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Civil Disobedience - Essay Example

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The essay “ Civil Disobedience” discusses Thoreau's accusing the officials in self-will and arbitrariness. Being arrested for deliberately failing to pay taxes - thus acting in defiance of the corrupt government - he discredited himself as an exemplary citizen and deserved reprimand. …
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Civil Disobedience
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Civil Disobedience - Free Writing Henry David Thoreau wrote Civil Disobedience after his experience trying to show how unjust and pointless the government is. The text was written after he had spent a night in jail when he refused to pay his taxes. Thoreau did not pay his taxes because he was protesting against the approval of slavery. He then went on to say that the government never does what it should, but we still give it the power to do anything they want. He also believed that the government always treats people unfairly, punishing them when they want to if it makes them look good. While Thoreau may have made some good points about the hidden agenda of the government, he did not do a good job in proving these points. When he was sent to jail, he was sent there because he did not pay his taxes, which is a law that is still required. Taxes do not pay for just the government, but for the things that people require, such as schools, medical facilities and personnel, and police and firemen. The lesson he was trying to teach did not get through to the government since it backfired by going against the point he was trying to prove. All Thoreau did by not paying his taxes was show that the government was doing what they were supposed to by punishing him, which was what Thoreau was trying to speak against. Thoreau also talked about how people do not need to be active in stopping evils but at least not participate in them. By breaking the law and not paying his taxes, I believe that Thoreau was participating in the evils that he mentions. Thoreau’s protest ended up being for nothing. Read More
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