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.
While there was no absolute even ground in the fairness of taxation in the rebellious states, Northerners realized their faults in tax legislation, thus developing a more lenient system capable of allowing the southern economy to strengthen and flourish. Until the Civil War in 1861, the United States federal government was financed by tariffs. There were continuing complaints from the rural states that the tariffs were helping protect the industries of the Northeast. Tariffs were reduced in 1846 and again in 1857, but raised once more in 1860. The solution to tariffs was obviously unconstitutional federal taxation of personal incomes, corporate income and inheritances; in addition to excises on manufactures, alcohol and tobacco, and creation of the Internal Revenue Service to commence collections in 1863 .
King’s letter from a Birmingham prison was not just written randomly. Dr King wrote it after he caught wind that eight clergymen wrote a public statement asking that black citizens of the south cease demonstrating and rallying to stop oppression. They suggested instead that white and black citizens of Alabama come together and peacefully negotiate on what to do to improve the problem. King had a problem with this. He recalled a while before that letter when negotiation did occur to stop racial issues and none of what was negotiated stuck.
In this letter King proclaims that the laws of the government against blacks are intolerable and that civil disobedience should be used as a tool of freedom. King's audience also includes the U.S. citizens and the world. King disagrees with social injustice, but he is also trying to defend himself and his organization, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, from the government that disagrees with his movement for civil disobedience. He also wants to change public policy and bring the civil rights movement to national attention in order to increase the likelihood that his actions will cause good outcomes. King speaks almost as a "holy" advisor because of the fact that he is a minister.
As a leader of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Martin Luther King argues for the urgency of changing segregation laws. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” it addresses the public statement made by the Eight Alabama Clergymen. King effectively proves that his demonstration in Alabama was not “unwise and untimely” as his fellow clergyman has stated through the use of sentence structures, an anaphora, and some metaphors. To demonstrate his desperation for change, King stresses on the amount of time the Africans in the United States had waited through a well-planned use of sentence structures. He repeats “wait” in paragraph 13 to build up tension and to place more emphasis to the word.
President Harry S. Truman was not only involved in foreign affairs, but also in domestic concerns. “The Cold War caused a shift in thinking and tactics among civil rights groups.” After President Truman’s speech about freedom, minorities all over America started to think in different ways about their own civil rights, and used the Cold War towards their advantage, bringing up that racial inequality will damage and obscure America’s image of freedom, which would be beneficial for the Soviet Union. Because of this, Truman decided to enforce policies that called for more devotion to civil rights, and therefore improving the image of America. However, minute amounts of change came from these policies that Truman input, and most of these laws were enforced or given little attention. Nevertheless, although these civil right policies did not get much responsiveness during this period of time, time would show that this was only fleeting and there would soon be a civil rights revolution, which would once again, give a new meaning to America’s definition of
Civil Disobedience; Not as Simple as Black and White Can we really live our lives as Author and Historian, Henry David Thoreau did all those years ago, obeying only the laws we feel to be just laws, and ignoring those we consider unjust? Or should we rally together to get those unjust laws changed like American clergyman and Civil Rights Leader, Martin Luther King and millions of others did? Is civil disobedience as simple as black and white? If it were as simple as Thoreau made it seem then Mr. King may not have been known for the many things we know him for today. In Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" we learned how Mr. King and his many supporters used the laws and the hatred of others to benefit their cause, a just cause, righting unjust laws without breaking any real laws.
“The forgotten Man”, the famous speech by William Graham Sumner, points his idea about the social problems in late nineteenth century and early twenties. In his point of view, if A and B came up with an idea to force C to do something to help D who is suffering from some problems, C would be the forgotten man. Sumner’s idea, to some extent, supports Jim Crow Law. During the reconstructive, the society didn’t reach the point of equality of the two races, instead it became even worse in many places all over the country. The Civil War only ended the slavery, not racism.
The Constitution, until recently, did not apply to blacks; blacks feel they deserve payments from 310 years of slavery, destruction to their minds and culture. Dr. Martin Luther King's dilemma in the United States was of a different kind. He was torn between his identity as a Black man of African descent and his identity as an American. He urged Americans to judge based on the content of the character not by skin color and also believed in non-violent protests. Martin Luther King Jr’s main perspective during the fight on racism was equality.
In the United States, 1963 was renowned for racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations (Shmuel: 2007) Martin Luther king was one of the major protesters against racial unrest at these times, so involved was he in these protests that he was arrested in Birmingham Alabama for civil disobedience. The march on Washington D.C was at the pinnacle of the civil rights and African-American plight; the march took place from the Washington monument to the Lincoln memorial (Shmuel: 2007) where Martin Luther King gave his speech. Martin Luther king was a Christian, and his myriad amount of speeches all had a hint of religious values within them, “I am fundamentally a Clergyman, a Baptist preacher”, “He moved the nation with the soul of a church” (Lischer: 1995). The speech “I have a dream” was clearly influenced not only by what was going on at the point in time mainly in the south of the United States but also what was going on in the country and in the world in general and to Martin Luther King as an individual. The Methodology I have chosen to work with is that of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), this is based more or less on Faircloughs description that states “CDA aims to explore often opaque relationships of causality and determination between discursive practices, events and texts &