Martin Luther King Comparison Essay

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No one believed more in the capability of a single man then Martin Luther King Jr and Henry David Thoreau did. Martin Luther King was a minister and activist leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement. He was born January 15, 1929 and later assassinated in April 4, 1968 fighting for civil rights. Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, abolitionist, and development critic who was born July 12, 1817. Although King and Thoreau were born in different centuries they both have similar views toward civil disobedience expresses in they essays; “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849)” and “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, they favor the role of the individual because they believe one man is capable of causing change. Even though…show more content…
They want to get rid of the injustice of the government by imposing and promoting non-violent protests. King is influenced by Mahatma Gandhi; which he mentions on his letter, he believed that civil disobedience required non violence. They want to get rid of corruption without causing any violence, they want to remain calm until the fix the issue but if the unjust event continue individuals have the right to not follow the law. King and Thoreau both believed that it is acceptable to break the law if it is unjust, “one has a responsibility to disobey unjust law” (King 3). Thoreau mentions it too, “ if it is of such nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say break the law” (Thoreau 6). They both encourage the individual to break the law if they believe it is unjust, there is nothing wrong with breaking the law if following would hurt you, the individual has the right to not follow any injustice. Both King and Thoreau want to end social injustice to improve the world. It is the responsibility of the individual to resist injustice since the government acts unjust due to the lack virtue, morality, and stamina from its people and leader. Although the government is filled with injustice Thoreau and King have hope that one day one individual will put an end to social
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