The Opposition to War and Violence
Pacifist Leaders and their Contributions
King was involved with the first great pacifist movement in the united States, the Civil Rights Movement. With the refusal to surrender her seat on a bus to a white man, Rosa Parks inspired the Montgomery Boycott which was led by King. The boycott lasted a year until the city of Montgomery abolished segregation on buses. King's leadership during this event sparked political change without the use of violence. King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the late 1950s which operated a network for civil rights work throughout the nation and was the president of this group. A successful four month campaign in Birmingham, Alabama was the group's first victory.
Bayard Rustin has been credited with creating the pacifist strategy of the modern civil rights movement(1954-1965). Rustin developed and preformed the March on Washington. In addition to this, Rustin was the one to introduce Ghandian nonviolence and is known for introducing it to Martin Luther King Jr which inspired king and led to his nonviolent protests. His leadership was not acknowledged and appreciated by many due to the fact that he was homosexual. With this lack of appreciation, his desire to achieve equal rights was strengthened.
Tolstoy was a Russian of an aristocratic family with links to some of the most powerful Russian families. In the last three decades of his life, Tolstoy was a strict pacifist. He centralized his disputes on the problems in politics of using violence to maintain order, promote justice and ensure the survival of society and civilization. He was a religious pacifist who got his beliefs from the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel. Tolstoy went on to write the great epic War and Peace.
Ghandi is one of the most well known pacifists and spiritual leader in the world. he lead a life dedicated to social and political reform through nonviolence. Ghandi was engaged with the reconstruction if the Indian community. In 1942 he delivered a speech urging the colonists to leave the country.Gandhi devoted all his life out of politics to promote peace between Hindus and Muslims.
Goals and Tactics
- Rustin's March on Washington
- William Penn employed an anti-militarist policy
- Ghandi's efforts helped lead India to independence in 1947, and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom worldwide.