As society faced great inequities in the 19th and 20th centuries, activists and philosophers sought to inform the general public. At the turn of the 19th century, Thoreau presented his writing of a "Civil Disobedience" as an argument of the injustices of the tyrannical government after spending a night in jail. Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr. presented his argument to society as he was jailed in 1963. In his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," King perceives the injustice of the African American community as a primary goal as to the need for the advocation of the whole population. Whereas in Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience," it addresses the injustices in broader terms and stresses the despotic government. Both King and Thoreau address these arguments in similar and divergent fashions through the use of purpose, and persuasive writing styles.
Law and order, as far as most westernized intellectuals are concerned, is the absolute protector of rights. Every advanced democracy subscribes to the continuing presence of law and order, and it’s hard to argue with the results seen and enjoyed today. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Let every man remember that to violate the law is… to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty.” While this sentiment is deeply relevant, it trivializes legitimate grievances citizens have against the legal system. Many of these issues can, indeed, be worked out within the system, and permanent change is achievable. Despite this, it is irresponsible to assume all cleavages can be worked out in a court of law, and to deny the necessity of civil disobedience
Civil disobedience has been discerned in numerous time periods of American history. The definition of disobedience can be interpreted when one or a group prioritizes their conscience of their beliefs over the dictation of laws through rebellion. Notable historical events of slavery and independence has been marked with the disobedience of government laws. Even though the disobedience of societal laws can undermine the corruption of the government, disobedience has undeniably steer societal progress.
Like Martin Luther King Jr once said “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” With these words in mind, I affirm the resolution resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified. I offer the following definitions to help clarify the round: Civil disobedience is nonviolent refusal to follow the laws or demands of government to prove a point and the person participating in civil disobedience has to accept the consequences. A democracy is a government by the people, where the people elect representatives or the leader. Not everyone has to vote in a democracy but, the leaders or representatives have to be decided by the majority of eligible voters. Morally is doing the right thing based on the morals of the people
In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King defends the protestors’ thirst for justice by demonstrating the unjust society they live in. Over fifty years after the letter was written, it is still read today. Often times it gives people a sense of identity. However this letter gives me more than an identity. This letter gives me reason and motivation to always fight for a just society. We live in a world with currently many conflicts from the racial disparity in high incarceration rates to gun violence and the war over gun rights. In his letter, King describes that Black Americans have no identity and that the oppressed cannot remain oppressed forever. King implies that they cannot be told to “wait for justice” because if they simply
In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s essay, “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” and Henry David Thoreau essay “Civil Disobedience,” both share their opinions on social injustice and civil disobedience. They both believe that people can protest unfair and unjust laws imposed on them in a civil way. In addition, King and Thoreau are challenging the government with their essays, which they wrote after they got sent to jail. For protesting the treatment of blacks in Birmingham, Alabama, King spent eleven days in jail; Thoreau spent a night in jail for refusing to pay his poll tax. Both King and Thoreau’s essays present similar plans for a resolution. They try to convince their audience that they are doing the right thing by using the three appeals; however, they both approach their arguments differently.
Martin Luther King Jr once stated, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” in his Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963. He was invoking the principle of civil disobedience. He wasn't justifying breaking laws just because, but instead, meant that you break the law and accept your punishment, in hopes that people will come to see that the law is unethical. Civil disobedience plays an important role in how our society has been shaped up until this point. It is out of the selfless act of heroes and heroines of civil disobedience such as Mahatma Gandhi that the society is enjoying the fruits today. This speech is going to demonstrate how civil disobedience has played roles in social reforms, containing unjust rulings
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. was sent to jail because of a peaceful protest, protesting treatments of blacks in Birmingham. Before the protest a court ordered that protests couldn’t be held in Birmingham. While being held in Birmingham, King wrote what came to be known as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Not even King himself could predict how much of an impact this letter would have on the Civil Rights Movement. In the letter kind defended Kings beliefs on Nonviolent Protests, King also counters the accusations of him breaking laws by categorizing segregation laws into just and unjust laws. King uses this principle to help persuade others to join him in his acts of civil disobedience.
Martin Luther King once stated in "The Letter from Birmingham Jail", "Any individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment to arouse the conscience of the community over it injustice is in reality, expressing the highest respect for the law" (King 411). King meant that, if anyone feels a law is unjust and needed to expose its injustice, should willingly accept any penalty that comes in their way to help arouse people 's conscience in changing that law. In “The Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King explains the four powerful steps of the nonviolent campaign he used to protest against racial injustice for African-Americans
People's justification to engage in civil disobedience rests on the unresponsiveness that their engagement to oppose an unjust law receives. People who yearn for a change in a policy might sometimes find themselves in a dead end because their “attempts to have the laws repealed have been ignored and legal protests and demonstrations have had no success” (Rawls 373). What Rawls says is that civil disobedience is a last option to oppose an unjust law; therefore, providing civil disobedients with a justification for their cause. Civil disobedience is the spark of light that people encountered at the dead end and they hope that this spark of light will illuminate to show that an unjust law should not exist at all. Martin Luther King, Jr, in his “Letter from
Civil disobedience does lead to progress, just like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. disobeyed the laws which gave African Americans more rights.
Thousands of dedicated people march the streets of a huge city, chanting repetitively about needing a change. They proudly hold vibrant signs and banners as they fight for what they believe in. Expressions of determination and hope are visibly spread across their faces. These people aren’t using weapons or violence to fight for their ideas; simply, they are using civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is nonviolent resistance to a government’s law in seek of change. Civil disobedience is an effective way to bring about change because it is a harmless way of fighting an unjust law or idea, it can educate people about the cause, and it has been successful many times in history.
I believe that civil disobedience is good for the advancement of the American society. This a simple fact which has been proven many times by history all around the world. A few examples of important historical participants and leaders in civil disobedience include Mohandas Gandhi, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and much more. Mohandas Gandhi was an Indian man who spent his life protesting the unjust anti-Indian law in Britan using, you guessed it, civil disobedience. Most importantly on March 30, 1930, when he lead a defiance march to the sea. His efforts caused India to gain its independence in 1947. This happened in the very year he went on a hunger strike. Susan B. Anthony was one of the world most famous suffragettes in American history.
Those who engage in civil disobedience do so knowing that they may be punished for it. In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts’s colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor. The colonists’ main complaint was that they were not directly represented in the British Parliament. Therefore, any laws the British passed on taxing the colonists were illegal under the British Bill of Rights of 1689. Seemingly, this taxation without representation would render the laws unjust. The colonists used vandalism to protest against the British. Dr. King makes an attempt to justify his civil disobedience by using the United States’ history. Like Dr. King, Socrates too faced some dire consequences for his civil disobedience.
I consider civil disobedience to be an easily-ignored pillar upon which our democracy was founded. In fact we are only established as a nation now because our founding fathers engaged in civil disobedience themselves. We were in a “social contract” of sorts with Great Britain and when we felt that they had not upheld their part of the contract (they did not allow us to create courts to maintain order, or to create a navy to defend ourselves, or to sustain our economy due to an inability to trade with any other countries), Thomas Jefferson concluded that it was our not only our right, but also our duty to break away. And it was Thomas Jefferson that combined all of the works of the great thinkers before him such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke