Activity: Write a well-crafted sentence, from Thoreau’s point of view, responding to each of the assertions or questions below. Also provide textual evidence in the form of a quotation from “Civil Disobedience” to support your sentence. Two separate sentences!

1. Majority rules in the USA.

I believe that majority, in the sense of majority of people, do not rule America because those who have the most power, aka the government, are the ones who make the ultimate decisions, whether they are just or not. "After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest."

2. Jail cannot imprison thought.

While jail can imprison my physical body, my mental capacity seems to be enlarged due to my new perspective on the life I've always lived and obtaining knowledge from other prisoners that I would have never found out any other way. "Probably this is the only house in the town where verses are composed, which are afterward printed in a circular form, but not published."

3. Fair-weather friends.

A fair weather friend is only a friend when the circumstances are pleasant or profitable for them. "I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions, as the Chinamen and Malays are; that in their sacrifices to humanity, they ran no risks, not even to their property; that after all they were not so noble but they treated the thief as he had treated them, and hoped, by a certain outward observance and a few prayers, and by walking in a particular straight though useless path from time to time, to save their souls."

4. What makes a good government?

I believe that a good government must have the consent of those who are governed, has minimal power, rules the least, and must not hinder one's liberty. "I heartily accept the motto, — 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — 'That government is best which governs not at all'"

5. What can one person do?

No matter how much someone may try to coerce you into doing something, one person, just as I have, can refuse allegiance to the State, but he or she can only do so much without the help of others. "And, above all, there is this difference between resisting this and a purely brute or natural force, that I can resist this with some effect; but I cannot expect, like Orpheus,to change the nature of the rocks and trees and beasts."

6. How dare an individual set himself over the U.S. government?

An individual cannot set himself over the U.S. government because the people are the government. "It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way. For government is an expedient by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it."