In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau's basic premise is that a higher law than civil law demands the obedience of the individual. Human law and government are subordinate. In cases where the two are at odds with one another, the individual must follow his conscience and, if necessary, disregard human law. He was not particularly inclined to devote much thought to political theory and reform.
Why, now comes my master, takes me right away from my work, and my friends, and all I like, and grinds me down into the very dirt! Because, he says, I forgot who I was; he says, to teach me that I am only a nigger! After all, and last of all, he comes between me and my wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with another woman.
And all this your laws give him power to do, in spite of God or man. Wilson, look at it! There isn't one of all these things, that have broken the hearts of my mother and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your laws allow, and give every man power to do, in Kentucky, and none can say to him nay!
Do you call these the laws of my country? Sir, I haven't any country, anymore than I have any father. But I'm going to have one. I don't want anything of your country, except to be let alone,--to go peaceably out of it; and when I get to Canada, where the laws will own me and protect me, that shall be my country, and its laws I will obey.
But if any man tries to stop me, let him take care, for I am desperate. I'll fight for my liberty to the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it; if it was right for them, it is right for me!Also known as “Of the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” perhaps in response to Wil- “Civil Disobedience” can be a challenging read for high school students due to its ram- themes it presents.
The essay can be compared and contrasted to other works ranging from the “Declaration of Independence” to Martin Luther King’s “Letter.
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Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government or occupying international power. Civil disobedience is sometimes defined as having to be nonviolent to be called civil disobedience.
|Civil Disobedience and Other Essays by Henry David Thoreau||Human law and government are subordinate. In cases where the two are at odds with one another, the individual must follow his conscience and, if necessary, disregard human law.|
|Civil Disobedience and Other Essays Quotes by Henry David Thoreau||Choice of specific act[ edit ] Civil disobedients have chosen a variety of different illegal acts.|
|SparkNotes: Civil Disobedience: Summary||In his essay, Thoreau observes that only a very few people — heroes, martyrs, patriots, reformers in the best sense — serve their society with their consciences, and so necessarily resist society for the most part, and are commonly treated by it as enemies. Thoreau, for his part, spent time in jail for his protest.|
|Civil Disobedience and Other Essays Quotes by Henry David Thoreau||Table of Contents Summary 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.|
|Civil Disobedience (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)||Resistance also served as part of Thoreau's metaphor comparing the government to a machine:|
Civil disobedience is sometimes, therefore, equated with nonviolent resistance.. Although civil disobedience is considered to be an.
In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau's basic premise is that a higher law than civil law demands the obedience of the individual. Human law and government are subordinate. In cases where the two are at odds with one another, the individual must follow his conscience and, if necessary, disregard human law.4/4(1).
1. Definitions. The term ‘civil disobedience’ was coined by Henry David Thoreau in his essay to describe his refusal to pay the state poll tax implemented by the American government to prosecute a war in Mexico and to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law.
42 quotes from Civil Disobedience and Other Essays: ‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.