Interestingly, as pointed out by Lawrence Rosenwald, Professor of English at Wellesley College in this article The Theory, Practice & Influence of Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, the time in which Thoreau failed to pay his taxes and was jailed, was four years before the Mexican-American War. Also, the tax Thoreau refused to pay was not a federal tax. It was a tax that was used for state and local purposes. Since the Mexican War was a federal action and because slavery was not legal in the New England states, it would seem that Thoreau’s resistance was misplaced. However, Thoreau was protesting the nature of government.
Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Resistance to Civil Government” was published in the year 1849 succeeding a night spent in jail for not complying to pay his taxes. Thoreau’s purpose for writing the essay was to impel people to not support or accept the government's stance on situations if they disagreed with the government's position. In Thoreau’s case one of these issues was The Mexican-american war. His opposition to the war was one of the main ideas in Thoreau’s essay. He protested the government’s war the by not paying his taxes which landed him a night in jail.
Throughout the writing of “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau often referred back to his idea that he supported which was “That government is best which governs not at all.” (Thoreau) In the passage, Thoreau believed that the government does not have a conscience. He talked about not wanting to pay the government poll tax, which in result, caused him to be thrown into jail. A poll tax is just a tax on a person for existing, therefore, everyone had to pay the same amount regardless of the value of their possessions. This poll tax was for prosecuting war on Mexico, which Thoreau disagreed with, therefore, he did not pay it. In the passage, Thoreau used many different rhetorical devices and appeals, such as anaphora and repetition to emphasize the
In one example, while Charles was in prison as a political prisoner the landlords were mercilessly evicting people, despite the no rent manifesto, which caused countless people to become homeless. So, Anna decided the best use of the money was to have prefabricated houses sent from Dublin to make sure no family went without shelter, but this went against Charles 's wishes as he deemed the donations as his political contributions to enact change at the legislative level. To top this off, the male prisoners had quality meals made by the governor 's kitchen while receiving a stipend every day. This occurred while the petticoats were out in the streets being verbally harassed by irritated tenants, landlords and had to work under extreme conditions while trying to stabilize both organizations while maintaining their sanity. The final nail in the coffin for the sibling bond between Anna and Charles happened after the Land Leaguers were released from prison.
The three of them went to jail just for fighting for what’s right and what they believed. Everything was done without violence. Gandhi with his march for salt, Mandela for the right of the African, and Thoreau not paying taxes for the Mexican-American
Gandhi, leader of the indian independence movement. Gandhi put in a lot of hard work to gain their independence, was imprisoned many times, but has inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. In his essay he mentioned twice about how they will not obey their laws. He mentioned this when he said “We made it clear to the said Government that we would never bow to its outrageous laws” and also when he said “but so long there is yet life in these our bones, we will never comply with your arbitrary laws.” This demonstrates civil disobedience because he just told them simply and peacefully that they will not abide by those laws they've set. They didn't try to fight or overrule the government, they just informed them what they were doing, and they protested without using violence.
While the government is more of a major ruler like earth. ‘’But they put themselves in a level with wood and earth and stones [...] than men of straw or a lump of dirt’’. Henry’s ethos shows the audience of his strategy of going against the government corruption. Henry’s speech was well-planned out to shows his audience of his experience when rebelling the government; in addition, receiving forced punishment for not paying his poll-tax. He thought out things that made himself to commit this disobedience against the government and wanted to express his experience of his ideas and strategy to disobey the government.
People could join the protest without fear of being arrested. Since they are not violating the law, there is no need for them to hide what they think regarding the issue. Thoreau shared his experience when he was jailed for refusing to pay his tax to protest against slavery. He violated the law. It doesn’t matter whether he was fighting a good cause; very few would join him for not many would implicate themselves in activities considered unlawful.
In the play, "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail," by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Henry David Thoreau, the protagonist of the play, is shown to advocate self-awareness and making your own decisions based on your own beliefs. As expressed in the maxim, the ideals of transcendentalism and individuality, regardless of society's expectations, is evidently shown in the text. In the play, Henry David Thoreau is thrown in jail for one night because he refuses to pay taxes that support the Mexican-American War. Although it was considered an American duty to pay taxes to support the country's decisions, Thoreau did not believe that the Mexican-American War was the right direction towards prosperity, so he risked the consequence of prison rather than succumb to the directions given to him which would falsify his own ideals. Emerson's maxim is shown in the plot of the play as a whole.
While also in the court room Elizabeth told John about the ending to Giles tough trial, she said, “He were not hanged. He would not answer ay or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they’d hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died a Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm (Miller 84).” Giles Corey is an old, wise, and strong man in Salem. His own crucible starts when he first wonders what his wife and is reading and why she hides it from.
I agree with you that Ban the Box should become a federal law as long as the law has sound guidelines. I have never worked in corrections, but I have seen instances like you described of people wanting to be incarcerated because they cannot survive. I had an individual attempt to falsely confess to an armed robbery because he wanted to go back to prison. He told me he wanted to go back to prison because he was tired of living on the streets and he had spent most of his life there. I did not spend enough time with him to determine if he was a product of not being properly supervised and not being placed in the appropriate programs or if he was given the opportunities for assistance with a job and counseling and choose not to participate.
Martin Luther King Martin Luther King harped on civil disobedience for any moral arguments. Treating citizens differently based on skin color was nefarious, King wished to speak out to change but insisted on non-violent acts to do so. He expressed his thoughts in the “I Have a Dream” speech publically in a passive fashion. This passionate, positive and encouraging speech flourished King’s views and changed the American government’s unjust laws. Although, King did not use destructive force to get his point across, he did break some laws.
It was March 22, 1765, and my father had gotten word of the new law at work today. He worked as a merchant, and when he had gotten a new shipment of paper learned that Great Britain now put a tax on every document of paper in the US. Great Britain was in a financial drought because of the French and Indian war, and had resorted to taxing us for their faults. The law did not benefit Americans at all, only the British. He grew more furious still.
Some wonder what Civil Disobedience is and what it is all about. Civil Disobedience is an effective, selfacknowledged denial to obey certain laws, requirements and orders of the government or an occupying worldwide power. Around in 1846 a man named Henry David Thoreau wrote an essay over Civil Disobedience. He wrote this while he sent the night in jail because he had failed to pay 6 years worth of delinquent poll taxes(Resistance to Civil Government) . He would bicker with the people saying he couldn’t pay the funds that helped to assist the US government 's war with Mexico, nor could he pay a government that still allowed slavery in its Southern states.