Saturday, 20 December 2014 12:24

De Tocqueville: American democracy

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american_democracy De Tocqueville was a French historian with a political interest. He is know for his insightful book on American history, which was published in 1835. De Tocqueville visited the united states of America early 19 th century and in his book “American democracy” he was able to note that private interest of the American people and their personal gain were the primary factor that motivated their democratic actions. This private interests were leaning m,ore into transforming the American people into strong private individuals. Democracy required responsibility or patriotism to public life , but according to De Tocqueville, this form of individualism was not good for the growth of democracy. Individualism was more likely to breed in despotism and selfishness. Once people are despotic , they neglect their civic duties and do not care more on their democratic rights of freedom. The way America was being ruled in a democratic way , with emphasis on freedom and equality of all made America a great nation as compared to his home country in France. In chapter nine of the book De Tocqueville compares how the democratic rule in America gives women the freedom to access education as compared to his native country. On a lighter note De Tocqueville wrote on good things about American democracy and those things he believed would hamper the growth of democracy as envisioned in running of the American democratic government.


The form education in America was geared to protect all people. Protection of women in American democracy was beneficial to the country as women were being handed the tools of raising moral families; pillars of American society. Women are noted to be the primary family cares, raising children and next generation in a society. American democracy of giving equal rights to all empower the American woman to look after themselves and thereby setting America far apart from other countries. Women just like men enjoyed and still enjoys freedom of religion and marriage , something that is necessary for American democratic politics. From his observations De Tocqueville noted the consistency in which American democracy afforded America education as compared to his native country. The French form of education by the was a bit more aristocratic. Women were offered a timid, withdrawn and cloistered form of education in an aristocratic system of education. Unlike the American woman who was more guided and self reliant , the French woman was unguided and unable to protect themselves. De Tocqueville observed that these was one reason why democracy was failing to take root in France as compared to how it was working in America. According to De Tocqueville for a political system to survive it must produce well educated men and women continuously.


The fear of democracy, as was noted in other countries , De Tocqueville in the book “American democracy” dismiss it with an observation that it was possible to teach men and women how to control freedom. It had been observed in other societies, without the power to control individual freedom, chaos and anarchy were the recipe. Giving people the knowledge how to control their individual freedoms afforded people the power to use freedom wisely. As compared to France where morality was taught on the basis of religious morality, in America according to De Tocqueville in his book American democracy, he notes that American education teaches morality just like any other subject without injections of religious undertones. Visit the for a free De Tocqueville book on American democracy

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