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kindle ï De la démocratie en Amériue Ï Paperback read Û mbjuk Ø Democracy in America has had the singular honor of being even to this day the work that political commentators of every stripe refer to when they seek to draw large conclusions about the society of the USA Alexis de Tocueville a yoDemocracy in America has had the singular honor of being even to this day the work that political commentators of every stripe refer to when they seek to draw lar I had thought to come back to this after reading a general history of the early history of the US republic but instead a sudden batch of newspaper articles wondering about the end of Democracy brought me back to itReading this book I felt that the unfinished The Ancien Regime and the French Revolution was Tocueville's masterpiece and in so far as Democracy in America has renown I feel it is because there are a lot of Americans and naturally it is nice when a foreigner takes your country and its institutions seriously and discusses them soberly as something of world historical significance although in places he is plainly exasperated by his hostsI feel it is important to say that it is not a travelogue nor is it a systematic study of American institutions circa 1830 de Tocueville's big idea I guess is that a culture or civilisation is by definition congruent so that on the basis of a couple of key data points one can infer or deduce the entire nature of that culture and civilisation On the one hand he is wonderfully inventive coming close to describing alienation and deskilling as a conseuence of industrial labour organisation what will become of the man's mind he asks if all he does is make pin heads all day for years on end on the other hand he plainly suffers from the absence of conceptual language which will be invented later and suffers from a fondness of logic and deduction for example in his opinion at the time of writing there was no American literature but because he perceives the nature of the culture of the USA he gives us a chapter about what American and indeed all democratic countries' literature will be like ditto poetry theatre history writing and how the USA will conduct wars book 2 Chapter XIII onwards He suffers from Observational bias too because Andrew Jackson was President during his visit he assumes that the trend from then on will be for the Federal structures to become weaker and state ones stronger view spoiler which reminds me of a history of modern Greece that I read the author closed with the election of a New Democracy government in the mid to late 1980s which he heralded as a decisive changing point in the history at least of Greece when with a few years perspective we see that it bumbled and rumbled along determined to resolutely no kind of changing point at all hide spoiler

reader ñ De la démocratie en Amériue ↠ Alexis de Tocqueville

Ocracy the social political economic life of its citizens publishing his observations in 1835 1840 Brilliantly written vividly illustrated with vignettes portrait I'm going with 4 stars here it isn't always the easiest book to read but worth it There is a lot of wisdom in this book a lot of insight While history hasn't borne out all his predictions there have been enough Sadly also it looks as though of the things he said may still prove to be true In today's atmosphere the thoughts here compared to the reality we live in and that may be coming to passwell it's worth some thought When America broke away from the branch so to speak it was a new thing in the world No colony had ever done what was done here and it was an idealistic experiment even a dream that was watched by the world Europe wassomewhat worried and England in particular was very unhappy about the implications Had the War of 1812 gone differently on this side of the Atlantic we all still might be drinking tea than coffee as it could have changed everything But when you say the War of 1812 in Europe their minds go to battles and events other than here in North America They think of the Napoleonic war But back to the subject The American Revolution raised uestions worldwide and things began to percolate In France things boiled over not long after they did here It's notable that many in the academic community are far enad with the French Revolution than with the American You see it was supposed to be a rational Revolution it was a Godless revolution with all the clergy and God Himself rejected by the leaders and much of the movement the clergy was seen as close to the royals you see Unfortunately the French Revolution spun out of control into a rein of terror and then into a military dictatorship In the wake of all this a young man Alexis de Tocueville spent 9 months touring the new United States and when he returned to France he wrote this book commenting on the social and governmental situation and implications He was torn between hopeful andwell not so hopeful So I recommend the book It's interesting thought provoking and somewhat sobering I leave you with one uote from said book“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money” ― Alexis de Tocueville Democracy in America Think about it

