Resistance to Civil Government by Henry David ThoreauResistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).
Essay on Henry David Thoreau 's Resistance Of Civil Government
To some he is the patron saint of passive resistance , whereas to others he is an anarchist. The truth lies somewhere between those extremes. These concerns occur throughout his writings and are rooted in the same transcendentalist self-culture that he espouses in Walden: an individual's highest duty is to perfect the spiritual connection to God within. By striving for personal perfection, one leavens the whole loaf of humanity. To attempt to reform society without first perfecting oneself is to hack at the branches of evil while ignoring its roots. Paradoxically, Thoreau's ideal program of social action requires no direct action on society. Thoreau was often impatient with reform movements and utopian communities.
Rating: Strong Essays. Open Document. Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper. Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly. Strong Essays words 4 pages. The philosopher and writer heavily influenced the political movements of his time and of future events by refusing to subscribe to political and cultural norms. This attitude can be compared to the political unrest caused this year by Donald Trump running for President of the United States
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in In it.
objections to social contract theory
Resistance to Civil Government
Having spent one night in jail in July of for refusal to pay his poll tax in protest against slavery and the Mexican War, Thoreau lectured before the Concord Lyceum in January of on the subject "On the Relation of the Individual to the State. Salt and issued in London in - Tags Philosophy and Methodology Political Theory. Henry David Thoreau is best known for Walden , which chronicles his experiment in simple, self-sufficient living.
Henry David Thoreau, the son of a Concord pencil-maker, graduated from Harvard in He worked a short while as a schoolmaster, but then began writing poetry. He soon joined a religious, philosophical, and literary movement called Transcendentalism. The leader of the movement was Ralph Waldo Emerson, a writer and lecturer. In , he built a hut at Walden Pond on property owned by Emerson.
The United States went to war against Mexico in May That July, while living at Walden Pond, Thoreau refused to pay his poll tax as a protest against the conflict, for he saw the war as an effort to extend the realm of slavery. As a result, the local constable arrested him, and he spent the night in the Concord jail. As Thoreau continued his study of the woods and himself, he also contemplated the nature of government and the citizen's connection to it: out of this came his statement explaining his act of protest. Published in , his essay has since become the classic justification for acts of civil disobedience.
Henry David Thoreau was a philosopher and writer best known for his attacks on American social institutions and his respect for nature and simple living. He was heavily influenced by the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, who introduced Thoreau to the ideas of transcendentalism, a philosophy central to Thoreau's thinking and writing. In addition to Civil Disobedience , Thoreau is best known for his book Walden , which documents his experiences living alone on Walden Pond in Massachusetts from Throughout his life, Thoreau emphasized the importance of individuality and self-reliance. He practiced civil disobedience in his own life and spent a night in jail for his refusal to pay taxes in protest of the Mexican War. Thoreau was opposed to the practice of slavery in some of the territories involved. It is thought that this night in jail prompted Thoreau to write Civil Disobedience.