Q:

What are some similarities between Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Thoreau?

A:

Quick Answer

Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi and Henry David Thoreau all advocated for civil disobedience through non-violent means. Also, each of these individuals was, at one time or another, imprisoned for his own non-violent civil disobedience.

  Know More
What are some similarities between Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Thoreau?
Credit: Getty Images Getty Images News Getty Images

Full Answer

King is most commonly known for his leadership in the African-American Civil Rights movement. Unlike Malcolm X, who advocated a much harsher and more physically involved method of protestation, King consistently upheld that violence should never be used, even in retaliation, in efforts for social change.

History.com explains that Ghandi was the most prominent figurehead for Indian nationalism in the early 1900s, advocating for non-violent civil disobedience, passive resistance and non-cooperation toward Great Britain.

Thoreau authored an essay in 1849 called "Civil Disobedience," which calls for individuals to hold themselves responsible to justice and to their consciences before they hold themselves responsible to the government. "Civil Disobedience" also holds that if the government is not acting in accordance with justice, then the individual has a responsibility to non-violently oppose the government. King and Ghandi were both influenced by Thoreau's writings. King noted in his autobiography that Thoreau's writing was the first place he encountered the notion of non-violent resistance. In his 1907 essay, "For Passive Resisters," Ghandi praised Thoreau's practicality and morality.

Thoreau's powerful essay also influenced several other notable people, including Martin Buber, Ernest Hemingway and Marcel Proust.

Learn more about US History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What did Martin Luther King Jr. stand for?

    A:

    Martin Luther King Jr., an African-American Baptist minister and social activist from Georgia, stood for peace, equality and justice, especially for African-Americans and the socially disadvantaged. He played an integral role in the American civil rights movement and is considered to be the driving force that brought about such legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were some of Martin Luther King Jr.'s most notable achievements?

    A:

    Martin Luther King Jr.'s formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize and his tireless work towards desegregation are widely considered to be his greatest achievements. The SCLC was founded in 1957 with the goal of achieving civil rights and fighting segregation. King was an influential pioneer of the civil rights movement in the U.S. and was the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize, which he was awarded in 1964 at the age of 35.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where can you find free quizzes about Martin Luther King Jr.?

    A:

    As of 2015, a good location to find free quizzes about Martin Luther King Jr. is the Scholastic website. These quizzes can be taken and scored online, or be printed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest achievement?

    A:

    In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent activism in the struggle to secure civil rights for African American citizens. Many people consider this recognition of King’s role in the peaceful campaign against racial discrimination as his greatest achievement.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore