Lecture 22 - 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: 2921
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Three main features that Tocqueville regarded as central to American democracy are discussed: the importance of local government, the concept of "civil association," and "the spirit of religion." The book is not simply a celebration of the democratic experience in America; Tocqueville is deeply worried about the potential of a democratic tyranny.

Reading assignment:

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, pp. 274-302, 426-28, 479-84, 485-88 (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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