Argument Analysis Civil Disobedience

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This paper analyzed the argument presented by Henry David Thoreau in “Civil Disobedience” written in 1846. The purpose of this work was that he contrasted conscience and law. He wrote that if the law violated your conscience, then you should break the law. For example, he refused to pay a poll tax to the federal government because they supported slavery and so he ended up in jail for it. He wrote that the only place for a just man in an unjust society is in jail. He wrote that when it comes to obeying or disobeying a law a person must always side with their conscience. The point of view of “Civil Disobedience” was that (a) he was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. His father was a merchant, who lost all of the family’s money and his mother was an active abolitionist who was part of the Underground Railroad. (b) He attended Concord Academy and at the age of 16, he began attending Harvard University. It was at Harvard that he met Ralph Waldo Emerson and began following the Transcendentalism Movement. (c) He became a teacher at a local public school, but soon he resigned. He went on to open up his own school with his brother John. When John died, he went up into the woods at Walden to build his cabin, where he spent much of his time and wrote his most famous works. The question at issue in “Civil Disobedience” was why do some men obey unjust laws? Thoreau himself did not believe in following laws that violated his own conscience. He was willing to spend time in jail to prove his point. In his essay he questioned why every man even had a conscience if they were going to give it over to the law anyway. Thoreau felt that if a man did not distinguish between right and wrong at all times then he would lose the ability to ever make the distinction and become morally numb. He wrote that you can’t just sit and think about something, but that
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