Democracy In America: Complete - Alexander De Toqueville

Democracy In America: Complete

By Alexander De Toqueville

  • Release Date: 2015-08-18
  • Genre: Geschiedenis


Democracy In America: Complete by Alexander de Toqueville, also known as Alexis de Tocqueville. This edition was translated by Henry Reeve in 1835-1840.

Alexander de Toqueville (1805–1859) was a French political thinker and historian best known for his works Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both of these, he analyzed the improved living standards and social conditions of individuals, as well as their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Democracy in America was published after Toqueville's travels in the United States, and is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.

He argued that the importance of the French Revolution was to continue the process of modernizing and centralizing the French state which had begun under King Louis XIV. The failure of the Revolution came from the inexperience of the deputies who were too wedded to abstract Enlightenment ideals. Toqueville was a classical liberal who advocated parliamentary government, but was skeptical of the extremes of democracy.

In Democracy in America, published in 1835, Tocqueville wrote of the New World and its burgeoning democratic order. Observing from the perspective of a detached social scientist, Tocqueville wrote of his travels through America in the early 19th century when the market revolution, Western expansion, and Jacksonian democracy were radically transforming the fabric of American life.

One purpose of writing Democracy in America, according to Joshua Kaplan, was to help the people of France get a better understanding of their position between a fading aristocratic order and an emerging democratic order, and to help them sort out the confusion. Tocqueville saw democracy as an equation that balanced liberty and equality, concern for the individual as well as for the community.

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