～しめる is an old-fashioned causative ending that is still used infrequently in Modern Japanese. Aside from this, the causative endings once were used to show extreme politeness, and this usage is preserved in old-fashioned speech. This lesson will be very short. So, feel grateful.
The auxiliary verb ～しめる is limited to only a handful of verbs which include する, なす, いう, ある, 知る, and じる/ずる-する verbs. This is not an exhaustive list, but due to its archaic nature, its use is very limited, and it is suggested that you only attempt to use it with verbs you see, how you see it used, and in formal writing.
The primary factor of changing the environment is not because of the greenhouse effect.
That is a part where the citizens bring about it.
Variant Note: 然らしめる ＝ そうさせる.
Let’s inform the world of the awesomeness of Japanese.
に言わせ（れ）ば・に言わしめれば to mean "if you ask...". As expected, the latter is more literary.
4b. 私に言わしめれば、その計画はよい考えではないと思っております。(謙譲語: ちょっと古風)
If you ask me, I think that plan isn't a good idea.
知らしめる is occasionally used in Modern Japanese as a strongly nuanced way of saying 知らせる・認知させる.
5. ほら君はのまれている 無責任な言葉を知らしめているだけさ。
Look at you overwhelmed; I'm just making irresponsible remark known.
Another important combination is たらしめる, which is actually equivalent to にする and is the combination of the 未然形 of a classical yet very emphatic copula verb たり and ～しめる. This たり should not be confused with the particle たり, which has a very different origin. You will see this again in future conjugations and grammar points.
6. 我が社を世界のトップたらしめる。(Formal; literary)
We will make our company at the top of the world.
7. わが国は、遠くない過去の一時期、国策を誤り、戦争への道を歩んで国民を存亡の危機に陥れ、 植民地支配と侵略によって、多くの国々、とりわけアジア諸国の人々に対して多大の損害と苦痛を与えました。私は、未来に誤ち無からしめんとするが故に、疑うべくもないこの歴史の事実を謙虚に受け止め、ここにあらためて痛切な反省の意を表し、心からのお詫びの気持ちを表明いたします。また、この歴史がもたらした内外すべての犠牲者に深い哀悼の念を捧げます。
Our country caused great pain and damage to many countries, particularly to all peoples of Asia, by colonial rule and invasion, driving citizens to a state of life and death crisis by mistaking national policy and walking down a road of war in a period of the not so distant past. In order to rid such mistakes in the future, I humbly accept these irrefutable facts of history, express here again bitter remorse and my heartfelt apology. Again, please accept my sincere and deep condolences to all victims this history brought.
This excerpt from an apology for past human violations by Japan in World War II by ex. Prime Minister Murayama provides insight to well-crafted writing. The passage begins with the Classical attribute marker function of が. 無からしめんとする is a combination 無い, -しめる, the Classical volitional auxiliary verb -む, and とする. Together, the phrase is equivalent to なくさせようとする, which is translated in the passage with が故に as "in order to rid".
Formal, Semi-Classical Text
Below is an excerpt from a piece by 川端康成. This is a report on the mental health of a man who has been charged with the murder of two women. Here below is part of the report, and notice how せしめる used to be せしむる in the 連体形.
"He has shown great excellence in the I.Q test. In his assessments carried out in general knowledge, numeric ability, logical choice, official text, loading artillery, syntax, and defining, he completely meets the standard marks on all these things.
There is no mistake in his memory about his own record, and his signature test was as like it appeared on the front, and he got all the right numbers in the antonyms test, and given that he completely play backed his performance on the rather unrelated antonyms test, one would have to say that he is indeed superb.
Thereupon, no handicaps can be found in his memory or inscription, so we testify that he doesn't have a mental cause letting down his memory...."
From 散りぬるを by 川端康成.
Word Note: Official text (正文) would have been written in 漢文 at the time.
1. As you should expect, 得るは would be 得るのは in more modern Japanese. At one time, the 連体形 could allow verbs to be used as nominals just as in the context above.
2. Notice also that the 連体形 of ～た used to be たる rather than just た.
～させる, ～せる, and ～しめる may show extreme politeness. This usage is very rare, and it is seen frequently in classical texts. They are often followed by -給う. In Classical Japanese, 給う is spelled as 給ふ. This is not something you have to remember, but old expressions/patterns like this can easily be found in set phrases such as the second example.
The president was also in a panic.
Do at your heart's desire.
A trial from God。
Sound Change Note: ～たまひたり → ～たまうた → ～たもうた.
Lord Genji left for the home of the minister.
From the 源氏物語.