Everyone should have the right for freedom and freedom serves as one of the fundamental laws of society. Without freedom, the balance of power would be lopsided and not just. In “Resistance to Civil Disobedience”, Henry David Thoreau writes about how government should not have control over society’s freedom. In modern day’s society one individual who fought for this right was Martin Luther King Jr. I have also fought for independence and I think that everyone should get the respect they deserve.
Romantics have fought for the fundamental right of liberty and will always treasure its significance; individual freedom is a right not a privilege and is a key characteristic that makes us human. Romantic Henry David Thoreau believed that government and society should not have any control over one’s freedom or individuality because regulating freedom is unnatural. He fought for freedom of an individual by writing “Resistance to Civil Disobedience”. In this essay Thoreau writes about how the government was trying to strip Thoreau of what he believes in.
He says, “To be strictly just, [government] must have the sanction and consent of the governed. [Government] can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it” (Thoreau 254). Thoreau believes that the government should abide by the individual and should never have the power to control one’s person or property. He says that the government should only have as much power as the individual gives it. Thoreau believes that no one person should be ruled over by society and if so people should stand up and fight.
Even though slavery was not abolished at the time, Thoreau believed “The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual” (Thoreau 254). Thoreau says that society is slowly correcting itself to be more just and eventually everyone can be free. Thoreau says that respect is the main key for freedom and if someone steps on his freedom that person steps on his respect. This means that if government gives freedom to an individual the government has the upmost respect for the person.
Thoreau sums by saying “I please myself with imagining a state at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor” (Thoreau 254). Like a neighbor, government should stay on their side and not cross over to another’s property. This means government should respect one’s land, which in this case is freedom. Thoreau believes that one day all humans will be free and will have the rights that they deserve. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most famous individuals who fought for his freedom because he believed that every individual should be free no matter what gender or race they come from.
King believes that if freedom is not handed to an individual, it should be fought for and earned. King says, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom” (King). King believes that freedom is more valuable when you fight for it and says that no one is going to give it, the people have to take it. King also says, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” (King). King knows that the only way to get what people want is to fight and stand up.
Like Thoreau, King also believes that freedom is a part of respect and society should fight for it. They both believe that government should correct itself to make a balance of power. Although King wanted power from society he says, “I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good” (King). King only wants what is fair and just. He fought for the power to be free from prejudice and to have liberty. King and Thoreau believe that freedom is a moral and should be treated just like respect. King represents a modern day Romantic that supports individuality.