Alexis De Tocqueville Summary

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Alexis De Tocqueville Summary



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Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville - Brief Summary

Americans aren't always happy in their democratic society because the widespread equality that it secures them prompts them to want more. Democracy in America study guide contains a biography of Alexis de Tocqueville, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Democracy in America essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Democracy in America. Remember me. Forgot your password? Buy Study Guide. Study Guide for Democracy in America Democracy in America study guide contains a biography of Alexis de Tocqueville, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Essays for Democracy in America Democracy in America essays are academic essays for citation. He ultimately seeks to understand the true nature of American political life and why it was so different from Europe. Democracy in America covers a vast array of topics. In Volume I, Tocqueville discusses things such as: the social condition of Anglo-Americans; judicial power in the United States and its influence on political society; the United States Constitution; freedom of press; political associations; the advantages of a democratic government; the consequences of democracy; and the future of the races in the United States.

In Volume II of the book, Tocqueville covers topics such as: How religion in the United States avails itself to democratic tendencies; Roman Catholicism in the United States; pantheism; equality and the perfectibility of man; science; literature; art; how democracy has modified the English language ; spiritual fanaticism; education; and equality of the sexes. Love of equality: Americans love equality even more than we love individual liberty or freedom Volume 2, Part 2, Chapter 1. Absence of tradition: Americans inhabit a landscape largely without inherited institutions and traditions family, class, religion that define their relations to one another Volume 2, Part 1, Chapter 1. Individualism: Because no person is intrinsically better than another, Americans begin to seek all reasons in themselves, looking not to tradition nor to the wisdom of singular individuals, but to their own opinion for guidance Volume 2, Part 2, Chapter 2.

Tyranny of the majority: At the same time, Americans give great weight to, and feel great pressure from, the opinion of the majority. Precisely because they are all equal, they feel insignificant and weak in contrast to the greater number Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 7. Importance of free association: Americans have a happy impulse to work together to improve their common life, most obviously by forming voluntary associations.

This uniquely American art of association tempers their tendencies towards individualism and gives them a habit and taste for serving others Volume 2, Part 2, Chapters 4 and 5. Tocqueville is often acclaimed for making a number of correct predictions in Democracy in America. First, he anticipated that the debate over the abolition of enslavement could potentially tear apart the United States, which it did during the American Civil War. Some scholars also argue that Tocqueville, in his discussion of the rise of the industrial sector in the American economy, correctly predicted that an industrial aristocracy would rise from the ownership of labor.

According to Tocqueville, democracy would also have some unfavorable consequences, including the tyranny of the majority over thought, a preoccupation with material goods, and isolating individuals from each other and society. Share Flipboard Email. By Ashley Crossman. Updated April 20, Cite this Article Format. Crossman, Ashley.

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