Because America revived the ancient Greek ideology of…. The friction is civil disobedience: Being in prison is less uncomfortable than living a lie and supporting an unjust government. Henry Thoreau Civil Disobedience Pages: To bring light to this complex matter, outline any papers and essays on this issue and pay attention to the introduction and conclusion of the writings. They do so by making the excuse that progress is slow: In fact, both Ghandi and King pay tribute….

The Mexican War is an example of a few people using the government as their tool. If the state provides no mechanism to change its unjust laws, then individuals are justified in breaking those laws. In fact, both Ghandi and King pay tribute… Pages: If even only one honest man would stand on principle and be willing to go to jail for his action, we could abolish slavery in America. Several years ago, the state ordered me to pay a sum to support a clergyman whose church I did not attend. Thoreau argues that some evils, like slavery, are so great, that if society falls apart when they are undone, that society was not worth preserving.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.

henry david thoreaus thesis civil disobedience

Thoreau introduces the right of revolution, which all men recognize, and reflects on the American Revolution, the origins of which he finds less morally compelling than the issues at hand. Summarize the main idea of paragraph A case in point is the Mexican War. After World War I, Gandhi returned to his native India to lead a movement against British rule of that country, enlisting millions of supporters in a nonviolent movement that resulted in Indian independence.

Personally, there are definitely principles for which I would consider civil disobedience, although I would want, like King and the civil rights movement activists, to practice this form of resistance not just individually, but in community.


The opponents of reform, he recognizes, are not faraway politicians but ordinary people who disobedlence with the system.

Thoreau, Emerson, and Transcendentalism

Thoreau cites two examples of unjust U. The principles of justice are more important than the letter of the law.

Summary of the Essay. He, perhaps more than any other individual, understood the power of civil disobedience and wielded it effectively. Write an essay on this topic. Examples of options open to you include boycotts, running for office, contacting your legislative representatives, and disobedienfe a ballot question. One of the movements that was marked by its insistence on civil disobedience is the civil rights movement of the s. Why did Thoreau not want to pay the church tax demanded of him?

There will never be a “really free and enlightened State” until the state recognizes the preeminence of the individual. An example of government expediency might be allowing abolitionists to express their unpopular minority view and davir their rights under the First Amendment. In all actuality, his thexis of civil disobedience is decidedly less political than Henry David Thoreau’s,… Pages: In my opinion, however, I see less of an enthusiasm for civil disobedience today than in this readings from the past, which causes me to wonder whether civil disobedience remains effective as an instrument for social and political change.

Civil Disobedience

The individual must tnoreaus support the structure of government, must act with principle, must break the law if necessary. I could see myself engaging in civil disobedience in an effort to bring greater attention to serious social problems that cause great debate: Thoreau and others who believed that this inborn knowledge served as a moral guiding force were known as transcendentalists — that is, they believed that this inner knowledge was a higher, transcendent form of knowledge than that which came through the senses.


Usually, it is explained as a non-violent resistance against some government policies that seem to be unjust.

henry david thoreaus thesis civil disobedience

Inexpediency is exemplified in the many compromises enacted by Congress that allowed slavery to continue. Accessed May 22, If they have God on their side, they have reason enough thoreais act at once without official approval. While there are images of violence in the poem, Baraka does not seem to advocate violence; rather, the discharge of strong emotion through poetry becomes his act of resistance, and one in which the reader can share.

The state fears all dissenters are trying to overthrow it, rather than make it live up to its ideals. Are you experiencing academic anxiety? Send To Friend Friend Name: What does Thoreau mean by “It costs me less in every sense to incur the penalty of disobedience to the State, than it would to obey”? At the end of paragraph 26, Thoreau compares the state to “a lone woman with her silver spoons. One may liken this inborn knowledge to conscience or intuition. The remedy being worse than the evil is exemplified in the French Revolution: If individuals are left to their own devices, then only the strongest will rule, and ‘might will make right.