Thoreau

Thoreau

In Henry David Thoreau?s Civil Disobedience, Thoreau takes a strong look at the government and the reasons why some government laws should not be followed. In Thoreau?s opening lines he states, ?That government is best which governs not at all;? (4-5). At the time when this essay was written, slavery was not only legal but it was a law that blacks must be owned. Slaves had no rights. They were in America for the sole purpose of working for the white man. Thoreau states, ?if one HONEST man, in this state of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and he locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America,?(341-345). Thoreau is simply asking for people to disobey the laws of slavery in order to free the slaves who are people, who are human, and who should be given the same rights as other human beings. In my opinion, it is this statement that Martin Luther King Jr. took to heart as he fought for equality for all people. Thoreau goes on to speak of a time when he was asked by the State to pay money to

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