Almost diminutive in stature, acutely sensitive, and plagued by severe bouts of anxiety since childhood, he remained close to his parents throughout his life. Despite a frail voice in a fragile body, distaste for the daily demands of parliamentary existence, and long periods of illness and nervous exhaustion, Tocqueville chose politics as his vocation and adhered to this choice until he was driven from office. His decision in favour of a public career was made with some assurance of success. His father was a loyal royalist prefect and in was made a peer of France by Charles X. At that time, young Tocqueville moved easily into government service as an apprentice magistrate.
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Both of his parents had been jailed during the Reign of Terror. After attending college in Metz, Tocqueville studied law in Paris and was appointed a magistrate in Versailles, where he met his future wife and befriended a fellow lawyer named Gustave de Beaumont.
Did you know? During his travels in the United States, one of the first things that surprised Alexis de Tocqueville about American culture was how early everyone seemed to eat breakfast.
Unable to advance, he and Beaumont secured permission to carry out a study of the American penal system, and in April they set sail for Rhode Island. In Pennsylvania , Tocqueville spent a week interviewing every prisoner in the Eastern State Penitentiary. In Washington , D. The travelers returned to France in Tocqueville was impressed by much of what he saw in American life, admiring the stability of its economy and wondering at the popularity of its churches.
He blamed the French Revolution on corruption among the nobility and on the political disillusionment of the French population. Citation Information.
Demokracie podle de Tocquevillea
Materialism Situation of women[ edit ] Tocqueville was one of the first social critics to examine the situation of U. He writes: "In no country has such constant care been taken as in America to trace two clearly distinct lines of action for the two sexes and to make them keep pace one with the other, but in two pathways that are always different. Tocqueville seeks to apply the functional aspects of democracy in the United States to what he sees as the failings of democracy in his native France. These include his belief that democracy has a tendency to degenerate into " soft despotism " as well as the risk of developing a tyranny of the majority. He observes that the strong role religion played in the United States was due to its separation from the government, a separation all parties found agreeable. He contrasts this to France, where there was what he perceived to be an unhealthy antagonism between democrats and the religious, which he relates to the connection between church and state. Tocqueville also outlines the possible excesses of passion for equality among men, foreshadowing the totalitarian states of the twentieth century.
Alexis de Tocqueville Quotes
Both of his parents had been jailed during the Reign of Terror. After attending college in Metz, Tocqueville studied law in Paris and was appointed a magistrate in Versailles, where he met his future wife and befriended a fellow lawyer named Gustave de Beaumont. Did you know? During his travels in the United States, one of the first things that surprised Alexis de Tocqueville about American culture was how early everyone seemed to eat breakfast.