What is Alexis de Tocqueville’s assessment of the state of race relations in the US? What kinds of futures did he predicts for the different ethnic groups? Were his predictions accurate?

Topics: United States, Race, White American Pages: 7 (2132 words) Published: April 22, 2014
What is Alexis de Tocqueville’s assessment of the state of race relations in the US? What kinds of futures did he predicts for the different ethnic groups? Were his predictions accurate? Alexis de Tocqueville was seen as the first real sociologist to appear in the United States. His studies were based on the American society and cultures. He was the first individual that reflects his studies were based on everything he had seen in society to show state of race relations in the U.S conditions of new American world. Tocqueville’s book Democracy in America in 1830s which he described America as “absolute democracy” [3]. He uses comparative method in order for him to observe, compare American with Europe, as well as ethnography research achieve an insight of American political system, racial structure on different ethnic groups. Tocqueville’s assessment of the state of race relations in the United States is understand people’s lifestyles e.g. individuals from different ethnicity such as Native Americans and African-Americans. However, Tocqueville was writing in the 1830s where slavery was abolished in the North but the “preoccupation ... minds” has not changed [4] majority of white individuals has not changed their ideas about slavery so they were very hostile towards African-Americans and Native Americans. Although he argues that north were far more accepting of American-Americans to granted their freedom than the south because they still see the “black race is relegated” therefore, increase its rigors as they’re disgusted by the idea of slavery abolishment. Tocqueville will argue that this creates unsettled environment in the United States. In this essay, I will be arguing, Tocqueville’s perspectives, opinions and predications on the United States to see if it was/is accurate, or one-sided. This will be done in a comparative, coherent argument to analyse argument compared with the current contemporary affairs of the United States. The purpose of this essay to use contemporary information to compare and contrast the current situations of both African-Americans and Native American in the United State to sees state of race relations, ethnic groups is still the same, has there been improvement or deterioration since Tocqueville’s writing period.

Tocqueville believes that democracy could be the main reason of state of race relations in American because it builds on the idea of racial differentiations. He believes that Democracy views other races as substandard. This will then contribute the ideas of the oppressions and segregation of ethnic groups like the Native Americans and African-Americans because according to white individuals they had no rights, no freedom and opinion in society. It creates a division between races, constructs racial hierarchy leads to ethnic minority groups like Native Americans and African-Americans bottom of the racial hierarchy. Consequently, Tocqueville views on state of race relations as apprehensive but, yet he believes that the “white man, European man [race is] excellence, below him appear the Negro and the Indian [4].Tocqueville supports the idea that some races such as European races were at the top because they were superior, has highly intellectual skills. While, other races like, Native Americans and African-Americans viewed as inferior because he believes that they had lower intellectual skills. Because of this Tocqueville is biased, because, he, himself is part of the white European race which makes superior. Although, he suggests that democracy destroys the mind sets of ethnic minorities which makes individuals forgets about their ancestors [African-Americans] and their descendants [Native-Americans] so, leads to ethnic groups who does not have any identity/identities. He argues that this is what is happening in America in terms state of race relations because the white individuals has manipulated, corrupted the minds of other ethnic groups. During, the Tocqueville writing...

References: 1. Bayor, R(2003),Race and Ethnicty in America, United States, Columbia University Press, [7-206]
2. Kessing, R (1970), Race Relations in the USA 1954-63, Kessing’s Publications Limited, America[255]
3. Nimtz A, (2003),The “Absolute Democracy or Defiled Republic” , Lexington Books,[cover]
4. Mansfield H, Winthrop, D [1830] [2000], ‘Some Considerations on the present state and the probable future of the three races that inhabit the territory of United States,’ in Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, University of Chicago press, United states, [308-348]
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