Henry David Thoreau And Civil Disobedience

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Henry David Thoreau was an American philosopher known for his interest in politics; specifically raising awareness about the injustice committed by the American government. He’s the author of prominent works like Civil Disobedience and Slavery in Massachusetts, which set the setting for the United States at the time. Both of these works follow a common theme of perseverance through difficult times and the role of the self when choosing right from wrong. Thus, he was deeply engaged in the idea of individualism, suggesting that we are “men first and subject after”. His beliefs led him to refuse to pay taxes as an act of protest against the Mexican War; he was imprisoned for a night and this sparked in him the inspiration to write Civil…show more content…
Brown was sentenced to death and called ridiculous for his actions by the community; Thoreau took the opportunity to deliver a speech address to Brown called A Plea for Captain John Brown. He praised Brown’s decision to take action and drew a representation of a fearless man willing to take a stand for others “A man of rare common-sense and directness of speech, as of action; a transcendentalist above all, a man of ideas and principles, --that was what distinguished him. Not yielding to a whim or transient impulse, but carrying out the purpose of a life…I do not believe in erecting statues to those who still live in our hearts, whose bones have not yet crumbled in the earth around us, but I would rather see the statue of Captain Brown in the Massachusetts State-House yard, than that of any other man whom I know. I rejoice that I live in this age, that I am his contemporary.” (“Avalon Project- A Plea For Captain John Brown By Henry David Thoreau; October 30,1959”). This is the example of the moral system Thoreau wanted others to adopt; here, one man’s decision to take a step and make a change for those who couldn’t do it for themselves, would make a difference in the current society.

Civil Disobedience was what laid the foundation for
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