Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience: Summary and Analysis - Quiz & Worksheet


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How did Thoreau's Civil Disobedience encourage Americans to oppose immoral government spending?

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1. Henry David Thoreau was opposed to government spending on which of the following?

2. What literary movement did Henry David Thoreau belong to?

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About This Quiz and Worksheet

In his famous essay, ''Resistance to Civil Government'', which is now more commonly known as ''Civil Disobedience'', Thoreau argues that people should not support a government which acts in a way that they they believe is unfair or unjust, and that individuals should refuse to support any such government by paying taxes. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you understand the specific issues and circumstances that inspired Thoreau to write ''Civil Disobedience'', how he viewed individual conscience and morality as superior to democratic rule, and how resistance to injustice, even if it involves breaking the law, is the responsibility of all citizens.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on:

  • Thoreau's opposition to a specific condition or system
  • The type of resistance urged in ''Civil Disobedience''
  • Thoreau's own act of civil disobedience
  • The movement to which he belonged
  • Thoreau's literary background

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet lets students practice the following skills:

  • Information recall - access your knowledge on Henry David Thoreau's essay, ''Civil Disobedience''
  • Defining key concepts - ensure you can accurately define main ideas such as transcendentalism and civil disobedience
  • Making connections - examine Thoreau's view of democracy and why he believes resistance is necessary
  • Knowledge application - use your understanding of ''Civil Disobedience'' to explain Thoreau's arguments on taxation

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson on Thoreau's essay, ''Civil Disobedience.'' This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Understand Thoreau's position on the individual and the government
  • Know the issues Thoreau cites as unjust in his essay
  • Explain how Thoreau views democracy and majority rule
  • Understand Thoreau's view of individualism and self-reliance
  • Know Thoreau's position on resistance to unjust laws