WEFOUNDDemocracy in America (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature)


Alexis de Tocqueville is part of a long tradition of well-educated Europeans who traveled to America and published books or diaries about their experiences in the “new” world. Unlike most of the others, however, the book Tocqueville wrote has proved over the years to be a lasting source of information and insight into both America and democracy. 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”.

When Tocqueville visited America, Andrew Jackson was President . It was in this period that the United States first surpassed Europe in per capita income. It was also during Tocqueville’s visit that Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk and Fox Indians, agreed to move across the Mississippi River to a reservation in Iowa , and that Nat Turner led an uprising of slaves in Virginia .

Note on the text of Democracy in America . Several translations of Tocqueville’s text are available in English. The page numbers and quotations used in this feature refer to the translation done by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (the University of Chicago Press, 2000). This is one of the most recent and highly regarded translations, but it is not available online. Therefore, for those who wish to use an online text, the links provided are to the 1899 revision of the Henry Reeve translation . The two translations differ in many ways, but it should not be difficult to find the parallel passages.

De La Démocratie en Amérique ( French pronunciation: ​ [dəla demɔkʁasi ɑ̃n‿ameˈʁik] ; published in two volumes, the first in 1835 [1] and the second in 1840 [2] ) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville . Its title translates as On Democracy in America , but English translations are usually simply entitled Democracy in America . In the book, Tocqueville examines the democratic revolution that he believed had been occurring over the previous several hundred years.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to study the American prison system. In his later letters Tocqueville indicates that he and Beaumont used their official business as a pretext to study American society instead. [3] They arrived in New York City in May of that year and spent nine months traveling the United States, studying the prisons, and collecting information on American society, including its religious, political, and economic character. The two also briefly visited Canada, spending a few days in the summer of 1831 in what was then Lower Canada (modern-day Quebec ) and Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario ).

After they returned to France in February 1832, Tocqueville and Beaumont submitted their report, Du système pénitentiaire aux États-Unis et de son application en France , in 1833. When the first edition was published, Beaumont, sympathetic to social justice, was working on another book, Marie, ou, L'esclavage aux Etats-Unis (two volumes, 1835), a social critique and novel describing the separation of races in a moral society and the conditions of slaves in the United States . Before finishing Democracy in America , Tocqueville believed that Beaumont's study of the United States would prove more comprehensive and penetrating. [4]

Democracy in America , is a firsthand sociopolitical observation of the United States written by French lawyer Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831. The author documents his travels through America and contrasts his experiences with established aristocratic systems in Western Europe. This enduring classic explores the civil institutions and unprecedented individual freedoms held dear by citizens in both free and slave states. Democracy in America continues to be a masterful study investigating the constructive and adverse consequences of democracy.

True, in a Direct Democracy citizens govern themselves by voting on issues individually. Citizens have the power to veto legislative laws.

One major weakness de Tocqueville cited in regard to democracy was the re-election of presidents, which he saw as something that increased the power of the legislature.

Alexis de Tocqueville is part of a long tradition of well-educated Europeans who traveled to America and published books or diaries about their experiences in the “new” world. Unlike most of the others, however, the book Tocqueville wrote has proved over the years to be a lasting source of information and insight into both America and democracy. 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”.

When Tocqueville visited America, Andrew Jackson was President . It was in this period that the United States first surpassed Europe in per capita income. It was also during Tocqueville’s visit that Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk and Fox Indians, agreed to move across the Mississippi River to a reservation in Iowa , and that Nat Turner led an uprising of slaves in Virginia .

Note on the text of Democracy in America . Several translations of Tocqueville’s text are available in English. The page numbers and quotations used in this feature refer to the translation done by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (the University of Chicago Press, 2000). This is one of the most recent and highly regarded translations, but it is not available online. Therefore, for those who wish to use an online text, the links provided are to the 1899 revision of the Henry Reeve translation . The two translations differ in many ways, but it should not be difficult to find the parallel passages.

