He was born shortly after the French Revolution had turned France into the empire; in his lifetime occurred those further changes that transformed France, at least nominally, into a republic.
Materialism Situation of women[ edit ] Tocqueville was one of the first social critics to examine the situation of U. Married women, by contrast, lost all independence "in the bonds of matrimony" as "in America paternal discipline [by the woman's father] is very relaxed and the conjugal tie very strict".
Consistent with this limited view of the potential of women to act as equals to men, as well as his apparently missing on his travels seeing the nurturing roles that many men in the United States played, particularly in the Delaware Valley region of cultures where there was a lot of influence by Society of Friends as well as a tradition of male and female equality, Tocqueville considered the separate spheres of women and men a positive development, stating: Tocqueville seeks to apply the functional aspects of democracy in the United States to what he sees as the failings of democracy in his native France.
These include his belief that democracy has a tendency to degenerate into " soft despotism " as well as the risk of developing a tyranny of the majority. He observes that the strong role religion played in the United States was due to its separation from the government, a separation all parties found agreeable.
He contrasts this to France where there was what he perceived to be an unhealthy antagonism between democrats and the religious, which he relates to the connection between church and state. Tocqueville also outlines the possible excesses of passion for equality among men, foreshadowing the totalitarian states of the twentieth century.
Insightful analysis of political society was supplemented in the second volume by description of civil society as a sphere of private and civilian affairs mirroring Hegel. Tocqueville's views on the United States took a darker turn afterhowever, as made evident in Aurelian Craiutu's Tocqueville on America after Letters and Other Writings.
Impact[ edit ] Democracy in America was published in two volumes, the first in and the other in It was immediately popular in both Europe and the United States, while also having a profound impact on the French population.
By the twentieth century, it had become a classic work of political sciencesocial scienceand history. It is a commonly assigned reading for undergraduates of American universities majoring in the political or social sciences, and part of the introductory political theory syllabus at Cambridge, Oxford, Princeton and other institutions.
Bibliography. Manent, Pierre. Tocqueville and the Nature of Democracy (); Morton, F. L. "Sexual Equality and the Family in Tocqueville's Democracy in America," Canadian Journal of Political Science () 17#2 pp. – in JSTOR Schleifer, James T. 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. Non-institutional factors which help to maintain freedom in the United States are the right of association, the freedom of the press, and most importantly religion. Tocqueville seeks to apply the functional aspects of democracy in the United States to what he sees as the failings of democracy in his native France.  Tocqueville speculates on the future of democracy in the United States, discussing possible threats to democracy and possible dangers of democracy.
In the introduction to his translation of the book, Harvard Professor Harvey C. Mansfield calls it "at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.
He anticipates the potential acrimony over the abolition of slavery that would tear apart the United States and lead to the American Civil War as well as the eventual superpower rivalry between the United States and Russia, which exploded after World War II and spawned the Cold War.
Noting the rise of the industrial sector in the American economy, Tocqueville, some scholars have argued, also correctly predicted that an industrial aristocracy would rise from the ownership of labor. He warned that ' On the other hand, Tocqueville proved shortsighted in noting that a democracy's equality of conditions stifles literary development.
Equally, in dismissing the country's interest in science as limited to pedestrian applications for streamlining the production of material goods, he failed to imagine America's burgeoning appetite for pure scientific research and discovery.
According to Tocqueville, democracy had some unfavorable consequences: Translated versions of Democracy in America and effects on meaning[ edit ] This translation was completed by Reeve and later revised by Francis Bowen. Init was reissued in a modern edition by Alfred A. Knopf edited and with an extensive historical essay by Phillips Bradley.
George Lawrencetranslated in with an introduction by J.Tocqueville seeks to apply the functional aspects of democracy in the United States to what he sees as the failings of democracy in his native France.
 Tocqueville speculates on the future of democracy in the United States, discussing possible threats to democracy and possible dangers of democracy. Democracy in America, is a firsthand sociopolitical observation of the United States written by French lawyer Alexis de Tocqueville in The author documents his travels through America and contrasts his experiences with established aristocratic systems in Western Europe.
He had come to the United States in to study the prison system, in which he did not do, instead he wrote Democracy in America. He had stayed in the United States through February for about nine months, so intrigued by democracy, majority rule, and the absence of social hierarchy.
40 (Volume 20, No. 1) March, Introduction by The Editors.
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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. Non-institutional factors which help to maintain freedom in the United States are the right of association, the freedom of the press, and most importantly religion.