In the history of the Americans, the African Americans have been treated as second in position of the nation (Thoreau, 2). The treatment they received from mostly the whites angered them. Most of the authors and other artists expressed their emotions in many forms. This study reviews the first part of the Americans protest writing. The study reviews writings by Henry David Thoreau, “Resistance to Civil Government.” This essay was written in 1848 in America. The study further analyzes this essay.
According to Thoreau, governments should not be justified (Thoreau, 4). This is because they are more than harmful and less of helpful. Not even democracy can cure this problem of the government. The conviction of a person is similar to the resolution of a political body. Therefore, an individual is free to develop admiration for the law in as much as he has developed that of the right. The only responsibility human is left with is to do the right thing at the right time. This is to give everyone an opportunity to be equal to each other. Hence, the whites are not any better than the blacks are. The government is unjust as it is a representative of corruption. Because of this position of the government, sincere people are likely to revolutionize and rebel. This move has remained unwelcomed by the political philosophers. The cost of carrying out a revolution is high as pain is part of the results. The author however affirms that the highlighted cost- benefit analysis is unsuitable (Thoreau, 8). This is a position he is taking due to the injustice acts of the government. According to the author, the challenges of the African Americans are not to due to pro-slavery these actions of the Southern politicians. The residents of Massachusetts are also to blame for their lack of interest in humanity. Thoreau asserts that these people are focused on agricultural and commercial developments. This group of people is not willing to do justice to the slaves in Mexico (Thoreau, 5). Other ways in which the group does not mean well to the slaves is by paying taxes
The essay is a reminder for the people to remain free of the government’s control. The public are not to blindly follow the government. This move is only possible if the public perceives the rules as unjust. This is because of the government’s support on slavery. Thoreau begins the essay by openly expressing his displeasure on the government. He asserts that the people ought to follow their personal consciousness. If the people are to oppose slavery, then they ought not to pay taxes, as this would be part of government support. Whatever therefore a person deemed as right was to be keenly given attention more than the government laws. This is because personal conscious is of higher value than government rules. In this case, a person would go to jail if he failed to pay taxes. This, according to the author will be a small price to be paid. He asserts that it is better to be physically persecuted than to be emotionally and psychologically limited. The author emphasizes this perception because he is transcendentalist. He was guided by the belief that if the soul were free then he would be free indeed.
From the reading, it is evident that the political processes have been used to modify, create, and honor the law. The best government is that which is less concerned of the private lives of its subjects. This kind of government is however inexistent as the public have turned the present government as a tool for their personal satisfaction. There is therefore limited human freedom. This has led to negative perception of the author concerning the political lives they were living. He thus looks forward to the time when people shall embrace physical strength rather than justice and right. All men appreciate the right of revolution. The author reviews American Revolution and its background and finds that the present problem is more significant than the problems in the past. This emphasize further highlights the role of the government as a tool for personal satisfaction. The result of this analysis is a call for rebellion. He asserts that the duty of man is to be guided with principles even as he breaks the rules.
During this period of Thoreau, there was widespread slavery. African Americans were treated as less of humans and American citizens. The whites perceived themselves as more of citizens than the rest of the races. This is due to their history. The essay among other writings led to the rebellion and revolution, as the public were educated on their rights and the need for freedom. In spite of all the negativity towards the government, the author believes that the government is not such a failure. He is guided y this desire that as Americans, they need better services. He also asserts that a nation will never be so liberal without liberating the subjects off the government’s power.
Thoreau, Henry, David. Civil Disobedience. 1848.