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Unformatted text preview: E445.V8 M67 1995 JK216 .T7 1969 Abstract This book analyzes the book "Democracy in America", which was written in the middle of the nineteenth century by French traveler, Alec de Tocqueville. The author of this paper maintains that de Tocqueville's portrayal of his vision of the character and future of American society was practically prophetic. The paper reviews within a modern context de Tocquevill's references to the entrenched materialism and commercialism; class conflict; separate spheres for men and women; and of a confusion between freedom and equality. The paper illustrates how most of de Tocqueville's observations and analyses of the United States remain relevant today, more than a hundred years later. From the Paper "For instance, in Chapter One of the second book of Democracy in America, the author states, "...equality, pushed to its furthest extent, may be confounded with freedom, yet there is good reason for distinguishing the one from the other. The taste which men have for liberty and that which they feel for equality are, in fact, two different things," (para. 5). The difference between liberty and equality, which is rarely vocalized as bluntly as it is in de Tocqueville's work, has been one of the underlying themes running throughout the course of American history. Whether class conflict, racial division, or gender role differentiation, American society has fulfilled de Tocqueville's image: "for equality their passion is ardent, insatiable, incessant, invincible; they call for equality in freedom; and if they cannot obtain that, they still call for equality in slavery." Similarly, de Tocqueville summed up the nature of American materialism: "The heart of man is of a larger mold; it can at once comprise a taste for the possessions of earth and the love of those of heaven; at times it may seem to cling devotedly to the one, but it will never be long without thinking of the other," (Book 2, Ch. 15). Regarding most matters of American society and ideology such as gender and race relations; class conflict; political climate; and material culture, de Tocqueville hits the nail on the head; only a few of De Tocqueville's observations were off the mark." Abstract This paper summarizes and reviews Edmund S. Morgan's book, "American Slavery, American Freedom and explains that the book, while showing that white Americans exploited black Americans and that rich Americans exploited poor Americans, also shows that the first American exploitation was of the Native Americans by the English Settlers. From the Paper "Clearly, the English had certain experiences of the Native Americans that impacted the colonists' initial visions of life and society in the New World. For example, there was widespread distrust between these settlers and the Native Americans, based on their previous relationship. However, the Virginia Company planned to bring goodwill to the Native Americans, though their ultimate expectation was that the natives would become part of the English community." ...
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- Spring '09
- Democracy in America