Table of Contents Summary Thoreau's Civil Disobedience espouses the need to prioritize one's conscience over the dictates of laws.
Thoreau was arrested and imprisoned in Concord for one night in for nonpayment of his poll tax.
This act of defiance was a protest against slavery and against the Mexican War, which Thoreau and other abolitionists regarded as a means to expand the slave territory.
Thoreau has no objection to government taxes for highways and schools, which make good neighbors. But government, he charges, is too often based on expediency, which can permit injustice in the name of public convenience.
The individual, he insists, is never obliged to surrender conscience to the majority or to the State. If a law "is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another," he declares, "then, I say, break the law. The appeal of civil disobedience in the North grew in the wake of the Compromise ofwhich included the hated Fugitive Slave Law, requiring all citizens to aid in the return of escaped slaves to their owners.
Though civil disobedience is usually associated with passive resistance, Thoreau came to endorse the more direct action of John Brown, whose ill-fated raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, was intended to incite a slave insurrection.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. "Civil Disobedience" was included in the Riverside Edition of (in Miscellanies, the tenth volume), in the Walden and Manuscript Editions of (in Cape Cod and Miscellanies, the fourth volume), and in the Princeton Edition (in Reform Papers, the third volume) in WALDEN, and ON THE DUTY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE By Henry David Thoreau Walden Economy When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the.
Thoreau's Proposed Solution in Walden and Civil Disobedience In Henry David Thoreau's Walden and Civil Disobedience, a problem is presented in the way in which we live our lives.
Thoreau sees this problem and goes to Walden Pond to find the solution. WALDEN, and ON THE DUTY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE By Henry David Thoreau Walden Economy When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore.
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in For instance, the New American Library Signet Classics edition of Walden included a version with this title.