Biography of Mahatma Gandhi – World History Essay

Mohandas K. Gandhi, known to most of the world as Mahatma Gandhi, changed the world with his fight for peace, fairness, and equality. He taught the world that violence is not the only way to create change. Through his own example he showed the world that non-violence is the best way to create change and that anyone, no matter who they are, can create change through strength of character and perseverance.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born and raised in a small suburb of Bombay, India called Porbandar on October 2, 1869. He was never a great student and always had a hard time in school.

As was the custom at that time in India, he was married at the age of 13 to Kasturba and his father died when he was in only the tenth grade. He joined a college, but dropped out after just three months because he didn’t like it. He then decided to go to England to get a law degree, and in September of 1888 at the age of 18 he left for London. In 1891 he returned to India as planned with his law degree. Then, in 1893 he decided to go to South Africa for one year to assist another lawyer . When he saw the racial discrimination that that Indians in South Africa were subjected to he decided to stay in South Africa and fight for the rights for those Indians and ended up staying there for twenty years. It was there that he developed his famous non-violent civil disobedience technique called Satyagraha. Finally, in 1915, after he felt that he had achieved his goals in South Africa he returned to India and remained there until his death.

South Africa was not the only place that Gandhi used his amazing skills to cause a change for the people. After returning to India he spent the rest of his life fighting for the independence of India and for religious and racial tolerance within India. Gandhi played an extremely major role in India’s fight for Independence. He taught the people his non-violent techniques through his many newspapers and taught the people to be able to support themselves without the help of the British. He organized boycotts on British goods and helped the Indian people show the British that they were unwanted and unneeded in India, but he never once allowed violence . If the people ever broke out in violence he would stop eating until the violence stopped. He was extremely loved by the Indian people and when they realized he was starving himself the fighting always stopped. He spent many years of his life in jail because of what he fought for, but felt that it was an honorable thing to go to jail for what you believe in .

Although Gandhi never fought in Europe, the things he fought for affected the Europeans greatly. At the time Britain was the country with the most land across the globe and India was one of its largest colonies. The loss of India from the British Empire greatly weakened Britain both in land and resources. They no longer had their stronghold to the east and could no longer so easily obtain resources like spices. Britain and France, throughout history have had an ongoing battle at who is the stronger country, and although Britain was the stronger country at the time, the loss of India helped France catch up by a large amount .

Because of Gandhi the people of the world learned the importance of non-violence and of standing up for what you believe in, and that courage is not measured by physical strength. Because of Gandhi the face of the world was changed. The British Empire was greatly weakened and the Indian people were free to rule themselves. Although Gandhi achieved a tremendous amount of great things in his lifetime he died feeling that he had failed because he had not been able to create peace between Hindus and Muslims in India .

Works Cited

“Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand”. 2005. Microsoft Encarta Online
Encyclopedia. 12 February 2005. .

Iyer, Raghavan. “Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand”. The World Book Encyclopedia,
Millennium 2000 Edition. World Book, Inc., Chicago, 2000. Pg. 25.

“Mahatma Gandhi Archives”. 13 February 2005.

Sinha, Shall. “A Nutshell Biography of Mahatma Gandhi”. 13 February
2005. .

“Timeline: From Empire to Commwealth”. BBC News. 17 February 2005.

“Mahatma Gandhi Archives”. 13 February 2005.