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Tocqueville on America

Updated on April 23, 2019
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with three non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE

Alexis De Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville was a French aristocrat and political thinker who came to America in 1830 to see "What a great Republic looks like."

He spent nine months seeing as much of the young country as possible. Tocqueville later wrote two books about America that stand today as great classics, especially Democracy in America.

I will attempt to convey in only 600 words what Tocqueville thought about America.

DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA
DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA

Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) wrote that America was the land of democracy, an astonishing nation where democracy was first seen on earth, least hindered, and best perfected. Tocqueville believed the sovereignty of the People to be the foundation of American democracy.

The Puritans came to America for a reason, and thus the founding of our country is not shrouded in myth, or lost to the mists of time. To the Puritans the founding of America is Divine Providence. The Federalist Papers stated that America was to set an example for all mankind.

Democracy is largely government by popular opinion, as can be seen by the reliance of politicians on opinion polls today. An homogenous society is important to unity, because people tend to see those as most human those who are like oneself, according to Hegel, which tends to smooth the path to compassion for those less well off, and admiration—not envy—for those who have done better.

The great majority of Americans are neither rich nor poor but middle class. They are much attached to their personal property and therefore desirous of law and order.

America was founded as a decentralized country. There was a definite purpose in allowing each town to have a substantial measure of local authority. Serving on the local jury is a free school, and teaches people to reign.

Frequent town meetings, to which all citizens were invited to participate, and the numerous short-term elective offices put in place, gave people local sovereignty over things they personally knew about and cared about—what public buildings, parks, and other public works should be built and could be afforded; what culture and local school curriculum would best reflect the values of the residents. The consequences of these choices were readily apparent, making choosing well worth the time and effort. Good results reflected wise choices, and people took pride in their communities.

Counties had less authority, and dealt with issues that necessitated county-wide action, based on what the majority of elected town representatives decided.

States had less authority still, and had sovereignty over issues that were statewide in scope, but again decisions were made by the majority of representatives from the towns.

The federal government had the least authority over the lives of the countrymen. Only those things that must involve the entire nation were under its jurisdiction—the defense of the voluntary union of states, foreign treaties, a common currency, and the resolution of conflicts between states.

The foundational unit of American life is the family. Maintenance of liberty depends on virtuous habits of the heart. Virtue must be rewarded for society to influence the majority in that direction. This is why it is important for communities to have no public tolerance for adultery, and to frown on divorce.

Family and religion may be separate from government, but both are crucial to self-government. Tocqueville wrote that for America to succeed religion must be "the first of America's political institutions."

Tocqueville warned against a big national government, which would "relieve individuals of the necessity of acting and thinking on their own, and gradually rob them of several of the principle attributes of humanity."

Such universal debasement would replace God with the state, Tocqueville predicted in 1840. Power must be divided to preserve a degree of independence among states, counties, towns, and individuals. This will enable and encourage citizens to do more for themselves. Greater centralization of power will destroy democratic freedom.

America's greatness would require a vigorous defense of the principles on which the nation was founded for the sake of the nation's soul.

TOWN MEETINGS IN AMERICA
TOWN MEETINGS IN AMERICA
SEVEN VIRTUES
SEVEN VIRTUES
TOCQUEVILLE WOULD AGREE
TOCQUEVILLE WOULD AGREE

Sources

My source for this Hub is History of American Political Thought by Bryan-Paul Frost and Jeffrey Sikkenga.

RIGHTS COME WITH RESPONSIBILITES; WITH LIBERTY COMES DUTY; FREEDOM REQUIRES VIRTUE
RIGHTS COME WITH RESPONSIBILITES; WITH LIBERTY COMES DUTY; FREEDOM REQUIRES VIRTUE

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    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      suzettenaples— Thank you very much for taking the time to read article about the observations of Alexis de Tocqueville in regard to early America. I appreciate your gracious compliments. :)

      I find your comments to be most excellent. Part of what you wrote was,

      ". . . small federal government and a larger local government. That is not how it is today. I don't know if it is possible to go back to that innocent and pure time . . ."

      I think the first part of my quote of your words is something we do need to get back to and with the quickness. It is surely possible if the political will is present.

      As always, it is good to hear your erudite voice.

