The lecture was published under the title resistance to civil government in elizabeth peabody's aesthetic papers, in may 1849 it was included (as civil disobedience) in thoreau's a yankee in canada, with anti-slavery and reform papers , published in boston in 1866 by ticknor and fields, and reprinted many times. If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth--certainly the machine will wear out but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then i say, break the law. Criticism of thoreau's resistance to civil government changed dramatically from the 1920s to the 1970s michael meyer's several more lives to live: thoreau's political reputation in america shows the progression of opinion surrounding thoreau and his politics. Thoreau's classic essay popularly known as civil disobedience was first published as resistance to civil government in aesthetic papers (1849) thoreau has no objection to government taxes for highways and schools, which make good neighbors.
His 1849 essay civil disobedience, now known as resistance to civil government is partly a response to the author's arrest for failure to pay his poll tax in 1846 thoreau had stopped paying his tax in 1842 to protest against slavery, but his protest was ignored for several years. Civil disobedience and the abusive power of government in response to the annexation of texas in 1845 by the united states, henry david thoreau's wrote the essay, civil disobedience thoreau felt that this purely economic move by the united states expedited the civil war, which he, and many americans, disapproved of. Resistance to civil government (civil disobedience) is an essay by american transcendentalist henry david thoreau that was first published in 1849 in it, thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government.
Resistance to civil government was an essay written by henry david thoreau in 1849 it was first published in an anthology called aesthetic papers, but gained more attention when it was published again in 1866 under the title civil disobedience. Thoreau prepared his lecture and essay on resistance to civil government in response to a specific event — the mexican war, which was declared in may of 1846, and which was expected to result in the expansion of slave territory. This incident prompted thoreau to write his famous essay, civil disobedience (originally published in 1849 as resistance to civil government) thoreau's minor act of defiance caused him to conclude that it was not enough to be simply against slavery and the war. Thoreau delivered the first draft of the treatise as an oration to the concord lyceum in 1848, and the text was published in 1849 under the title resistance to civil government the two major issues being debated in the united states during thoreau's life were slavery and the mexican-american war.
Resistance to civil government is a work of political philosophy where thoreau lays out a plan for the way he believes the american government and society should be structured the essay discusses the relation between the individual and society. In 1849, henry david thoreau established the idea of civil disobedience - civil disobedience by henry david thoreau essay introduction in his paper civil disobedience, thoreau encourages the reader to recognize when the government is doing something unjust and wrongful to the people. Thoreau begins his essay by arguing that government rarely proves itself useful and that it derives its power from the majority because they are the strongest group, not because they hold the most legitimate viewpoint. That thoreau's text is an explicit refutation of william paley's essay on the duty of submission to civil government is emphasized not only by the original title but by the author's citation of paley in the text.
Resistance to civil government (1849), henry david thoreau : the united states went to war against mexico in may 1846 that july, while living at walden pond, thoreau refused to pay his poll tax as a protest against the conflict, for he saw the war as an effort to extend the realm of slavery. Rosenwald contends that civil disobedience was forged amid the growing pressures of the preceding decade and culminated with thoreau's first tax refusal and the first publication of his essay under the significant title resistance to civil government. My civil neighbor, the tax-gatherer, is the very man i have to deal with- for it is, after all, with men and not with parchment that i quarrel- and he has voluntarily chosen to be an agent of the government. Thoreau's essay, now popularly known as civil disobedience, was originally titled resistance to civil government he delivered it as a lecture in 1848 and published it 1849 the impetus for the essay was thoreau's refusal to pay the poll tax and his subsequent stay in jail overnight.
- in thoreau's essay resistance to civil government, henry david thoreau outlines a utopian society in which each individual would be responsible for governing himself his opposition to a centralized government is an effort to disassociate with the american government, which at the time was supporting slavery and unjustly invading mexico. These lectures formed the base of his 1849 published essay resistance to civil government the essay was published in an anthology called æsthetic papers the word resistance from the title was apt for thoreau's metaphor of comparing the government to a machine. In his essay, resistance to civil government, often times dubbed, civil disobedience, henry david thoreau (1817-1862) argues against abiding to one's state, in protest to the unjust laws within its government among many things, thoreau was an american author, poet, and philosopher he.