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Chapter 10

Chapter 10 Ideology

3 pages40 viewsWinter 2011

Course Code
Irving Zeitlin

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Chapter 10- Tocqueville – 1805-1859
Democracy in America
-grappled with both the Industrial and democratic rev’ns
-Feared the victory of the demos would lead to the erosion of the aristocratic values and
-The history of France showed that the rising masses made way for despotism
-The American Revolution was free of despotism
-Aristocracy: the rich land owners
-First major work: Democracy in America
-in America, people ruled, freedom, government based on separation of and balance of
-never had an old regime nor a great industrial area, the absence of this made their form
of order and liberty possible
-one meaning of ‘democracy’: referred to the permanent revolt of the lower classes
-described it as providential
-In Europe, there needed to be a new science of politics for a new world, and the lack of this
accounted for the extreme violence of the social conflict in France
-the priviledged were bent on letting the people govern
-democracy is evil and the benefits were ignored
-Admired English politics like Montesqieu
-brought to America free institutions, the township
-at the beginning, the middle-class fought against the growth of an aristocracy
-in North and in New England, the settlers shared class origin, religion, language and political
-praised local autonomy and decentralized government in America—used as a critique against
France’s centralized state bureaucracy
-much of his work in The Old Regime and the French Revolution was devoted to this
-In New England, no tradition exists of a distinction of rank, no portion of the community is
tempted to oppress another, and any wrongdoings are forgotten about due to the contentment of
the community
The Three Races of the United States
-rejection of racism
-the races appeared distinct, not so much due to their outward characteristics but to their culture
and education
-the natives and blacks had been forced into inferior positions and subjected to tyranny and
worse at the hands of the whites
-blacks were deprived of all privileges of humanity –historic memories, family etc
-natives were forced from their native lands, tribes were expelled, whites appropriated their land
-more sensitive to the slavery involving different races than slavery between masters and slaves
of the same race—slavery of antiquity
-prejudice was stronger in the North than South—blacks were shunned away
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