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Alexis De Tocqueville and Democracy in America - Essay Example

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His fellow magistrate Gustave de Beaumont accompanied him, and their purpose of visit was to learn the American jail systems (Tocqueville, n.d). Consequently, in their…
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Alexis De Tocqueville and Democracy in America
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Alexis De Tocqueville and Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville was a young aristocratic lawyer born in France and visited the United States in 1831. His fellow magistrate Gustave de Beaumont accompanied him, and their purpose of visit was to learn the American jail systems (Tocqueville, n.d). Consequently, in their nine-month visit they conducted many inquiries and interviews with more than200 people on American social practices, law, and politics (Tocqueville, n.d). Moreover, after Tocqueville returned to France, he read a couple of documents that reflected on his trip and revealed in Western World there was a democratic revolution that was going on.
Furthermore, concerning Democracy in America, Tocqueville had vivid impressions on the equality of conditions that he saw in the United States. He described the dangers posed to liberty that is inherent in the majority rule, political consequences of the widespread property ownership, the influence of the judiciary and press in American politics. He also noted the importance of civil societies in an individualistic culture that was dominated by the self-interest, role of religion in the American society and the difference between the southern and the northern states (Tocqueville, n.d).
The democratic impression that that Tocqueville had in mind is that “men will be perfectly free, because they will be equal, and they will be perfectly equal because they will be free” (Tocqueville, n.d. p.1). However, he warned that the American people’s passion of equality and liberty are unequal. In this phenomenon, the American people wanted equality in liberty and if they could not get it; they were ready to get it even if they are still in slavery.
In conclusion, the visit of Tocqueville to the United States in1831 and his subsequent inquiries and interviews reveals the democracy of America during that time. In his manuscripts, he revealed the great democratic revolution that was going on in the Western World. He revealed that a democracy makes people equal, and free. However, he warned that the liberty could not be equated to equality (Tocqueville, n.d). Additionally, he pointed out that if the American people could not get their equality in liberty they were ready to get it even if in slavery.
Reference
Tocqueville, A. (n.d). Democracy in America. The Library of America. Retrieved on 14th
Nov 2014 from http://www.loa.org/volume.jsp?RequestID=202. Read More
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