When Henry later found out someone paid his taxes to let him out of jail, he seemed quite mad about the issue. This problem later inspired Thoreau to write his essay “Civil Disobedience”. Thoreau’s idea of civil disobedience was where there are less people running the government, the better it is. Because of the hassle of Thoreau getting arrested, his essay was an inspiration to many people. Some of them were Martin Luther King Junior, Leo Tolstoy, and Mahatma
In their writings, “from Letter from Birmingham City Jail,” by Martin Luther King, Jr, “On Civil Disobedience,” by Mohandas K. Gandhi and “from Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, they discuss their views on civil disobedience. King, Gandhi, and Thoreau all believe civil disobedience should be nonviolent and rely on
Henry David Thoreau spoke out against the unjustness of war and slavery. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for equal civil rights. Both were highly influential men who led the way in protest through civil disobedience. Through their words and actions, they left behind a legacy that would continue to inspire others for years to come. The driving force behind these words and actions was a strong moral code.
The Civil Rights era was a time of great turmoil and injustice for African Americans, however, Martin Luther King brought forth a tremendous amount of change through his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and his “I Have a Dream Speech”. Both documents demanded that the unjust treatment of African Americans had to change, as well heavily urged African Americans to remain peaceful and not resort to violence. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was an excellent example for demanding change since the primary message of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was calling forth white moderates along with the church to no longer sit on the sidelines and allow the injustices on African Americans to continue any further. The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” focused on discussing the morality of the unjust laws created, and differentiates between man-made law and moral law. This was specifically done to show white moderates that civil disobedience was not entirely a negative thing.
Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, expressed his beliefs and his actions about the Human Rights Movement. Dr. King wanted to end segregation and he also wanted equal rights for everyone, but he was told by the clergyman that the movement was “unwise” and “untimely”. King explained that there will never be a right time for change in this society with bringing equality and justice to us all. Dr. King was told several times to wait, which prolonged his protest and marches. King became frustrated because people were being mistreated and judged everyday based off the color of their skin.
Through her act of civil disobedience, change occurred, and the first steps toward rights for African Americans were being taken. This defiant event is a situation in which Thoreau would approve of civil disobedience. It is known that Thoreau would approve because in his essay, he declares, “If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man” (Civil Disobedience, Thoreau). Thoreau means that if a person cannot live how he/she wants, then that person will suffer. Rosa Parks was suffering until she stood up for herself, by sitting down, and chose to live the way that she wanted to
Civil rights leader and social activist Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a world renown correspondence, Letter From Birmingham Jail, in April of 1963, during a time when segregation was at it’s peak in the South. When King was making his mark in American history, the United States was experiencing great social unrest due to the injustice towards their colored citizens, which would lead to social rights rallies and unnecessary violence. In response to King’s peaceful protesting, the white community viewed “[his] nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist,” and subsequently imprisoned the pastor (para 27). King specifically wrote to the white clergymen who had earlier addressed a letter to him as to why he was apprehended, in which they argued that his actions were untimely and unconstitutional. In response, King emphasized that justice is never timely, and the refusal to acknowledge equal rights was inhumane and regressive.
The common similarity you find between the two writings by Martin Luther King Jr. is the fact that each one says facts about King Jr. wanting to end racism in the south and to stop it from erupting in the north. On the other hand, a lot of differences you see, is that King Jr. told his “I Have A Dream” speech to the public, and his “Letter From Birmingham Jail” speech was written in the creases and folds and nooks and crannies of old newspapers, (because he didn 't have proper writing paper) and sent to the eight prominent clergymen outside his jail cell. Another common similarity is that both of his writings impacted the U.S. both in the north and in the south. The “Letter From Birmingham Jail” letter impacted the city of Birmingham, and his “I Have A Dream” speech, it impacted the entire country of USA. His speech ended segregation, but he was then shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, in the Lorraine Motel.
Under the circumstance Thoreau describes I do believe that civil disobedience is a duty. However, I think that Thoreau greatly exaggerates the conditions he was in at the time and takes a very narrow view of his setting. I agree with Thoreau's arguments that when the government is to the point of falling apart and harming citizens then people need to revolute against the government. I particularly like his analogy to the friction in the machine, symbolizing that the ends do not justify the means. Furthermore, I think that Thoreau is correct in pointing out how people behave when they notice something is wrong, but take no action to fix it.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the letter from jail, after he got arrested during a peaceful protest. At the time segregation was still a part of the culture in the United States and Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers were working diligently and peacefully to try and make a change in people’s hearts about segregation. In this letter MLK Jr. is writing to defend his strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, which he does effectively by using rhetoric. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference focused on Birmingham, Alabama to start a nonviolent direct action campaign with the goal to get the city to get rid of segregation laws. When a federal injunction was put into place to prevent the protest without permission of the city, Martin Luther King Jr. persevered and decided to go on with the campaign.