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LEE, Leon H., Sr. " The Historical and Literary Context of Henry David Thoreau’s ’Civil Disobedience’ "
Article published on 6 June 2004
last modification on 27 November 2015

D. A., Middle Tennessee State University, 1990. 196 p.

DAI, VOL. 51-06A, Page 2019, 00196 Pages

The study shows that Thoreau’s political activism and the ideas of "Civil Disobedience" are derivative. The indictment of government for its reliance on expediency, its use of force, and its failure to recognize the moral imperatives of the conscience; the faculty psychology; the Lockean contract theory of government; the dangers of majority rule; the recommendation of non-voting, refusal to pay taxes, going to jail, and resignation from office as means of protest; no-governmentism; and the categorical imperative to obey the conscience absolutely when its demands came into conflict with those of the State—all can be found in the literature of the past and of Thoreau’s day.