Civil Disobediance Essay

Submitted By jhaugen
Words: 388
Pages: 2

Jimmy Haugen
English 102
Civil Disobedience
August 29, 2012

“The government is best in which governs not at all”(Thoreau 361). This is the general idea behind Civil Disobedience. Henry Thoreau is a known philosopher for his writings that go against American institutions. Civil Disobedience shows Thoreau’s opinion that the human conscience is how we dictate our lives, we do not dictate our lives by what the government tells us. He shows this when he says, “The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said, that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscious men is a corporation with a conscience”(362). Thoreau also goes on to explain that the government holds the viewpoint of the majority group. However, they do not hold this viewpoint because it is necessarily correct, but only because the majority group has the strongest power. The rest of Thoreau’s negative viewpoints of government are showen through examples of slavery and the Mexican-American War. Thoreau’s literary works were probably very appealing for the people in the generation for which he was writing for. The Mexican-American War was a major issue as well as slavery. However, these direct uses of the writing are no longer applicable for today. The overwhelming idea for this essay is still applicable though. That is that if you do not agree with what the government is doing, you need to get as far away from it as you can,