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Thoreau Civil Disobedience

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Thoreau denies the right of any government to automatic and ... letter-writing, protests, marches, days of silence, hunger strikes, civil disobedience ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Thoreau Civil Disobedience


1
Thoreau Civil Disobedience
  • 1846 Henry David Thoreau refused to pay a poll
    tax he was arrested and jailed
  • to his disdain, his relatives paid his tax for
    him to release him from jail
  • Thoreau denies the right of any government to
    automatic and unthinking obedience. Obedience
    should be earned and it should be withheld from
    an unjust government.

2
Thoreau Civil Disobedience
  • Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the
    least degree, resign his conscience to the
    legislator? Why has every man a conscience then?
    I think that we should be men first, and subjects
    afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a
    respect for the law, so much as for the right.
    The only obligation which I have a right to
    assume is to do at any time what I think right.

3
Thoreau Civil Disobedience
  • Two times when open rebellion is justified
  • when the injustice is no longer occasional but a
    major characteristic
  • when the machine (government) demands that people
    cooperate with injustice.
  • Thoreau declared that, If the government
    requires you to be the agent of injustice to
    another, then, I say, break the law.

4
Suffrage
  • 72 year movement for womens right to vote
  • Alice Paul and the National Womans Party
  • letter-writing, protests, marches, days of
    silence, hunger strikes, civil disobedience

5
Gandhi
  • Early work was based off of Thoreaus Civil
    Disobedience
  • led movement for Independence of India
  • took Thoreaus concept of disregarding unjust
    laws one step further to disobeying
    nonviolently

6
Gandhi nonviolence
  • nonviolence is the refusal to respond with
    violence, regardless of how violently you are
    treated.
  • Satyagraha struggle for truth or truth
    force
  • Gandhi wanted to challenge in-equal social
    structures without setting off a spiral of
    violence

7
Later social movements
  • U.S. Civil Rights Movement
  • Solidarity
  • Anti-apartheid movement
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Post-Soviet independence movements
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