Henry David Thoreau

This paper looks at Henry David Thoreau, America’s most famous and beloved philosopher, rebel, and environmentalist.

The paper gives a biography of Thoreau starting from his childhood. It gives insights to his thoughts and philosophies and comments on his essays Resistance to Civil Government, From Walden, and Life in the Woods. It describes his influence on writers, philosophers, poets, conservationists, politicians, and statesmen.
Thoreau believed that government was at its best when it governed the least, and that no government was the ideal. However, he also campaigned for the government to foster culture and education, build roads, prevent crime, and protect wildlife. A pioneer ecologist and conservationist, Thoreau was one of the first Americans to understand that natural resources were not inexhaustible. He said, A town is saved not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it (Walking pg). He distrusted institutions, disliked churches and rejected or ignored many aspects of Christianity. He believed that man flows at once to God when his channel of purity is open (Thoreau pg).