Тема: Civil Disobedience Thoreau?

From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Civil Disobedience Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes.

Resistance to Civil Government ( Civil Disobedience ) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

The slavery crisis inflamed New England in the 1840s and 1850s. The environment became especially tense after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A lifelong abolitionist , Thoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience in 1848, just months after leaving Walden Pond. The speech dealt with slavery, but at the same time excoriated American imperialism , particularly the Mexican–American War. [4]

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

As a Transcendentalist and advocate of the importance of the individual, Henry David Thoreau clarifies in the first paragraph of his essay "Civil Disobedience" that governments are merely "expedients," or means to an end, rather than separate entities on their own.  The government of any country is merely the "mode which people have chosen to execute their will," Thoreau asserts.

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

In "Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau argues that the standing army, which is "an arm of the standing government," is the vehicle of government abuse.  Thoreau asks his reader to

1st section: Thoreau s essay is both an abstract work of political theory and a practical and topical work addressing the issues of the day. Both aspects appear in this first section. On the one hand, Thoreau is making several theoretical claims about the nature of democracy and the relationship between citizen and government. For example, Thoreau argues that government should be based on conscience and that citizens should cease associating with an unjust government. Thus, Thoreau s work must be considered as a work of political philosophy, invoking ideals and making claims about the way government and society should be structured. However, Thoreau writes not only about theory; his essay is also very much an appeal to his fellow Massachusetts residents about the current issues of the day. He discusses slavery and the war with Mexico as very real issues in their lives, and he impels his readers to action. Thus, he uses theory to posit how people should behave generally, and then applies this to current events. One s duties are inextricable from the world one lives in, and Thoreau is deeply concerned with the injustices of his own time. One of the most important themes throughout Thoreau s work is the notion of individualism. Deeply skeptical of government, Thoreau rejects the view that a person must sacrifice or marginalize her values out of loyalty to her government. Furthermore, he argues that if an individual supports the government in any way--even by simply respecting its authority as a government-- then that person is complicit in injustices forwarded by the government. This lays an extremely heavy responsibility on the individual: to compromise, negotiate, or passively accept is to betray one s integrity and commit a crime. But, consider how unstable a community would be if it followed this viewpoint: Can a society function if everybody is a "man first and a subject afterwards"? But, even if Thoreau s principle does become implausible when universalized, does this mean that it cannot pertain to a particular person s actions? Thoreau would say "no." Indeed, Thoreau knew that not everybody was going to follow his individualistic values; he argued that his duty was to set a standard for himself. This attitude can be understood as either imprudent or brave. It is worth noting, though, that a strong sense of individualism and skepticism toward government has served as the basis for many important reform movements; they are particularly American values and have allowed America to become a nation of relative freedom. 2nd section: Thoreau makes an important philosophical point here about the ways in which people are (and are not) responsible for harm that befalls others. Most significantly, he argues that individuals are responsible for injustices that they participate in. Participation has a broad meaning for Thoreau: Being a member of an unjust institution, even being a citizen of an unjust nation, makes a person a participant in injustice. Even paying taxes to an evil government is enough to leave a person morally tarnished. For this reason, Thoreau argues that people have a duty to disassociate from the government and to not support it either financially or as persons. However, Thoreau does not argue that there is a parallel duty to promote as much good as possible in the world. People have a duty not to cause evil, but they do not have a duty to work against evil that they did not cause. Morality does not require that a person work to bring about a "better" world. Rather, a person must simply not make the world any worse. Thoreau s distinction here is linked to his individualism: He argues that each person should live for himself and take advantage of his short time on earth to follow his own interests and goals. For Thoreau, a person can very legitimately have concerns that must take priority over improving the world; individuals should maintain their integrity by staying true to their values and concerns. However, precisely for this reason, a person is responsible for the evil that they perform--both directly and indirectly, via tacit support. Thus, there is a special duty not to cause or participate in evil. It is also worth considering how Thoreau s ideas relate to democracy. Thoreau was certainly critical of democracy and its rule by the majority; thus, for him, if civil disobedience damaged democratic institutions, there was no real harm done. However, those people who do value democracy might question how compatible civil disobedience is with this system of government. Democracy is ultimately about compromise; people accept the decision of the majority because they know that others will accept their decisions when they are in the majority. However, Thoreau argues that any such compromise on ethical issues is a moral sell-out. A person should never participate in evil, not even if it is the law. Therefore, Thoreau does not play by democracy s "rules of the game." visit http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/civildisobedience/summary.html for more

