Values vs. Civil Obedience: Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience

“Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.” (22). The Henry David Thoreau’s essay published in 1849, “Civil Disobedience” is a reflection of Thoreau’s deeply rooted personal values formed by the Bible and his hard-core civil values guided by his ideals about Government, his definition of true freedom, and his interpretation of the U.S Constitution. Though, Thoreau’s beliefs were similar to others of his time who were critical of the government overstepping its boundaries, seldom were any driven with such conviction to speak out or act upon what was right or wrong, especially if it conflicted with the laws, ...

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as a whole are born with deeply rooted moral compasses. He also believed that at all costs these values should be put into the driver’s seat to our reality. He spoke of the decline in our ability to use our own consciousness in exchange for a government who tells us what is right or wrong. When he describes the military he says, “they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God… as they rarely make any moral distinctions of their own” (4). Thoreau believed we should always allow our consciouses to guide our actions, even if our actions make us uncomfortable, poor, misunderstood, or civilly disobedient.
For example, Thoreau tells a true account in which at a time in his life he protested paying a tax the state was demanding from him for a service of a clergyman. Thoreau had never used the clergy’s service so therefore he refused to be forced by the government officials to pay for something he did not use. When faced with the choice to either pay the small ...

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Jewish law to teach the word of his god and to share his ideas and values with others. He in turn, was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice due to standing by these beliefs and values. This one man became the root of arguably the most substantial worldly change in which, still to this day, strongly influences people all over the world to stand up at all costs for what is right.
Civil disobedience is also the vehicle used to give people not only the power to challenge government but more importantly it has the power to lead masses of people to the most attitude changing civil movements in history. For example Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.‘s quest for civil rights. “The ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/13/2011 01:49:42 PM
Submitted By: sheilamloso
Category: Government
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1923
Pages: 7

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