Insights on de Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Topics: Tyranny of the majority, United States, Alexis de Tocqueville Pages: 2 (721 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Insights on De Tocqueville's Democracy In America

It has been said that a French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited the United States in the 1830's, "understood us" in a way that few observers (foreign and domestic) have. Furthermore, Tocqueville's Democracy in America is often cited by present-day critics because so many of the observations in it seem extraordinarily suitable even more than one hundred and fifty years later. Alexis de Tocqueville was born 1805 into a minor noble family, in which his grandfather had been guillotined during the French Revolution. He had come to the United States in 1831 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 1832 for about nine months, so intrigued by democracy, majority rule, and the absence of social hierarchy. Democracy in America was first published in 1825, full of observations and interpretations, was written as a sort of warning for European readers; "Is this what you want?" he asks. This book was famous for two accurate predictions, one, the U.S. would someday be a world power as would Russia, second, race would prove to be the most intractable problem for the U.S.

One of Tocqueville's observations about the United States is that he thought there is no country in the civilized world that is less attention paid philosophy than the United States. This is applicable to American life in 1997 because the whole world is practically joined to the United States. Just about every country in the world trades with, tours in, and watches for the United States. What I mean by watches is that they practically always know what's going on (except for the top-secret things) in the United States, whether it be by television, computers, or satellites they know what the U.S. is doing. The U.S. is basically a "free-for-all" county; the laws and schools are less strict than other countries such as, Japan in...
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