Henry David Thoreau On Civil Disobedience

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Throughout all of time, people have needed to live according to their own agendas. Being forced to live a certain way has only caused trouble. That is why Henry David Thoreau supported civil disobedience to help people live according to their own beliefs. In the essay “On Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, the author defined and explained the effect of civil disobedience. Thoreau defined it as, civil disobedience is any peaceful action that demonstrates the disagreement of a person or persons with their government. Thoreau was strongly against any violent act of protest, but should a person disagree with his/her government, Thoreau would encourage that person to do so in a peaceful manner. Civil disobedience serves the purpose of giving the people a say. For example, Thoreau stated, “Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward attaining it“ (Civil …show more content…

For example, a little black woman who refused to stand on a bus showed civil disobedience because she believed in the rights of African Americans. This woman’s name was Rosa Parks. In 1955, on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man. This act went against all social norms of the time and sparked the majority of civil rights debates. Through her act of civil disobedience, change occurred, and the first steps toward rights for African Americans were being taken. This defiant event is a situation in which Thoreau would approve of civil disobedience. It is known that Thoreau would approve because in his essay, he declares, “If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man” (Civil Disobedience, Thoreau). Thoreau means that if a person cannot live how he/she wants, then that person will suffer. Rosa Parks was suffering until she stood up for herself, by sitting down, and chose to live the way that she wanted to

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