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It is a secular call for the inviolability of conscience on all issues, and this aspect may account for some of the essay’s enduring legacy.
Many social reformers, including Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., have cited "Civil Disobedience" as inspiration.
Henry David Thoreau's original title for this essay was "Resistance to Civil Government." The essay was first delivered as a lecture before it was published.
We can now begin to discern several principles of civil disobedience.
The first principle is that you maintain respect for the rule of law even while disobeying the specific law that you perceive as unjust.
Civil disobedience, or the refusal to follow certain laws or government demands as a peaceful form of protest and a way of achieving a social goal, is a tactic used by individuals and reform movements around the world.
Footnote Course Hero, "Civil Disobedience Study Guide," August 31, 2017, accessed September 7, 2019, https://
Im sure that people have protested unjust laws ever since the first laws were promulgated. With respect to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, Thoreau chose to transgress.
Some scholars claim that Gandhi was influenced by an ancient tradition of civil disobedience in his own country, and we now know that Gandhi protested South African pass laws a year before he read Henry David Thoreaus famous work On Civil Disobedience in 1907. In eventually supporting the violent acts of John Brown, Thoreau broke with the non-violence resistance to which Gandhi and King consistently adhered.n July, 1846, Thoreau refused to pay a poll tax and spent one night in jail for his crime.
The second principle of civil disobedience follows from the first: you should plead guilty to any violation of the law. Gandhis tactics were a form of moral and political ju jitzu.
Some of Gandhis judges felt as if they were the ones charged and convicted.