Thoreau and American Expansion Analytical Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

Thoreau and American Expansion
A look at Henry David Thoreau's beliefs against expansion in America.
# 118536 | 1,110 words | 1 source | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Feb 05, 2010 in History (U.S. Colonization of North America) , Philosophy (General)

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The paper explains why transcendentalists like Henry David Thoreau were opposed to the concept of expansion in America. The paper discusses Thoreau's arguments against the increase in technology and the resulting complications of life. The paper highlights how Thoreau did not believe in the focus on American materialism, and preferred a life of simplicity and individualism.

From the Paper:

"American expansion seemed to conflict with numerous ideological concepts, chiefly that of the Transcendentalists. Transcendentalists like Henry David Thoreau were actually opposed to the concept of expansion in this country, including the changes that expansion would bring, like the increase of technology and complications of life. Thoreau was opposed to the concept of manifest destiny and longed for a simpler, life not a fuller, more complicated life. He believed that we should learn to know ourselves, not be concerned in striving and striving for more. Thoreau was opposed to expansion in general and favored a life of simplification instead."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. J. Lyndon Shanley ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971.

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