Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Henry David Thoreau and the Nature of Civil Disobedience

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Henry David Thoreau, the father of Civil Disobedience, one of his famous quotes is “That government is best which governs not at all;' and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. ” This man was an inspiration to Mahatma Gandhi along with Martin Luther King.

Thoreau went to live in the forest a bit to simply live with nature and write about it, from what I could tell he enjoyed it very much and wrote about things he encountered. In my opinion, I feel he foolishly went and not pay his taxes while he was in the forest, and that got him locked up in prison.

But I agree with what Thoreau stood for, his ideas of Civil Disobedience, all his quotes are inspirational and make me question my government. Mahatma Gandhi was a very self respecting man, who used his mind to influence the entire Indian population in India and protested for his country to be returned to the Indians. But just because one man changed the minds of a whole nation doesn’t mean that I completely agree with the ways he manipulated there thoughts. In the movie I saw how Gandhi strongly opposed the violent riot and I thought that he could have handled it in a different way.

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Instead on fasting he could have held another big meeting thing and told his followers that if they use violence they could potentially start a war with England that they would never win, and even more Indians would have died. Also when Gandhi went to walk to the beach for that whole protesting a salt processing plant, he could have a little bit of a better plan formulated so that some of his followers wouldn’t get beat down. Now on the case of Martin Luther King Jr. , I agree with everything that man did, said and died for. He took Rosa Parks side when she was arrested, and fought diligently for equal rights for blacks.

One of my favorite things that King did was form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to fight segregation and achieve civil rights; with this also was his “I had a dream” speech in DC at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. King made congress start giving rights to African American’s within a couple of years, something that would have took Gandhi decades in my own opinion. So in conclusion, Thoreau is the reason India is controlled by Indians and African Americans. All because of Thoreau’s genesis theories, if he hadn’t done this the world would be a much different place.

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