Martin Luther King Jr., And Henry Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

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“Civil disobedience has an honorable history, and when the urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable, and it has a role to play.” –Al Gore Applying civil disobedience has altered the very foundation of American democracy and shined as an example for peaceful protest in a way of respect and cordiality (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2014). Henry Thoreau was the most influential civil disobedient in the world’s history, not only for his specific acts of disobedience but his lasting impacts on giants of civil change, such as: Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. A movement hinges on the principles of its creator, this idea reigns true when discussing the acts of civil disobedience practiced by Henry Thoreau. With this outrage and staunch disapproval of …show more content…
A large part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideas and methods were premised off of the ideas that Thoreau presented, with regard to his work in Civil Disobedience. Both individuals share a singular similarity that bolsters support by not only the public but also within themselves, this being both have been imprisoned for a form of protest that is both legal and justified (Raab, 2014). From that point Mr. King splits from Thoreau and tackles the issue of race instead of epistemology. It goes without saying that Martin Luther King Jr. is a prominent figure around the world and has inspired millions, more than Thoreau ever could. Yet King only expounded on Thoreau’s original principles and as such his success would never happened without Thoreau’s writings. ”No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea across than Henry David Thoreau,” King wrote in his autobiography (Witherell, 1995). His influence on Mr. King is perhaps one of Thoreau’s crowning achievements, after death, if not for what Mohandas Gandhi

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