Author Topic: Democracy in America by de Toqueville  (Read 2405 times)


  • Bristles
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Democracy in America by de Toqueville
« on: August 30, 2017, 12:42:58 AM »
Excellent and thoughtful book, written about 1830. He thought that the US had been settled predominantly by the British middle class, which was accustomed to participating in managing affairs in their locality, and extended this experience in participating in managing a nation. He thought that even though Mexicans had adopted much of the US Constitution and laws, this did not make Mexico like the US. He thought that social customs and attitudes were more important than formal laws, which in turn were more important than the geography and natural resources of the country.

He predicted that Russia and the US would come to dominate world affairs in the future, because of the large size of their territories.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Democracy in America by de Toqueville
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 02:19:13 AM »
It's a pity that Russia is becoming more like Mexico. It had the potential to be great, but communism and corruption ruined it.

I do agree that social customs are more important than laws. If the people in great numbers don't want to follow the law, it will cost too much to enforce it. In fact, in democracy those people can vote for their self interest at the cost of the country. Actually what I see in Europe is that the protestant culture of honest hard work and frugality has been responsible for much of the wealth that currently exists. I am curious what will happen now that Christianity has declined so much. Will the values that where derived from it fade or will people recognize the good in them and keep it up?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Democracy in America by de Toqueville
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 08:34:21 AM »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Democracy in America by de Toqueville
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 05:31:58 PM »
I've had this on my Kindle for ages, sadly not having read it yet.

Project Gutenberg is great for public domain books (anything pre-1923 and some things later).  My only caveat is that old translations of foreign works tend to be quite stilted compared to modern ones, so it might be worth paying for those.


  • Stubble
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Re: Democracy in America by de Toqueville
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 01:48:09 PM »
The fact that the character of the people in an area is more meaningful than the resources or laws themselves has been echoed by many intellectual giants. Morality must be part of the fabric of a society, not a fence around it.