Chapter_10_Demcracy_in_America_(student) - Chapter 10 Democracy in America Part 1(372-387 1 Who was Alexis de Tocqueville and what were his observations

Chapter_10_Demcracy_in_America_(student) - Chapter 10...

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Chapter 10 Democracy in America Part 1 (372-387) 1. Who was Alexis de Tocqueville and what were his observations on American Democracy? Alexis de Tocqueville was a French writer who visited the United States in the early 1830s. After he came back from his visit, he wrote the Democracy in America which turned out to be a classic record of a country in the middle of a political transformation. His initial motivation to come to America was to study the prisons, but soon after he arrived he realized to understand America, he should first understand democracy. According to Tocqueville’s understanding, democracy was far more than voting rights, it rested on the ideas of equality, self-driven initiative, and voluntary organizations that wanted to improve the society. He realized that American freedom greatly relied on this idea of democracy, which had brought a massive political transformation. 2. What’s significant about how the United States Magazine and Democratic Review defined the principle of universal suffrage? According to the United States Magazine and Democratic Review , the principle of “universal suffrage” meant “white males of age constituted the political nation.” What was significant about this definition was that it was contradicting itself and started a new debate in the country. If the suffrage was universal, then why did it only pertain to white males? Why were females and any other race included in it? Questions were raised as to why was the female gender considered to be inferior and why the white males were superior. It was understood that this barrier between inferiority and superiority was set in stone by nature. This debate over who is qualified and deserves to be a part of the American democracy lasted into the twentieth century, and in one or the other, still persists. 3. What was the American system and how did it seek to improve the nation? The American system, named by Henry Clay, was a plan put forward by President James Madison in December 1815 for economic development. This plan consisted of three main components: a new national bank, a tariff on imported manufactured goods, and federal financing of improved roads and canals. A Second Bank of the United States was created in 1816 with a twenty-year charter from Congress. It was necessary as the last one had failed and there had to be a new system to manage money in the country. The tariffs on imported goods were made into a law initiated in 1816. This tariff of 1816
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granted protection to goods that could be produced in the United States, like cheap cotton textiles, which was supported by a lot of southerners. The tariffs were placed to protect the American industry. Lastly, the financing of roads and canals was the most important and controversial part of the plan. The roads and canals had become a symbol of unity as they would connect the lands from the west to the east. The construction of roads and canals was called “internal improvements” and was sponsored by the government. This caused controversy as John C. Calhoun drafted a plan for the internal-
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