Henry David Thoreau's Opinion on Emotion

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Emotion is often considered more important and impressionable than logic when the attempt is being made to stimulate a group of citizens in to action. It is with this theory that the Transcendentalist thinker Henry David Thoreau resolved to express his philosophical idealism through personal actions and works of writing. In doing so, he created a rhetorical technique that was not only effective, but extremely influential in encouraging social changes.

Thoreau's writing is considered clear and connected, displayed by his speaking directly to every matter, stating his own perception, and suggesting the position he feels his readers, as moral human beings, should also acknowledge. The first statement in his work "A Civil Disobedience" states, "That government is best which governs least" sets the tone for the rest of the written lecture. In asserting this opinion, Thoreau proves that he believes that the government in which man is under is ineffectual, if not unreasonable.

He uses the Mexican War as an example, citing that the entire situation was the result of a select few government bullies anxious to seize land from a weaker, less prosperous nation. When this occurred, Thoreau believed that it only proved that governments show how successfully citizens can be imposed on, for their own benefit, yet it stops at that. He points out the fact that America judges these people on their actions, but not by their intentions, and in doing this, glance over the immoral conditions taking place.

These acts of neglecting morals and justice caused Thoreau to reassess the government and its proceedings, and in doing so he determined that we certainly don't need to abolish the government of our country, but severe actions need to take place to improve it. He stated that "Governments rule by majority, not by justice, and thus may...