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In 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a cabin in the woods at Walden Pond to record a philosophical experiment in living: to simplify his life, to support himself entirely by his own labor, and to draw spiritual sustenance from his surroundings. The result: Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
In 1846, Thoreau refused to pay a mandated poll tax, refusing to support a government that protected slavery and had launched an aggressive war against Mexico. In his essay "Civil Disobedience," Thoreau argues that it is the duty of every citizen to disobey immoral laws--and willingly suffer the legal consequences for doing so.