Civil Disobedience And Martin Luther King And King Similarities

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Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail were written approximately 114 years apart. However, both publications share a common theme. Each of these authors express their opinions on government injustices. The political environments in which each author lived provided their inspiration for their writings. Although many years separate these two works, there are similarities as well as differences between Thoreau's and King's written opinions.

There are several similarities present in Thoreau's Civil Disobedience and King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. One similar opinion Thoreau and King share is their belief that protest against government injustice should be displayed and conducted in a non-violent manner. Thoreau did not recognize the government's authority over individuals, and he showed it through non-violent means. One example was the not paying of his taxes. He stated, "In fact, I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make what use and get what advantage of her I can, as is usual in such cases." His use of the phrase "I quietly declare war..." plainly states his nonviolent protest of what he felt to be government injustice upon the citizens. King shared Thoreau's opinion that nonviolent protest was the best way to create change in government policies and laws. King states, "You may well ask: 'Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better

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