Civil Disobedience And The Apartheid

Decent Essays
Throughout history, civil disobedience has been used to bring about change across a wide variety of civil rights issues. In India, Mahatma Gandhi used civil disobedience to nonviolently protest against the British Raj and, after a thirty-year struggle, earn independence both for himself and his people. In the United States, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. employed civil disobedience to overcome both the Jim Crow laws that had oppressed the African-American minority and the systemic racism that was once prevalent in the Southern United States. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela utilized civil disobedience to lead an anti-apartheid revolution to combat the apartheid system that systemically discriminated against the black inhabitants of South Africa. All three of these exemplary men have earned a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts (the prize was not awarded in 1948 because “there was no suitable living candidate”, a tribute to Gandhi who was recently assassinated). Although violence could have been used to combat these civil rights violations, all three of these individuals chose not to resort to violence, in favor of a more amicable alternative: civil disobedience. Furthermore, all three of these cases help to demonstrate that in democratic societies, civil disobedience is both a necessary and effective tool that brings about deliberated change in both governmental and/or social systems without inciting violence. Civil disobedience is effective as a tool to bring about social
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