Democracy in America, Volumes One and Two by Alexis de Tocqueville, trans. Henry Reeve is a publication of the Pennsylvania State University. This Portable . Alexis de Tocqueville: “Democracy in America”. As “Democracy in America” revealed, Tocqueville believed that equality was the great political and social idea of. Alexis de Tocqueville (). Democracy in America. Volume 1. Alexis De Tocqueville. Written: ; Translated: by Henry Reeve, revised and corrected, ;.

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It is difficult to pinpoint the moment when the book project ceased to be shared.

This loyalty to the nation rather than to the Bourbons nevertheless isolated them from their milieu. Among the many things he observes and analyzes, I was inter I read selections this time around, as I did years ago. The Journal of American History.

Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville

He anticipates the potential acrimony over the abolition of ameeica that would tear apart the United States and lead to the American Civil War as well as the eventual superpower rivalry between the United States and Russia, which exploded after World War II and spawned the Cold War. You can help by converting this section to prose, if appropriate. Once the general lines of the work were drawn, Tocqueville attacked the work of writing in the strict sense.

In addition to despotism Tocqueville’s picture of the tyranny of the majority is strikingly pessimistic – majority culture indeed looks worse than a despotism “what I find most repulsive in America is not the extreme freedom that prevails there but the shortage of any guarantee against tyranny” p.

This makes sense, as our Revolution was simply an effort to keep that independent flavor, rather than lose it to our parent country. It is enlarged, amplified by a body of texts that has never existed in the form that I give aerica today.

Another reason I always found myself put off by the possibility of reading this book is because of what I perceived to be the inherent datedness of the subject. And I suspect that thousands of dissertations have been written on this oeuvre.

Everything that precedes is nothing more than the means that the majority uses to express and to maintain itself, and those that are put to use by the minority to attack or to defend itself. They are prone to suspect or curse those who wield power, and thereby they are impatient with arbitrary rule. At times he seems animated by the most selfish greed, and at other times by the most ardent patriotism p. One — the rise of corporations democracj their near-invincible power — was only hinted at in Ch.


Equality is sameness semblable. Although this book covers an enormous amount of ground—religion, slavery, culture, government, the role of women, just to name a few topics—there is one central question that runs through every subject: They place themselves neither against it nor within it, but next to it, and they want to try to judge its acts without passion and without weakness.

In France things boiled over not long after they did here. When an idea, whether just or tcoque, takes possession of the American mind, nothing is more difficult than to get rid of ttocque p. Jan 10, Heather rated it really liked it Shelves: Have to eventually read this, of course.

On the other hand, Tocqueville proved shortsighted in noting that a democracy’s deocracy of conditions stifles literary development.

Democracy in America

Americans struggle against obstacles placed there by nature; Russians are in conflict with men. Tocqueville observes that, strictly speaking, the Americans do not have a literature and an intellectual class, but he does not see that condition as necessarily peculiar to democracy.

In addition, the part devoted to the American political institutions was reviewed and corrected several more times and, before being completed, required the aid of several collaborators. Toqueville was a Fr This classic is a must for students of political science and American studies. Translator’s Note — Arthur Goldhammer”. The first volume, published inis a thorough analysis of alxeis United States; and the second volume, published inis a comparison of democracy and aristocracy, an attempt to pinpoint how a switch to a democratic government causes far-reaching changes in the whole culture.

But I would be doing an injustice to any readers of this review if I failed to mention that Tocqueville is an extraordinary writer.

Why Read Tocqueville’s Democracy in America?

My position in France is bad on all points, at least as I see it; for either the government will consolidate itself, which is not very probable, or it will be destroyed. Thus, he became deputy of the Manche department Valognesa position which he maintained until Other places in the world seeking democracy similarly lacks these natural advantages today.


To fully appreciate this monumental socio-economic classic of colonial and antebellum political life, one would need to devote many hours of intensive scholarship. He builds himself a cabin and marks with a subtle trace of history the woods that surround him. The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in and ended in the late s with anerica ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte. At the end of June Tocqueville wrote to his alexus Honor, ambition, revolution, military spirit, conquests, armies, perhaps a chapter that summarizes.

Alexis de Tocqueville describes and teaches about each branch and level of American democracy and government.

What are the wellsprings of this shared sense of contingency? Lacking a leisure class, he reasoned, the young American democracy cultivated people with practical minds.

The aristocracy was already dead when I was born, and democracy did not yet exist; so my instinct could not carry me blindly toward either the one or the other. Concerning democracy, the greatest difficulty was found not in America, but in France. There is a lot of wisdom in this book, a lot of insight. What he finds is still relevant to our trying to bring or give democracy to others.

Vrin; 6, Place de la Sorbonne; Paris, Sociability, sympathy, mores becoming milder, susceptibility, p. Published April 24th by Penguin Classics first published Tocqueville observed that social mechanisms have paradoxes, as in what later became known as the Tocqueville effect: At the beginning of his journey, in New York, where he sojourned from May 11th for some six weeks, Tocqueville was openly hesitant about this bustling market society whose system of democratic government was still in its infancy.

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