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University of Toronto St. George
Irving Zeitlin

Tocqueville, Martineau, Taylor-Mill January-10-11 4:18 PM Memory is to the individual as history is to society o We will be discussing today one of the outstanding historical sociologists o Three basic elements to historical sociology Concern with social structure (the social context) We have to understand the history that came before it The history The historical background The biography A concern with whom the historical individuals were - these people will stand out and so we need to study the individuals and how important they are) Think of these things in terms of the counter-factuals (what would have happened if instead ) o What is the difference between a historian and a historical-sociologist o If we define history as a unique and unrepeatable series of events A historian will study Julius Caesar, then a historical-sociologist will study Caesarism Historical sociologist will be interested in causes and consequences - why something happened, not just why it happened This makes sense - we want the context, history and biography - this makes sense into our historical consciousness Tocqueville o He lived through the revolution and Napoleon o He was a personal witness to the coupe dtat of Napoleon Bonaparte o So then Tocqueville wanted to know, what are the conditions of a revolution - how does this happen? The key concept in Tocqueville is the rise of the Demos (people) Master trend from aristocracy to democracy - the people start to play a more significant role in history There was not the kind of violence in American democracy that there was in democracy in France o What was unique about American that was fundamentally different from Europe and France? There was no old regime - there was no established church or monarchy (after the revolution), or nobility (or aristocracy) There were no large metropolitan cities with slums and ghettos There were poor people, but it was nothing like the slums of London No state bureaucracy There were no great industrial centres (like Manchester and Liverpool)
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