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      dahoglund— I sincerely appreciate this visit and your gracious compliments. Thank you for reading my article.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      7 years ago from Taos, NM

      Another excellent, well-written treatise on American government as seen by Toqueville. This is so interesting and informative. It is interesting to see what he saw, small federal government and a larger local government. That is not how it is today. I don't know if it is possible to go back to that innocent and pure time, when our country was in its infant stage. The U.S. has grown up an awful lot and is changing. I can't even get my head wrapped around this 2012 presidential election - all the candidates are so insipid, in my opinion. Heaven help America!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Very good summary of his thoughts and I think what we need to get back to. Congratulations for presenting it so well.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— The only relief is release. Yes. I know of where you speak. When I finally hit publish on an idea I have mentally conceptualized for a week, it is a big relief, sort of like overcoming constipation. :)

      Thank you for visiting and commenting, my friend.

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      Short - but just right.

      singlmomat52 made me laugh with her suggestion of giving de Tocquville's writings to Mr Obama and all the president's men. My first thought was - "What! - They've read a book?"

      And don't apologise for 'the flurry of hubs'. As the prophet Jeremiah observed, a word that needs to come out burns like fire in our bones. (Jeremiah 20:9)

      I know the agony, because when I need to write I can pace up and down like a caged animal for days as I meditate on a message, and the only relief is release.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      boba020682— Thank you! I agree with you that Tocqueville had a prescient understanding of Democracy in America. I apologize for the flurry of Hubs. I had some ideas I wanted to get out before I take the summer off from writing Hubs and concentrate on my book. I have three more in the pipeline but they are lite, fun fare. Then I'll be back after Labor Day. Thank you for your support.

    • boba020682 profile image

      boba020682 

      9 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Great bit of information there James!

      Very nice job!

      I think Tocqueville had a very good understanding of what is required for a democratic government to function and survive.

      I don't want to tell you to slow down but I am having a hard time keeping up with your writing.

      Keep the pressure on!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      tracykarl99— Yes, he is! I hadn't heard about the new book. My New Yorker subscription ran out a few months ago. I need more Adsense dollars! Thanks for the tip and the visit. I'll check New Yorker on line.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Jane Grey— The book was published in 1835, about 45 years after the French Revolution. Thank you and you're welcome.

      :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      billyaustindillon— Thank you for your kind compliments. I very much enjoyed reading your remarks.

    • tracykarl99 profile image

      Tracy 

      9 years ago from San Francisco

      Interesting man, Tocqueville! You might enjoy a recent book review in the New Yorker Magazine by James Wood ~ evidently, there is a new book about Tocqueville, and it sounds great! (New Yorker issue, May 17th)

    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 

      9 years ago from Oregon

      Good to know- I had no idea when Democracy in America was published in relation to the French Revolution. Thanks!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      cameciob— Why, thank you, dear. It's great to hear from you. I appreciate you for reading my work. I might just take your advice, too. :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Joni Douglas— Yes, I have been working hard. I will stop by and read some Hubs but I won't be writing any. You can count on me promoting my book here. :-)

      Our populace is kept ignorant by the leftists who run our public schools, fed a false history, and socialist ideology, and a godless worldview. I love your wise words, especially these:

      "Imagine, an outsider being able to see that our religion is an intricate part of our foundation. Yet, so many of those born here are ignorant of that truth"

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 

      9 years ago

      James a very well written hub that clarifies and remembers Tocqueville ideals for America and of course French. These are important for people to measure just how far off track America has gotten.

    • cameciob profile image

      cameciob 

      9 years ago

      Hi James, you got the essence of Tocqueville’s book. Indeed you should have been a teacher.

      I read the book again, seven years ago, as I was a new immigrant in US. I am still discovering America but the book helped a lot. I think thighs have not changed too much since his visit. (I also read Vertigo. I wanted to do a hub but is too complex for me. You should do it.)

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 

      9 years ago

      I guess I missed this one. You have been working hard James. I will selfishly add my sentiments to SilverGenes above and admit I will miss reading your latest. Can you go all summer without peeking in? When you finish that book, please unabashedly promote it here. I, for one, will read it.

      As for Mr. Tocqueville, if he wrote what he saw, then wow, weren't we great? Maybe that fundamental change we keep hearing about isn't hope just more dope.

