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Big stick

force, especially political or military, used by a government as a means of influence.
Contemporary Examples

Vitali Klitschko Contemplates Bowing Out of the Ring and Entering Ukrainian Politics Gordon Marino March 25, 2013
Will Secretary of State Be Enough for Hillary’s Army? Tina Brown November 17, 2008
Obama Wins Heisman Trophy! Mark Katz October 8, 2009

Historical Examples

The Wizard of West Penwith William Bentinck Forfar
The Later Cave-Men Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
Tartarin de Tarascon Alphonse Daudet
Madge Morton’s Trust Amy D. V. Chalmers
Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton
Dick in the Everglades A. W. Dimock

(informal) force or the threat of using force


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