A page from original working manuscript of Democracy in Americac. Observing from the perspective of a detached social scientist, Tocqueville wrote of his travels through the United States in the early 19th century when the Market RevolutionWestern expansion and Jacksonian democracy were radically transforming the fabric of American life.
This young French aristocrat visited the United States between and In he published his celebrated work Democracy in America, which quickly became the classic reference book for any analysis of American democratic society.
While other works have been largely laid aside, the interpretation of Tocqueville continues to enjoy widespread acceptance. We may try to regulate or to slow down this force, but we cannot vanquish it. When Tocqueville toured the United States inhe thought he had found a society that had made the transition from the Old Regime based on aristocracy to a new order based on equality without succumbing to despotism or mob rule.
This was the origin of his perceptive Democracy in America. This goal, more apologetic than scientific, made Tocqueville concentrate his attention almost exclusively on the democratic and dynamic aspects of the country, while overlooking the strong aristocratic elements that still existed.
The result was a penetrating but one-sided picture of the United States which served as the source of much of the liberal scholarship regarding the American system. The democratic principle, on the contrary, has gained so much strength by time, by events, and by legislation, as to have become not only predominant, but all-powerful.
No family or corporate authority can be perceived; very often one cannot even discover in it any very lasting individual influence.
There were few very rich men but also few very poor ones. It was a dynamic and mobile society, with the rich and the poor rising and falling within the social kaleidoscope. In this society, social differences were insignificant. The word servant was taboo, prisoners shook hands with their wardens, workers dressed like the bourgeois, politicians, even those from patrician families, flaunted humble origins, and the general vulgarity of manners testified to the predominance of the lower classes.
Tocqueville summarizes his ideas: Modern scholarship, however, has rectified this vision. A Selection, George Panichas, ed. Liberty Press,p.
Vintage Books Vol. Gallimard,p. His Democracy was addressed to the Americans as much as to the Europeans. He pointed to those pitfalls that could derail the American experiment, and called for the preservation of certain values, particularly religion and family, as a means of keeping the experiment within proper bearings.
From Burke to Elliot, 6th rev. Gateway Editions,pp. Information Agency p.Democracy in America is now widely studied in America universities, and it has been quoted by Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and Congressmen. Humbler instances of its influence abound; for example, the name for the most generous category of giver to The United Way is the “Alexis de Tocqueville Society”.
Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America Aristocracy is a phenomenon that is perhaps as natural a summer crop, and as devastating as the locusts that eat it.
De Tocqueville’s position on aristocracy is . Works by or about Alexis de Tocqueville at Internet Archive; Works by Alexis de Tocqueville at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks) "Alexis, Charles, Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (–)".
Assemblée nationale (in French) "Alexis de Tocqueville" "Alexis de Tocqueville (–)".Prime Minister: Odilon Barrot. De La Démocratie en Amérique (French pronunciation: [dəla demɔkʁasi ɑ̃n‿ameˈʁik]; published in two volumes, the first in and the second in ) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville.
Part of this unilateral [egalitarian] interpretation of the American reality comes from the exegesis liberal scholars made of the work of Alexis de Tocqueville (). This young French aristocrat visited the United States between and Alexis de Tocqueville: European Advocate of American Federalism July 25, - Articles - Tagged: democracy, federalism, France, USA Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America is a foundational text of federalist political science.