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A discussion on thoreaus views on civil disobedience

Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. Why does it not encourage its citizen to be on alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them? T Henry David Thoreau is credited with establishing a form of protest known as Civil Disobedience, which inspired leaders for generations.

Civil Disobedience is not a form of passive protest; it is an active form of nonviolent protest.

  1. The war became a series of gruesome battles fought between the two armies.
  2. In 1845, he built a hut at Walden Pond on property owned by Emerson.
  3. Thoreau argued that the government must end its unjust actions to earn the right to collect taxes from its citizens.
  4. Even today people practice civil disobedience in order to protest unjust laws.
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Henry David Thoreau was a man who practiced, preached, and taught civil disobedience. Not only was he remembered for his ideas on nonviolent protests but also for his writings on environmentalism. This is where he first learned about transcendentalism.

  1. He soon joined a religious, philosophical, and literary movement called Transcendentalism.
  2. T Henry David Thoreau is credited with establishing a form of protest known as Civil Disobedience, which inspired leaders for generations.
  3. Gandhi wrote "To American friends, you have given me a teacher in Thoreau, who furnished me through his essay on the 'Duty of Civil Disobedience' scientific confirmation of what I was doing in South Africa.

Transcendentalists believed in truth and considered experience as a source of knowledge. Transcendentalists preached individualism and had a strong belief in natural law over civil law, they also believed in social improvement.

Other notable transcendentalist writers included; Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emersion, and Convers Francis, all were very influential writers at the time. Thoreau used outlets such as magazines and newspapers to discuss his opinions on these issues. He was opposed to a lot of the current political issues going on during the 19th century, particularly the Mexican- American war.

Many Americans opposed this war for multiple reasons; Thoreau opposed the war because he was opposed to connection it had with the support of slavery. The war became a series of gruesome battles fought between the two armies. The US army, led by Zachary Taylor, was outnumbered and yet still emerged victorious in a series of shocking battles.

The annexation of Texas, one of the causes of the war, supported the institute of slavery. This affected Thoreau's sense of human rights and justice. To protest the war, he refused to pay taxes, which he claimed was being used to pay for the war.

What is Thoreau's views on civil disobedience, or nonviolent resistance?

In his essay Thoreau argued that not all laws are just, but as human beings it is more important to obey natural law over civil law. Natural law is a set of laws that are not written down, but are inscribed in the back of ones mind.

These are the laws that steer a person's morality. He believed that obeying these laws was more important then obeying any civil law. He urged others to fight unjust laws. Thoreau once said, "if the machine of the government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoreau and “Civil Disobedience”

Gandhi wrote "To American friends, you have given me a teacher in Thoreau, who furnished me through his essay on the 'Duty of Civil Disobedience' scientific confirmation of what I was doing in South Africa.

Thoreau's words and acts have inspired civil rights leaders around the globe and have proofed that violence is not the only way to accomplish a goal.

  • Other notable transcendentalist writers included; Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emersion, and Convers Francis, all were very influential writers at the time;
  • T Henry David Thoreau is credited with establishing a form of protest known as Civil Disobedience, which inspired leaders for generations;
  • Once attention is brought to an unjust situation it can no longer be ignored, and eventually someone is forced to deal with it, and make a change;
  • In his essay Thoreau argued that not all laws are just, but as human beings it is more important to obey natural law over civil law.

Even today people practice civil disobedience in order to protest unjust laws. Unlike war or violence, civil disobedience leaves no visible scars. Instead it creates attention, it forces people to turn around and realize the injustice in a situation.

Once attention is brought to an unjust situation it can no longer be ignored, and eventually someone is forced to deal with it, and make a change. At the end of the day that is what all these great civil rights activist want to do.

  • In July 1846, the sheriff arrested and jailed Thoreau for his tax delinquency;
  • Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them;;;;
  • Instead it creates attention, it forces people to turn around and realize the injustice in a situation;
  • Transcendentalists believed in truth and considered experience as a source of knowledge;
  • T Henry David Thoreau is credited with establishing a form of protest known as Civil Disobedience, which inspired leaders for generations.

Henry David Thoreau was a well respected writer in his time. However, his ideas inspired many future activists to use civil disobedience as a way to change public opinion on issues that were morally wrong, but legal by civil law.

Perhaps his actions prove that violence is not the only solution. Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates.