Thoreau essay on civil disobedience

What does Thoreau say about civil disobedience?

Thoreau argued that the government must end its unjust actions to earn the right to collect taxes from its citizens. As long as the government commits unjust actions, he continued, conscientious individuals must choose whether to pay their taxes or to refuse to pay them and defy the government.

What is Thoreau’s main point in civil disobedience?

Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience espouses the need to prioritize one’s conscience over the dictates of laws. It criticizes American social institutions and policies, most prominently slavery and the Mexican-American War.

Why does Thoreau refer to civil disobedience as a duty?

Why does Thoreau refer to civil disobedience not merely as a right but as a duty ? Thoreau refused to pay an extra tax for the war in Mexico and went to jail for it. He believed that government had to have the consent of the people to wage war or collect taxes.

What are the basic principles of civil disobedience?

Civil disobedience is a symbolic or ritualistic violation of the law rather than a rejection of the system as a whole. The civil disobedient , finding legitimate avenues of change blocked or nonexistent, feels obligated by a higher, extralegal principle to break some specific law.

What is the most important element of civil disobedience?

1 – The first element of civil disobedience is that an offense must be committed consciously and intentionally A distinction can then be made between direct civil disobedience, which requires the action carried out directly to violate a law (as with GMO reapers) and indirect civil disobedience when the norm violated is

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What are the two main claims of civil disobedience?

Thoreau draws on his own experiences and explains why he refused to pay taxes in protest of slavery and the Mexican War. Thoreau argues that there are two laws: the laws of men and the higher laws of God and humanity. If the laws of men are unjust, then one has every right to disobey them.

What are Thoreau’s main ideas?

Thoreau emphasized self-reliance, individuality, and anti-materialism and sharply questioned the basic assumptions of the way men lived. Transcendentalism proved to be the intellectual force that charged Thoreau’s imagination to write about the possibilities of an ideal existence for man.

What does expedient mean in civil disobedience?

He says government is “at best but an expedient ” (part 1, par. 1), which means that government can solve a problem or achieve a goal in certain cases, but it cannot do anything more. Thoreau also says that “most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient” (part 1, par. 1).

Why is civil disobedience a duty?

Civil disobedience means breaking a law believed to be immoral and unjust. Like Thoreau, I believe civil disobedience can be justified and it is our duty as citizens to stand up for what we believe. Many important events bringing about social change were acts of civil disobedience .

How does Thoreau define the best possible kind of government?

How does Thoreau define the best possible kind of government ? Thoreau refers to the government as an expedient.

What is Thoreau’s premise analyze whether his reasoning is sound?

Thoreau’s premise is in lines 39-41 his reasoning is sound because he explains how there is an undue respect for law and how the army march ad fight against their better judgment and consciences.

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Is civil disobedience a crime?

Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the action, the conduct involved in nonviolent civil disobedience could be considered a violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony.

Who used civil disobedience?

Martin Luther King Jr., James Bevel, Rosa Parks, and other activists in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, used civil disobedience techniques. Among the most notable civil disobedience events in the U.S. occurred when Parks refused to move on the bus when a white man tried to take her seat.

Is civil disobedience illegal?

Essentially, civil disobedience is illegal non-violent political action, done for moral reasons (this distinguishes it from crime).