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Unformatted text preview: Alexis de Tocqueville DE MOC R AC Y I N A M E R ICA Historical-Critical Edition of De la de´mocratie en Ame´rique s4s4s4s4s4 Edited by Eduardo Nolla Translated from the French by James T. Schleifer a bilingual french-english edition volume 4 Indianapolis This book is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a foundation established to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. The cuneiform inscription that serves as our logo and as the design motif for our endpapers is the earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom” (amagi ), or “liberty.” It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 b.c. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash. English translation, translator’s note, index, 䉷 2010 by Liberty Fund, Inc. The French text on which this translation is based is De la de´mocratie en Ame´rique, premie`re e´dition historico-critique revue et augmente´e. Edited by Eduardo Nolla. Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin; 6, Place de la Sorbonne; Paris, 1990. French edition reprinted by permission. All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America 14 13 12 11 10 c 5 4 3 2 1 14 13 12 11 10 p 5 4 3 2 1 (Set) (Vol. 1) (Vol. 2) (Vol. 3) (Vol. 4) Cloth ISBNs 978-0-86597-719-8 978-0-86597-720-4 978-0-86597-721-1 978-0-86597-722-8 978-0-86597-723-5 Paperback ISBNs 978-0-86597-724-2 978-0-86597-725-9 978-0-86597-726-6 978-0-86597-727-3 978-0-86597-728-0 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Tocqueville, Alexis de, 1805–1859. [De la de´mocratie en Ame´rique. English & French] Democracy in America: historical-critical edition of De la de´mocratie en Ame´rique/Alexis de Tocqueville; edited by Eduardo Nolla; translated from the French by James T. Schleifer. p. cm. “A bilingual French-English edition.” Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 978-0-86597-719-8 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-720-4 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-721-1 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-722-8 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-723-5 (hc: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-724-2 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-725-9 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-726-6 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-727-3 (pbk.: alk. paper) isbn 978-0-86597-728-0 (pbk.: alk. paper) 1. United States—Politics and government. 2. United States—Social conditions. 3. Democracy—United States. I. Nolla, Eduardo. II. Schleifer, James T., 1942– III. Title. jk216.t713 2009 320.973—dc22 2008042684 liberty fund, inc. 8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300 Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-1684 Contents Translator’s Note xxi Key Terms xxvi Foreword xxviii List of Illustrations xlv Editor’s Introduction xlvii DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA (1835) volume i Introduction 3 Part I chapter 1: Exterior Configuration of North America 33 chapter 2: Of the Point of Departure and Its Importance for the Future of the Anglo-Americans 45 Reasons for Some Singularities That the Laws and Customs of the Anglo-Americans Present 71 chapter 3: Social State of the Anglo-Americans 74 That the Salient Point of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans Is to Be Essentially Democratic 75 viii contents ix Political Consequences of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans 89 chapter 4: Of the Principle of the Sovereignty of the People in America 91 chapter 5: Necessity of Studying What Happens in the Individual States before Speaking about the Government of the Union 98 Of the Town System in America 99 Town District 103 Town Powers in New England 104 Of Town Life 108 Of Town Spirit in New England 110 Of the County in New England 114 Of Administration in New England 115 General Ideas on Administration in the United States 129 Of the State 135 Legislative Power of the State 136 Of the Executive Power of the State 139 Of the Political Effects of Administrative Decentralization in the United States 142 chapter 6: Of the Judicial Power in the United States and Its Action on Political Society 167 Other Powers Granted to American Judges 176 chapter 7: Of Political Jurisdiction in the United States 179 chapter 8: Of the Federal Constitution 186 Historical Background of the Federal Constitution 186 Summary Picture of the Federal Constitution 191 Attributions of the Federal Government 193 Federal Powers 195 Legislative Powers [Difference between the Constitution of the Senate and That of the House of Representatives] 196 contents Another Difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives Of Executive Power How the Position of the President of the United States Differs from That of a Constitutional King in France Accidental Causes That Can Increase the Influence of the Executive Power Why the President of the United States, to Lead Public Affairs, Does Not Need to Have a Majority in the Chambers Of