Civil Disobedience Civil Disobedience Civil disobedience is the refusal to obey civil laws. This refusal is in the form of nonviolence. People who use civil disobedience are usually protesting a law that they think is unjust. Usually, they are also willing to accept any penalty like imprisonment. Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817 at Concord, Massachusetts. He was Educated at Harvard University.

During his early years Henry spent most of his time walking in the wilderness or talking with his mentor and friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. In July of 1846, Henry needed his shoes which had holes in them repaired. After the cobbler repaired the shoes Henry exited the store and was approached by Sam Staples, the town constable. Sam asked Henry to pay his poll tax. Henry intentionally did not pay his taxes because the revenues were used to help finance the United States war with Mexico and supported the enforcement of slavery laws. Since Henry refused to pay, Sam Staples was required to take Henry to jail.

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Henry spent the night in jail. During that evening someone heard of Henry`s problem and paid his taxes. Most people think that Henry`s Aunt paid the taxes but no one knows for sure. When Henry found out that his tax had been paid, he was outraged . Henry argued that since he was not the one who paid the taxes he still deserved to be in jail.

The night he spent in jail prompted Henry to write one of the most Famous essays in American history, On the duty of Civil Disobedience. Henry`s book was published on September 6, 1847. Henry had a great impact on The lives of America`s greatest leaders.