frustrate the German’s effort to take over Denmark whereas the Dutch were not ready to be taken for granted by the mighty German.

Work Cited

Ackerman, Peter and DuVall, Jack. A force more powerful: a century of nonviolent conflict. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000.

This essay on P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful” was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, January 14). P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”. https://ivypanda.com/essays/p-ackerman-on-nonviolence-in-a-force-more-powerful/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, January 14). P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/p-ackerman-on-nonviolence-in-a-force-more-powerful/

Work Cited

"P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”." IvyPanda, 14 Jan. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/p-ackerman-on-nonviolence-in-a-force-more-powerful/.

1. IvyPanda. "P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/p-ackerman-on-nonviolence-in-a-force-more-powerful/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/p-ackerman-on-nonviolence-in-a-force-more-powerful/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/p-ackerman-on-nonviolence-in-a-force-more-powerful/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'P. Ackerman on Nonviolence in “A Force More Powerful”'. 14 January.

Powered by CiteTotal, essay citation creator
More related papers