the Election of the President Mode of Election Election Crisis Of the Re-election of the President Of the Federal Courts Way of Determining the Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts Different Cases of Jurisdiction The Federal Courts’ Way of Proceeding Elevated Rank That the Supreme Court Occupies among the Great Powers of the State x 200 201 204 209 210 211 218 222 225 229 234 236 241 How the Federal Constitution Is Superior to the State Constitutions 244 246 What Distinguishes the Federal Constitution of the United States of America from All Other Federal Constitutions 251 Of the Advantages of the Federal System in General, and of Its Special Utility for America 255 What Keeps the Federal System from Being within the Reach of All Peoples; And What Has Allowed the Anglo-Americans to Adopt It 263 volume ii Part II chapter 1: How It Can Be Strictly Said That in the United States It Is the People Who Govern chapter 2: Of Parties in the United States Of the Remnants of the Aristocratic Party in the United States 278 279 287 contents xi chapter 3: Of Freedom of the Press in the United States 289 That the Opinions Established under the Dominion of Freedom of the Press in the United States Are Often More Tenacious than Those That Are Found Elsewhere under the Dominion of Censorship 298 chapter 4: Of Political Association in the United States 302 Different Ways in Which the Right of Association Is Understood in Europe and in the United States, and the Different Use That Is Made of That Right 309 chapter 5: Of the Government of Democracy in America 313 Of Universal Suffrage 313 Of the Choices of the People and of the Instincts of American Democracy in Its Choices 314 Of the Causes That Can Partially Correct These Democratic Instincts 318 Influence That American Democracy Has Exercised on Electoral Laws 322 Of Public Officials under the Dominion of American Democracy 324 Of the Arbitrariness of Magistrates under the Dominion of American Democracy 327 Administrative Instability in the United States 331 Of Public Expenses under the Dominion of American Democracy 333 Of the Instincts of American Democracy in Determining the Salary of Officials 340 Difficulty of Discerning the Causes That Lead the American Government to Economy 343 [Influence of the Government of Democracy on the Tax Base and on the Use of the Tax Revenues] 345 [Influence of Democratic Government on the Use of Tax Revenues] 346 Can the Public Expenditures of the United States Be Compared with Those of France 349 Of the Corruption and Vices of Those Who Govern in Democracy; Of the Effects on Public Morality That Result from That Corruption and Those Vices 356 Of What Efforts Democracy Is Capable 360 Of the Power That American Democracy Generally Exercises over Itself 364 contents xii Of the Manner in Which American Democracy Conducts the Foreign Affairs of the State 366 chapter 6: What Are the Real Advantages That American Society Gains from the Government of Democracy? 375 Of the General Tendency of Laws under the Dominion of American Democracy, and Of the Instinct of Those Who Apply Them 377 Of Public Spirit in the United States 384 Of the Idea of Rights in the United States 389 Of the Respect for the Law in the United States 393 Activity That Reigns in All Parts of the Political Body in the United States; Influence That It Exercises on Society 395 chapter 7: Of the Omnipotence of the Majority in the United States and Its Effects 402 How the Omnipotence of the Majority in America Increases the Legislative and Administrative Instability That Is Natural to Democracies 407 Tyranny of the Majority 410 Effects of the Omnipotence of the Majority on the Arbitrariness of American Public Officials 415 Of the Power Exercised by the Majority in America over Thought 416 Effect of Tyranny of the Majority on the National Character of the Americans; Of the Courtier Spirit in the United States 420 That the Greatest Danger to the American Republics Comes from the Omnipotence of the Majority 424 chapter 8: Of What Tempers Tyranny of the Majority in the United States 427 Absence of Administrative Centralization 427 Of the Spirit of the Jurist in the United States, and How It Serves as Counterweight to Democracy 430 Of the Jury in the United States Considered as a Political Institution 442 chapter 9: Of the Principal Causes That Tend to Maintain the Democratic Republic in the United States 451 Of the Accidental or Providential Causes That Contribute to Maintaining the Democratic Republic in the United States 452 contents xiii Of the Influence of Laws on Maintaining the Democratic Republic in the United States 465 Of the Influence of Mores on Maintaining the Democratic Republic in the United States 466 Of Religion Considered as a Political Institution, How It Serves Powerfully to Maintain the Democratic Republic among the Americans 467 Indirect Influence Exercised by Religious Beliefs on Political Society in the United States Of the Principal Causes That Make Religion Powerful in America 472 478 How the Enlightenment, Habits, and Practical Experience of the Americans Contribute to the