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Civil Disobedience

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received a Nobel Prize and was honored by the President of the United States for his contributions to society. On the other hand, he was prosecuted, convicted, incarcerated, and had his sentence reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. These explanations seem rather contradictory. If what he did was noble, why was he jailed for his actions? When we take into account these manifestations of the government's attitude towards Martin Luther King, we can safely make the assumption that the government is not always justified in the laws that it creates. Our government's original purpose was to keep order and ensure freedom to its people. As history has shown us, as in the case of African Americans, the government will expand its role and take away liberties of the few. The individual is justified in acting out in civil disobedience when the government restricts the liberties of the individual.

When the Declaration of Independence was drafted, our forefathers were defying the laws of Britain. It was an act of treason for men to declare a separation from Britain and to create a newly formed government for America. These men acted in civil disobedience because the laws were unfair to Americans. Under the new government, they immediately drafted the Bill of Rights, rights that they believed were unalienable for all men. The government's role was not to control our lives, as the British rule had done, but to prevent chaos and protect us from those who tried to take our freedoms. Man is naturally power hungry, and those who run the government may attempt to take away the public's rights as stated under the Bill of Rights. Because of such cases where those in government have created laws to...

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