      Imagine, an outsider being able to see that our religion is an intricate part of our foundation. Yet, so many of those born here are ignorant of that truth. America, for the most part has always believed in a strong defense. Who knew that we need it against our own to maintain our core principles?

      Superb job James.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Pamela99— Thank you for coming. Tocqueville got around pretty good during those nine months, and he was very observant. The book I am writing has a bit of Tocqueville in it—seeing America "that way" that is. You are welcome.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      tonymac04— You're welcome, Tony. I appreciate your kind words. Love and Peace to you and to all.

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      ethel smith— Thank you! Thank you very much. :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      de Tocqueville seems to have learned very quickly and to write two books after being here 9 months is amazing. I wich we could see America that way today. You wrote a very good hub. Thanks.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Kaie Arwen— You're welcome! I do have my glasses on. :D

      Thank you for your encouragement and support. It means a lot to me.

      j

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      An interesting look at an interesting person. Thanks for sharing this, James, I appreciate it.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      PARTISAN PATRIOT— Yes, you are right that Marx and Alinsky are the two idols of this current bunch in power. Your comments in general are well put. I thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today.

      God save America!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      A very in deoth Hub as always James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      rondre64— Thank you, friend. It's great to hear from you again!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      9 years ago

      James- Great summary of the thoughts of a very great man............ you SEE and I am very happy you share. Thank you for this.........

      K

    • profile image

      PARTISAN PATRIOT 

      9 years ago

      James

      Alexis de Tocqueville would not recognize the America he visited those many years ago. America may very well be the land democracy was last seen on earth!

      The intentions of this current Regime, unlike those of our founding Puritans are shrouded in myth; that myth first put forth by Karl Marx. This bunch is indeed attempting to instill, against the will of WE THE PEOPLE, the principles as outlined in Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Saul Alinski’s Rules for Radicals!

      Democracy was intended to be government by popular opinion; this Regime’s opinion of Democracy is Government in spite of Popular Opinion!

      By the way greta hub as usual.

      God Bless and SAVE AMERICA!

    • rondre64 profile image

      rondre64 

      9 years ago

      As usual James you have written another great piece. You've summed up de Tocqueville splendedly.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Jane Grey— Well, hello! It's great to see you again. Thank you for your kind compliments and you're welcome.

      I love Democracy in America, too. I can tell by your comments that you see it clearly. This book couldn't have contributed to the French Revolution due to the time line.

    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 

      9 years ago from Oregon

      James,

      An excellent read, as usual! Even more amazing because of its concision.

      I have long appreciated Democracy in America for how well it has shown us what we might not have known (or acknowledged) about our Christ-centered founding. I love de Tocqueville's emphasis on the virtue of families and women fulfilling their womanly duties in the home, for that is what makes America strong.

      Do you think that this book contributed at all to the French Revolution? I know the F.Rev. was a gruesome attempt to mirror America's "revolution" (war for independence, I like to call it), so I'm curious to know what you think about this book in the cause of the war.

      Thank you!

      Jane

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Green Lotus— Thank you for your astute insights. Yes, Tocqueville did write about the evils of slavery. England had been enlightened by William Wilberforce and slavery ended in the West. I wish it would end everywhere. I appreciate you for coming by.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      John B Badd— You are very discerning for a young man. And yes, our survival skills are woefully weak in the USA. The sheeple have come to depend on the government for so much they ought do for themselves. A dependent people are an easily controlled people. Thank you for your fine comments and welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Tom T— You're welcome and I thank you for the laudations, my friend. I agree with you that Tocqueville was quite prophetic. Your comments are excellent, especially:

      "not only do we have a growing federal government but an increasingly secular push to take over the government."

      Very perceptive, my friend.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SilverGenes— Aw, well . . . I am thankful that you have said such nice things to me. I am ready to knuckle down and get 'er done. I do have a large catalog on HubPages to choose from. I appreciate your encouragement very much. :)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Wealthmadehealthy— You are welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read my pithy piece. I appreciate your comments and compliments. I hope your day is blessed.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Loves To Read— You're welcome. Thank you. We are in the age of the tyranny of the minority, mostly through federal courts usurping the authority of the legislature, and bypassing democracy, by making new laws from the bench. I appreciate your excellent insights!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      prasetio30— Thank you for your kind regards and the "Thumbs Up." I'm glad you liked this Hub.

