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Unfortunately, factions of powerful self-interest groups sometimes manipulate the government into carrying out actions that offend the conscience of upright citizens. It is an unjust war that seeks to annex Mexican land and then establish slavery on it.In this matter and in many others, vast numbers of citizens regrettably have forfeited their consciences to the government, blindly doing the governments bidding even when their conscience tells them that what they are doing is wrong. I cannot accede to the policies of a government that legitimizes slavery and then invades another country in order to expand this evil institution.This word means grasping for truth" or attachment to truth." In effect, this philosophy asked its followers to endure suffering, instead of causing it, to achieve its aims.
) In the essay, Thoreau says it is the duty of all citizens to disobey unjust government policies. government policies: the continuation of the institution of slavery and the prosecution of the Mexican War (April 1846-February 1848).
They should express their opposition through acts of civil disobedience, such as refusing to pay taxes. Citizens of good conscience should actively oppose unjust government policies through nonviolent resistance, such as refusal to pay taxes.
They should even be willing to go to jail rather than yield to immoral or unethical government laws and activities.
Thoreau believed every human being has inborn knowledge that enables him to recognize and understand moral truth without benefit of knowledge obtained through the physical senses.
This campaign earned him the title of Father of India" and a lasting place in history as one of the 20th Centurys greatest leaders. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his successful nonviolent campaign in the 1960's to achieve civil rights for black Americans.
In his autobiography, King wrote, No other person has been more eloquent and passionate in getting this idea [passive resistance to injustice] across than Henry David Thoreau.
Here in Massachusetts, there are merchants and farmers who go along with government policy because they are more interested in making money than in doing justice to fellow human beings. Too many of them sit back and allow others to carry out this task for them.
By failing to act to initiate reform I believe that those who support abolition of slavery should immediately withdraw their support of the Massachusetts government rather than wait and go through channels.
The best government is one with severely limited powers.
It should use its powers only to carry out moral and ethical activities on behalf of the citizens.