De La Démocratie en Amérique ( French pronunciation: ​ [dəla demɔkʁasi ɑ̃n‿ameˈʁik] ; published in two volumes, the first in 1835 [1] and the second in 1840 [2] ) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville . Its title translates as On Democracy in America , but English translations are usually simply entitled Democracy in America . In the book, Tocqueville examines the democratic revolution that he believed had been occurring over the previous several hundred years.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to study the American prison system. In his later letters Tocqueville indicates that he and Beaumont used their official business as a pretext to study American society instead. [3] They arrived in New York City in May of that year and spent nine months traveling the United States, studying the prisons, and collecting information on American society, including its religious, political, and economic character. The two also briefly visited Canada, spending a few days in the summer of 1831 in what was then Lower Canada (modern-day Quebec ) and Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario ).

After they returned to France in February 1832, Tocqueville and Beaumont submitted their report, Du système pénitentiaire aux États-Unis et de son application en France , in 1833. When the first edition was published, Beaumont, sympathetic to social justice, was working on another book, Marie, ou, L'esclavage aux Etats-Unis (two volumes, 1835), a social critique and novel describing the separation of races in a moral society and the conditions of slaves in the United States . Before finishing Democracy in America , Tocqueville believed that Beaumont's study of the United States would prove more comprehensive and penetrating. [4]

Alexis de Tocqueville is part of a long tradition of well-educated Europeans who traveled to America and published books or diaries about their experiences in the “new” world. Unlike most of the others, however, the book Tocqueville wrote has proved over the years to be a lasting source of information and insight into both America and democracy. 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”.

When Tocqueville visited America, Andrew Jackson was President . It was in this period that the United States first surpassed Europe in per capita income. It was also during Tocqueville’s visit that Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk and Fox Indians, agreed to move across the Mississippi River to a reservation in Iowa , and that Nat Turner led an uprising of slaves in Virginia .

Note on the text of Democracy in America . Several translations of Tocqueville’s text are available in English. The page numbers and quotations used in this feature refer to the translation done by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (the University of Chicago Press, 2000). This is one of the most recent and highly regarded translations, but it is not available online. Therefore, for those who wish to use an online text, the links provided are to the 1899 revision of the Henry Reeve translation . The two translations differ in many ways, but it should not be difficult to find the parallel passages.

Alexis de Tocqueville is part of a long tradition of well-educated Europeans who traveled to America and published books or diaries about their experiences in the “new” world. Unlike most of the others, however, the book Tocqueville wrote has proved over the years to be a lasting source of information and insight into both America and democracy. 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”.

When Tocqueville visited America, Andrew Jackson was President . It was in this period that the United States first surpassed Europe in per capita income. It was also during Tocqueville’s visit that Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk and Fox Indians, agreed to move across the Mississippi River to a reservation in Iowa , and that Nat Turner led an uprising of slaves in Virginia .

Note on the text of Democracy in America . Several translations of Tocqueville’s text are available in English. The page numbers and quotations used in this feature refer to the translation done by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (the University of Chicago Press, 2000). This is one of the most recent and highly regarded translations, but it is not available online. Therefore, for those who wish to use an online text, the links provided are to the 1899 revision of the Henry Reeve translation . The two translations differ in many ways, but it should not be difficult to find the parallel passages.

De La Démocratie en Amérique ( French pronunciation: ​ [dəla demɔkʁasi ɑ̃n‿ameˈʁik] ; published in two volumes, the first in 1835 [1] and the second in 1840 [2] ) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville . Its title translates as On Democracy in America , but English translations are usually simply entitled Democracy in America . In the book, Tocqueville examines the democratic revolution that he believed had been occurring over the previous several hundred years.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to study the American prison system. In his later letters Tocqueville indicates that he and Beaumont used their official business as a pretext to study American society instead. [3] They arrived in New York City in May of that year and spent nine months traveling the United States, studying the prisons, and collecting information on American society, including its religious, political, and economic character. The two also briefly visited Canada, spending a few days in the summer of 1831 in what was then Lower Canada (modern-day Quebec ) and Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario ).

After they returned to France in February 1832, Tocqueville and Beaumont submitted their report, Du système pénitentiaire aux États-Unis et de son application en France , in 1833. When the first edition was published, Beaumont, sympathetic to social justice, was working on another book, Marie, ou, L'esclavage aux Etats-Unis (two volumes, 1835), a social critique and novel describing the separation of races in a moral society and the conditions of slaves in the United States . Before finishing Democracy in America , Tocqueville believed that Beaumont's study of the United States would prove more comprehensive and penetrating. [4]

Democracy in America , is a firsthand sociopolitical observation of the United States written by French lawyer Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831. The author documents his travels through America and contrasts his experiences with established aristocratic systems in Western Europe. This enduring classic explores the civil institutions and unprecedented individual freedoms held dear by citizens in both free and slave states. Democracy in America continues to be a masterful study investigating the constructive and adverse consequences of democracy.

