Civil Disobedience: Historical Perspective. Civil Disobedience: 1849 California Gold Rush: 1849 Huckleberry Finn: 1884 Celia’s Trial: 1855 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: 1862 American Transcendentalism: ~1836-1856 Narrative: Frederick Douglass: 1845 Uncle Tom’s Cabin: 1852.
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1. Is Thoreau’s concept of civil disobedience compatible with democratic government?
2. Is compromise on moral issues a necessary part of living with other people?
3. Thoreau asks somewhat rhetorically, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?” Why or why not?
4. Which, if any, of Thoreau’s ideas are valuable in the context of political activism?
5. According to Thoreau, why do unjust laws exist?
6. What do you think Thoreau’s message is when he writes, “After the first blush of sin comes indifference?”
7. Why does Thoreau think that the rich are least likely to practice civil disobedience?
8.. Is Thoreau an optimist or a pessimist? How so?
9. According to Thoreau, why do unjust laws exist?
10. How do you think Thoreau would handle the elephant and mouse metaphor?
11. What do you think Thoreau’s message is when he writes, “After the first blush of sin comes indifference?”
12. Do you think the concepts held by Transcendentalists like Thoreau have validity today?