Compare and Contrast Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr.
Birmingham by Martin Luther King Jr . was based on the same idea with the civil disobedient essay by Thoreau , the two authors were different on all aspects . However , this does not negate the fact that both played an important role in securing freedom for the African Americans . Thoreau aided in securing freedom for the fugitive slaves in the 19th century through his strong criticism against slavery while King led non violent protest matches and civil disobedient against the Jim Crows laws that segregated African Americans . They both held a strong position that
unjust laws should be opposed by the masses (Powell , pp 26
The effectiveness of civil disobedient and peaceful direct action in the second half of the 20th century led by King was inspired by the effectiveness of the approach in India led by Gandhi . Thoreau 's ideas had been proved to be effective in India . King reintroduced Thoreau 's ideas into the American protest traditions which were very effective The legacy of the two great men is still evident in the American society as well as other societies of the world today . It is common for environmentalists , civil rights activists and same sex marriage supporters to invoke the words of King and Thoreau to defend their positions (Powell , pp 26
It is indisputable that Thoreau in the 19th century and King in the 20th century played an important role in the fight for African American rights . They introduced the idea of civil disobedient in the American society which proved to be effective . Though both of them were radically different , there ideas on civil rights and civil disobedient were very similar
Arsenault , Raymond . Freedom Riders : 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice . New York : Oxford University Press (2006
Chernus , Ira . American Nonviolence : The History of an Idea...
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