Lecture 21 - Democratic Statecraft: Tocqueville, Democracy in America

author: Steven B. Smith, Department of Political Science, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Jan. 4, 2010,   recorded: November 2006,   views: 3311
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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With the emergence of democracies in Europe and the New World at the beginning of the nineteenth century, political philosophers began to re-evaluate the relationship between freedom and equality. Tocqueville, in particular, saw the creation of new forms of social power that presented threats to human liberty. His most famous work, Democracy in America, was written for his French countrymen who were still devoted to the restoration of the monarchy and whom Tocqueville wanted to convince that the democratic social revolution he had witnessed in America was equally representative of France's future.

Reading assignment:

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, pp. 3-15, 56-65, 235-64 (Mansfield and Winthrop edition)

Resources: Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. Henry Reeve

Electronic edition deposited and marked-up by ASGRP, theAmerican Studies Programs at the University of Virginia, June 1, 1997

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