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Lecture 9-14-09 revised

Lecture 9-14-09 revised - serfs accepted their inferiority...

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September 14, 2009 Review Concepts: Articles of Confederation "We the people" preamble to the Constitution American Exceptionalism : The New World and deTocqueville Who is DeTocqueville? -French aristocrat -wrote a travel journal on the state of democracy in America (1830s) for more biographical information: www.tocqueville.org Central argument: In American society, equality of condition is the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived. P. 26 The gradual development of the principle of equality is a providential fact. Advances in western civilization (education, overthrow of monarchies, rise of the merchant class) have made inequality untenable.-29 Regal v. Democratic authority Regal --can be oppressive, but it is conservative, direct and centralized. Democratic authority—not concentrated (diffuse) and unpredictable, never know what the whims of the masses
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may be; power indirect and invisible. In a regal system: hereditary land distribution feudal labor arrangements
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Unformatted text preview: serfs accepted their inferiority – p. 31* In a democratic system: government in superior position instead of king distance between social classes lessened class competition - eliminates noblesse oblige But democracies eliminate all vestiges of regal systems, even the positive things.-33 While Democracy may be inevitable, the American “form” is not the only one possible – 36 American Exceptionalism /equality of condition I. The Origin of the Anglo-Americans De Tocqueville says all nations bear the marks of their origins: it is what becomes the national character. Equality of condition qualities: 1. common language of emigrants 2. township tradition of local government 3. emigrants had no notion of superiority over each other: "The happy and the powerful do not go into exile. .."-41 4. soil of America opposed to aristocracy-needs land-41-2 5. had more internal freedom than any of the other English colonies-44...
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