Civil Disobedience Essay Examples and Topics

Essay Examples
Essay Topics
Brief overview


Main information

Civil disobedience refers to people’s refusal to obey their government’s commands or demands through passive resistance. When engaging in civil disobedience, citizens don’t resort to violence or any other active measure of opposition.


In India and Africa, civil disobedience has been a foundation of liberation movements. Although groups of people engage in illegal actions, they are non-violent. Civil disobedience movement leaders aim to set a moral example that would provoke the government to adjust its policies.


The latest examples of civil disobedience include the 2020-2021 Belarusian protests, the 2016-2017 Candlelight Revolution in South Korea, and the 2013-2014 Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine.

Key Quotes
  • “An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment.” - Mahatma Gandhi
  • “In an unjust society the only place for a just man is prison.” - Henry David Thoreau
  • “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
Arguments For

Civil disobedience is one of the few ways to provoke political and social changes without violence.

Arguments Against

The concept has been criticized for accepting the existing political structure even though its laws are unjust. On the other hand, anarchy is seen as the next logical step from civil disobedience.

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