Summary Of Civil Disobedience

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Civil Disobedience Analysis Henry David Thoreau in his essay “Civil Disobedience”, brings up many valid points about the government. The essay might be a little ahead of its time but Henry talks about the injustice of the government and how it wrongfully forces people to do its will. The government has gone passed the line and has been abusing its power. Thoreau expresses in his essay “that government is best which governs least”, and then also goes on to say “that a government is best which governs not at all.” What Thoreau is saying is that the people should be making most of the decisions in society, not a group of men in a position of power. In the American government, and many others alike, there are taxes you must pay. In Thoreau's time he was arrested for choosing to not pay his general taxes. He paid school and medical taxes, but refused to pay general taxes because he did not support slavery and the Mexican war, which was undoubtedly where the general taxes was going. The problem that Thoreau is addressing is the ability of the government to do such things. In his eyes the people should support only what they want to support, nothing more or less. Thoreau quotes “ It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend its to his will.” If men in power want war, they will get war. Some say that Thoreau is an anarchist, because of his reference to a government that is best which governs not at all. That is not the case because he makes several references throughout his esssay that he does not wish to abolish government, he just wishes a better one. Here, a quote from Carl L. Bankston the third from “Thoreau's Case for Political Disengagement”, states “Nevertheless , while he would like to see government governing less, he does not carry this to the end of abolishing government.” Thoreau says that slavery and
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