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Indifference Breeds Evil Essay

2360 words - 10 pages

Indifference Breeds Evil
Norman Cousins, an American journalist and professor, once said, “The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.” Choices comprise the essence of life. Many people assess the circumstances they encounter in their life and tend to react in their best interests. When a fellow man requires a helping hand most people pay no heed because it’s the easy way out. However, other people will go out of their way to lend a hand even if it takes exertion on their part and they will be triumphant, knowing they created a better world. In contrast, those who are indifferent to ...view middle of the document...

He proclaimed that the colonists were indifferent to what the British had in store for them. As Patrick Henry poetically put it, “We are apt to shut out eyes against a painful truth—and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts” (Henry). He was proclaiming to his fellow man that at this crucial time it is imperative that no man stand on the sidelines but rather fight and struggle for the freedom and independence that everyone deserves. He continues and says, how is it that we can be indifferent when the British are bringing over their armies and navies to our ports. Are we blind to our situation because we are scared of defeat? To prove this point he says, “Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrance’s have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned with contempt, from the foot of the throne.” Patrick Henry informs the colonists that “by lying supinely on our backs” the King will not grant us peace and reconciliation. However, the only way to break the bonds of slavery is for the colonists to let go of their indifference and unite to battle for freedom. One should not have to live as a slave, but rather as an independent citizen of a country. As Patrick Henry avidly puts it, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” (3) Patrick Henry raised the attention of the colonists that they were being taken advantage of and oppressed. He was urging the colonists to let go of their apathy and join the war for the independence of this country instead of standing on the sidelines.
Yet, there are those who did remain indifferent to the plight of the American people as a whole; they were called the militia. Two Fairfield County South Carolina farmers, James Wilson and William Hogan, are used as an exemplar to describe the resistance of many (Moreland and Terrar 74). The people who resisted the Continental Army, “[r]efused to cooperate with, the regulars on issues such as tactics, supplies, leadership and operations” (Moreland and Terrar 74). These farmers didn’t want to get involved in the Revolutionary War because they didn’t need to do away with the British tariffs for they were “self-sufficient.” A colonist explains the reason behind the militia’s actions. He says, “The people of the backcountry had taken no part in the opposition to taxation by Parliament, and the slogan of no taxation without representation evoked little sympathy from people who had but slight representation in the colonial assembly” (Moreland and Terrar 75). The authors explain that the farmers were indifferent to the plight of the American people as a whole, but they did protect their neighborhoods. (75) In addition, the militia, who represented a large number of colonists, prevented the Continental Army from establishing itself to form a large patriotic army (76). Because the militia was not a division of the regular army they were able...

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