Democracy in America

Democracy in America - Democracy in America Alexis de...

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Democracy in America Alexis de Toqueville February 27 th , 2008 Author’s Introduction - States that of all the aspects of the United States what struck him most forcibly was the equality of social conditions stemming from the democratic system of government o “Soon I came to recognize that this very fact extends its influence well beyond political customs and laws; it exercises no less power over civil society than it does over the government. It forms opinion, creates feelings, proposes ways of acting, and transforms anything it does not directly instigate itself.” (1) o States that while France/Europe has aspects of the American system of government it has not reached the specific extremes that the American system of government has Began with the clergy which allowed individuals to advance beyond their social status Personal wealth allowed men to influence politics and advance socially Knowledge became a weapon of power Printing Press Warfare Crusades/English Wars Page 13 As soon as citizens - States that the progression of society in regards to democracy is a gift from God and any desire to halt the progression of democracy would serve as a struggle against God himself Page 15 - States that it is the duty of the rulers to educate democracy and s strengthen its morals, control its actions and adapt society to its methods 16 o Metaphor – Like a child who is abandoned by his father and is left to fend for himself but only knows the lowest aspects of human society - He states that in France the democratic revolution has taken place but has yet to effect any changes in laws, ideas, customs and manners necessary to make itself beneficial o States that originally there was a certain balance among the classes in which everyone understood their specific place within society and therefore no interest in change was sparked o However, under democracy the original barriers are slowly being broken and equality is being effected 18 (Reread before class) - “Thus we have abandoned whatever advantages the old regime possessed without grasping those gains offered by the present state of things; we have destroyed an aristocratic society and, as we complacently stand in the midst of the ruins of the old building, we seem to be willing to stay there forever.” (Reread 18-20) o Discusses current state of France - In addition, we see an intellectual breakdown of society in which the natural link between the feelings of men and their ideas no longer exists. - Toqueville then states that there is a conflict between page 22 - Part 1 Trce the direction which democracy in America left to its inclinations and abandoned without hindrance has naturally affected government - Part II How democratic influence has affected civil society The Principle of the Sovereignty of the People in America
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- States that unlike many human institutions in which the sovereignty of the people is hidden and efforts are made to keep it hidden, the sovereignty of the people in America is acknowledged in
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This note was uploaded on 09/07/2008 for the course ENG 1011 taught by Professor Wolff during the Spring '08 term at Columbia.

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Democracy in America - Democracy in America Alexis de...

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