Civil Disobedience: an Annotated Bibliography

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Tyler Crippen Dr. Severson English 1102 19 April 2012 Civil disobedience: An Annotated Bibliography Civil disobedience is defined as "the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government, or of an occupying power. It is one of the primary methods of nonviolent resistance". (Brown 674) For centuries leaders of some of the biggest movements in history have been using tactics to employ civil disobedience which eventually changed government laws and perceptions on the people they were affecting. One of the most prominent figures of civil disobedience who was never scared to push the limits was Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau became sick of paying taxes and decided to move out into the woods to escape the society he lived in. This did not stop the town tax collector from approaching him and jailing him though. Henry was also highly apposed to slavery and stated that he could not associate with a government that was “his” if it was also to be the “slaves” government too. The only way he could see being able to push past these barriers was through civil disobedience. He did this by evading his taxes that went to funding the recently entered conflict with Mexico as well as funding a government that supported slavery. Thoreau’s words that he spoke that night in jail were so powerful and moving that they were eventually published into an essay that was ultimately one of the biggest factors and influences on two of the greatest civil rights activists ever; Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi quoted Thoreau in his writing Indian Opinion stating that there was much importance connected to his writings and that his thoughts were very unique and original. This eventually led to Gandhi’s campaign of non-cooperation with the British government that ruled them. Boycotts were put on British products, and after being release from jail Gandhi
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