"That government is best which governs least." Thus begins this powerful and timeless essay from American poet, author, abolitionist, naturalist and Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. While the 19th century writer was inspired to write his essay in response to the Mexican-American War and the issue of slavery, Thoreau's passionate yet logical argument resonates even today. In his most famous essay, the Walden author challenges his fellow citizens to serve justice even if it means breaking an unjust law. His essay would influence thinkers such as Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Leo Tolstoy.