Day 1

Civil Disobedience Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Why does Thoreau believe that the ideal government would be one "which governs not at all?" Do you agree or disagree?

    Thoreau believes that, in general, governments do more harm to society than good because they are easily "abused and perverted." He believes government exists as a means to meeting an end and is instituted for its convenience rather than its superiority. The purpose of government, he argues, should be to protect the rights of individuals and should be based on morality and justice. The American government, as it stands, is based on the strength of the majority. Thoreau does not call for anarchy, but rather a "better" government.

    Lead students to propose...

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