The democratic system found in the United States is heavily slanted to the majority; their convictions are often implemented in legislation and used as the standard by which things are measured. Henry David Thoreau argues in “Civil Disobedience” that majorities are not right simply by virtue of being the majority. Thoreau clearly favors the individual and his convictions when he claims that “if a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man” (Thoreau). As Thoreau’s claims idealize the individual they also diminish the role of the government. Similar progressions can be found in Antigone, penned by Sophocles centuries earlier.
“Civil Disobedience” Henry David Thoreau ENG 111 OE- Susan Booth Courtney Wood “Civil Disobedience” by Henry Thoreau discusses the importance of the individual rights while under a powerful and ruling government. He shows criticism toward American Social Institutions and policies, mostly criticizing slavery and the Mexican-American War. In the beginning of his essay, Henry Thoreau states that he believes the government rarely shows itself useful and only obtains its power from majority vote because they are the “strongest” group, not necessarily because their vote is correct. He goes on to say the peoples first obligations are to do what they think may be right and not to follow the ruling of the majority of the people. When governments
We Anti-federalists however believed that the Articles of Confederation was a good plan and that there should not be a government more powerful than the state governments. Believing that state governments should have more power compared to the national government was one of the big reasons why the anti-federalists supported the Articles of
AP Global Summer Assignment “That government is best which governs not at all”. This statement was made by Henry David Thoreau in his book Civil Disobedience expressing his argument not for a removal of the government, but for an improved one. What Thoreau believed was that people should not be governed by a government that serves in their own interest, but instead by a government that works for the people. Thoreau demonstrates his want for a better government by demonstrating the faults of the current government and expresses his opinions as a citizen. Civil Disobedience was written in 1849, during the Mexican American War.
However the other two will check the one wanting to exceed thus, balancing out the power and securing citizens from a dictatorship type of government. Another reason would simply be when he states, “If men were angles, no government would be necessary.” In other words since we are not angles but are men if we had power in our hands we would abuse it. Then he continues that even though the powers are shared and are equal the government should still be able to control not only the people but, themselves. This will only help protect the people’s individual rights including the minority. In the end he says that in order to have a balanced government the majority must agree on justice.
The ideas of Thoreau were quite innovative, especially for the time when he lived. His ideas of civil disobedience stemmed for one major source, slavery. He reasoned that, “Because he detested slavery and because tax revenues contributed to the support of it, Thoreau decided to become a tax rebel”(McElroy par. 3). Thoreau was then arrested for not paying his taxes.
He leaned towards the support of the Union, frequently citing that slavery was a political and constitutional issue rather than a morality one. Critics argue that if “the Republican truly believed that slavery was morally wrong, they would have abolished slavery in all of the Union”. Slavery continued to persist even in the reign of the Union. This was because the Union was committed to restrict the expansion of slavery but not abolish it. In his views, Lincoln saw slavery as an unavoidable social evil that was essential to the economy .
That is why he wanted the slaves to be freed and removed from the United States all together. He feared of a revolt by them for all the cruel things that were done to them. Thomas Jefferson didn’t hold the views he felt for one group for the other. The African Americans who were brought to America to be slaves that they forced to live how they wanted them to could not coexist with them but the Native Americans who had their own society and their own way of life they could be civil with. I thought that they wanted to preserve the republican society by molding republican machines.
Page 386 (7 and 8) 7 As Thoreau discusses his essay on civil disobedience, he discusses several political ideas such as that the government is not really needed in a person's life and that it can change a person. Many people might think that he might be a patriot with his ideas or as traitor. I might self saw Thoreau neither as a patriot or a traitor, because a patriot is a a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors and a traitor is a a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. I would say that Thoreau was more in the middle of this spectrum. He neither loved the government nor betray it.
However both parties, the North and the South, deprecated war. Both parties are also responsible for slavery in the United States. The belief is that God is involved in the conflict because of the unjust that was asked and upset him. If the war continues the wealthy people of the nation will have to pay for the unpaid work. Lincoln says: “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous” He’s saying some people may not be able to see what’s going on in the world but the Lord can see it.