What Is Thoreau's Claim In Civil Disobedience

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Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau was an abolitionist who was a strong believer that the government was unjust. As a result, he did not pay some of his taxes, and was thrown in jail. Upon leaving prison, he wrote “Civil Disobedience,” as a means to educate readers on the corruption of the government. He believed that people should practice their right of refusal by using civil disobedience towards the government. Thoreau’s warrants are based on the fact that Americans have a right to revolt against a government in which they feel is unfit to govern. Using both implicit and explicit warrants, Thoreau effectively connects them to his claims and support. Based on the idea that the government is corrupt, in “Civil Disobedience” Thoreau…show more content…
He says that people have a duty to civil disobedience; however, civil disobedience is not always enough to change anything in the government. One of his claims of fact is that he describes the American government as expedient, convenient and practical, but improper or immoral. A government that is okay with slavery is not a government he wants to be a part of. These claims of value are what Thoreau believes are necessary to instill in the American people. In opposition to this Thoreau also claims that people are usually too slow in making changes to the government, they need to act faster before things get worse. He advises the reader to just go at it and try to change what they find corrupt about the government, whether that be slavery, or paying unjust…show more content…
Explicitly stating that the government is corrupt and needs to be changed is the warrant the the whole essay rests on. Throughout the paper Thoreau also mentions the warrants that people should be active abolitionists and that man has the power to change the corrupt government, but the fact that the government is immoral is the main point. Stating that he “ask[s] for, not at once no government, but at once a better government,” (Thoreau 1:3) shows that he knows that getting rid of government entirely would be a bad idea. His warrants provide an adequate foundation for the span between the claims and support, and they help the reader to relate to what Thoreau is thinking. This is the strength of the warrants, they hold up the whole argument and without them the bridge between the claims and support would crumble down until there was no feasible argument to
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