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Henry David Thoreau was born on this day in 1817 “that government is best which governs least”.

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Henry David Thoreau was born on this day in 1817 “that government is best which governs least”.

Henry David Thoreau was born on this day in 1817.He was a firm believer in the power of the individual, writing “There will never be a really free and enlightened State, until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power”.

His refusal to pay poll tax as a statement against the Mexican-American War and slavery landed him in jail in 1846. This was the catalyst for writing “Civil Disobedience,” an essay that focuses on a non-violent approach to political and social resistance, which opens with the famous words: “that government is best which governs least”.

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