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Julius Caesar and Malcolm X, at first glance, may seem they have little in common and to most they are nothing alike, but looking a bit closer we see that they may not be as different as some would believe. Gaius Julius Caesar was a roman Politian and general, who played a big role in the events that led to the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. In 60 B.C., Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed a political pact that commanded Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to assemble power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesar’s victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome’s territory to the English Channel and the Rhine River.
Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements earned him incomparable military power and jeopardized to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon River with the 13th Legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. Civil war resulted and Caesar’s victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history.
Malcolm Little was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. Malcolm was born May 19, 1925. Malcolm’s father was killed when he was six and his mother was placed in a mental hospital when he was thirteen, leaving him in a series foster homes. In 1946, when Malcolm was 20 years old, he went to jail for larceny and breaking and entering. While in prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI), and changed his birth name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X because, he later wrote, Little was the name that “the white slave master … had imposed upon [his] paternal forebears”. After his parole in 1952 he was quick to rise to become one of the organization’s most influential leaders, serving as the public face of the controversial group for twelve years.
By March 1964, Malcolm X had been let down by the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad. Expressing many regrets about his time with them, which he had come to note as largely wasted, he embraced Sunni Islam. After a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, which included completing the Hajj, he also became known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. He rejected the Nation of Islam, disowned racism and founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He continued to emphasize Pan-Africanism, black self-determination, and black self-defense. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam.
Julius Caesar and Malcolm X where both every powerful leaders who many people looked up to, they both thought that what they were doing was for the greater good of their people. But in the end, that would also be there downfall when they both die by assassination. But even after death, both leaders are still often researched, quoted and whose leadership styles are still discussed and debated to this day. In conclusion, through my research and readings, it is my opinion that Julius Caesar and Malcolm X were not so different after all.
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