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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Essay length: 1846 words

Gandhi and Martin Luther King

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

R.S2 By Chris Drew The teachings in R.S1 greatly influenced both Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was a man who helped the country of India to independence. More importantly he did this without ever using violence. The fact that he never used violence helped, because, India got sympathy from other countries. Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in India, he got married at the age of thirteen, and then in 1888 he went to England to study law. Three years later he passed his law examinations and enrolled as a barrister. This would help him later on in life when he was in court for the breaking the law. Gandhi's first effort to get equal treatment for Indians was in South Africa where all Indians that lived there had to carry identification papers. To try and get equal treatment he incited people to burn their identification papers, (he also burnt his own.) The thing that made Gandhi try and get equal treatment for all Indians was when he was travelling to Pretoria by train. He had bought a first class ticket, but he was asked to move to a third class compartment. He refused and got thrown out onto the platform. He refused to be moved down to third class because he had been in England for three years and was still used to the way of life over there.

Middle

In the morning, Gandhi and thousands of other Indian peasants, illegally made salt. The police made many arrests but there was not a hint of trouble from the Indian people. Also Gandhi and thousands of others were sent to prison for infringing on the salt laws. Not long after that the manufacture of salt was permitted and political prisoners were freed. I think the main reason that Gandhi did this was to attract the attention of the world about India's problems, but it is also a good example of how the Indian were now trying to be non-violent like Gandhi himself. On January 30 1948 Gandhi was assonated. In his lifetime he had greatly helped India and Pakistan get Independence within the British Commonwealth. Another person whose religious beliefs greatly affected his actions and influenced his life was Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King was a Christian and his father was the minister of a large church in Atlanta, so he would have been taught to love thy neighbour and not to kill, and other Christian teachings, however, he may have been justified to think that violence as self-defence or violence in a just war when it is the last option was alright. However Martin Luther King didn't agree with violence, and he, (like Mahatma Gandhi,) decided to try and get equal rights without using violence.

Conclusion

This is the first example of black Americans united to protest of the unfair way they were treated. However, at the end of 1956, the United States Supreme made a decision to make, keeping black people and white people apart on buses, illegal. Most white people accepted the change, however others were angry. The main reason the rule was changed was because the buses had lost so much money, just because black people weren't going on them. There were a lot of points of Martin Luther King's life that would not have been the same had he not been a Christian. For example, during the bus-boycotting period, Martin Luther King had lots of threatening phone calls, letters and other messages. This obliviously made him feel like he could not carry on with it anymore, so he prayed. And after he did he heard a voice inside his head saying, "Stand up for what's right. Stand up for truth. God will be on your side forever." Martin Luther King believed that this was God's voice telling him to carry on. Had Martin Luther King not been a Christian he may have never carried on trying to get equal rights for all black Americans. Martin Luther King was killed in 1968 in Memphis Tennessee. Before he died he had also accomplished lots of other achievements, like winning the Nobel Peace Prize and in August 1965 blacks had the same rights to vote as whites did. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1

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