Henry David Thoreau

Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American Henry David Thoreau, first published in 1849. He argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule their conscience, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. He was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War. Thoreau’s own act of civil disobedience, the failure to pay poll tax, resulted in time in prison. His writings are said to have influence Gandhi and Martin Luther King.