The Significance And History Of Civil Disobedience Essay

The Significance And History Of Civil Disobedience Essay

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Civil disobedience has always been a debated and polar opinionated topic since the first days that it was presented. Whenever it comes to going against a law that is set in stone as something to abide by in a society, some controversial actions are going to follow. The person who played the role as somewhat of a backbone in this movement was Henry Thoreau. In 1849, when Henry Thoreau re-iterated the idea of civil disobedience to the people of American following the Mexican war, it was viewed by some as extremely controversial, some viewed it as treason, and then there were the followers that were completely accepting of it and felt it necessary. This is why, when the idea came of mixing this idea of civil disobedience that was already controversial, with the slavery and whether it should be used against the fugitive slave act, was a real catalyst for uproar and praise. The uproar clearly came from some people with high positions in the United States. Two advocates for the compromise of 1850 and the fugitive slave laws were two candidates for president of the United States, Franklin Pierce from the democratic party and Winfield Scott. Although Franklin Pierce, the eventual winner of the election, wasn't as candid about his beliefs regarding slavery, he was definitely opposed to civil disobedience against the fugitive slave laws. These supporters generally included northern democrats and southern Whigs. The opposition to the compromise of 1850 and the fugitive slave act consisted mainly of abolitionists of slavery at the time. The most powerful and effective users of their rights to civilly disobey usually came from the north mainly because they had the opportunity. The fugitive slave act caused citizens liv...

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...tand up for what they believe in.

Works Consulted
Calliope Film Resources. "Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and the Underground Railroad." Copyright 2001 CFR. February 7, 2006.
Smead, Howard. Civil Disobedience, "Violence in America." History Resource Center. 1999. Saturday, February 4, 2006Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. Saturday, February 4, 2006,
Tolstoy, Leo. Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence. Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers, 1987.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden and "Civil Disobedience." New York: Signet, 1960. February 6, 2006
Weber, David, ed. Civil Disobedience in America. London: Cornell University, 1978.
Bailey, Thomas A., and David M. Kennedy. The American Pageant. 12th ed. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001. AP Notes. 30 Mar. 2006 .

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