In “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau wrote that the best kind of government was the one “which [governed] not at all” (Thoreau 1). Thoreau believed that the government existed only at the will of the people.
What according to Thoreau is the best government?
The phrase “that government is best which governs least” is often credited to Henry David Thoreau, in his 1849 “Civil Disobedience,” or “Resistance to Civil Government.” (It’s also sometimes credited to Thomas Jefferson or John Locke, but although it might capture well some of their thinking, to my knowledge it doesn’t
What does Thoreau believe about the government?
Thoreau believes that the government is not supposed to essentially fulfill their job. The text reads, “Government is best which governs not at all… Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.
What type of government does Thoreau wish to have for a state?
Denying an interest in abolishing government, he states that he simply wants a better government. Majority rule is based on physical strength, not right and justice. Individual conscience should rule instead, and civil government should confine itself to those matters suited to decision by majority rule.
What kind of government does Thoreau envision for the future?
Thoreau begins Civil Disobedience by saying that he agrees with the motto, “That government is best which governs least.” Indeed, he says, men will someday be able to have a government that does not govern at all.
What does Thoreau mean by government is at best but an expedient?
He says government is “at best but an expedient” (part 1, par. 1), which means that government can solve a problem or achieve a goal in certain cases, but it cannot do anything more. Thoreau also says that “most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient” (part 1, par. 1).
What kind of government is Thoreau most supportive of what motto does he heartily accept?
in his campaign for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s. I heartily accept the motto,—”That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.
What is Thoreau’s overall message?
Thoreau’s central message in Walden is to live simply, independently, and wisely. He suggests that people try to live free and uncommitted, away from things that overcomplicate life such as exchange economy and modern labor. He also emphasizes the importance of engaging with Nature as closely and directly as possible.
What do transcendentalists believe about government?
Transcendentalists believe that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and political parties—corrupt the purity of the individual. They have faith that people are at their best when truly self-reliant and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community can form.
What did Transcendentalists believe about government?
As a group, the transcendentalists led the celebration of the American experiment as one of individualism and self-reliance. They took progressive stands on women’s rights, abolition, reform, and education. They criticized government, organized religion, laws, social institutions, and creeping industrialization.
What did Thoreau say about transcendentalism?
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American from New England who was an author, poet, and natural philosopher. Thoreau was a leading figure in the Transcendentalist movement which held, as one of its premises, that the human connection with nature is necessary for intellectual and moral stability.
What did the transcendentalist believe?
Transcendentalists advocated the idea of a personal knowledge of God, believing that no intermediary was needed for spiritual insight. They embraced idealism, focusing on nature and opposing materialism.