Essay on Importance of Civil Disobedience

Essay on Importance of Civil Disobedience

Length: 1612 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

For as long as there have been rulers, there has been disunity between rulers and ruled. Citizens have always found ways to show their disapproval of governmental decisions and demanded action. Civil Disobedience has existed since the ancient Greek . From Antigone's defiance of Creon over Ghandi's Salt march in India to the Occupy Movement. What does the aforementioned mean?
Civil Disobedience, the term formulated by Henry David Thoreau, in his essay in 1848, to describe his refusal to pay the state poll tax, to fund the U.S. Government’s war with Mexico, prioritized one's conscience over the dictates of law. Nowadays the word is defined as a „the refusal to comply with certain laws considered unjust, as a peaceful form of political protest“ (Oxford Dictionary).
Day by day the Human Web expands, the World is becoming more interconnected. News, Ideas and theories that used to take month to travel from one place to another, are now almost instantly available. As a consequence global civil society is getting bigger and bigger, national issues receive global attention and so do injustices and oppression. How do people bring attention to these issues and force change? In the following I will show the the justifications, functions of Civil Disobedience and why it is crucial to achieving stable governance.

Before examining Civil Disobedience the the definition itself demands further clarification. The ambiguity of the term leads to certain contradictions that question the definition of what is considered a law.
To illustrate the ambiguity of the term “law” one needs to imagine this: a marching group of people protesting against financial inequality in the United States intend to walk past the New York Stock Exchange and are stop...


... middle of paper ...


...stitute of Peace, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
"About Us."Avaaz. N.p., 2007. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
"Definition of Civil Disobedience in English."Civil Disobedience: Definition of Civil Disobedience in Oxford Dictionary (British & World English). Oxford Dictionaries, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
Friedman, Milton. "The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice."The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
Spilius, Alex, Robert Winnett, and Gordon Rayner. "Wikileaks Afghanistan: 'War Crime' Evidence to Be Published."The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 26 July 2010. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
Tedla, Aden. "Estonians Campaign for Independence."Global Nonviolent Action Database. Ed. Max Rennebohm. N.p., 14 July 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
"WikiLeaks Publishes More Spy Files."Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 06 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Justification Of Civil Disobedience Essay

- In “The Justification of Civil Disobedience”, John Rawls says that civil disobedience is done in a public setting and is usually a non-violent protest or act. It is done in a situation where arrest and punishment are expected and accepted without resistance. Each of Rawls key characteristics of civil disobedience helps justify why civil disobedience is consistent with respect for the law. The constitution itself gives every citizen the freedom of speech and therefore for those laws that people find unjust, the people of the nation have the right to speak up and try to have the law changed in order to benefit the public in the best way possible....   [tags: Law, Political philosophy, Civil disobedience]

Powerful Essays
2021 words (5.8 pages)

Civil Disobedience By David Thoreau Essay

- In 1848, David Thoreau addressed and lectured civil disobedience to the Concord Lyceum in response to his jail time related to his protest of slavery and the Mexican War. In his lecture, Thoreau expresses in the beginning “That government is best which governs least,” which sets the topic for the rest of the lecture, and is arguably the overall theme of his speech. He chastises American institutions and policies, attempting to expand his views to others. In addition, he advances his views to his audience by way of urgency, analyzing the misdeeds of the government while stressing the time-critical importance of civil disobedience....   [tags: Civil disobedience, Henry David Thoreau, Protest]

Powerful Essays
1646 words (4.7 pages)

The Importance of Sit-Ins to the Black Civil Rights Movement Essays

- Civil disobedience was key in the pursuit of equality for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. Through forms of peaceful protest, African Americans were able to bring to light the socio-economic inequalities they faced and forced the government and general public to do something about it. Sit-ins, one method of practicing civil disobedience, took root in the early 1960s and quickly became a popular and effective form of peaceful protest. James Baldwin makes a very brief note of sit-ins in his essay “Down at the Cross”....   [tags: Black Civil Disobedience]

