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Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were two of the most influential writers of the 19th century They were both members of the transcendentalist club In their works Emerson and Thoreau discussed the concepts of intuition autonomy and nature Both Emerson and Thoreau had intuition about what was right The theories they professed were based on their intuition about what was right and wrong In Civil Disobedience Thoreau asserted his belief in the oneness of individual souls with nature and with God that gave dignity and importance to human activity and made possible a belief in the power to effect social change in harmony with Gods purposes Thoreau tried to tear the veil of conventional thought away from societys clouded eyes In his essay Self-Reliance Emersons writings mirrored his beliefs that focused on the human self and Independence from society He wrote Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind and Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist In this Emerson stressed his intuitive faith in nonconformity and individuality Emerson and Thoreau wrote about self-independence and autonomy In Emersons Self Reliance Emerson said that to live at peace in society we must in fact break with society To be approved of we must act without regard to others approval To win the support of others we must act alone Thoreau supported individualism and the idea of not conforming to society In Civil Disobedience Thoreaus most famous social protest He explained that it is our civil right to disagree with laws He believed that people must be free to act according to their own idea of right and wrong without government interference In Civil Disobedience he also said that people should refuse to obey any law they believe is unjust Thoreau practiced this type of passive resistance when in 1846 he refused to pay poll taxes He did so to express his opposition to slavery Emerson
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