Civil Disobedience

According to Thoreau, what is the American public's attitude toward the Mexican War?

this question came from the civil disobedience essay

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Thoreau wrote “Civil Disobedience” in 1849 after spending a night in the Walden town jail for refusing to pay a poll tax that supported the Mexican War. He recommended passive resistance as a form of tension that could lead to reform of unjust laws practiced by the government. He stated civil disobedience as “An expression of the individual’s liberty to create change.” Thoreau believed that the government had established order that resisted reform and change. “Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary.” Thoreau refused to pay the poll tax because the money was being used to finance the Mexican War. Not only was he against the war itself but the war was over Texas which was to be used as a slave state. His friend Staples offered to pay the tax for him, but to Thoreau it wasn’t the tax he was objected to, it was how the money would be used. He thought strongly against paying money to a war that he did not support, and would rather end up in jail that go against his will. A certain passage shows how strong he felt when he said, “Your money is your life, why should I haste to give it my money?” It was important to Thoreau to get the public informed about the War, and make people think why it was wrong to support it. Thoreau never rallied thousands of people together to get reactions. Instead he went to jail to protest and wrote his essay “Civil Disobedience.”