Democracy in America | Study Guide

Alexis de Tocqueville

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

democracy-in-america-alexis-de-tocquevilleTocqueville, Vol. 1, Part 2, Chapter 6he real advantage of democracy is ... to serve the well-being of the greatest number. Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica,, U.S. Census Copyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.Democracy in Americaby the NumbersYear President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, allowing the American government to relocate Native American tribes 1830Year Nat Turner led the largest slave rebellion in the United States 1831States visited by Tocqueville, out of Americas 24 at the time17Week Tocqueville spent interviewing every inmate in the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania1Reeling from the political instability in his native France, 25-year-old Tocqueville decided to go to the United States and study democracy. The two-volume result of his travels, Democracy in America, was an immediate success and became a landmark piece of social analysis.ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE1805–59AuthorIntent on exploring the American democratic experiment,” Tocqueville traveled to the United States in 1831. The French aristocrat met with leaders and ordinary people during his trip, all the while writing down his observations. The result of his efforts is an insightful study of the unique and tragic nature of American society.A Foreigners View of AmericaCONTEXT Instability in FranceFrance experienced much political upheaval in Tocquevilles lifetime. Westward ExpansionMore people became Americans as the United States expanded west. Jacksonian DemocracyVoting rights expanded for adult white men in the early 19th century, while African Americans and Native Americans were mistreated.Industrial RevolutionManufacturing boomed in the early 19th century. Main IdeasPolitical EqualityPolitical equality is the foundation for democracy. Mobility & ChangeThe American spirit embraces change, growth, and expansion. Tyranny of the MajorityGovernment by a tyrannical majority undermines democracy. Mild DespotismComplacency of the people leads to authoritarian government. Andrew Jackson17671845U.S. president during Tocquevilles visit James Madison17511836Fourth U.S. president; supported a stronger governmentThomas Jefferson17431826Third U.S. president; supported limited government Gustave de Beaumont18021866Young French aristocrat; Tocquevilles friend and research partner Key FiguresFrenchOriginal Language1835, 1840Years PublishedAlexis de TocquevilleAuthorDemocracy in AmericaPolitical ScienceNonfiction

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