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Briefly assess the strategies of Thoreau, King and Gandhi. Who faced the most monumental task Thoreau trying to end U.S. slaver - Essay Example

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& Course Number: Effecting Social Change (Human Resources Essay) 28 April 2013 (estimated word count – 1,470) Introduction This paper examines how some people who were very resolute in their ideas, aims, and purposes were able to effect change in society during their times…
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Briefly assess the strategies of Thoreau, King and Gandhi. Who faced the most monumental task Thoreau trying to end U.S. slaver
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"Briefly assess the strategies of Thoreau, King and Gandhi. Who faced the most monumental task Thoreau trying to end U.S. slaver"

Download file to see previous pages Each of these three people fought against social injustice using various means at their disposal, by employing creative strategies to fight against entrenched economic interests and also long-standing cultural and political practices. Moreover, this essay also attempts to give the reader some points to ponder, on how these strategies can be used today to achieve a certain aim or advocacy, such as fighting climate change, gun control, and human rights. Discussion Henry David Thoreau was an eminent American author, philosopher, poet, naturalist, social critic, historian, and most importantly, an abolitionist who fought hard against slavery. His writings were instrumental in shaping American public opinion in his time on the evils of slavery, as an aberration in American historical and political development. He is most famous for his book Walden, which is a philosophical reflection on the benefits of simple living while his essay “Civil Disobedience” laid the groundwork for later activists such as Gandhi and also Martin Luther King himself; the principles in the said essay are to fight for individual rights. However, it was his essay “A Plea for Captain John Brown” in 1853 which made the people who were against slavery take notice of how important it was to fight for liberty, this in behalf of the black slaves. This particular essay was delivered as a speech in defense of the attack carried out by Captain Brown and his men against a federal government armory; with a hope of capturing firearms and to distribute these to plantation slaves and spark a rebellion. Although many thought the attack was foolhardy, even suicidal, from a military standpoint, it was Thoreau's effusive speech which praised Brown that galvanized the Northerners to finally end slavery. He said it costs nothing to be just. The basis of Thoreau’s political thinking came from his “Civil Disobedience” essay where he advocates for people to assert their citizens’ rights against a government which they think has become unjust, that the best government is a government that governs the least. Resistance to government can be justified if following it is unconscionable; additionally, strong individuals can take action on their own if they will think their government is uncaring, unwieldy, too big, or even abusive or repressive. An example of this individualistic attitude was Captain Brown, who saw it fit to take action on his own to end slavery, but Thoreau did not want anarchy but only a better government (Thoreau 2). The moral philosophy of Thoreau also influenced the political ideas of Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi in his uphill struggle against British colonial rule in India. In particular, the strategies used by Gandhi were based on Thoreau's moral civil disobedience. This is a focal point in Gandhi's fight because it gave him and his followers the moral high ground. Gandhi was a lawyer, and he knew there were many instances in which laws can be immoral. In this regard, he used the legal system to beat the British using his peaceful civil disobedience, such as not paying taxes (reminiscent of what Thoreau also did who went to jail for one night) and in leading the 400-km march against the British-imposed national salt tax. Martin Luther King (MLK) was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement as he struggled to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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