Henry David Thoreau And Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Man Transcendentalism is defined as "a philosophy which says that thought and spiritual things are more real than ordinary human experience and material things" by Merriam Webster Dictionary. The Transcendentalism movement in America began with the reformation of the Unitarian Church. Although it began as reform in the Unitarian Church, Transcendentalism is a way of thinking, not a religion. Fore runners of this way of thinking are Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson (Reuben). Ralph Waldo is arguably one of the greatestAmerican philosophers who preached self reliance as well as nonconformity (Brewton). One of Henry David Thoreau's most famous work "Civil Disobedience" entails on what grounds an individual should disobey the government. …show more content…
After graduated he became friends with famous Transcendentalist Ralph Emerson, the friendship between the duo flourished. Emerson allowed Thoreau to build a cabin on Walden Pond, which inspired Thoreau's "Walden (Furtak)." "It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof (Thoreau)." This quote describes Thoreau's view of King's work to erase stigmas during the civil rights movement. Slavery was created by our fore fathers that we trusted without proof. Blinding 'men' followed this ancient prejudice, handing his conscience over to the government. The point of having a conscience is using it to not follow evil practices in the world, to decipher right from wrong. In "Civil Disobedience" Thoreau entails on what grounds an individual should break the law. In the anterior portion of "Civil Disobedience" majority of power is explained. The government follows power of majority, but what if the majority is wrong? What if it goes against an individual's conscience? The majority, when it came to the issue of slavery/civil rights, didn't know why they believed in this ancient prejudice. They knew that this is how it was and that is how it stays but man whoso is a nonconformist challenges the majority. This can be achieved in several ways, all peaceful in nature, marches led by King for example from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. Thoreau displayed his view on slavery and offensive war. The offensive war being fought, Mexican American War, was fought to gain more slave states south of the Missouri Compromise. Knowing taxes were benefiting the governments war efforts that continue slavery he refused to pay taxes, landing him a night in