Success of Democratic Institutions 488 That Laws Serve More to Maintain the Democratic Republic in the United States than Physical Causes, and Mores More than Laws 494 Would Laws and Mores Be Sufficient to Maintain Democratic Institutions Elsewhere than in America? Importance of What Precedes in Relation to Europe 500 505 chapter 10: Some Considerations on the Present State and Probable Future of the Three Races That Inhabit the Territory of the United States 515 Present State and Probable Future of the Indian Tribes That Inhabit the Territory Possessed by the Union 522 Position That the Black Race Occupies in the United States; Dangers to Which Its Presence Exposes the Whites 548 What Are the Chances for the American Union to Last? What Dangers Threaten It? 582 Of Republican Institutions in the United States, What Are Their Chances of Lasting? 627 Some Considerations on the Causes of the Commercial Greatness of the United States 637 Conclusion Notes 649 658 DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA (1840) volume iii Part I: Influence of Democracy on the Intellectual Movement in the United States chapter 1: Of the Philosophical Method of the Americans 697 chapter 2: Of the Principal Source of Beliefs among Democratic Peoples 711 chapter 3: Why the Americans Show More Aptitude and Taste for General Ideas than Their Fathers the English 726 chapter 4: Why the Americans Have Never Been as Passionate as the French about General Ideas in Political Matters 737 chapter 5: How, in the United States, Religion Knows How to Make Use of Democratic Instincts 742 chapter 6: Of the Progress of Catholicism in the United States 754 chapter 7: What Makes the Minds of Democratic Peoples Incline toward Pantheism 757 chapter 8: How Equality Suggests to the Americans the Idea of the Indefinite Perfectibility of Man 759 chapter 9: How the Example of the Americans Does Not Prove That a Democratic People Cannot Have Aptitude and Taste for the Sciences, Literature, and the Arts 763 chapter 10: Why the Americans Are More Attached to the Application of the Sciences than to the Theory 775 chapter 11: In What Spirit the Americans Cultivate the Arts 788 chapter 12: Why Americans Erect Such Small and Such Large Monuments at the Same Time 796 xiv contents chapter 13: Literary Physiognomy of Democratic Centuries xv 800 chapter 14: Of the Literary Industry 813 chapter 15: Why the Study of Greek and Latin Literature Is Particularly Useful in Democratic Societies 815 chapter 16: How American Democracy Has Modified the English Language 818 chapter 17: Of Some Sources of Poetry among Democratic Nations 830 chapter 18: Why American Writers and Orators Are Often Bombastic 843 chapter 19: Some Observations on the Theater of Democratic Peoples 845 chapter 20: Of Some Tendencies Particular to Historians in Democratic Centuries 853 chapter 21: Of Parliamentary Eloquence in the United States 861 Part II: Influence of Democracy on the Sentiments of the Americans chapter 1: Why Democratic Peoples Show a More Ardent and More Enduring Love for Equality than for Liberty 872 chapter 2: Of Individualism in Democratic Countries 881 chapter 3: How Individualism Is Greater at the End of a Democratic Revolution than at Another Time 885 chapter 4: How the Americans Combat Individualism with Free Institutions 887 chapter 5: Of the Use That Americans Make of Association in Civil Life 895 contents xvi chapter 6: Of the Relation between Associations and Newspapers 905 chapter 7: Relations between Civil Associations and Political Associations 911 chapter 8: How the Americans Combat Individualism by the Doctrine of Interest Well Understood 918 chapter 9: How the Americans Apply the Doctrine of Interest Well Understood in the Matter of Religion 926 chapter 10: Of the Taste for Material Well-Being in America 930 chapter 11: Of the Particular Effects Produced by the Love of Material Enjoyments in Democratic Centuries 935 chapter 12: Why Certain Americans Exhibit So Excited a Spiritualism 939 chapter 13: Why the Americans Appear So Restless Amid Their Well-Being 942 chapter 14: How the Taste for Material Enjoyment Is United, among the Americans, with the Love of Liberty and Concern for Public Affairs 948 chapter 15: How from Time to Time Religious Beliefs Divert the Soul of the Americans toward Non-material Enjoyments 954 chapter 16: How the Excessive Love of Well-Being Can Harm Well-Being 963 chapter 17: How, in Times of Equality and Doubt, It Is Important to Push Back the Goal of Human Actions 965 chapter 18: Why, among the Americans, All Honest Professions Are Considered Honorable 969 chapter 19: What Makes Nearly All Americans Tend toward Industrial Professions 972 chapter 20: How Aristocracy Could Emerge from Industry 980 contents xvii volume iv Part III: Influence of Democracy on Mores Properly So Called chapter 1: How Mores Become Milder as Conditions Become Equal 987 chapter 2: How Democracy Makes the Habitual Relations of the Americans Simpler and Easier 995 chapter 3: Why the Americans Have So Little Susceptibility in Their Country and Show Such Susceptibility in Ours 1000 chapter 