Civil disobedience Essay | Essay

This student essay consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis of Evolution of Civil Disobedience.
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Evolution of Civil Disobedience: Thoreau to King

Summary: Although it is impossible to know for sure what effect an event has had on history, both Thoreau's essay and King's civil rights movement have effected every subsequent civil rights movement in one way or another. Martin Luther King, Jr. succeeded in securing the rights African Americans, through his presentation of opinions contrasting with those of Henry David Thoreau, and his establishment of civil disobedience as a fundamental mechanism for working towards justice.
"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it" (Jefferson). Written by Thomas Jefferson and approved by the Second Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence defines the very tenants of democracy that the United States of America was constructed upon. It was these tenants that Henry D. Thoreau and later, Martin L. King, Jr. based their arguments against tyranny of the majority and the device to eliminate such a situation: civil disobedience. Thoreau's essay "Resistance to Civil Government," written seventy-five years after the Declaration, opposed slavery in Mexico, and justified disobeying unjust laws, so deemed by a contradiction with an individual's own moral laws. One-hundred years after Thoreau, King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" was written during the 1960s...

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This section contains 1,063 words
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