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Civil Disobedience

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Civil Disobedience written by Henry David Thoreau is a work that explores the topics of individualism, government, and power of the people living in the United States during the nineteenth century. Thoreau is well known for his strong viewpoints on how the government is limiting the potential of a great union because of social conformism. As an advocate of extreme individualism, Thoreau went through great measures to project his voice on how people should live through the system of nature and not the government. The practicality of his visions to better the nation is, however questionable.

The people of the United States in the nineteenth century were granted an expanded range of freedoms dealing with social and religion. However, the author had another opinion mainly blaming the government for prioritizing laws from the majority group, than the people. According to Thoreau, a strong group does not mean it will generate the most legitimate viewpoints because there is no contribution from the people of the nation. The government is established because the people need a sense of authority otherwise society will be in complete chaos. But the main point of Civil Disobedience is about how people should follow what they believe in and to express their individualism even if it is unjust.

Following your own ways separated from the government can be dangerous, as well as rewarding. The author believes that consciousness is lost when the people adjust to what the majority is controlling. He quotes, "Can there not be a government in which the majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?--in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable?" There are no opportunities to use our own conscious because everything is already decided for us. It is our right that should be followed more than the law.



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