Some famous people known for civil disobedience are Henry David Thoreau, Mohandas Gandhi and Vaclav Havel. Civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with unjust laws as a form of political protest.Know More
Thoreau's 1848 essay "Civil Disobedience" formulated the idea of civil disobedience in the modern era. In this essay, he explained the rationale behind his refusal to pay federal taxes while the United States was condoning slavery and prosecuting the Mexican-American War. Arguing that his taxes would support policies that he found immoral, Thoreau refused to pay them, earning himself a night in jail.
Gandhi created the concept of satyagraha, a theory of nonviolent civil disobedience, in his long movement to free India from British colonial domination. He led many mass acts of civil disobedience, including the Dandi Salt March of 1930, in which a crowd of tens of thousands defied the British tax on salt by making their own salt from the sea. These protests were crucial in securing India's independence.
Havel tweaked the theory of civil disobedience to make it relevant in a communist society. In his essay "The Power of the Powerless," Havel posits that the totalitarian system requires everyone in a society to submit, meaning that anyone who refuses to submit calls the whole system into question. Havel used his insight to lead a movement that ultimately led to democracy.Learn more about Modern History
Following its departure from the British Empire in 1956, Sudan experienced cultural and religious classes that led to ongoing civil war. While there have been periods of peace, establishing a democracy has proved difficult.Full Answer >
"Civil Disobedience" is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau that argues government should not dictate how people live their lives, believing people have the right to follow their conscience. The essay was included in "A Yankee in Canada, with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers," published in 1866.Full Answer >
Nelson Mandela fought to end apartheid, which divided people in South Africans based on race. After his release from prison, he sought reconciliation. He is credited with helping South Africa move past its unjust history.Full Answer >
Martin Luther King Jr. was a driving force behind various civil rights reforms in the United States because he believed in freedom for all people. He received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work.Full Answer >