Thoreaus philosophy - Essay Example

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During that time, America was serious in taking over Mexico, and was willing to do everything to conquer the neighboring nation (Axelrod and Phillips 115). The intention…
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The Mexican War The war that took place between the United s and Mexico is one significant part of the American History. During that time, America was serious in taking over Mexico, and was willing to do everything to conquer the neighboring nation (Axelrod and Phillips 115). The intention was clear, and that is to make America a more powerful nation by conquering Mexico. For Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), this action by the US government is not done for the sake of the American people; instead, it is done to quench the governments thirst for power and domination. The war that took place in the year 1846-1848 has already been forgotten but somehow in some ways it was inferred as the aftermath of Uncle Sams apprehension of Manifest Destiny. The term manifest destiny was invented by a journalist and later on became a nationalist rallying cry (Mannion). Thoreau believes that the government should only impose rules that are in line with morality and it has to take into account ethical activities that will reflect a positive image on behalf of the whole country. For him, the war was unjust since its intention was to cause harm to the Mexican people (Snyder 83).
On a personal note, it is never right to lead a war; in fact, it can fuel more conflict if the war gets worst. It can cause harm, not only to the soldiers, but also to the lives of the innocent people. The Mexican War is one part in history where the hunger for power is being clearly manifested. The United States determination to enter and own a territory that was never theirs is purely an immoral act. It is immoral because it is wrongful, and it is immoral because it forced people to participate in the war through the paying of taxes although their conscience tells them not to, for the reason that the government is ordering them to do so (Cummings). The main character in this situation is the government. The government that obliges all people to follow all that is written in the law. Thoreau dreams that the universal law can be applied with the individual. Moreover, he has emphasized that "government is best which governs not all" (Snyder 83). The most prominent contribution of Thoreau to world history is his stand to fight for what he thinks is right, and that is not to support the US government in its war against Mexico. Although criticized by government for his civil disobedience, Thoreau stood by his word.
Men are not blinded by the reality that wars are still occurring between nations, at present. Weapons of mass destruction are still being created to destroy territories. The essence of these wrongdoings to some national leaders will never be justifiable. War is never a solution to any kind of problem. Thoreau has once spoken that all men have a conscience, and the purpose of having this emotion is for people to become "men first, and become subjects afterwards" (Thoreau 3). Conscience is somewhat being neglected by people who continue to engage in wars. Unfortunately, nations that take part in this unjust and immoral action have not realized that they are compromising the future of their country. Now, if the only means to put an end to the wars occurring in many nations is through civil disobedience might as well act like Thoreau and die with a clean conscience.
Works Cited
Axelrod, Alan, and Charles Phillips. What Every American Should Know About
American History: 225 Events That Shaped the Nation. Massachusetts: Adams
Media, 2008. Print.
Cummings, Michael J. "Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862).", n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2012.
Mannion, James. The Everything Philosophy Book: Understand the Basic Concept of
Great Thinkers-From Socrates to Sartre. Massachusetts: Adams Media, 2002.
Snyder, Helena Adell. "Thoreaus Philosophy of Life: With Special Consideration of the
Influence of Hindoo Philosophy". Diss. Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Zu Heidelberg,
1902. Print.
Thoreau, Henry David. Civil Disobedience. Forgotten Books, 2002. Print. Read More
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