Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Jefferson
Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Jefferson are two of Americas best men who were leaders during very controversial times in united states history. They were involved in movements that changed American society forever. Even though their backgrounds, generations, cultures, and motives were quite different. Their situations were relatively the same. It was a cause that stood against oppression, injustice, and wanted the freedom of all men. Their beliefs and struggles were plain in their writings.
Two of the most famous writings are “Declaration of Independence” and “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Both writings are very successful in reaching out to their intended audience. However, “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is more so toward white preachers for letting everything that happen go down. With King writing this letter from behind bars, he walked the statement that he makes in the letter that says, “I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the “do nothingism” of the satisfied nor the hatred and unhappiness of the black nationalist. There is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest.
I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle” (530). Although their cause was the same, their strategies and audience varied. Jefferson was able to use his claim of autocracy against the king, and Dr. King was able to use his humble approach and his comparisons to other men and organizations to gain a worldwide audience to advance their causes. Like when Jefferson was able to rally support from the colonists and kindness from other countries by placing the blame on King George.
Jefferson justified his blame of King George by listing the king’s many injustices, as well as the attempts that the colonial leaders made to communicate with King George. Using this method Jefferson was able to irritate the dictator to war, prepare the colonists for war, and eventually gain an alliance with the French who helped them win the war. However, the Declaration was only targeted to the people that would be critical in helping the colonies gain their independence. For instance, the slaves were set free.