Civil Disobedience Essay

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“Civil Disobedience” Civil Disobedience is the act of knowingly breaking a law that an individual feels is morally unjust. We all have a moral compass, and a perception of what is right from wrong. Many individuals see injustices in our democratic system, yet few actually make a stand for what they believe is right. The United States was founded under an idea that “All men are created equal”. However, that motto was not entirely true. When we look back in time and examine our past, one can see a plethora of injustices among minorities in this country. The Mexican-American War was a bloody conflict between the two countries in which many lives were lost due to an unjust cause. The slavery riddled south selfishly wanted the state of Texas to expand their borders in hopes of spreading slavery. This essay will explain and analyze two essays by individuals who express entirely different opinions of civil disobedience. In his essay, “Civil Disobedience: Destroyer of Democracy”, Lewis H. Van Dusen strongly discourages the use of civil disobedience as a means for change. He feels that this act of disobedience directly contradicts our democratic system. The other individual being compared in this essay is Henry David Thoreau; who in his essay, “Civil Disobedience”, supports the act of peacefully challenging or protesting unjust laws. He impugns us to do what is morally right, and to not be afraid to take a stand against injustice. Henry David Thoreau’s position on civil disobedience is neither morally irresponsible nor politically reprehensible. Civil disobedience is technically illegal, and is punishable, but who is ultimately responsible for determining what is right or wrong? Van Dusen strongly believes that defiance of laws go against the democratic nature of our government: “Bit civil disobedience, whatever the ethical rationalization, is still an assault on our
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