An essay has been defined in a variety of ways.
One of the factors that influenced Thoreau to consider civil disobedience as a method of resistance was the poor treatment of Mexico by the United States. In fact, the practice of slavery in the United States is the single most hypocritical aspect of the government as far as Thoreau is concerned.
Thoreau considers civil disobedience a moral and social duty of American citizens. He defines civil disobedience as an act of willful resistance, achieved by not obeying laws he considers to be hypocritical.
One act of civil disobedience may be not paying taxes. Another act, and one he deems more important still, is to avoid colluding with the government by refusing to play an active role in it.
It is important to point out, though, that civil disobedience is, as its name suggests, peaceful. It does not involve taking up arms or using any other methods of violence to achieve its ends. One of the movements that was marked by its insistence on civil disobedience is the civil rights movement of the s.
The man who was considered the leader of this movement, Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. King effectively traces his notions about civil disobedience all the way back to the Bible, an effective persuasive strategy because it appeals to what the eight clergymen know. He, perhaps more than any other individual, understood the power of civil disobedience and wielded it effectively.
Other figures from the civil rights era engaged in civil disobedience as well, though their acts are, perhaps, more subtle. The poet Amiri Baraka, for instance, used his poems as a tool of active, non-violent resistance.
While Baraka was considered to be politically radical, his poetry constituted an act of civil disobedience, as it called for attention to be directed to the plight of African Americans, just as Thoreau did more than a century earlier.
While there are images of violence in the poem, Baraka does not seem to advocate violence; rather, the discharge of strong emotion through poetry becomes his act of resistance, and one in which the reader can share.
Personally, there are definitely principles for which I would consider civil disobedience, although I would want, like King and the civil rights movement activists, to practice this form of resistance not just individually, but in community. In my opinion, however, I see less of an enthusiasm for civil disobedience today than in this readings from the past, which causes me to wonder whether civil disobedience remains effective as an instrument for social and political change.SYNOPSIS.
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