Civil Disobedience, By Martin Luther King, And Henry Thoreau Essay

Civil Disobedience, By Martin Luther King, And Henry Thoreau Essay

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Previous generations have opposed wars that promoted oppression, they fought for human rights. By engaging in these activities these individuals had to go against a higher power. They had to disagree with the system and how it operates. Therefore, they engaged in the act of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is an active, refusal way of obeying certain laws, demands, and commands of a government or higher power. There are many individuals who have previously engaged in the act of civil disobedience people such as; Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Thoreau, Martin Luther King, college students in the 1960s and many more. All these individuals have the same concepts of civil obedience and believe the government has to be changed. Although, Martin Luther King, and Henry Thoreau are two individuals who contain different ideas of what it means to engage in the activity of injustice.
Henry David Thoreau explains the different flaws of the government in his essay Civil Disobedience. Thoreau does not support the structure of the current system and suggests people should be self-governed. Thoreau writes “government is best which governs least” (Thoreau 1). Thoreau does not trust involvement of a government in an individual’s life and claims that the government should have minimal involvement in its citizen 's life. Thoreau points out “Government is at best but an expedient” (Thoreau 1). Thoreau knows that a government is needed to do certain things, however, Thoreau argues the government is not needed to control an individual’s life. Thoreau argues “There will never be a really free and enlightened State, until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power” (Thoreau 18). IN Thoreau’s defense one can never accompli...


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...ve minimal control and give an individual an opportunity to govern him/herself. King opposes that by mentioning that the government is needed although it has to change. King has a strong point when it comes to the government. Currently, a government is needed to pass laws that guide people. Although, the government has to strive to pass just laws, rather than unjust laws. Thoreau and King agree that when the government passes unjust laws there is room for injustice, and we have the willpower to disobey unjust laws. Thoreau suggests that to fight injustice we support causes that we can handle, while King tells us to involve ourselves with all the causes of injustice. To support Thoreau, there is too much injustice happening in the world, and one can never have the time nor the power to fight against it. Therefore one should fight for the causes that they can handle.

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