An analysis of the equality in democracy of the united states of america

Analysis Recognizing the sovereignty of the people is essential for a democratic government. Equal rights may exist of indulging in the same pleasures, of entering the same professions, of frequenting the same places — in a word, of living in the same manner and seeking wealth by the same means, although all men do not take an equal share in the government.

But in personal matters a person does what he wants. Those, on the contrary, who were formerly at the foot of the social scale, and who have been brought up to the common level by a sudden revolution, cannot enjoy their newly acquired independence without secret uneasiness; and if they meet with some of their former superiors on the same footing as themselves, they stand aloof from them with an expression of triumph and of fear.

A man may be the equal of all his countrymen save one, who is the master of all without distinction, and who selects equally from among them all the agents of his power. He is head of the military, and is responsible for keeping order and for seeing that laws are executed.

alexis de tocqueville quotes

Like it or not, equality of conditions is destined to spread to all human civilization, with all its attending blessings and blights.

Insightful analysis of political society was supplemented in the second volume by description of civil society as a sphere of private and civilian affairs mirroring Hegel.

Rather, Tocqueville thinks of equality of condition in terms of a leveling out of classes caused over the course of several centuries. This suggests that political mobilization has potential as an instrument of equality.

Tocqueville democracy in america summary

There are no interest groups at all organizing the recipients of means-tested social programs. Because the Indians were hunters, they did not actually possess the land. But to meaner souls, untouched by the sacred flame, it may well seem incomprehensible. Criminal law in New England was based on Biblical moral codes. This practice of governing in the township acts as civic education, giving citizen clear ideas of duties and rights. The connection between the land and the family name which exists when there are laws of primogeniture is eradicated. Political Effects of Administrative Decentralization in the United States There are two types of centralization: governmental dealing with nation-wide interests and administrative dealing with more specialized concerns. 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. Nothing can check its progress, neither privileges, nor local immunities, nor personal influence, nor even the authority of reason, for it represents the majority, which claims to be the unique organ of reason. 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. Political Consequences of the Social State of the Anglo-Americans For equality in the political sphere, either every citizen or no citizen can have rights. Amongst these nations equality preceded freedom: equality was therefore a fact of some standing when freedom was still a novelty: the one had already created customs, opinions, and laws belonging to it, when the other, alone and for the first time, came into actual existence. He is head of the military, and is responsible for keeping order and for seeing that laws are executed.

The passion which equality engenders must therefore be at once strong and general.

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Alexis de Tocqueville