Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Disobedience Essay Explained

Civil disobedience is an important tactic in political theory and practice which is used to influence government change by taking moral responsibility to disobey immoral and unjust laws. Thoreau first defined this means of nonviolent protest in the 19th century, later it was used by Gandhi to free India from the British control.

Martin Luther King, an American of African origin, was an ardent advocate of this tactic and led the civil rights movement in using marches and peaceful protests.

Students are often assigned to write essays about Martin Luther King Jr. civil disobedience where they have to examine King’s political philosophy. In this guide, you’ll find useful tips on how to cope with this task.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Martin Luther King Jr civil disobedience in facts

Speaking of Martin Luther King Jr and civil disobedience, we must admit that Martin Luther King, the leader of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, is considered to be one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.

He drew inspiration for his ideas from the teachings of Gandhi and Christian faith. Also, he organized nonviolent resistance in the 1950s and 1960s to fight for the legal equality of African Americans.

Apart from that, he organized campaigns against international conflicts and poverty. He proved that nonviolence and civil disobedience could be effective methods of mass protest.

His public speech “I Have a Dream” in which he appealed to stop racism in the USA is one of the most iconic speeches in American history.

The use of civil disobedience essay examples

There are a lot of civil disobedience essay examples on the web. Mostly, they discuss civil disobedience itself, which was also called passive resistance. It has been a major tactic of different nationalist movements in India and Africa as well as anti-war, labor, civil rights, and other social movements in different countries across the globe.

Leaders of civil disobedience insisted, that actions aimed to break specific laws, shouldn’t be violent. Their participants should endure punishment, and thus provoke the government or the majority of people to take action, resulting in social, political, and economic change.

This practice is based on ideas of different Western philosophers, like Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and Henry Thoreau. They claimed that harmony with universal moral law justifies such actions.

When writing about Martin Luther King civil disobedience, you should note that he considered civil disobedience to be the highest form of lawfulness which could help bring human-made laws in conformity with divine law.

He believed that these practices could only be undertaken for the right reasons by the right people. Martin Luther King Jr. civil disobedience acts served as the basis for various protest groups.

Civil disobedience argumentative essay: brief how-to

When writing civil disobedience argumentative essay, you should consider the pros and cons of this controversial form of protest and argue whether it needs special justification or not. Some people think that this tactic can’t be used in society as it can lead to anarchy.

Others consider it to be a powerful tool, which can bring positive social change and freedom to inhabitants of an organized society. You should take a stand and argue your position, supporting it with evidence and examples from modern history.

Here are some tips on how you can organize your writing process.

  • Use the basic essay structure, which includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
  • Research the existing literature and make a profound investigation of the topic. That will allow you to craft a strong specific thesis statement and provide logical arguments.
  • Start your introduction with interesting statistics, provocative question or ambivalent statement to grab readers’ attention.
  • Start each paragraph with a sentence that presents one of your main ideas. Provide a detailed explanation and support it with evidence and good examples.
  • You may use relevant quotes to support your ideas with proper references according to the requirements of a specific citation style assigned by your professor.

Civil disobedience research paper: what’s the kicker?

The civil disobedience research paper can discuss the origin of nonviolent resistance and tactics used in nonviolent protests, and analyze examples of passive resistance throughout history.

You should provide a critique of this philosophy by examining and discussing nonviolent demonstrations like hunger strikes, blockades, marches, staged sit-ins, the Freedom Rides.

These peaceful nonviolent protests were quite effective in American history.

Modern actions don’t focus on specific civil liberties but are often directed towards important societal concerns, for example, foreign policy and environmental protection.

Keep in mind that your research paper should include such sections as Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.

Don’t forget to create a brief abstract that will provide your readers with a quick overview of the main points discussed in your research paper. Make a references list, include sources you cited or used in the text of your paper.

Now you know what questions you should discuss in Martin Luther King Jr. civil disobedience essays and research papers.

We hope that our tips will help you provide a thorough analysis of this social phenomenon and make a positive impression on your readers.


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