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Word Count: 719
Thoreau contends that men have lost the free will to make individual decisions regarding war slavery and domestic issues because government imposes on its citizens only in its own self interests Thoreau 1706 He states government loses its integrity when willing to consider profit over the interests of its citizens and basic human rights such as slavery and war Thoreau 1707 He considers slavery as a hateful and stupid enterprise Eulau 119 Thoreau feels such deep disgrace being associated with a government who condones slavery that he refuses to vote pay taxes and makes his only contact with this government the tax collector Eulau 121 Thoreau personally does not want to be bothered with the issues of government or slavery but because of his writings he is sought out by Abolitionists to give speeches for them He feels idealism individualism and democracy are not achievable in a society willing to maintain slaves Eulau 123 He is obsessed with right t ruth and justice for all citizens and encourages nonviolent resistance as the means to effectively abolish slavery Eulau 124 This position is different than most Abolitionists of the time During this time most of his attention is directed at the southern slaves states The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 is the event that leads him to become detached from the State The treatment of a runaway slave weighs heavily on his emotions His anger leads him to encouragepeople to withdraw farther from the State and its policies Eulau 124 He alleges citizens are inadvertently giving aid and support to the government by not refusing their existence by withdrawing in acts of passive revolution Eulau 121 These actions by the State lead him to actively criticize slaveryThoreau holds individualism self-knowledge and self-realization are the basic elements of transcendentalism He uses individualism in his essay by describing that a state must lose its coercive sovereignty in such a way that the law of society will function freely
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