Thoreau asserts that an individual must not support the government structure. When Thoreau still failed to comply, Staples arrested him on July 23 or 24 and imprisoned him in the Middlesex County jail. Thoreau asserts that he does not want to quarrel or to feel superior to others.
The opponents of reform, he recognizes, are not faraway politicians but ordinary people who cooperate with the system. Thoreau asserts that government as an institution hinders the accomplishment of the work for which it was created.
One of the factors that influenced Thoreau to consider civil disobedience as a method of resistance was the poor treatment of Mexico by the United States. Mahatma Gandhi was an admirer of Thoreau and adopted his policy of nonviolent resistance to oppose racism in Africa and imperialism in India.
Although Thoreau asserts that a man has other, higher duties than eradicating institutional wrong, he must at least not be guilty through compliance.
Nonpayment constitutes a "peaceable revolution. He presents his own experiences as a model for how to relate to an unjust government: A man cannot bow unquestioningly to the state's authority without disregarding himself.
Thoreau opens Civil Disobedience with the maxim "That government is best which governs least," and he speaks in favor of government that does not intrude upon men's lives.
Denying an interest in abolishing government, he states that he simply wants a better government. The government is chosen by people to achieve certain ends. As a result, he refused to pay his poll taxes in He asserts that the government itself becomes an obstacle between achieving its purpose, the purpose for which it was created.
However, he was released from jail the next morning when a friend paid his taxes.
The authority of government. The expression of opposition to slavery is meaningless. If our judgments approve the war, that is but coincidence.
In protest of slavery, Thoreau refused to pay taxes and spent a night in jail. However, the principles turned into actions, which are called laws, are often unjust. Instead, it might produce injustice only.
To change unjust laws and the unjust government, people should stand up. It exists for the sole purpose of ensuring individual freedom. Although Thoreau asserts that a man has other, higher duties than eradicating institutional wrong, he must at least not be guilty through compliance.
When a government is unjust, people should refuse to follow the law and distance themselves from the government in general. Thoreau asserts that government as an institution hinders the accomplishment of the work for which it was created.
It also condemns the Mexican-American war. The individual must not support the structure of government, must act with principle, must break the law if necessary. He believed that if the government fails to improve, people should not support it. As a machine, the government may not do a good job in producing justice.
Another act, and one he deems more important still, is to avoid colluding with the government by refusing to play an active role in it.
It constitutes "peaceable revolution. According to Thoreau, it is in existence to execute citizens' will. In fact, the practice of slavery in the United States is the single most hypocritical aspect of the government as far as Thoreau is concerned.
Government is only an expedient — a means of attaining an end. According to Thoreau, this form of protest was preferable to advocating for reform from within government; he asserts that one cannot see government for what it is when one is working within it.
All abolitionists, members of the Underground Railroad, and those who refused to obey the Fugitive Slave Act were practicing civil disobedience. Having developed the image of the government as a machine that may or may not do enough good to counterbalance what evil it commits, he urges rebellion.
Later, Thoreau would contradict such a philosophy in three essays championing John Brown, who endorsed and practiced violence. He does not, however, argue for violent revolution; he advocates nonviolent resistance. Thoreau gives examples of slavery practice and the Mexican-American war to establish his point further.David Henry Thoreau's essay Civil Disobedience argues that if a government is being unfair, it is an individual's duty to stand up against it.
This Penlighten post briefs you on the Civil Disobedience summary for you in an effort to explain Thoreau's ideas better.
Thoreau opens Civil Disobedience with the maxim "That government is best which governs least," and he speaks in favor of government that does not intrude upon men's lives. Government is only an expedient — a means of attaining an end.
Thoreau's Civil Disobedience espouses the need to prioritize one's conscience over the dictates of laws. It criticizes American social institutions and policies, most prominently slavery and the Mexican-American War. David Henry Thoreau's essay Civil Disobedience argues that if a government is being unfair, it is an individual's duty to stand up against it.
This Penlighten post briefs you on the Civil Disobedience summary for you in an effort to explain Thoreau's ideas better. From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Civil Disobedience Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Civil disobedience is the strategy for articulating one’s beliefs. As this thesis statement for “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau suggests, the author defines the act of civil disobedience by explaining the thoughts and emotions that should guide it, and these include having a sense of rightness and moral conscience.Download