Skip Nav

Civil disobedience Essays

Navigation menu

❶Summary Thoreau's Civil Disobedience espouses the need to prioritize one's conscience over the dictates of laws. Martin Luther King Jr.

Essays on Civil disobedience

Essay on Civil Disobedience
Popular Topics
From the SparkNotes Blog

In making this comment, Emerson urges us to not conform to society and do what is believe to be justice, which in fact can lead to civil disobedience just as Martin Luther king displayed. MLK did not conform to society and stood up for what he believed. King used peaceful sit-ins and rallies to unite the black community. Blacks were forced to sit on the back of busses, use separate bathrooms, water fountains, spaces in a restaurant, and schools.

Segregation made the blacks feel inferior and unequal. King led many black protesters to use methods such as banning busses, sit ins, and marches.

Those who commit civil disobedience do so, not to break the law, however to correct an injustice, and thus accept the consequences for breaking the law. King is establishing that they have a goal to achieve: He further states that those who agree to acts of civil disobedience must do so accepting the consequences that come with it. Civil disobedience has sometimes been characterized as an attack on our democratic government, however this notion does not hold true.

In other words, people are taking unjust action to better a situation because of how it is unequal. Dusen believes that whatever the reason, disobeying the law is defying our democratic government and our legal system. When a civil disobedient disobeys… [he] says that he is above the law….

Followers of civil disobedience are only against the law which is against them-the law which is against allowing them the equal treatment that they deserve. When the government fails to acknowledge their right for equality, they must act against the law. Civil disobedience, when used to insure equal rights, is not disrespecting our democratic government, but rather enforces the tradition which our forefathers have created to improve our government. Our legal system was made so that we could enforce legal channels of change, if we choose to neglect this attribute then we as humans cannot progress.

Work cited Thoreau, H. Essential Readings for College Writer. An aphorism often erroneously attributed to Thomas Jefferson , [16] "That government is best which governs least I heartily accept the motto,—"That government is best which governs least;" and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,—"That government is best which governs not at all;" and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi a. Mahatma Gandhi was impressed by Thoreau's arguments. In , about one year into his first satyagraha campaign in South Africa , he wrote a translated synopsis of Thoreau's argument for Indian Opinion , credited Thoreau's essay with being "the chief cause of the abolition of slavery in America", and wrote that "Both his example and writings are at present exactly applicable to the Indians in the Transvaal.

Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practice in himself. He was one of the greatest and most moral men America has produced. At the time of the abolition of slavery movement, he wrote his famous essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. He went to gaol for the sake of his principles and suffering humanity.

His essay has, therefore, been sanctified by suffering. Moreover, it is written for all time. Its incisive logic is unanswerable. American civil rights leader Dr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. In his autobiography, he wrote:. Here, in this courageous New Englander's refusal to pay his taxes and his choice of jail rather than support a war that would spread slavery's territory into Mexico, I made my first contact with the theory of nonviolent resistance.

Fascinated by the idea of refusing to cooperate with an evil system, I was so deeply moved that I reread the work several times.

I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings and personal witness, we are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest.

The teachings of Thoreau came alive in our civil rights movement; indeed, they are more alive than ever before. Whether expressed in a sit-in at lunch counters, a freedom ride into Mississippi, a peaceful protest in Albany, Georgia, a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama , these are outgrowths of Thoreau's insistence that evil must be resisted and that no moral man can patiently adjust to injustice.

Existentialist Martin Buber wrote, of Civil Disobedience. I read it with the strong feeling that here was something that concerned me directly It was the concrete, the personal element, the "here and now" of this work that won me over.

Thoreau did not put forth a general proposition as such; he described and established his attitude in a specific historical-biographic situation. He addressed his reader within the very sphere of this situation common to both of them in such a way that the reader not only discovered why Thoreau acted as he did at that time but also that the reader—assuming him of course to be honest and dispassionate— would have to act in just such a way whenever the proper occasion arose, provided he was seriously engaged in fulfilling his existence as a human person.

The question here is not just about one of the numerous individual cases in the struggle between a truth powerless to act and a power that has become the enemy of truth.

It is really a question of the absolutely concrete demonstration of the point at which this struggle at any moment becomes man's duty as man Author Leo Tolstoy has cited Civil Disobedience as having a strong impact on his nonviolence methodology. Others who are said to have been influenced by Civil Disobedience include: Putnam New York, Available at the Internet Archive. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Civil Disobedience essay.

This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 24 August Henry David Thoreau Core works and topics. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. Wendell Phillips Before the Concord Lyceum.

John Brown Lyceum movement. Simple living Tax resistance. Emerson, 23 February Boston and New York: The Editor and G. Retrieved February 1, — via Internet Archive.

Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Archived from the original on May 3, Retrieved September 22, Commentary on Today's Social and Political Issues: Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Archived from the original on September 22, It has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but no one has ever found it in any of Jefferson's writings. I think an argument can be made that it is not very likely he would ever have made such a statement, because it does not square with his views.

A Dictionary of Quotations. Oxford University Press, p. Conscientious objection to military taxation List of historical acts of tax resistance Tax resistance in the United States List of tax resisters. A Protest Vyborg Manifesto. Tuchin Revolt Harelle Peasants' Revolt. Cornish Rebellion of Croquant rebellions Rappenkrieg Revolt of the Pitauds.

Client testimonials

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Civil Disobedience Civil disobedience: “Refusal to obey civil laws in an effort to induce change in governmental policy or legislation, characterized by the use of passive resistance or other non-violent means” (Houghton, ).

Privacy FAQs

Essay on civil disobedience: essay examples, topics, questions, thesis statement civil disobedience Essay Examples Law, Rights, and Justice essay They tried to draw a sharp line between acceptable forms of “civil disobedience” and the unwarranted ones.

About Our Ads

You can also order a custom term paper, research paper, thesis, dissertation or essay on civil disobedience from our custom essay writing service which . - Civil Disobedience and the Abusive Power of Government In response to the annexation of Texas in by the United States, Henry David Thoreau's wrote the essay, Civil Disobedience. Thoreau felt that this purely economic move by the United States expedited the .

Cookie Info

Civil Disobedience Essay: King and Thoreau. Civil disobedience is a force needed to purify the condemnation of injustices within a society. Civil disobedience can be defined as the refusal to comply with certain laws as a peaceful form of political protest. Civil disobedience is defined as the refusal to obey government laws, in an effort to bring upon a change in governmental policy or legislation. Civil disobedience is not an effort to dissolve the American government, because without government our society would result in chaos.