Henry David Thoreau is one of the most important literary figures of the nineteenth century. His essay “Civil Disobedience” showed how to act civil but disobedient in order to protest things that you did not think were fair without being violent. Thoreau was instrumental in the later writings of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi in the fight against injustice. King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” was based on the principles of Thoreau’s essay. Both King and Thoreau are exceptional persuasive writers and speakers. Even though both writers were writing on ways to be civil but disobedient, they have opposite methods to achieve their ultimate goal. King is religious and apologetic and focuses on what is good for the group, while Thoreau is assertive and aggressive because of his own personal hate toward the government. They both have the same ideas but view them differently. King wants to raise awareness by marching and speaking to help open doors for everyone. Thoreau is striving for more individual rights in his essay. Although both have similar ideas and beliefs they are achieved in very different fashion.