Thoreau’s Resistance to Civil Government
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At the heart of Thoreau political philosophy was the concept of individualism, he was a supreme individualist and championed the human spirit against materialism and social conformity. His most famous book, `Walden” 1854 is an eloquent account of his experiment in near solitary living in close harmony with nature, it is also an expression of transcendentalist philosophy. One of Thoreau’s most important work, the essay Resistance to Civil Government which was later published as Civil Disobedience 1849, grew out of an overnight stay in prison as a result of his conscientious refusal to pay poll tax that supported the Mexican War which to Thoreau represented an effort to extend slavery. Thoreau’s advocacy of civil disobedience as a means for the individual to protest those actions of his government that he considers unjust has had a wide-ranging impact.