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Citizenship Quizzes Independence Constitution Legislative Branch Executive Branch Judicial Branch Elections

Introduction What is Citizenship? What Does It Take to Be a U.S. Citizen? Becoming a Citizen Alone We Are Free! Creating a Community Acting Like a Citizen The Matching Game Power for the People Civil Yet Disobedient Is This Civil Disobedience or Isn't It? Demonstrating an Opinion Citizens' Rights Balancing the Scales More Scales to Balance

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What is Citizenship? Attitudes and Actions Responsible Citizenship Communicating Keeping Freedom What Do You Think?

Is This Civil Disobedience or Isn't It?

Take a look at the words listed below. Find the definitions of any word or words that you do not know the meaning of in your own dictionary. 

Boycott Counterfeit
Demonstration Kidnap
Looting Picket
Propaganda Riot
Sit–in Strike

Definition Freebees:

Civil Disobedience: The refusal to obey certain laws or demands of the government for the purpose of influencing governmental policy.  Nonviolent techniques such as boycotting and picketing characterize civil disobedience.

Violence: Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing.

Using what you have just learned and paying close attention to the underlined actions in the sentences on the attached worksheet, decide if the actions describe "civil disobedience" or "violence" and enter the correct description in the text boxes provided.

Discuss the difference between "civil disobedience" and "violence" with your teacher and classmates.


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In seeking an active form of civil disobedience, one may choose to deliberately break certain laws, such as by forming a peaceful blockade or occupying a facility illegally. Protesters practice this non-violent form of civil disorder with the expectation that they will be arrested, or even attacked or beaten by the authorities.

*Citizenship section select ideas derived from Citizenship, Learning to Live as Responsible Citizens, published by Good Apple, Inc.

The Dirksen Congressional CenterCopyright 2008