Civil Disobedience | Study Guide

Henry David Thoreau

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Civil Disobedience Study Guide." Course Hero. 31 Aug. 2017. Web. 1 July 2022. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, August 31). Civil Disobedience Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Civil Disobedience Study Guide." August 31, 2017. Accessed July 1, 2022.


Course Hero, "Civil Disobedience Study Guide," August 31, 2017, accessed July 1, 2022,

Civil Disobedience | Glossary


abolitionist: (n) person who supports an end to, or abolition of, an unjust practice. In the United States before the Civil War, the term abolitionist referred specifically to a person who supported ending American slavery.

allegiance: (n) loyalty to a cause or a governing body

aloof: (adj) apart from, unfriendly, or distant

civil: (adj) relating to the ordinary (nonmilitary) citizens of a state

civil disobedience: (n) refusal to follow a law or government demand as a form of protest and to achieve a social goal

conscience: (n) inner sense of right and wrong

egalitarian: (adj) relating to the idea that all people deserve the same rights and opportunities

expediency: (n) practicality and convenience at the expense of being moral and right

lyceum: (n) hall or building in which public meetings and lectures are held

machine: (n) apparatus, with multiple parts, created to perform a certain function; machine can also refer to a group of people acting together for a common cause (e.g., soldiers as a "war machine")

poll-tax: (n) fixed-amount tax all adults in a community pay, regardless of income, and often a requirement for voting; the poll tax was used in several American states until its abolition in 1966

posse comitatus: (n) group of individuals who work as law enforcement, usually armed

redress: (v) remedy or set right

State: (n) organized political community under one government; Thoreau frequently capitalizes the word State to refer to a government with power and a capacity for violence

subjects: (n) people under the authority and protection of a government

Union: (n) the United States of America (the Union)

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Civil Disobedience? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!