Friday, April 08, 2011

Why Thoreau Is Still Relevant

By Henry Pelifian,, April 6, 2011

Although the age we live in is often marked by apathy towards the missteps of government by many in our society sometimes when those mistakes, blunders and lapses become great or intolerable people take action.  Avoiding violence is paramount and it may be accomplished by a peaceful revolution.

Our American story on this subject begins in1846 when a man was jailed in Massachusetts for failing to pay his poll tax.  At that time Americans were fighting in the Mexican War.  Slavery at the time existed and a minority of Americans advocated the abolition of slavery.  The man who was jailed was Henry David Thoreau.  He refused to pay his poll tax and was jailed.  If a relative had not paid the tax for him he would have remained in jail longer than one day.  He spent a night in jail behind “walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained the light.”

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