Journal for International Figures in History

Journal for International Figures in History

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Introduction

Leadership is a trait achieved or acquired by very few people and hence leaders are either made or born. History has bestowed us with outstanding leaders that we reckon for the extraordinary things they did in history or even the way they implemented their leadership in order to achieve their goals. The aim of this essay is to compare the way certain leaders carried out their activities, their character traits, the way they implemented their policies, what they stand for in history and their similarities and differences. Through these insights we are able to clearly define what true leadership stands for and what we should emulate from it (Miller, 1990).

Martin Luther King Jr.

King was born in 15TH January 1929 and he was a an exemplary leader, an activist, a humanitarian and a minister who fought dearly and aggressively for the humanitarian treatment of all people as well as the Civil rights of Americans irrespective of their race or ethnicity especially the Afro-Americans. He is described as the calm but authoritative non-violent leader who was willing to pursue diplomatic means or rather peaceful resolutions to fight racial segregation of the black people in economic places and social settings just because they were black. He was vigilant n fighting these injustices trough means of protests that involved injuring no one as well as through international Christian organizations that shed light on the racial discriminations that spread across America like wildfire (King & Carson, 1998).

This was a humble man and through his dedicated life, he could preach in churches against racial injustices, attend international conferences, initiate boycotts on economic injustices such as unfair payments of wages just because one was black and on top of that promote a cohesive platform for fighting for the rights of the minorities through advocating for non-violent demonstrations against the authorities that exercised these outrageous extremisms of even persecuting and executing the Afro-Americans. Through his oratory expertise that commanded his presence and shunned his opposition whenever he spoke, Luther could diligently express his bitterness to the political, economic and social injustices that divided America. When it came to political endorsement, he refused to join any political party and decided to be a conscience of both and serve neither (King et al, 1992).

In his younger age, King attended a racially segregated school and he and his other family members felt humiliated by the way the whites treated them and he had grown up as a depressed young man who hate developed a resentful taste for the white people for the way they humiliated the blacks and he even attempted to commit suicide by jumping out of a second storey building but luckily he did not die. One thing that was so admirable about King was his oratory capability that left so many astound and ready to listen to him, it was so captivating just the same way a moth is attracted to light when the lantern is on, they all listened to him. This led him to become a minister and a social activist in the church (King & Carson, 1998).

In his civil rights fight, King was inspired by renowned leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi who believed that the use of non-violence was a more superior weapon that engaging in fights and it was truly going to soften the heart of the racists. In high vigorous and spirited campaigns, King was arrested, his home burnt but his determination and zeal remained focused just like a cheetah chasing gazelle and would not be destructed by a dashing squirrel. King met his death on 29th March 1929 where he was assassinated as he was preparing for a campaign to support the blacks who had gone to protest against poor payments poor treatment in the workplace (King et al, 1992).

Adolf Hitler

He was an aggressive German leader with Austrian origin born in 1889 and he was known to be a very resentful with unstable temperament. He lived in the streets of Vienna as a vagabond and had a lot of hatred for the Jews since he blamed them for the economic injustices that the Germans faced and he wanted to ‘cleans’ the German race from the Jewish-pest that had infested the country. He was an ideologist and a communist advocating for the expansion of Germany and reinstating of its power to the people. Hitler had racial extremists and theorist to look up to and they incited the fire and fury in him through their ideologies against other races, for example Karl Luegar, Lanz Von Liebenfels who were renowned for their brutality and sexual connotations (Hitler & MPI Home Video (Firm), 1990).

Hitler is depicted as an aggressive leader who was mean and determined to use all violent means so as to get rid of the Jews. He was arrested for trying to overthrow the government. When released nine months later, he vowed to use democratic means to achieve his goals and later through his primitive ideologies and racial campaigns managed to influence majority of the Germans to vote for him and he became the Chancellor. He was already a shrewd politician who believed that he was sent to deliver German from Jewish menace and restore its glory by expanding its territories and he did this through street terror and intimidation. Hitler killed over six million Jews and many others in his ambitious quest to conquer Europe although he was later overpowered by the Allies and he committed suicide as he believed that his Generals had failed him (Hitler & MPI Home Video (Firm), 1990).

Similarities

Both Hitler and King were both very ambitious leaders who were aggressive in achieving their goals. They both cared for the welfare of their people and were willing to courageously do anything required so as to achieve their ambitions. They all advocated for the ‘plights’ they believed were facing their people and hence they would go to all lengths and advocate for them. History remembers both as ambitious in that Hitler wanted to expand the German territories by conquering the whole of Europe and killing of all the Jews as he believed they were the cause of German’s setback in economy. On the other hand, King fought for the rights of the minorities against racial discrimination and poor working conditions for the black. Both parties had a common denominator in that they had icons that motivated them in achieving their goals through their ideologies and in this case King was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi while Hitler was inspired by shrewd leaders such as Karl Luegar. The two were also change embracers since they both advocated for a better nation and change in the way things were done and they strongly believed in their views (Miller, 1990).

Differences

The differences between the two leaders are so evident since King is depicted as a charismatic leader who truly cares for the welfare of others and is truly advocating for the non-violent means of expressing issues while on the other hand Hitler was a dictator, racist, violent and ambitious in achieving his goals as he could partake any means necessary to see that he got what he wanted including exterminating six million Jews without any regret about it. In addition, King is viewed as a generous good role model to all the people including the whites as he believed all men were created equal and they ought to be given an equal chance in expressing themselves and in sharing of resources while on the other hand Hitler was very greedy as he wanted to have the whole of Europe to himself through conquering all other states and he was a very poor role model since he was violent and did not embrace all people as equal but believed in German superiority over other races especially the Jewish race (Hitler & Mannheim, 1944).

Conclusion

The world has faced great leaders who have impacted a great deal in the way things are today either positively or negatively and most of these leaders have the qualities that we desire and those that we despise but in one way or the other they have impacted change. Comparing two leaders helps us evaluate the most viable traits to emulate from them and adopt in our day to day activities in order to transform our lives or get inspired.

References

King, M. L., & Carson, C. (1998). The autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Intellectual Properties Management in association with Warner Books.

King, M. L., Carson, C., Holloran, P., Luker, R., & Russell, P. A. (1992). The papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hitler, A., & MPI Home Video (Firm). (1990). The speeches of Adolf Hitler. Oak Forest, Ill.: MPI Home Video.

Fest, J. C., & Mazal Holocaust Collection. (1970). The face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi leadership. New York: Pantheon Books.

W., W. A., Hitler, A., & Mannheim, R. (1944). Mein Kampf. Books Abroad, 18(3), 248. doi:10.2307/40084637

Miller, K. D. (1990). Composing Martin Luther King, Jr. PMLA, 105(1), 70. doi:10.2307/462344