Civil Disobedience, By Henry David Thoreau And Letter From A Birmingham Jail

Civil Disobedience, By Henry David Thoreau And Letter From A Birmingham Jail

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Mahatma Gandhi, a prominent leader in the independence movement of India once said, “Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless and corrupt.”(brainyquotes.com) Gandhi states that protest and civil disobedience are necessary when the authority becomes unscrupulous. This correlates to “Declaration of Independence,” by Thomas Jefferson; “Civil Disobedience,” by Henry David Thoreau; and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” by Martin Luther King Jr., because all three leaders felt that civil disobedience was important to help protest against an unjust ruling. Jefferson stood up to the injustice of the king by writing the Declaration of Independence and urged others to stand up for the independence of America. Thoreau exemplified civil disobedience by refusing to pay taxes to an unjust government and wanted for all Americans to follow. By writing “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” King hopes for the clergy not to submit to the unjust authority, and to join the protest against racial segregation. Jefferson, Thoreau, and King all urge their readers not to submit to an unjust authority and encourage them to stand up against that authority, often through civil disobedience in order to maintain the American philosophy of “unalienable rights”
After being unfairly ruled by King George III for many years, Thomas Jefferson wanted to cut off all connections with Great Britain in order to maintain the God-given rights. Many people came to the colonies in order to get away from the inequitable rule of the King of Great Britain. Although the colonists lived in America, the king still controlled the Colonies which forced the Colonists to comply under the same unjust laws as before. Jefferson recognized the injustice of King Ge...


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...ritain and to help maintain the idea of the unalienable rights that no government or person may take away. Similar to Jefferson, Thoreau used civil disobedience by not paying taxes, which went to an unjust government. He hoped for other citizens to stand up to a government which allowed cruelty such as slavery and the Mexican-American War to occur and to help preserve the American ideology of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Just like, Jefferson and Thoreau, King used civil disobedience to urge the clergy to join the cause as well as to desegregate their churches. King hopes to restore the unalienable rights that are granted to each and every individual African-American whose rights have been taken away by an unjust government. Mahatma Gandhi used civil disobedience to protest against British rule and aspired for other citizens to join the protest as well.

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