True, in a Direct Democracy citizens govern themselves by voting on issues individually. Citizens have the power to veto legislative laws.

One major weakness de Tocqueville cited in regard to democracy was the re-election of presidents, which he saw as something that increased the power of the legislature.

Home » Courses » Political Science » Democracy in America

A 2013 rally in front of the Supreme Court as justices were hearing cases on the Voting Rights Act. ("Protect the Voting Rights Rally at the SCOTUS." Photo by David Sachs / SEIU on flickr. CC BY-NC-SA.)

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Alexis de Tocqueville is part of a long tradition of well-educated Europeans who traveled to America and published books or diaries about their experiences in the “new” world. Unlike most of the others, however, the book Tocqueville wrote has proved over the years to be a lasting source of information and insight into both America and democracy. 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”.

When Tocqueville visited America, Andrew Jackson was President . It was in this period that the United States first surpassed Europe in per capita income. It was also during Tocqueville’s visit that Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk and Fox Indians, agreed to move across the Mississippi River to a reservation in Iowa , and that Nat Turner led an uprising of slaves in Virginia .

Note on the text of Democracy in America . Several translations of Tocqueville’s text are available in English. The page numbers and quotations used in this feature refer to the translation done by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop (the University of Chicago Press, 2000). This is one of the most recent and highly regarded translations, but it is not available online. Therefore, for those who wish to use an online text, the links provided are to the 1899 revision of the Henry Reeve translation . The two translations differ in many ways, but it should not be difficult to find the parallel passages.

De La Démocratie en Amérique ( French pronunciation: ​ [dəla demɔkʁasi ɑ̃n‿ameˈʁik] ; published in two volumes, the first in 1835 [1] and the second in 1840 [2] ) is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville . Its title translates as On Democracy in America , but English translations are usually simply entitled Democracy in America . In the book, Tocqueville examines the democratic revolution that he believed had been occurring over the previous several hundred years.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont were sent by the French government to study the American prison system. In his later letters Tocqueville indicates that he and Beaumont used their official business as a pretext to study American society instead. [3] They arrived in New York City in May of that year and spent nine months traveling the United States, studying the prisons, and collecting information on American society, including its religious, political, and economic character. The two also briefly visited Canada, spending a few days in the summer of 1831 in what was then Lower Canada (modern-day Quebec ) and Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario ).

After they returned to France in February 1832, Tocqueville and Beaumont submitted their report, Du système pénitentiaire aux États-Unis et de son application en France , in 1833. When the first edition was published, Beaumont, sympathetic to social justice, was working on another book, Marie, ou, L'esclavage aux Etats-Unis (two volumes, 1835), a social critique and novel describing the separation of races in a moral society and the conditions of slaves in the United States . Before finishing Democracy in America , Tocqueville believed that Beaumont's study of the United States would prove more comprehensive and penetrating. [4]

Democracy in America , is a firsthand sociopolitical observation of the United States written by French lawyer Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831. The author documents his travels through America and contrasts his experiences with established aristocratic systems in Western Europe. This enduring classic explores the civil institutions and unprecedented individual freedoms held dear by citizens in both free and slave states. Democracy in America continues to be a masterful study investigating the constructive and adverse consequences of democracy.

True, in a Direct Democracy citizens govern themselves by voting on issues individually. Citizens have the power to veto legislative laws.

One major weakness de Tocqueville cited in regard to democracy was the re-election of presidents, which he saw as something that increased the power of the legislature.

Home » Courses » Political Science » Democracy in America

A 2013 rally in front of the Supreme Court as justices were hearing cases on the Voting Rights Act. ("Protect the Voting Rights Rally at the SCOTUS." Photo by David Sachs / SEIU on flickr. CC BY-NC-SA.)

MIT OpenCourseWare is a free & open publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum.

Political Science: American Government and Politics | Political Behavior and Public Opinion

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