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Civil Disobedience

            "Civil Disobedience", a short story written by Henry David Thoreau, is a novel written about the early stages of the American government and policies Thoreau believed they should follow. Although this document was written in 1846 all of the points that Thoreau makes are still valid today. Thoreau was a strong supporter of the common man; he didn't believe that an all-powerful government could be effective. He worried about a strong government encroaching in on the lives of the people that it serves. His concerns were that those who would take power would be liable to "abuse or pervert" the authority that they are trusted with. Today's modern government is doing many of the same things that Thoreau warned about one hundred and fifty five years ago, yet many citizens of today's society seem generally unconcerned. A government cannot steal the freedom which Americans have fought and died for.
             Thoreau was a man who believed firmly in the rights of the individual. His idea of an effective government was one that didn't interfere to heavily in ones life, "I heartily accept the motto that government is best which governs least; and I should like to see acted more rapidly and systematically."(Thoreau 380) In his eyes the government was only a mode in which the people had chosen to execute their will. Claiming, "It doesn't keep this country free. It doesn't settle the West, It doesn't educate". (381) The people of the country are responsible for keeping everything running, the government is just their way of staying organized. Citizens should control the government, the government shouldn't control the citizens. Thoreau never wanted to see people taken advantage of by their own government body.
             Many strong points made in "Civil Disobedience" pertain to the operations of the American Government towards individual's freedom. Thoreau wanted to insure freedom for the common American forever.

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