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Nonconformists Every individual feels acts thinks and dreams differently Some individuals such as civil disobedients or protesters believe to speak out about government injustice rebuffing the consequences With Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau inspired individuals from all walks of life to stand up against unjust governments Thoreau encouraged people to use their freedoms stated in the Bill of Rights that allows an individual to express him or herself without interference or constraint by the government College was the place where Henry David Thoreau one of the most well known civil disobedients decided he wanted to be a writer and poet During his time at Harvard Thoreau awakened with a greater sense of individuality and discovered he wanted to live with freedom to think and act as he wished After Thoreaus return from college Thoreaus family found him to be less likely to accept opinions as facts more argumentative and prone to shock people with his own independent and unconventional opinions Atkinson 667 His essay written in 1849 Civil Disobedience urged the individual to follow the conscience in any conflict between itself and civil law and to violate unjust laws to invoke their appeal Throughout his life Thoreau protested against slavery by lecturing by aiding escaped slaves and by defending John Brown when he made his attack on Harpers Ferry in 1859 Thoreau was once sent to jail for refusing to pay taxes that financed the Mexican War and enforcement of slavery laws Websters Dictionary defines civil disobedience as an illegal public nonviolent conscientiously motivated act of protest done by someone who accepts the legitimacy of the legal and political systems and who submits to arrest and punishment Websters 244 His refusal made his arrest publicized enough for someone to pay his taxes to release him from jail Civil disobedient acts
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