Alexis de Tocqueville ↠ De la démocratie en Amériue pdf

De la démocratie en AmériueGe conclusions about the society of the USA Alexis de Tocueville a young French aristocrat came to the young nation to investigate the functioning of American dem Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocuevillede Tocueville a young French diplomat wrote this remarkable essay in two books based on his travels to the United States in the 1830s He was a student of the conseuences of the French revolution and had a very disdainful view of power for a diplomat — in particular the elite’s ability to eventually exploit the loopholes and take power back from the people It uickly becomes obvious from this treatise that de Tocueville had enormous admiration for America’s experiment in democracy and also her progress He also points out sadly that some day the experiment would come to an end de Tocueville came to the US in part to better understand sociology and prison reform His real aim and his lasting work that congealed in his mind along the way became America and her democratic system In his analyses here he often uses England France and the South American countries as points of comparison to counterbalance the US study because these were the countries of importance that had constitutions or most resembled democracies that he was most familiar with Beyond a brief history lesson of very early America that is uite interesting de Tocueville dissects America’s local state and federal levels of government and the different branches of the federal government Many of his observations are still fresh and one even could say prescient given our political situation in the United States Of course he came decades after Washington and Adams and Jefferson and does not spend much time discussing these key people but rather the systems of government Here are some key takeaways1 de Tocueville believed the biggest reason for the success of America’s democratic experiment fifty years into it was due to the mannerisms of Americans — not the Constitution By mannerisms he meant not just discourse but the work habits and pragmatism He did not hold as much faith in Constitutions as France and Mexico’s were similar to the US and both governments had major issues with corruption and inefficiencies The manners of the Americans of the United States are then the real cause which renders that people the only one of the American nations that is able to support a democratic government2 In conjunction with the first point he was enad of the Puritan work ethic and disappointed in the French to the north in Canada who did very little with either the land or opportunities in his opinion He spent a hundred pages discussing the Northeast and the Puritan influence This was uite interesting I have met with men in New England who were on the point of leaving a country where they might have remained in easy circumstances to go to seek their fortune in the wilds Not far from that district I found a French population in Canada which was closely crowded on a narrow territory Nature offers the solitudes of the New World to Europeans; but they are not always acuainted with the means of turning her gifts to account Other peoples of America have the same physical conditions of prosperity as the Anglo Americans but without their laws and their manners; and these peoples are wretched The laws and manners of the Anglo Americans are therefore that efficient cause of their greatness which is the object of my inuiry3 de Tocueville disliked the populist and current president of the time Andrew Jackson calling him a man of violent temper and mediocre talents Hmmm that sounds familiar His cruel policy toward Native Americans and the undue accolades pertaining to the Battle of New Orleans were other points that de Tocueville wrote about Nevertheless he did comment that Jackson advocated a diminished role of centralized government in most areas including the role of banks I think if de Tocueville had understood slavery better he might have had a enlightened view as to why Jackson so often opposed central government policies Far from wishing to extend the federal power the President belongs to the party which is desirous of limiting that power to the bare and precise letter of the Constitution and which never puts a construction upon that act favorable to the Government of the Union; far from standing forth as the champion of centralization General Jackson is the agent of all the jealousies of the States4 de Tocueville had a few largely unremarkable chapters on the two other peoples living in America beyond the Europeans; African American slaves and Native Americans His views of Native Americans were somewhat empathetic His views on slaves were uite racist He simply could not understand why slaves didn’t revolt at every opportunity This racist statement of his about the plight of slaves is actually one of the milder ones he makesHe the slave uietly enjoys the privileges of his debasement If he becomes free independence is often felt by him to be a heavier burden than slavery5 Switching gears de Tocueville talked extensively about townships and local communities and how they were the bedrock of America’s success One of the enlightening aspects of the book He returns to this point oftenTown meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people's reach they teach men how to use and how to enjoy it A nation may establish a system of free government but without the spirit of municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty6 de Tocueville also points out that a geographically isolated America does not have the pressures of warring neighbors like in France But he believes the US deserves credit for maintaining peace among themselves not an easy thing to do The American Union has no enemies to contend with; it stands in the wilds like an island in the ocean But the Spaniards of South America were no less isolated by nature; yet their position has not relieved them from the charge of standing armies They make war upon each other when they have no foreign enemies to oppose; and the Anglo American democracy is the only one to maintain peace7 de Tocueville certainly had some interesting things to say about both impeachment and re elections of presidents He did not think a president should be eligible for re election Nor did he think the prosecutors in an impeachment trial should be withheld the ability to criminally prosecute the accused Better to have a president fearful of jail — or in the case of treason the ultimate penalty Although he did acknowledge that he doubted a real tyrant would be stopped by the threat of jail eitherBy preventing political tribunals from inflicting judicial punishments the Americans seem to have eluded the worst conseuences of legislative tyranny rather than tyranny itself 8 de Tocueville also wrote presciently of a future Mexican American war It took only thirteen years for his prediction to come true He thought nothing would slow the ambition of America’s westward expansion How right he was Thus the Spaniards and the Anglo Americans are properly speaking the only two races which divide the possession of the New World The limits of separation between them have been settled by a treaty; but although the conditions of that treaty are exceedingly favorable to the Anglo Americans I do not doubt that they will shortly infringe this arrangement9 The last takeaway is around the uestion of how great empires end This is one near and dear to most of our hearts And de Tocueville has some important things to say here Sadly no practical solutions DeTocueville could not have imagined the technological globalization we have today nor Nuclear weapons nor the Climate Crisis So I’m not convinced that making government local will solve the big problems But I could be wrongAll the passions which are most fatal to republican institutions spread with an increasing territory whilst the virtues which maintain their dignity do not augment in the same proportion The ambition of the citizens increases with the power of the State; the strength of parties with the importance of the ends they have in view; but that devotion to the common weal which is the surest check on destructive passions is not stronger in a large than in a small republic4 stars Highly readable book for being nearly two centuries old The version I read was translated to English in the 1870’s It is lengthy but reads uite uickly Most every section stands on its own I probably would have given five stars if de Tocueville wasn’t so obtuse about slavery Other than this blind spot his deductive reasoning is uite remarkable and pertinent to today’s political climate