Similarities Between Civil Disobedience And Martin Luther King

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Henry David Thoreau was an American author and philosopher during the Transcendental Era of the nineteenth century. Although his most influential writing, Civil Disobedience, did not obtain the credit it should have deserved when it was first published in 1849, Thoreau’s work has impacted many renowned leaders in America who made a difference in today’s society. Civil Disobedience was written after Thoreau was placed in jail for one night because he refused to pay poll tax which was in protest of slavery and the U.S. involvement of the Mexican-American War. In this writing, Thoreau pointed out the immoral actions of the American government and the unjust laws that were established for the “expediency” of the country. He also emphasizes …show more content…

There were many similarities in both King’s letter and Thoreau’s writing. King fought for what he believed in even though the government of Birmingham tried to oppress him. He went for what was morally right, but was unjustly punished. King marched to expose racism that was “hidden” by society in a civil manner. The oppressors blamed African Americans for creating violence even though they protested peacefully. King goes on to say that he was stuck in between Negroes that opposed his nonviolent marches and Negroes that have no say in equality for colored Americans. He says, “If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march”. This shows that African Americans should not just stand and watch, but march and fight against the corrupted government to end segregation. Even though the eight clergymen called King an extremist, King defended his standing by quoting many influential people who were considered as extremists in their very own way. There was no better time to matter then after the passing of the law because it exposed injustice with “light of human conscience and air of national opinion” act as a natural medicine. Overall, King and Thoreau share many similar qualities in that they were not afraid of injustice because they knew that their moral actions will overcome and recognized by those who share in the same common

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