According to Thoreau in "Civil Disobedience," "Government is at best, but an expedient." What does he mean by the word "expedient"? Provide at least two concrete examples of government fulfilling this...

According to Thoreau in "Civil Disobedience," "Government is at best, but an expedient." What does he mean by the word "expedient"? Provide at least two concrete examples of government fulfilling this role in today’s society.

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To be able to answer this question, let's first look at a definition of "expedient." According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word "expedient," when used as a noun, means "something done or used to achieve a particular end usually quickly or temporarily: an expedient action or solution." The full sentence referred to in the essay "Civil Disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau says:

Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.

Before this statement, Thoreau expresses his extreme belief that the best governments do not govern at all. At the close of the paragraph, Thoreau uses the example of the Mexican war that was being fought at the time. In Thoreau's opinion, the United States government had been prodded into the war by private interests, and this was a situation in which it should not have got involved.

Thoreau's meaning of "expedient" in this passage matches the dictionary definition. Governments should...

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