Democracy in America

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Alexis de Tocqueville

DE MOC R AC Y I N A M E R ICA
Historical-Critical Edition of De la democratie en Amerique ´ ´

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Edited by Eduardo Nolla Translated from the French by James T. Schleifer a bilingual french-english edition volume 1

Indianapolis

This book is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a foundation established to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.

The cuneiform inscription that serves as our logo and as the design motif for our endpapers is the earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom” (amagi ), or “liberty.” It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 b.c. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash. English translation, translator’s note, index, 2010 by Liberty Fund, Inc.

The French text on which this translation is based is De la democratie en ´ Amerique, premiere edition historico-critique revue et augmentee. Edited by ´ ` ´ ´ Eduardo Nolla. Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin; 6, Place de la Sorbonne; Paris, 1990. French edition reprinted by permission. All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America 14 13 12 11 10 c 5 4 3 2 1 14 13 12 11 10 p 5 4 3 2 1 (Set) (Vol. 1) (Vol. 2) (Vol. 3) (Vol. 4) Cloth ISBNs 978-0-86597-719-8 978-0-86597-720-4 978-0-86597-721-1 978-0-86597-722-8 978-0-86597-723-5 Paperback ISBNs 978-0-86597-724-2 978-0-86597-725-9 978-0-86597-726-6 978-0-86597-727-3 978-0-86597-728-0

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Tocqueville, Alexis de, 1805–1859. [De la democratie en Amerique. English & French] ´ ´ Democracy in America: historical-critical edition of De la democratie en Amerique/Alexis ´ ´ de Tocqueville; edited by Eduardo Nolla; translated from the French by James T. Schleifer. p. cm. “A bilingual French-English edition.” Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 978-0-86597-719-8 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-720-4 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-721-1 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-722-8 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-723-5 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-724-2 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-725-9 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-726-6 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-727-3 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-728-0 (pbk.: alk. paper) 1. United States—Politics and government. 2. United States—Social conditions. 3. Democracy—United States. I. Nolla, Eduardo. II. Schleifer, James T., 1942– III. Title. jk216.t713 2009 320.973—dc22 2008042684 liberty fund, inc. 8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300 Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-1684

democracy in america

Contents
Translator’s Note Key Terms Foreword xxi xxvi xxviii xlv xlvii

List of Illustrations Editor’s Introduction

DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA
(1835) volume i
Introduction 3

Part I
chapter 1: Exterior Configuration of North America chapter 2: Of the Point of Departure and Its Importance for the Future of the Anglo-Americans Reasons for Some Singularities That the Laws and Customs of the Anglo-Americans Present

33 45 71 74 75

chapter 3: Social State of the Anglo-Americans
That the Salient Point of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans Is to Be Essentially Democratic

viii

contents
Political Consequences of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans

ix

89 91

chapter 4: Of the Principle of the Sovereignty of the People in America chapter 5: Necessity of Studying What Happens in the Individual States before Speaking about the Government of the Union Of the Town System in America Town District Town Powers in New England Of Town Life Of Town Spirit in New England Of the County in New England Of Administration in New England General Ideas on Administration in the United States Of the State Legislative Power of the State Of the Executive Power of the State Of the Political Effects of Administrative Decentralization in the United States

98 99 103 104 108 110 114 115 129 135 136 139 142 167 176 179 186 186 191 193 195 196

chapter 6: Of the Judicial Power in the United...
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