Martin Luther King And Henry David Thoreau

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Comparing and Contrasting Thoreau and MLK If there was a law that the public felt to be unjust, who would stand up and call it into question? Henry David Thoreau and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. certainly did in their times. Both men shared a common goal: to make the world a better place by protesting against unfair laws. Though they lived in two different times and disputed against different laws, Thoreau and King also share something in common; they both stood their ground and peacefully fought for what they believed in. Henry David Thoreau believed in many things, but one thing in particular was bettering the government. He stated this belief by simply saying, "I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government." Thoreau not only stated his belief, but he also acted on it. His essay documented his one night spent in jail due to his lack of paying his poll tax. He deemed paying a poll tax, which was the law, was unjust; therefore, Thoreau questioned it and didn't pay the tax. He argued for resistance to civil government when he was against an unjust law. Martin Luther King Jr., like Thoreau, believed in bettering the government, but also improving the living conditions for African Americans. King was an active member of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He was arrested more than once for resisting the government. His view on just and unjust laws was that an unjust law did not harmonize with the moral law- it just was not right. Martin Luther King Jr. did not want to "evade or defy the law as a rabid segregationist would", but he did not want to stand there and let the government do him and other African Americans wrong; therefore, he broke only the unjust laws, and he did so openly. Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. were two men fighting against unfair laws peacefully. Peacefully is the key word. The two men share the
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