Two significant social or political changes that occurred as a result of the actions of one individual Essay

People who caused a Change

Mahatma Gandhi, who was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India. Gandhi stayed in India until he decided to travel to England in 1888 to get his Law degree. In 1893 Gandhi traveled to South Africa to pursue a job as a barrister, where he experienced the extent of discrimination towards Indians in South Africa .Gandhi was traveling to the Transvaal province of South Africa by train where he was asked to move back to the third-class car even though he had a first class ticket. Gandhi refusing to make the change was thrown off the train. After being thrown off the train he had to make a decision whether to head back to India or stay and fight for the rights of Indians in South Africa. It was after witnessing the unfair treatment of Indians that came up with the concept of satyagraha. Satyagraha basically means passive resistance.(Rosenburg, “n.d.”, p. 1) Gandhi had decided to stay and fight. The first official use of satyagraha started in South Africa where Gandhi opposed the Asiatic Registration Law (also known as the Black Act). The Black Act that was passed In March 1907, that required all Indians no matter of their age or sex to get fingerprinted and to have their documents on them at all times.

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With the use of satyagraha, Indians picketed the documentation offices and refused to get fingerprinted. From there miners went on strike, mass protests were formed, and many Indians traveled illegally from Natal to the Transvaal in protest of the Black Act. There Gandhi and the protesters were either beaten or arrested, becoming one of Gandhi’s frequent jail sentences.) After seven years of protest the Black Act was abolished.(Rosenburg, “n.d.”, p. 2) This was proof that Gandhi’s nonviolent protests were productive. The Salt March was the start of a campaign to abolish the salt tax that was imposed by the British. Gandhi wanted a cause that affected all Indians poor and rich alike all used salt and they weren’t allowed to use salt that wasn’t produced by the British .This was just another example of Gandhi’s influence on social and political change. It started on March 12, 1930 where Gandhi and 78 of his followers headed from the Sabarmati Ashram to the coast, about a 200 mile march.

The small group of marchers kept growing until there were about two to three thousand. They traveled roughly 12 miles per day exposing themselves to extreme heat. Finally reaching the coastal town of Dandi, on April 5, there they prayed all through the night. When morning came, Gandhi made a gesture by picking up a piece of sea salt that was laying on the sand.(Rosenburg, “n.d.”, p. 4) Technically, he was breaking the law. This act began what was to become a monumental, national effort for Indians to produce their own salt. Thousands and thousands of people traveled to the beaches so they could pick up the loose salt and others started to evaporate salt water. This Indian-produced salt would soon be sold across the country. The force that was created through this protest became contagious and was felt all over India. Marches and Peaceful picketing was another result. The British ended up responding with mass arrests. (Rosenburg, “n.d.”, p. 4) There is no doubt that Gandhi’s influence has changed social and political ideas in his lifetime. Obviously the Black Act is an example of political change, while the Salt tax act is a great example of Political change. Gandhi’s principals have changed the course of History. It is unfortunate that he was assassinated before his time. Susan B Anthony and Social Reform Susan B. Anthony born in Adams, Massachusetts on February 15, 1820 who was raised up in a Quaker family with a history of activism. At an early age Susan developed a deep sense moral conviction and justice. Susan B Anthony was a teacher for 15 years before becoming involved in the abolition of alcohol also known as the temperance movement.

Due to the fact that Susan was a woman she was unable to speak in public settings leading her to be an advocate for the woman’s suffrage movement. In 1852 Elizabeth Cady Stanton who was an acquaintance of Susan’s inspired her to join the woman’s rights movement. It was in 1868 that Susan B Anthony encouraged the women from the sewing and printing trades to form Workingwomen’s Associations in New York. This act was a direct result of the woman not being allowed to join the men’s trade unions. Susan B Anthony went on to approach the National Labor Congress in 1868 persuading them to request a vote on equal pay for equal work. (“Biography of Susan B. Anthony,” 2013, p.

1)This is a great example of Social change, giving the women a voice and encouraging them they deserved to be treated equally. It was in 1853 that Susan B Anthony began campaigning for change in the property rights of women in New York City, there she began by speaking at meetings, the collection of signatures for petitions, and by lobbying to the state legislature. It wasn’t until 1860, mainly to her efforts that the New York State Married Women’s Property Bill was to become a law, which allowed married women to own property, keep the wages they earned, and the ability to have custody of their own children. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony continued to campaign for more equitable divorce laws in the State of New York.(“Biography of Susan B. Anthony,” 2013, p.

1) Susan B Anthony continued to be an advocate for women’s rights for years to come with her friend Elisabeth Stanton. It is obvious to see the significant that Susan B Anthony had in many aspects of women’s rights. As an advocate for equal pay she started a mindset changing the opinions of people nationwide. In regards to being treated with equal rights in the view of the court system, Susan B Anthony changed society for generations to come. It is quite remarkable the contributions to Political and Social change that Susan B Anthony made.

References
National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House. (2013). Retrieved from http://susanbanthonyhouse.org/her-story/biography.php Rosenburg, J. (“n.d.”). Gandhi-Biography of Mahatma Gandhi. Retrieved from http://history1900s.about.com/od/people/a/gandhi.htm

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