I pumped my fellow-prisoner as dry as I could, for fear I should never see him again; but at length he showed me which was my bed, and left me to blow out the lamp. Abolitionistsin Thoreau's opinion, should completely withdraw their support of the government and stop paying taxeseven if this means courting imprisonment.
Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded. I was fairly inside of it. Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man.
King led many black protesters to use methods such as banning busses, sit ins, and marches. This people must cease to hold slaves, and to make war on Mexico, though it cost them their existence as a people.
How many men are there to a square thousand miles in this country. A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart.
I began to comprehend what its inhabitants were about. How can a man be satisfied to entertain an opinion merely, and enjoy it. Why does it not cherish its wise minority.
Government is only an expedient — a means of attaining an end. If one were to tell me that this was a bad government because it taxed certain foreign commodities brought to its ports, it is most probable that I should not make an ado about it, for I can do without them.
Associations formed elsewhere, springing from a feeling of humanity, or any other cause, have nothing whatever to do with it. If a man who has no property refuses but once to earn nine shillings for the State, he is put in prison for a period unlimited by any law that I know, and determined only by the discretion of those who placed him there; but if he should steal ninety times nine shillings from the State, he is soon permitted to go at large again.
I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society. If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man. But almost all say that such is not the case now. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.
I saw yet more distinctly the State in which I lived. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,—"That government is best which governs not at all;" and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
I have paid no poll-tax for six years. A very few- as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men- serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.
It does not settle the West. Do not they stand in the same relation to the State that the State does to the Union.
If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. I think sometimes, Why, this people mean well, they are only ignorant; they would do better if they knew how: I should feel as if I were worth less in that case.
But if I put my head deliberately into the fire, there is no appeal to fire or to the Maker of fire, and I have only myself to blame. I have contemplated the imprisonment of the offender, rather than the seizure of his goods- though both will serve the same purpose- because they who assert the purest right, and consequently are most dangerous to a corrupt State, commonly have not spent much time in accumulating property.
Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience. If there were one who lived wholly without the use of money, the State itself would hesitate to demand it of him. This American government- what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity.
It was like travelling into a far country, such as I had never expected to behold, to lie there for one night.
The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.
Denying an interest in abolishing government, he states that he simply wants a better government. Even the Chinese philosopher was wise enough to regard the individual as the basis of the empire. It was a closer view of my native town. I do not care to trace the course of my dollar, if I could, till it buys a man or a musket to shoot one with- the dollar is innocent- but I am concerned to trace the effects of my allegiance.
In Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self Reliance" and Henry David Thoreau's book "Walden" and essay "Resistance to Civil Government ("Civil Disobedience")", both thinkers speak about being individual and what reforms and changes need to be made in society.
Civil Disobedience Questions and Answers The Question and Answer sections of our study guides are a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss literature. Civil Disobedience In the essay, thoreau wrote, “that government is best which governs least.” Explain what this quote means.
Answers: 1. In his essay, “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau wrote in after spending a night in the Walden town jail for refusing to pay a poll tax that supported the Mexican War.
He recommended passive resistance as a form of tension that could lead to reform of unjust laws practiced by the government.
Thoreau – Civil Disobedience. Pre-reading Questions. What kind of government does Thoreau feel would be most just? What is the individual’s responsibility regarding supporting the government when it. How does Thoreau justify the moral need for civil disobedience?
What principles does he rely on in his justification? Many leaders (Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr.) have used Thoreau's ideas on civil disobedience as the guiding force of political movements.
This quote from Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience” succinctly summarizes one of the key sentiments negotiated in the text. In the essay, Thoreau argues against governmental overreach and.Thoreau civil disobedience essay questions