Civil Disobedience In Emerson, And Henry David Thoreau

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What is civil disobedience? Many men have tried to answer this question, but few have succeeded in doing so. Those who have, however, present the same inalienable fact: civil disobedience is the act of disobeying laws that are deemed morally wrong. “Who are these people?” some may ask. They are actually very well known in our history: Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. All of these men have given their views of Civil Disobedience. Henry David Thoreau first spoke out about civil disobedience. He explained that, “The government itself, which is only the mode through which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.” meaning the government can be abused or abuse their power. Thoreau also noted that, “The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think is right.” which promotes civil disobedience on moral grounds by saying to always do what is morally right.…show more content…
Emerson argues that the words “good” and “bad” can be easily switched and applied to just about anything. “The only right,” Emerson said, “is what is after my constitution. The only wrong is what’s against it.” In this way, Emerson promotes civil disobedience on moral grounds, much like Thoreau did. Emerson also noted, “For disconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must learn how to estimate a sour face.” meaning that while you may suffer for your act of civil disobedience, you must stay
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