Thoreau Civil Disobedience And Other Essays

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They should express their opposition through acts of civil disobedience, such as refusing to pay taxes. Citizens of good conscience should actively oppose unjust government policies through nonviolent resistance, such as refusal to pay taxes.This campaign earned him the title of Father of India" and a lasting place in history as one of the 20th Centurys greatest leaders. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his successful nonviolent campaign in the 1960's to achieve civil rights for black Americans.In his autobiography, King wrote, No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea [passive resistance to injustice] across than Henry David Thoreau.Here in Massachusetts, there are merchants and farmers who go along with government policy because they are more interested in making money than in doing justice to fellow human beings. Too many of them sit back and allow others to carry out this task for them.By failing to act to initiate reform I believe that those who support abolition of slavery should immediately withdraw their support of the Massachusetts government rather than wait and go through channels.Using ideas promoted in Hindu and Christian philosophy, as well as tactics espoused by Thoreau and Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, Gandhi led a successful campaign of passive resistance in South Africa between 18 to obtain civil rights for immigrants from India.But rather than terming his philosophy of peaceful agitation either civil disobedience or passive resistance, he called it satyagraha (pronounced SAHT ya GRUH ha), a Hindi (Indo-Aryan language) word via sanskrit (old Indo-European language).Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" is an essay that attempts to persuade readers to oppose unjust government policies in general and the Mexican War and the institution of slavery in particular.Thoreau first presented the essay as a lecture on January 26, 1848, at the Concord (Massachusetts) Lyceum.Civil Disobedience" expresses Thoreaus reaction and measured response to government dictums that legitimized slavery and the Mexican War.Transcendentalism, as Thoreaus moral philosophy was called, did not originate with him or his fellow transcendentalists in New England but with the German philosopher Emanuel Kant.


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