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David Thoreau Civil Disobedience

By PcTechnical1 Nov 13, 2012 1074 Words
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Henry David Thoreau Civil Disobedience
Throughout history the government’s gained too much power are likely to be corrupt. It is up to citizens to go against government and get rid of any negativity. In order to change the government citizens should vote for an individual who can change the country in a positive way. Henry David Thoreau was a philosopher, observer, and writer best known for his attacks on American social institutions and his respect for nature and simple living. He believed in civil disobedience in order to disagree with government rules. Henry David Thoreau was not like the average American because he was not materialistic which is shown in his free thought, importance of nature, and self-reliance toward the government.

Thoreau kept a journal as a source for his published writings and lectures. He was a very motivated writer and habituary classics such as Greek, Latin and English texts. He also read sacred writing of the Hindus that was a big influence on cosmic vision in Walden. Thoreau starts to question authority in Walden. “Thoreau spent his night in local jail in a protest against the proslavery agenda of the war against Mexico; he refused to pay his poll tax. The experience would inspire resistance to civil government, at a later time this could be a major debate on relationship of the individual to the state” (Thoreau 827). He believed in nonviolence ideals and was thrown in jail for being against the law and not paying taxes. For example, Mahatma Gandhi led Indians to protest against the salt tax in order to achieve independence against the British.

Thoreau’s views on civil disobedience influenced the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Civil disobedience was an act of willful resistance and it is the duty of all American citizens. Martin Luther King uses Thoreau’s strategy in order to not obey the law as he wanted to end racial inequality in America. He criticizes American social institution and policies such as slavery. In order to resolve conflicts Thoreau insisted that all principled action had to be undertaken by the individual rather than through groups. When the government is unjust people should refuse to follow the law and stay away from it at all cost. American government is unjust for the practice of aggressive war and supporting slavery.

Thoreau explains the differences between social classes in American society. Henry Thoreau likens Americans to horses and dogs. They are commonly esteemed good citizens. However, legislator, lawyers, ministers do not make moral distinction and serve the devil, and do not rely on God. Thoreau suggested to readers “A wise man will only be useful as a man and will not submit to be clay but leave that office to his dust. He who gives himself to his fellow men appears as useless and selfish. He who gives himself partially to them is a philanthropist” (Thoreau 831). At that time government was devious and they started trading slaves. This shows that an honest man needs to rebel against government and stand up for themselves. As evidence Thoreau mentions that he did not pay any poll-tax for six years. He was thrown to jail for one night. The state will force him to obey the law, punish is body, and to think like them.

Thoreau defends his lifestyle and mentions that he is a sojourner in civilized life. He tells the reader that he does charity to help poor students in school. When release from prison he starts to pay his taxes to support students who are going to school. Old people do not have any important advice to tell young generations. They faced many failures in their lives. Throughout the years dressing in this country was a dignity of art. Sailors make shift to wear clothing and every generation laughs at old fashions and tries on the new one. The factory system is best way for men to get clothing. The industry grows as more people buy clothes.

According to Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel are the basic survival tool for people. Thoreau wanted to build his own house by Walden Ponds -- He went for days cutting and hewing timber to design the size of the house. By April the house was framed and all set up and bought shanty of James Collins. Collins was an Irishman who worked on Fitchburg Railroad for boards. He had a roof, good window, and walls in the house. Thoreau paid him 4 dollars and 25 cents for Collins to take possession of the house and to not sell it to anyone else. Seeley was another Irishman who represents spectatordom and help with the removal of the Gods of Troy. If a student wishes to shelter he can rent annually to have a place in his house. Thoreau started planting eleven acres of potatoes, corn, peas, and turnips in order to pay unusual expenses while building his house. He made more money than any farmer in Concord at that time. He realized that it would be problem to obtain food such as animal as a source of health and strength. People should life free and uncommitted in order to appreciate your farm. Thoreau’s explained citizen to work on your farm until death and not to do farming and quit at some point. “If men would steadily observe realities only and not allow themselves to be deluded life to compare it with such things. People should respect music and poetry. Men establish and confirm daily life of routine and habit everywhere which is built in illusionary foundations” (Thoreau 895). He is basically saying that people should start to be nicer to others, appreciate poetry, and to stay from things that are useless for the future.

Henry David Thoreau was not like the average American because he was not materialistic which is shown in his free thought, importance of nature, and self-reliance toward the government. Since he kept a journal as a source for his published writings and lectures. Thoreau’s views on civil disobedience influence the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He also explains the differences between social classes in American society. He defends his lifestyle and mentions that he is a sojourner in civilized life. Last, he explains food, shelter, clothing, and fuel are the basic survival tool for people. If people work, and put their mind together they can achieve a balance society where people can be happy.

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