Powerful Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Analysis Of The Article ' Civil Disobedience ' Essay

- It is said that temptation leads to sin and that all humans are capable of sin. Without laws, chaos would reign and no man would be left unaffected. This is where the concept of government comes into affect. However, the question of how the government should function in humans ' life has been asked since the beginning of its creation. Henry Thoreau has asked this question and came up with the answer that government is essential in human life but the attempt to govern the people should not overstep the bounds of what its citizens needed....   [tags: Black people, Civil disobedience]

Powerful Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

The Case Against Civil Disobedience Essay

- Civil Disobedience is a deliberate violation against the law in order to invoke change against a government policy. Civil disobedience can come in the form of running a red light or j-walking, or in more noticeable methods such as riots. Coined by American author and poet Henry David Thoreau, the term has developed to define the act of disobeying a law one sees as unfit or unjust. Usually the purpose of civil disobedience is to gain public attention to a perceived injustice and appeal to or gain support from the public in a non-violent way....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Powerful Essays
913 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Thoreau's Civil Disobedience and Walden

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American philosopher, author, poet, abolitionist, and naturalist. He was famous for his essay, “Civil Disobedience”, and his book, Walden. He believed in individual conscience and nonviolent acts of political resistance to protest unfair laws. Moreover, he valued the importance of observing nature, being individual, and living in a simple life by his own values. His writings later influenced the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. In “Civil Disobedience” and Walden, he advocated individual nonviolent resistance to the unjust state and reflected his simple living in the nature....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Powerful Essays
1527 words (4.4 pages)

Henry David Thoreau 's Civil Disobedience Essay

- Worth His Salt: Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience The introduction of civil disobedience reminded the world that it had the option of nonviolence and that negative action did not have to be countered with equally negative reaction. Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience” embraced the idea of a man who took action to maintain his morality, even if it meant defying the government. Mahatma Gandhi, in turn, instigated his own act of civil disobedience in the Salt March where he marched across India and collected salt forbidden by British law....   [tags: Nonviolence, Civil disobedience]

Powerful Essays
1424 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Resistance to Civil Government: Henry David Thoreau

- In his essay, “Resistance to Civil Government,” often times dubbed, “Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) argues against abiding to one’s State, in protest to the unjust laws within its government. Among many things, Thoreau was an American author, poet, and philosopher. He was a firm believer in the idea of civil disobedience, the act of refusing to obey certain laws of a government that are felt to be unjust. He opposed the laws regarding slavery, and did not support the Mexican-American war, believing it to be a tactic by the Southerners to spread slavery to the Southwest....   [tags: civil disobedience, minimum government]

Powerful Essays
1381 words (3.9 pages)

Democracy in Civil Disobedience, Slavery in Massachusetts, Benito Cereno and Bartleby the Scrivener

- The Oppression of Democracy Exposed in Civil Disobedience, Slavery in Massachusetts, Benito Cereno and Bartleby the Scrivener America has long been recognized as a democratic nation, a nation operating under the will of the people. The forefathers of America fought incessantly against British tyranny to start anew in a land of freedom and opportunity. Because America revived the ancient Greek ideology of democracy, the nation was set apart from the rest of the world and was revered for the freedom and justice it provided its people....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Slavery Massachusetts Benito C]

Powerful Essays
1539 words (4.4 pages)

Disobedience Essay

- The Statue of Liberty exists to symbolize America¡¯s justice and liberty; although, the unjust system we abide by displays an obvious account of misrepresentation. Civil disobedience has been a recurrent issue in our society because many people oppose unjust laws and actions set upon our country. The government exists to provide good for the people by acknowledging what is in the best interest for the population. They seem to ignore the significant issues that affect us most and would rather invest their time and effort into other trivial predicaments....   [tags: Society Discrimination]

Powerful Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)