Anti-war Protest - Research Article from Literary Themes: War and Peace

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Anti-war Protest

Civil Disobedience

The father of modern anti-war literature is arguably Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). Thoreau was a semi-reclusive nature enthusiast whose seminal essay "Civil Disobedience" (1849) has inspired generations of anti-war protesters and pacifists. Thoreau believed that the individual has the ability to make positive change in the world, and as such, should raise his or her voice against the government when his or her conscience demands it: "The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right." He cautioned that blindly following the government's decisions and laws, especially in respect to waging war, leads to soldiers fighting "against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences," becoming nothing more to the government than "small moveable forts … at the service of some unscrupulous man in power."

Thoreau encourages citizens to oppose decisions they disagree with...

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This section contains 3,148 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Anti-war Protest Encyclopedia Article
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Literary Themes: War and Peace
Anti-war Protest from Literary Themes: War and Peace. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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