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Hello, hello,— You're welcome. I am well aware of America's past regarding black folks and American Indians. That has been exhaustively written about and talked about ad nauseum. What I am presenting here is not talked about at all. It is neglected.

      Black folks are treated better in America today than anywhere in the world—and at any time in world history—including in Africa. You may notice they are not pining to go back there. The KKK may be in the news over there but not over here. Their heyday was 50 to 100 years ago. 600,000 white men gave their lives in the struggle to end slavery here.

      You have not hurt my feelings at all. I welcome any point of view to these coversations. You certainly have a valid point of view and I thank you for your frank expressions of your thoughts.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      psychicdog.net— And I thought your countrymates were our friends! :D

      You're welcome and thank you for bringing my attention to "Tall Poppy Syndrome!" I had never heard that term before. I abosutely love it!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Interesting reading James. I remember studying de Tocqueville in school, and I do recall and admire much of what he wrote on Democracy and the advantages Americans had over Europeans being free from the old-world aristocracy and free to practice their religion of choice. He was also I believe one of the first to speak out against slavery.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      sheila b.— I appreciate your keen observations. Let's hope America wakes up sooner than later.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      H P Roychoudhury— I am always interested your wise comments from the perspective of India, my friend. Thank you for sharing your insights. Especially this:

      "It was a lesson of statement true not only for the people of America but to mankind"

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      drbj— Yes, you definitely discerned the central point. Thank you for your gracious compliments.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Nell Rose— You're welcome, Nell. I've been working alright. Thanks for your kind words.

    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Great Hub, I love the part about people loosing certain critical facilities when large governments start thinking for them. I have been noticing this very thing occuring at a rapid pace over the last 20 years(probably longer but im 34 so its when i started noticing it). Insurance companies tell us how we have to stay safe, breaks pump themselves, they even have a van that parralel parks itself (i fear the day that feature malfunctions). Most young peoople i know can not swing a hammer, use a wrench, or cook. It is sad and scarry. If the mess ever hits the fan we will be a nation in chaos.

    • Tom T profile image

      Tom T 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for this hub. Another fact filled masterpiece. I do recall that he was quite keyed in on how religion and morality went hand in hand with liberty in the US. This he saw as part of the secret of America's success. Thanks for filling in more details and info on De Tocqueville

      Funny how now not only do we have a growing federal government but an increasingly secular push to take over the government.

      When people think of French prophets, they think of Nostradamus. Seems that De Tocqueville is turning out to be an evern better French prophet.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 

      9 years ago

      Oh, my goodness, James! I'm glad you are writing your book over the summer but am selfishly thinking what on earth I will do without more hubs from James A Watkins in the meantime. Never mind - I'll get a grip on my selfishness and read and re-read everything you have on here and that should keep me busy long past Labor Day. Looking forward to the book :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      mysterylady 89— I know! I am on a Hub writing binge, but it will end one week from today. I have stuff I want to get out and then I am taking 90 days off from writing Hubs to solely concentrate on my book. I'll be back after Labor Day. Thank you and you're welcome. :D

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      singlmomat52— You are welcome and thank you. I'm pretty sure the president and his colleagues have read Tocqueville's book—they simply do not agree with him.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      50 Caliber— Thank you for the compliment, punching the buttons up, and the stumble. I appreciate your insights, particularly this:

      "The progressives are dismantling the core that has in the past made this country strong. They are divisive by nature and seem to want to catalog folks into groups only to pit one against the other."

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Paraglider— You are right, my learned friend. That Progressive bit doesn't fit. I removed it just now.

      You've made many interesting observations here. Especially:

      "As is so often the case with historical figures, he can be considered great not for the 'absolute' position he upheld, but for its 'relative' advance on what had gone before."

      Thank you for coming to visit and for your remarks.

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image

      Wealthmadehealthy 

      9 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      Tocqueville was correct concerning government. Of course, if mankind had not evolved they way it has down through the years, we might have retained the basic freedoms we once enjoyed as Americans. This was a great article...Thanks for writing it.

      Have a blessed day!!

