Rhetorical Strategies of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America.

Topics: Government, Democracy in America, Monarchy Pages: 3 (977 words) Published: May 20, 2003
Ever since he was born, Tocqueville had been exposed to politics and government. His father was the mayor of Verneuil, which was where much of Tocqueville's childhood was spent. As he grew up he took courses in law, which eventually aided him in writing Democracy in America. While on official business to view the American penal system, Tocqueville got his first taste of democracy. When the twenty eight year old de Tocqueville returned to France he began writing Democracy in America. While composing it, Tocqueville has a specific audience and purpose in mind. In the 1830's the government in France was very unstable. Tocqueville's intentions for his book, Democracy in America, were to convince the French aristocracy that a democracy would be a superior form of government to a monarchy for the people of France. If this idea was exposed to and accepted by the aristocracy then it would eventually be accepted by the lower classes, and hopefully bring about permanent reform.

Achieving this purpose would be a difficult task and would require a very convincing work, which in would turn take a determined author. We can see how Tocqueville endeavors to achieve his goal by his use of rhetoric and persuasion, which, in Democracy in America, go hand in hand. Rhetorical strategies used by Tocqueville include a clear writing style, powerful comparison and contrasting, and expression of logical opinions, which foster deductive reasoning on the part of the reader.

Throughout writing Democracy in America Tocqueville kept the audience he is writing to, foremost in his mind. Tocqueville is addressing the French aristocracy and is introducing as well as explaining the benefits of a democracy within his book. As he wrote Tocqueville understood that the aristocracy in France would have most likely never even heard of life in a democracy, much less seen and experienced it. Since Tocqueville is trying to convince the upper class in France to like and eventually turn to this form of...
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