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Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, he was born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau eventually went to Harvard College (now Harvard University). There he studied Greek and Latin as well as German. He graduated from college in 1837 and struggled with what do to next. In 1845, Thoreau built a small home for himself on Walden Pond, on property owned by Emerson. He spent more than two years there. He felt that this new approach helped him avoid the misery he saw around him. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” Thoreau once wrote. Thoreau eventually started writing about his Walden Pond experiment as well. Many were curious about his revolutionary lifestyle, and this interest provided the creative spark for a collection of essays. The book was a modest success, but it wasn’t until much later that the book reached a larger audience. Over the years, Walden has inspired and informed the work of naturalists, environmentalists, and writers. while living at Walden Pond, Thoreau also had an encounter with the law. He spent a night in jail after refusing to pay a poll tax. This experience led him to write one of his best-known and most influential essays, “Civil Disobedience” (also known as “Resistance to Civil Government”). He made a strong case for acting on one’s individual conscience and not blindly following laws and government policy. “The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right,” he wrote. Since its publication in 1849, “Civil Disobedience” has inspired many leaders of protest movements around the world. This non-violent approach to political and social resistance has influenced American civil rights movement activist Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi, who helped India win independence from Great Britain, among many others

What kind of government does Thoreau think would be most ethical and moral?

Thoreau thinks that’s government should have very little control. “That government is best which governs least,” and “that government is best which governs not at all…” (Thoreau 137). He is saying that a government, in which he would like, has little control and that this government does not make it a point to use that control. the best kind of government is one that doesn’t govern and Americans will get that when they are prepared for it; he wants laissez-faire. The best government is not about making too many rules because that would make the people not to follow all of them. Also, Thoreau asserts that he requests a better government and let every individual express what government suits them as that will be one step closer to achieving the government you want. Our government will not shape itself; we have to shape it ourselves and to do that we must include input and knowledge. “A government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it” (Thoreau 138). The majority isn’t always just, and the individual can not support the majority if the majority is not just. This happens a lot today because of voting, and even though the biggest thing isn’t just the government still passes the majority.

Did Thoreau’s intended audience agree with him?

I believe most people would not have agreed with Thoreau’s positions. Thoreau would not have cherished agreement with the body politic. It was precise because he disagreed with what was happening that he was able to value his position as one who provided the voice of dissent in a world of consent. Thoreau would not have enjoyed it much if there was automatic agreement with him. Thoreau was able to develop his own voice precisely because others disagreed with him on the direction of social attitudes and governmental policy. However, I think that the audience who would be reading Thoreau’s work would be appreciative of his writing. Thoreau was a writer that drew out a stark division in readers. Those that would have fallen in his audience probably embraced his ideas. His audience would have affirmed his position. The Transcendentalist audience that believed Thoreau to remain true to its philosophical tenets would have embraced his ideas in terms of resistance to that which is wrong and would have liked his approach to voicing dissent regardless of the consequences if it reflects one’s inner and true beliefs.

Fun facts

Henry David Thoreau was a vegetarian

best known for his book Walden, and his essay “Civil Disobedience”

The cause of the death was Tuberculosis

Thoreau and his brother were caught in a love triangle with Ellen Sewall

Thoreau was born in 1817 and died in 1862. He studied at Harvard College between 1833 to 1837. Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. Thoreau’s classic essay popularly known as “Civil Disobedience” was first published as “Resistance to Civil Government” in Aesthetic Papers (1849). Thoreau has no objection to government taxes for highways and schools, which make good neighbors. But the government, he charges, is too often based on expediency, which can permit injustice in the name of public convenience. Thoreau mentioned is that when slavery continues and blood continues to flow on the Mexican War humanity would bleed out from the people of the state. The individual, he insists, is never obliged to surrender conscience to the majority or to the State. The essay makes it clear that this stance is not a matter of whim but a demanding moral principle. Thoreau’s essay has had a profound influence on reformers worldwide, from Tolstoy in Russia and Gandhi in South Africa and India; to Martin Luther King, Jr’s civil rights movement and the opposition to the Vietnam War in the United States; to recent demonstrations for civil rights in the former Soviet Union and China.

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