    • Loves To Read profile image

      Loves To Read 

      9 years ago

      Very interesting hub thanks James. As i'm not from America this was very informative material. Sadly this great man had the right idea in making people responsible for their own actions. There has and is too much today, that has been taken out of the hands of individuals and just voted on and passed by some minority groups. This is not just in America or Australia.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I learn much from this hub. You always come up with great information. Thumbs Up for you. Peace:)

      Prasetio

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, James, for a informative read. In the West we all talk about democracy and to some extent we got, especially if we compare it to communism, but it is not that complete as it looks. Religion wise in America, yes there is more than freedom but race and colour wise, I am sorry but I don't think so. It had gone a lot better than it was but it is still there as it is in Europe. People get straightway shunt because they are coloured. Hardly anybody finds out first what that person is like. I am sorry I have to say that and know I hurt people who are proud of their country and why shouldn't they be. James, you say that only recently the democracy is being demolished. You have to face that fact that there is the Ku Klux Klan which has only very lately been a bit cut down. Now these people were absolute going wild and they were people of quite high standards hiding behind the mask and only whites. Also many other organised lots as well. Sorry, James, I know it will hurt you because I know you are very proud of your country but at the same time we have to be realistic that democracy in the West was and is not all that existing and it never will be. We just have to make sure that a dictorship doesn't quietly creep in and take over. These powermad people will always exists and only too ready to move in.

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 

      9 years ago

      Brilliant hub James, if only I could get some of the people where I live to adopt this attitude more, there seems to be so much (unjustified) suspicion of the American Way...I wish there was more "admiration—not envy—for those who have done better" as opposed to Tall Poppy syndrome. Well done and thank-you.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      9 years ago

      We must recognize that it is not only the President but almost all of the Congress leading us in the wrong direction, and it is going to take more than the next couple of elections to get us on the right path.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      suziecat7— You knew this was coming? :D

      Thank you for being my first visitor!!

      There are dark forces trying to bring the country down. They might succeed. False histories have made her seem not worth defending to many young folks.

      I appreciate this visit and your kind words.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      9 years ago from Guwahati, India

      The great statesman of French, Tocqueville who believed the sovereignty of the People to be the foundation of American democracy more than hundred years before found to be true. It was a lesion of statement true not only for the people of America but to mankind.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      I believe many of us today are learning what de Toqueville preached so long ago: that "greater centralization of power will destroy democratic freedom." Unfortunately, we are learning this axiom first-hand as a result of the action (or in some cases inaction) of our current leadership.

      Excellent translation, James, of de Toqueville's writings.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      9 years ago from England

      Hi, James, mysterylady said it! I need to catch up. thanks for this history, I had never heard of him. it's nice to see a piece about someone not that well known outside America, and I will be going over to see what else you have been busy scribbling without me knowing! lol thanks nell

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 

      9 years ago from Florida

      Wow, James, you are writing more Hubs than I have had time to comment on. One of these days, I will catch up. In the meantime, thanks for the lessons in American history!

    • singlmomat52 profile image

      singlmomat52 

      9 years ago

      Nicely done!!!

      I think it would be a good suggestion for someone to send our present President and his colleagues Mr. Tocqueville's Book. They might learn a few things about trully caring for this great country.

      Thanks for another great Hub!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      James, great piece, the man had foresight and you captured it well, the final paragraphs speak volumes to the plight of this country today. The progressives are dismantling the core that has in the past made this country strong. They are divisive by nature and seem to want to catalog folks into groups only to pit one against the other. I punched your buttons up, and will add this one to my stumble as well. Peace 50

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Interesting summary of Tocqueville's work. Tocqueville was extremely progressive for his day, as these were not the ideas beloved by European establishments.

      For this reason, your last paragraph (on the 20th C Progressives) doesn't seem to gel with what goes before.

      Tocqueville was praising America, not for going back to some old lost standard, but for moving forward to something newer, better.

      As is so often the case with historical figures, he can be considered great not for the 'absolute' position he upheld, but for its 'relative' advance on what had gone before.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 

      9 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I was waiting for this, James. How we have strayed from the wisdom of the days of de Tocquevlle's observations. Today we have people trying to remove "In God We Trust" from our currency. Great Hub.

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