The Legacy Of Henry David Thoreau

1991 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 8 Pages
Introduction: Protest movements — whether a local one to protest alleged police brutality, or a protracted struggle for national freedom — conjure up the image of unruly crowds engaged in unchecked violence and destruction of property. Imagine then, civic resistance that is rooted in non-violence. Most people would not give such resistance any chance of success against muscle and weapons. Yet, the enduring leadership and legacy of Henry David Thoreau, an early American author and abolitionist, has shaped the development and evolution of non-violent protest movements worldwide. This is the story of how the power of Thoreau’s words have shaped the arc of history for nearly 200 years: his pen was indeed mightier than the sword.
Personal Background: Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. He was also raised there for most of his childhood. After graduating from Harvard College he worked in his family’s pencil-making business. Later, he became a schoolteacher but he resigned after two weeks. He became acquainted with Ralph Waldo Emerson to edit the Transcendentalist magazine, The Dial, and from there, their friendship grew. They bounced political and ethical opinions off of one another despite their very different outlooks on various topics. Eventually, Thoreau took to philosophical writing, his ultimate passion. Thoreau first earned attention for his seminal work titled Walden. Thoreau had stayed on the shore of Walden Pond in Concord,…

More about The Legacy Of Henry David Thoreau

Open Document