Declaration of Independence and Letter from Birmingham Jail

1098 words 5 pages
Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. are two American men who were key leaders during very controversial periods in U.S. history, and they were instrumental in movements that forever changed American society. Although their generations, cultures, backgrounds, and motives were quite different, their cause was relatively the same. It was a cause that stood against injustice, oppression, and sought the freedom of all men. Their beliefs and struggles were evident in their writings. Two of the most famous writings in particular are "Declaration of Independence" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail". Both writings are very effective and successful in reaching out to their intended audience. However, "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is more …show more content…

This is mainly due to the more advanced technology during Dr. King's time; the media, for example, had far more resources and the ability to reach far more people than had been possible before. This technological advantage gave Dr. King a worldwide stage. He used this stage to draw support from various sources by identifying with honorable men of various cultures and their ideals throughout history, as well as by distancing himself from several negative movements of his era that fought for the same cause. Dr. King identified with such men as Socrates, Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, Abraham Lincoln, and even Thomas Jefferson (530-531). He separated himself from the complacency of the middle class Negro and the white moderate, as well as from the violent extreme of the Nazi party and the black nationalists such as the Muslim movement led by Elijah Muhammed (528-529). With this tactic he was able to reach out to various types of people, even those who were strongly against Dr. King and what he stood for. "The Declaration of Independence" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail" were both very important and necessary writings of their time. They have even transcended their time and have been referenced throughout history. Dr. King even mentions Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration in the Birmingham letter, which adds strength to his argument to the clergymen. Dr. King reference to Thomas Jefferson