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. Thoreau begins his essay by arguing that government rarely proves itself useful and that it derives its power from the majority because they are the strongest group, not because they hold the most legitimate viewpoint. He contends that people s first obligation is to do what they believe is right and not to follow the law dictated by the majority. When a government is unjust, people should refuse to follow the law and distance themselves from the government in general. A person is not obligated to devote his life to eliminating evils from the world, but he is obligated not to participate in such evils. This includes not being a member of an unjust institution (like the government). Thoreau further argues that the United States fits his criteria for an unjust government, given its support of slavery and its practice of aggressive war. Thoreau doubts the effectiveness of reform within the government, and he argues that voting and petitioning for change achieves little. He presents his own experiences as a model for how to relate to an unjust government: In protest of slavery, Thoreau refused to pay taxes and spent a night in jail. But, more generally, he ideologically dissociated himself from the government, "washing his hands" of it and refusing to participate in his institutions. According to Thoreau, this form of protest was preferable to advocating for reform from within government; he asserts that one cannot see government for what it is when one is working within it. Civil Disobedience covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout. For purposes of clarity and readability, the essay has been divided into three sections here, though Thoreau himself made no such divisions. STUDY http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/civildisobedience/context.html http://www.gradesaver.com/civil-disobedience/study-guide/about/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_%28Thoreau%29 http://thoreau.eserver.org/wendy.html http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/civ-dis.htm http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/WALDEN/Essays/civil.html AAA

Resistance to Civil Government ( Civil Disobedience ) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

The slavery crisis inflamed New England in the 1840s and 1850s. The environment became especially tense after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A lifelong abolitionist , Thoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience in 1848, just months after leaving Walden Pond. The speech dealt with slavery, but at the same time excoriated American imperialism , particularly the Mexican–American War. [4]

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

As a Transcendentalist and advocate of the importance of the individual, Henry David Thoreau clarifies in the first paragraph of his essay "Civil Disobedience" that governments are merely "expedients," or means to an end, rather than separate entities on their own.  The government of any country is merely the "mode which people have chosen to execute their will," Thoreau asserts.

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

In "Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau argues that the standing army, which is "an arm of the standing government," is the vehicle of government abuse.  Thoreau asks his reader to

This is the great work. You definitely should take your time and read it. You can also visit this place -

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 covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout. For purposes of clarity and readability, the essay has been divided into three sections here, though Thoreau himself made no such divisions.

This entry has four main sections. The first considers some definitional issues and contrasts civil disobedience with both ordinary offences and other types of dissent. The second analyses two sets of factors relevant to the justification of civil disobedience; one set concerns the disobedient''s particular choice of action, the other concerns her motivation for so acting. The third section examines whether people have a right to engage in civil disobedience. The fourth considers what kind of legal response to civil disobedience is appropriate.

Conscientiousness: This feature, highlighted in almost all accounts of civil disobedience, points to the seriousness, sincerity and moral conviction with which civil disobedients breach the law. For many disobedients, their breach of law is demanded of them not only by self-respect and moral consistency but also by their perception of the interests of their society. Through their disobedience, they draw attention to laws or policies that they believe require reassessment or rejection. Whether their challenges are well-founded is another matter, which will be taken up in Section 2.

In “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau not only calls for resistance to immoral and unjust government actions, he also criticizes the foundations of representative democracy — majority rule, voting, and representation.

In the Text Analysis section, Tier 2 vocabulary words are defined in pop-ups, and Tier 3 words are explained in brackets.

They both are basically taking a stance on their belief WITHOUT violence. Skim over this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_(Thoreau) "Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi was impressed by Thoreau s arguments. In 1907, about one year into his first satyagraha campaign in South Africa, he wrote a translated synopsis of Thoreau s argument for Indian Opinion, credited Thoreau s essay with being "the chief cause of the abolition of slavery in America", and wrote that "Both his example and writings are at present exactly applicable to the Indians in the Transvaal."[17] He later concluded: Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practice in himself. He was one of the greatest and most moral men America has produced. At the time of the abolition of slavery movement, he wrote his famous essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience". He went to gaol for the sake of his principles and suffering humanity. His essay has, therefore, been sanctified by suffering. Moreover, it is written for all time. Its incisive logic is unanswerable. —"For Passive Resisters" (1907)[18]"

From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Civil Disobedience Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes.

