This translation includes the full text of Henry David Thoreau’s seminal 1849 essay Civil Disobedience, a work both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. directly credited as a major influence on their ideas of non-violent resistance. Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American writer, philosopher, abolitionist, and a prominent member of the Transcendentalist movement who believed in using self-reliance to avoid the corrupting influences of politics and organized religion. In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau harshly criticizes the institution of slavery and the conduct of the United States in the Mexican-American War, arguing that these actions reflected the fundamental injustice of governments and of majority rule. Instead of obeying unjust laws, Thoreau advocates that individuals do that which they believe to be right, removing themselves from the inherent corruption of the state so as not to perpetuate it.
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