Freedom Week Presentation
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1. Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America ©2012, TESCCC
2. Biography: Alexis de Tocqueville Born in 1805
25 year old French intellectual
Father taught him the importance of public service and was imprisoned during the French Revolution
Practiced law and served as a judge
3. Journey to America Traveled to the United States in 1831 to study the American prison system with Gustave de Beaumont, his traveling partner. The two were given permission by the monarch King Louis Philippe, who wanted to reform the French prison system.
Visited 17 of 24 states
Interviewed 200 Americans, mostly elite men and women in society.
Returned to France in 1832 and began writing Democracy in America
Married an Englishwoman, Mary Mottley in 1835
Died in 1859
4. Democracy in America Observations: Politics and society were very different in America than in Europe
Impressed by the direct participation in New England town meetings
Voluntary associations existed in every community for the purpose of political or social participation – particularly political parties
Voters actively participated in elections
Social manners were more casual than in Europe (i.e. shaking hands in place of the bow and curtsy)
Recognized the competition of trade – merchants in the market
Values of American Success as a constitutional republic: liberty
laissez-faire ©2012, TESCCC