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"Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that...

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ramennoodles1042 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:06 AM via web

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"Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it." Meaning of the quote plz.

i have to write a well-organized essay in which i have to explore the validity of the assertion.

i have until thursday Nov 12. so any help is greatly appreciated :D

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:15 AM (Answer #1)

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Basically, what Thoreau is saying is that if you speak out and let it be known what you want, you are more likely to get it.  I think there's no question that this is true.

Think about our own democracy.  The people who speak up and who make their voices heard are the ones who get government policies to help them.  For example, anti-abortion protestors have gotten the government to do so much more for their cause since they have started speaking up.  As another example, it was only when African-Americans started speaking out that they got the rights they deserved.

When enough people speak up, governments must listen to them, especially in democracies like ours.

I hope that's the kind of input you're hoping for.

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adri-doms-mom | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 10, 2009 at 12:11 PM (Answer #2)

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I think it is basically to let your voice be heard and and get respect when it is given. Hope it helps goodluck.

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