Coursework Sample: American History

Question 1: Document 28-1 Martin Luther King Jr. explains Non-Violent Resistance.

Martin Luther King distinguished between just and unjust laws, and states that “an unjust law is no law at all.” He explains that a just law is one made by man and agrees with the law of God that guides morals hence uplifts the human personality, and an unjust law is one that is not harmonious with the moral law and degrades human personality. In other words, just laws are those that promote equality, justice, and freedom while unjust laws do not. Segregation is was unjust since, as he stated, a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself was unjust. Segregation did not promote equality, and it degraded the human personality of some groups of people and hence it was unjust.

Civil disobedience is a form of passive resistance where one refuses to obey the rules or laws of an administration (government), without the use of violence or active ways of opposition. It usually is a way of showing violation of a law, rather than a rejection of the way of governance as a whole, thus it serves to force concessions from those in governance.Civil disobedience actions generate meaning beyond the mere fact that the persons are breaking the law and being punished for it, and their actions will be central to a debate about an injustice. Meanwhile, criminal activity is active breaking of law(s) and in the process violating the just laws of others. Criminal activity does not necessarily have a moral proposition supporting such as generating meaning central to an injustice debate, but rather is most selfish and reckless disobedience of just laws.

Martin Luther saw civil disobedience as way of proactively advancing “the basic rights of freedom, justice, and equality.” Luther advocates for this method of nonviolent action to break the law as a true form of showing the highest respect for the law since it demonstrates that the civil disobedient feel the moral responsibility to obey just laws. Their opposition shows recognition of unjust laws since it was wrong to cooperate with evil deeds just as it was equally morally right to cooperate with good deeds.

Question 2: Document 27 – 5 President Dwight D. Eisenhower Warned About the Military-Industrial Complex.

Part 1

The Basic American Goals according to Eisenhower are to maintain peace and foster growth and development in humanaccomplishment, and to augment dignity, integrity, and liberty among people and among other countries. He feared that striving for less than these goals due to arrogance or lack of readinessto sacrifice orcomprehension among the American people would have been unworthy of a liberated and religious people and would cause grievous hurt both in and out of America. He saw some threats towards the goals such as the world wars, cold war, and conflicts that had engulfed the world. He therefore demanded for the attention of all Americans to brace up for a face off with a hostile ideology that was global, atheistic, ruthless, and insidious, and did not seem to have respect for time…”

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