Defend Thoreau and Oppose Thoreau

DefendThoreau and Oppose Thoreau

“TheResistance to Civil Government” is an essay constructed from thesequence of lectures delivered by Thoreau in 1848 (Thoreau,2009).The lectures were mainly about the responsibilities that thegovernment shares with the citizens. Slavery in the US and thereaction the country showed towards the war between America andMexico triggered a debate that in turn informed the writing of theessay. Thoreau disputes that there is an inherent inclination of thegovernment to injustice and corruption and in extreme cases such ashuman trafficking and slavery citizens should take it as aresponsibility to revolt against the government actively.


Thoreau’sargument promotes independence from laws that are unjust. He arguesthat citizens should never allow legislators to manipulate theirconsciences. Thoreau, however, does not encourage people to revoltviolently. He also states that anyone who is up to disturb peaceshould get ready to face punishment since the government imprisonspeople unjustly (Thoreau,2009).The policy condemns authoritarians who have had activists beatenheartlessly and imprisoned. The point is to fight command that wasimposed on individuals without much thought. When the law is broken,the constitution is challenged and appropriate changes made. Thegovernment holds a position that exhibits cowardice towards traitors,but most protesters back then received support from the most of thecitizens of the United States.


Thedoctrine by Thoreau has a loophole, and that is the difficultyprecedent in determining the laws that are either just or unjust.Thoreau doesn’t advocate for indiscriminate lawlessness the policyis only applicable where there is an underlying principle. Noteveryone possesses the right to defy the government, like whengovernors from the south flouted the orders released by the court in1960’s during the Civil Rights Movement to desegregate learninginstitutions claiming that God was the reason for segregation.


Thoreau,H. D., Kleinfeld, L. F., &amp Higashiyama, M. (2009). Resistanceto civil government.Leonard F. Kleinfeld.