pol sci discussion paper

pol sci discussion paper - When Tocqueville came to the...

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When Tocqueville came to the United States, he noticed how the family structure and the role of women were dramatically different from that of aristocratic nations. According to Tocqueville, in America, the family, defined by aristocratic standards and principles, is virtually non-existent. The only indication of this is during the first years after the birth of the child. However, Tocqueville believed that democracy, by ensuring freedom, loosened social bonds among citizens, while at the same time tightening the natural bonds between child and parent. In aristocratic nations, the father holds a “domestic dictatorship” over his children, some long after they have reached adulthood. However, living in a free democratic society, the nation’s sons become “masters” of their thoughts and demeanor. The father looses the power that he had once exercised while his sons were young and dependent upon him. The boy, once leaving childhood, immediately enters into manhood; there is no room for adolescence. Nonetheless, Tocqueville saw that as society became more democratic, the relationship between father and son becomes more tender and affectionate. As time has gone by and society and its values and mores change, so, too, does the relationship between parent and child also continue to change. As the overall population continued to become vastly middle-class, children found themselves confronted with less responsibilities; in other words, they entered into a stage of adolescence. According to some, this permits the youth to become less mature and more undisciplined and ungrateful. Tocqueville appropriately suggests that women have an important role in society, including politics. Furthermore, he ascribes “the singular prosperity and growing force” of the American people is due to the “superiority” of the American woman. He states, “It 1
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is the woman who makes mores.” Tocqueville noted that in America, women have more independence and less restrictions set upon them than those women residing in
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pol sci discussion paper - When Tocqueville came to the...

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