4: Consequences of the Three Preceding Chapters 1005 chapter 5: How Democracy Modifies the Relationships of Servant and Master 1007 chapter 6: How Democratic Institutions and Mores Tend to Raise the Cost and Shorten the Length of Leases 1020 chapter 7: Influence of Democracy on Salaries 1025 chapter 8: Influence of Democracy on the Family 1031 chapter 9: Education of Young Girls in the United States 1041 chapter 10: How the Young Girl Is Found Again in the Features of the Wife 1048 chapter 11: How Equality of Conditions Contributes to Maintaining Good Morals in America 1052 chapter 12: How the Americans Understand the Equality of Man and of Woman 1062 chapter 13: How Equality Divides the Americans Naturally into a Multitude of Small Particular Societies 1068 chapter 14: Some Reflections on American Manners 1071 contents xviii chapter 15: Of the Gravity of Americans and Why It Does Not Prevent Them from Often Doing Thoughtless Things 1080 chapter 16: Why the National Vanity of the Americans Is More Anxious and More Quarrelsome than That of the English 1085 chapter 17: How the Appearance of Society in the United States Is at the Very Same Time Agitated and Monotonous 1089 chapter 18: Of Honor in the United States and in Democratic Societies 1093 chapter 19: Why in the United States You Find So Many Ambitious Men and So Few Great Ambitions 1116 chapter 20: Of Positions Becoming an Industry among Certain Democratic Nations 1129 chapter 21: Why Great Revolutions Will Become Rare 1133 chapter 22: Why Democratic Peoples Naturally Desire Peace and Democratic Armies Naturally Desire War 1153 chapter 23: Which Class, in Democratic Armies, Is the Most Warlike and the Most Revolutionary 1165 chapter 24: What Makes Democratic Armies Weaker than Other Armies while Beginning a Military Campaign and More Formidable When the War Is Prolonged 1170 chapter 25: Of Discipline in Democratic Armies 1176 chapter 26: Some Considerations on War in Democratic Societies 1178 Part IV: Of the Influence That Democratic Ideas and Sentiments Exercise on Political Society chapter 1: Equality Naturally Gives Men the Taste for Free Institutions 1191 contents xix chapter 2: That the Ideas of Democratic Peoples in Matters of Government Naturally Favor the Concentration of Powers 1194 chapter 3: That the Sentiments of Democratic Peoples Are in Agreement with Their Ideas for Bringing Them to Concentrate Power 1200 chapter 4: Of Some Particular and Accidental Causes That End Up Leading a Democratic People to Centralize Power or That Turn Them Away from Doing So 1206 chapter 5: That among the European Nations of Today the Sovereign Power Increases although Sovereigns Are Less Stable 1221 chapter 6: What Type of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear 1245 chapter 7: Continuation of the Preceding Chapters 1262 chapter 8: General View of the Subject 1278 Notes 1286 Appendixes 1295 appendix 1: Journey to Lake Oneida 1295 appendix 2: A Fortnight in the Wilderness 1303 appendix 3: Sects in America 1360 appendix 4: Political Activity in America 1365 appendix 5: Letter of Alexis de Tocqueville to Charles Stoffels 1368 appendix 6: Foreword to the Twelfth Edition Works Used by Tocqueville Bibliography Index 1396 1499 1376 1373 s4s4s4s4s4 third part a Influence of Democracy on Mores Properly So Called a. Action of equality on mores and reaction of mores on equality./ After doing a book that pointed out the influence exercised by equality of conditions on ideas, customs and mores, another one would have to be done that showed the influence exercised by ideas, customs and mores on equality of conditions. For these two things have a reciprocal action on each other. And to take just one example, the comparatively democratic social state of European peoples in the XVIth century allowed the doctrines of Protestantism, based in part on the theory of intellectual equality, to arise and spread; and on the other hand, you cannot deny that these doctrines, once accepted, singularly hastened the leveling of conditions. If I examined separately the first of these influences, without concerning myself with the second, it is not that I did not know and appreciate the extent and the power of the latter. But I believed that in a subject so difficult and so complicated, it was already a lot to study separately one of the parts, to put the parts separately in relief, leaving to more skillful hands the task of exposing the entire tableau to view all at once (YTC, CVk, 1, pp. 48–49). Tocqueville finishes the third part of this volume at Baugy in April 1838. See Jean-Louis Benoıˆt, Tocqueville moraliste (Paris: Honore´ Champion, 2004), pp. 309–442. 986 s4s4s4s4s4 c h a p t e r 1a How Mores Become Milder as Conditions Become Equal We have noticed for several centuries that conditions are becoming equal, and we have found at the same time that mores are becoming milder.b Are a. 1. Equality makes mores milder in an indirect manner, by giving the taste for wellbeing, love for peace and for all the professions that need peace. 2. It makes the...
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