Thoreaus Ideal Form of Government

One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. Henry David Thoreau explains the ideal government in his text Civil Disobedience. Thoreau wrote this text to explain and provide vivid information about his vision of an ideal government. When Thoreau describes a better government, he means one that is least based upon an abused system. Thoreaus ideal government would appeal to the peoples ideas rather than a single individual. Thoreau believes that in order for a government to become better it should consider not relying too much on it.One thing that Thoreau means by a better government is a government that appeals to the people.

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For instance, he says, An ideal government would command the respect of its citizens through its humanity, and his experience with contemporary American government forces him to accept the flaws of his government as far from the “democratic ideal. In my opinion, this means the government would give into the peoples ideas rather than one individuals idea. He also includes, That government is best which governs least. I believe this quote is saying that the government is best when it is more systematic. I feel that he wants a more organized government instead of one that is less.Thirdly, Thoreau means a respective government about a better government.

For example, Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. With this quote, Thoreau is saying that the government would need respect and being a part of it would be a step towards gaining respect. Also according to the text, After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. This statement from the text is Thoreaus way of explaining why the power should not be in the hands of one person because they would abuse the power because they are the strongest.

He believes the power should be in the peoples control instead. Thoreau wants a structural and organized government. In conclusion, Thoreau means organized, collaborative, and respective by a better government. Thoreaus ideal government would appeal to the peoples ideas rather than a single individual. By a better government, Thoreau means a government that appeal to the people. He also believes that you can rely on a government too much and that you should avoid that. Thoreaus text Civil Disobedience was written to point out flaws in current governing systems as well as give his input on what his ideal government would look like and how it would run.

Words Cited

  1. Henry David Thoreau. Civil Disobedience https://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/thoreau/civil.html English 265.
  2. Lecture Notes https://www4.ncsu.edu/~wdlloyd/thoreaunotes.htm
  3. Course Hero Civil Disobedience Quotes https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Civil-Disobedience/quotes/
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Thoreaus Ideal Form of Government. (2019, May 16). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from
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