Lessons in Civil Disobedience Essay

Lessons in Civil Disobedience Essay

Length: 839 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

No one possesses the same morals or beliefs. Morality does not have a black and white answer because no one is exactly alike. Everyone has their own opinion and right to voice that opinion, and there are numerous ways of doing so. As a citizen with my own beliefs, I believe I have the right to violate laws if I feel morally obligated to. The amount of progress that America has made in such a short amount of time is astonishing. In some ways it seems as if the only way to make any headway is to speak up. If I was morally opposed to a policy or law I would go against it due to its effectiveness, individualism, and past history of the world that has made immense progress.
It is important to notice that if civil disobedience was not effective, then it would not be continually used to disobey the law. In "The Role of Civil Disobedience in Democracy” by Kayla Starr, she explains why we have the right to participate in civil disobedience. “The U.S. Bill of Rights asserts that the authority of a government is derived from the consent of the governed, and whenever any form of government becomes destructive, it is the right and duty of the people to alter or abolish it” (Starr 1). There are many examples of how effective this act of defiance could be. During the Boston Tea Party, the citizens of Massachusetts practiced civil disobedience by throwing Britain’s tea into the Boston harbor because they did not want to pay taxes on tea. Now, you can see that the Boston Tea Party played a major role in the United States becoming independent from Britain (Starr 1). Although violating the law has consequences, in this case the reward outweighed the risk. I think that by realizing the power that civil disobedience carries, we can stand up against ...


... middle of paper ...


... for your beliefs, then you are more willing to be fully committee to your cause. The progress that several individuals made was because of their nonviolent protests. Civil disobedience made a big difference in the history of the world.



Works Cited

Curtis, Jerry. "The Role of Nelson Mandela in the Fight against Apartheid in South Africa." Humanities. Humanities, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.
"Gandhi Leads Civil Disobedience." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013.
Starr, Kayla. "The Role of Civil Disobedience in Democracy." The Role of Civil Disobedience in Democracy. Civil Liberties, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.
Thoreau, Henry David. "Civil Disobedience." By Henry David Thoreau. n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.
Walden, J Thomas . "Literary Analysis the Ideal of Individualism in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden." Humanities. Humanities, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Poem ' Civil Disobedience ' By Harlan Ellison And ' Shooting An Elephant '

- The world roughly hold about seven billion people. People from different backgrounds, nationality, race, but there is a high percentage of people in this world that struggle to make moral decisions on their own because they are scared of becoming an outcast, an enemy. In addition, this cycle causes people to be controlled by the society and not make decisions that would possibly better them but rather turn them into the society’s robot. In essays such as, “‘Repent Harlequin’ Said the Ticktock Man” and “Shooting an Elephant,” written by Harlan Ellison and George Orwell, respectively, each character faces a conflict with themselves by not using their own moral sense and getting faced with chal...   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Civil disobedience]

Strong Essays
1553 words (4.4 pages)

What Influenced Mahatma Gandhi Essay

- Mahatma Gandhi & his Influences The Indian pacifist Gandhi once said “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind,”(Gandhi). Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi believed fighting only makes a situation worse and abhorred committing violence in almost all forms. As a young man of privilege, Gandhi was given an excellent education, studying Indian law at the University College London and put this education to effective use back home. In protests against the tyrannical British-rule in India, the combinations of varying people and religions were instrumental, all the while garnering significant international support for the cause....   [tags: Civil Disobedience, Nonviolence, Religion]

Strong Essays
1417 words (4 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]

Strong Essays
913 words (2.6 pages)

The Pros and Cons of Civil Disobedience Essay

- Civil disobedience is the refusal to obey civil laws in an effort to induce change in governmental policy or legislation, characterized by the use of passive resistance or other nonviolent means. The use of nonviolence runs throughout history however the fusion of organized mass struggle and nonviolence is relatively new. The militant campaign for women’s suffrage in Britain included a variety of nonviolent tactics such as boycotts, noncooperation, limited property destruction, civil disobedience, mass marches and demonstrations....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Free Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Civil Disobedience Is A Constitutional Right

- “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law” (King, Martin L., Jr.). When the African Americans were protesting oppression it was an act of civil disobedience. When the women’s suffrage movement happened thousands of women marched in the streets, they endured hunger strikes, and submitted to arrest to gain the right to vote (Starr).In other words, America has a long history of civil disobedience....   [tags: Protest, Civil disobedience, Law]

Strong Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Need For Civil Disobedience

- To grasp the meaning of Civil Disobedience one would have to say that it means the refusal to obey the civil laws so that the government can change the policy or legislation, characterized by the use of. I have read Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience and the obligation that your conscience mind follows and in reading this it states that people should not let the governments overrule or atrophy their consciences and that we as people are obligated to not allow the government to make them agents of any type of injustice....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Strong Essays
1281 words (3.7 pages)

Essay Civil Disobedience and Change

- How has civil disobedience been used to engender change. The human race has a long history of disobedience, beginning in the early biblical texts with the story of Adam and Eve. There are also many examples of civil disobedience the permeate known human history that include various forms of civil disobedience, including mass exodus, boycott, strike, non-cooperation and conscientious objection. Henry David Thoreau was a pioneer of modern civil disobedience when he refused to pay a poll tax because he believed the money would be used to fund the Mexican War....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Strong Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

Essay on Civil Disobedience

- Civil disobedience has been around for a long time. In Bible times Christians would disobey laws that would go against their beliefs, such as the law that they couldn’t preach. (Acts 4) Christians still disobey laws in many countries that do not let them practice their faith, some end up in jail or killed. In the past in this country, Thoreau wrote an essay on Civil disobedience saying that people make the law and have a right to disobey unjust laws, to try and get those laws changed. Under British rule in India, the British were harshly oppressive and only interested in exploiting products from India for their own use, causing many Indians to become extremely poor....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Free Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Civil Disobedience

- The political concepts of justice and how a society should be governed have dominated literature through out human history. The concept of peacefully resisting laws set by a governing force can be first be depicted in the world of the Ancient Greeks in the works of Sophocles and actions of Socrates. This popular idea has developed over the centuries and is commonly known today as civil disobedience. Due to the works of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. civil disobedience is a well-known political action to Americans; first in the application against slavery and second in the application against segregation....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Strong Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

Civil Disobedience Essay example

- Abstract Civil disobedience is the term assigned to actions taken by individuals to sway public opinion about laws that individuals deem unfair or unjust. Actions taken are usually nonviolent, and can include sit-ins, mass demonstrations, picket lines, and marches. Citizens are acting on their consciences, demonstrating highly advanced moral reasoning skills. Generally, these advanced skills fall into Kohlberg’s Six Stages of Moral Development, Stage Five and Six in particular. Characteristics of civil disobedience include no expression of anger, no cursing or insults, no retaliation, and submission to punishment by law enforcement....   [tags: Civil Disobedience Essays]

Strong Essays
1516 words (4.3 pages)