Alexis de Toquevill

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Alexis de Toquevill

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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 ©2012, TESCCC

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 ©2012, TESCCC

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 egalitarianism individualism populism laissez-faire ©2012, TESCCC

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