The Power of Civil Disobedience

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"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood" (King). This quote, from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous I Have a Dream speech, is about working towards racial equality so that the people can live together in peace and unity. Mohandas Gandhi worked towards India’s independence from Britain’s rule, while Martin Luther King Jr. worked to end segregation. While the two functioned towards two different goals, their tactics were both inspired by Henry David Thoreau. “On Civil Disobedience” by Mohandas Gandhi, an excerpt from “Letter from Birmingham City Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr., and an excerpt from “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, all show how all three of them have similar views towards civil disobedience. Some people may believe that civil disobedience is not an effective way to attain change. However, they may not have realized that civil disobedience has helped many people achieve his or her goals, proving that civil disobedience is effective. For example, civil disobedience has helped African Americans gain certain rights and free them from racial injustice. In “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”, King talks about how African Americans were treated differently due to the color of their skin. Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mohandas Gandhi all have used civil disobedience whether it was to help fight for racial justice or to free their country from Britain’s rule. To begin with, Gandhi, King, and Thoreau’s approach to civil disobedience included the power of an individual. In “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau says, “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 also I believe: ‘That government is best which governs not
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