The relationship between man and government in the essay civil disobedience by henry david thoreau

He listened to the inner voice of his conscience, a voice all men possess but few men follow. Thoreau wonders about the psychology of men who would fight a war and, perhaps, kill others out of obedience.

He was supposed to remain in jail until a fine was paid which he also declined to pay. Civil Disobedience portrays the Mexican-American war as an evil comparable to slavery. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Disobedience, for example, was first rendered as a lecture at the Concord Meeting Hall.

This makes it impossible for a man to live honestly, and at the same time comfortably, in outward respects. His emphasis at the end of the essay is firmly on respect for the individual. Thoreau acted this way in order to protest the United States's war with Mexico and slavery for which the monies from the tax would proceed.

However, Thoreau writes not only about theory; his essay is also very much an appeal to his fellow Massachusetts residents about the current issues of the day. Or perhaps because their political slant was so unpopular that some reviewers of the volume wished they had died with the man. Obedience should be earned and it should be withheld from an unjust government.

Witness the present Mexican War, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool: In the current state of affairs, payment of taxes is violent and bloody. Thoreau asserts that he does not want to quarrel or to feel superior to others.

They were usually presented as lectures to small audiences or as articles buried in small-circulation periodicals. Through the use of his civil disobedience, the minority can be heard and not let the majority be able to tell society what is considered right and wrong.

Thoreau responds to this by saying that we need only a few wise people to educate the majori ty and, thus, prepare them for these changes. And, should a child stumble, spilling berries, he would kneel by the weeping child and explain that if children did not stumble, then berries would never scatter and grow into new bushes.

Thoreau, Emerson, and Transcendentalism

For example, Thoreau argues that government should be based on conscience and that citizens should cease associating with an unjust government. Thoreau declared that, if the government requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

In Civil Disobedience as throughout his other writings, Thoreau focuses on the individual's ultimate responsibility to live deliberately and to extract meaning from his own life; overseeing the machinery of society is secondary.

I will breathe after my own fashion. To understand why the essay has exerted such powerful force over time, it is necessary to examine both Thoreau the man and the circumstances of his arrest.

He exclaimed in Civil Disobedience, Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?

Such courts offer no protection to Thoreau, who refuses to respect their authority. His friend and mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, offered the following psychological portrait: Perhaps because many of them were written in response to specific events and, so, seemed dated.

Still others obey because they fear the consequences of disobedience. I shall delight to be buried in it. The only two books published in his lifetime, Walden and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Riversboth dealt with nature, in which he loved to wander.

The personal quality of Civil Disobedience also contributes to its impact, as the essay exudes sincerity more commonly found in diaries and correspondence than in political tracts.

Denying an interest in abolishing government, he states that he simply wants a better government. Americans know Thoreau primarily as the author of the book Walden, or Life in the Woods but it is Civil Disobedience that established his reputation in the wider political world. Individual conscience should rule instead, and civil government should confine itself to those matters suited to decision by majority rule.

Civil Disobedience ends on a happy note. Such laws often have more severe penalties than those that protect individuals against violence.It describes a walk taken by Thoreau during the winter. (10 pages) Autumnal Tints» Thoreau's classic essay about nature.

Why was Thoreau put in jail and what were his feelings about the government while he was in jail ?

Autumnal Tints eloquenty describes the colors of New England fall. (20 pages) Civil Disobedience» An essay, also known as Resistance to Civil Government, about the relationships between individual citizens and their.

Oct 27,  · A man named Henry David Thoreau (pronounced THOR-oh) also thought the war was wrong.

Civil Disobedience Questions and Answers

He refused to pay taxes to the American government because of it. However, it was illegal to refuse to pay taxes which are owed to the government. Thoreau's essay is both an abstract work of political theory and a practical and topical work addressing the issues of the day.

Both aspects appear in this first section. On the one hand, Thoreau is making several theoretical claims about the nature of democracy and the relationship between citizen and government.

Comparing Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail Words | 3 Pages JeffersonThoreau, a transcendentalist from the mid 19th century and Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights movement leader of a century later both believed the necessity of medicine for government.

Major Essays

It describes a walk taken by Thoreau during the winter. (10 pages) Autumnal Tints» Thoreau's classic essay about nature. Autumnal Tints eloquenty describes the colors of New England fall.

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

(20 pages) Civil Disobedience» An essay, also known as Resistance to Civil Government, about the relationships between individual citizens and their government. - Civil Disobedience and the Abusive Power of Government In response to the annexation of Texas in by the United States, Henry David Thoreau's wrote the essay, Civil Disobedience.

Thoreau felt that this purely economic move by the United States expedited the Civil War, which he, and many Americans, disapproved of.

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The relationship between man and government in the essay civil disobedience by henry david thoreau
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