Resistance to Civil Government ( Civil Disobedience ) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

The slavery crisis inflamed New England in the 1840s and 1850s. The environment became especially tense after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A lifelong abolitionist , Thoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience in 1848, just months after leaving Walden Pond. The speech dealt with slavery, but at the same time excoriated American imperialism , particularly the Mexican–American War. [4]

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

As a Transcendentalist and advocate of the importance of the individual, Henry David Thoreau clarifies in the first paragraph of his essay "Civil Disobedience" that governments are merely "expedients," or means to an end, rather than separate entities on their own.  The government of any country is merely the "mode which people have chosen to execute their will," Thoreau asserts.

Resistance to Civil Government ( Civil Disobedience ) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

The slavery crisis inflamed New England in the 1840s and 1850s. The environment became especially tense after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A lifelong abolitionist , Thoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience in 1848, just months after leaving Walden Pond. The speech dealt with slavery, but at the same time excoriated American imperialism , particularly the Mexican–American War. [4]

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

As a Transcendentalist and advocate of the importance of the individual, Henry David Thoreau clarifies in the first paragraph of his essay "Civil Disobedience" that governments are merely "expedients," or means to an end, rather than separate entities on their own.  The government of any country is merely the "mode which people have chosen to execute their will," Thoreau asserts.

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

In "Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau argues that the standing army, which is "an arm of the standing government," is the vehicle of government abuse.  Thoreau asks his reader to

This is the great work. You definitely should take your time and read it. You can also visit this place -

10

Resistance to Civil Government ( Civil Disobedience ) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

The slavery crisis inflamed New England in the 1840s and 1850s. The environment became especially tense after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A lifelong abolitionist , Thoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience in 1848, just months after leaving Walden Pond. The speech dealt with slavery, but at the same time excoriated American imperialism , particularly the Mexican–American War. [4]

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

As a Transcendentalist and advocate of the importance of the individual, Henry David Thoreau clarifies in the first paragraph of his essay "Civil Disobedience" that governments are merely "expedients," or means to an end, rather than separate entities on their own.  The government of any country is merely the "mode which people have chosen to execute their will," Thoreau asserts.

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

In "Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau argues that the standing army, which is "an arm of the standing government," is the vehicle of government abuse.  Thoreau asks his reader to

This is the great work. You definitely should take your time and read it. You can also visit this place -

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 covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout. For purposes of clarity and readability, the essay has been divided into three sections here, though Thoreau himself made no such divisions.

This entry has four main sections. The first considers some definitional issues and contrasts civil disobedience with both ordinary offences and other types of dissent. The second analyses two sets of factors relevant to the justification of civil disobedience; one set concerns the disobedient's particular choice of action, the other concerns her motivation for so acting. The third section examines whether people have a right to engage in civil disobedience. The fourth considers what kind of legal response to civil disobedience is appropriate.

Conscientiousness: This feature, highlighted in almost all accounts of civil disobedience, points to the seriousness, sincerity and moral conviction with which civil disobedients breach the law. For many disobedients, their breach of law is demanded of them not only by self-respect and moral consistency but also by their perception of the interests of their society. Through their disobedience, they draw attention to laws or policies that they believe require reassessment or rejection. Whether their challenges are well-founded is another matter, which will be taken up in Section 2.

11

Resistance to Civil Government ( Civil Disobedience ) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848).

The slavery crisis inflamed New England in the 1840s and 1850s. The environment became especially tense after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. A lifelong abolitionist , Thoreau delivered an impassioned speech which would later become Civil Disobedience in 1848, just months after leaving Walden Pond. The speech dealt with slavery, but at the same time excoriated American imperialism , particularly the Mexican–American War. [4]

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

As a Transcendentalist and advocate of the importance of the individual, Henry David Thoreau clarifies in the first paragraph of his essay "Civil Disobedience" that governments are merely "expedients," or means to an end, rather than separate entities on their own.  The government of any country is merely the "mode which people have chosen to execute their will," Thoreau asserts.

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

In "Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau argues that the standing army, which is "an arm of the standing government," is the vehicle of government abuse.  Thoreau asks his reader to

This is the great work. You definitely should take your time and read it. You can also visit this place -

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 covers several topics, and Thoreau intersperses poetry and social commentary throughout. For purposes of clarity and readability, the essay has been divided into three sections here, though Thoreau himself made no such divisions.