Henry david thoreau essay on the duty of civil disobedience

How can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, and enjoy it? I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster; for I was not the State's schoolmaster, but I supported myself by voluntary subscription. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained the light, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up.

The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. To establish this thought, he compares the government with a machine. It exists to ensure an individual's freedom.

I think sometimes, Why, this people mean well, they are only ignorant; they would do better if they knew how: They only can force me who obey a higher law than I.

A lifelong abolitionistThoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience injust months after leaving Walden Pond.

Civil Disobedience and Other Essays Quotes

In fact, I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make what use and get what advantage of her I can, as is usual in such cases. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt.

Those who, while they disapprove of the character and measures of a government, yield to it their allegiance and support are undoubtedly its most conscientious supporters, and so frequently the most serious obstacles to reform.

People who proclaim that the war in Mexico is wrong and that it is wrong to enforce slavery contradict themselves if they fund both things by paying taxes. Yet, compared with the cheap professions of most reformers, and the still cheaper wisdom and eloquence of politicians in general, his are almost the only sensible and valuable words, and we thank Heaven for him.

I wondered that it should have concluded at length that this was the best use it could put me to, and had never thought to avail itself of my services in some way. My room-mate was introduced to me by the jailer as "a first-rate fellow and a clever man.

But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution Of ' If I could convince myself that I have any right to be satisfied with men as they are, and to treat them accordingly, and not according, in some respects, to my requisitions and expectations of what they and I ought to be, then, like a good Mussulman and fatalist, I should endeavor to be satisfied with things as they are, and say it is the will of God.

Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses.

Do not they stand in the same relation to the State that the State does to the Union? It was formerly the custom in our village, when a poor debtor came out of jail, for his acquaintances to salute him, looking through their fingers, which were crossed to represent the grating of a jail window, "How do ye do?

It does not settle the West. He urges people to be free from the corrupting powers of money and property. Thoreau asserts that an individual must not support the government structure. According to Thoreau, a person cannot accept the government's authority unquestioningly.

Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? It costs me less in every sense to incur the penalty of disobedience to the State than it would to obey. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders.Henry David Thoreau: "Civil Disobedience" BACK; NEXT ; Thoreau had some serious problems with the way the United States was run.

He was an outspoken opponent of slavery and bitterly opposed the Mexican-American War, which he viewed as an act of American aggression.

In protest, Thoreau refused to pay his poll taxes. Civil Disobedience covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout.

For purposes of clarity and readability, the essay has been divided into three sections here, though Thoreau himself made no such divisions. Henry David Thoreau's essay Civil Disobedience, published inhas influenced civil rights leaders from President John F.

Kennedy to Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Jr. By advocating that citizens are obligated to actively (but not violently) oppose governmental rules that they believe to be unjust, Thoreau was asserting his faith in the power of the individual, a central notion to transcendentalism.

― Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. tags: civil-disobedience, congress, individuals, legislators, liberalism. 8 likes. Like “The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies” ― Henry David Thoreau, Civil.

Civil Disobedience.

Civil Disobedience and Other Essays Quotes

By Henry David Thoreau. I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Paley, a common authority with many on moral questions, in his chapter on the "Duty of Submission to Civil Government," resolves all civil.

ON THE DUTY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE BY HENRY DAVID THOREAU 7^WYS`f7Taa]e. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Essay: “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” Author: Henry David Thoreau, –62 First published: The original essay is in the public domain in the United States HENRY DAVID THOREAU 7 that such is not the case now.

But such was the case.

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Henry david thoreau essay on the duty of civil disobedience
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