Summary Of Democracy In America By Alexis De Tocqueville

1052 Words5 Pages
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville provides an analysis and critique of American civic life. During his travels across the country, he discovered how different America was from Europe, particularly France. While the majority of Europe consisted of aristocratic countries with hundreds of years of history, America was a young democratic country. Most notably, he observed that America was growing in equality. The growing equality becomes a presupposition of individualism and isolation, but despite this inevitable growth of equality, individualism and isolation can be minimized. Tocqueville provided an analysis of how citizens can prevent equality from evolving into a high degree of isolation.
Tocqueville analyzed and compared America 's democratic society and Europe 's aristocratic society. In Europe, men remained in a fixed state and class; some men held greater influence and power over others. There was a formal social hierarchy where "a man almost always knows his
…show more content…
He noted that the reason a majority of Americans were equal was because citizens were born equal instead of becoming so. America started with a clean slate and all of its settlers were of the same class, thus they all had the same opportunities. So, in America 's democracy, bonds between people are extended and loosened. This is evident in the changes in the family-young men become masters of their own thoughts, conduct, and destiny. Men are no longer restricted to their ancestors ' status; there is not a bond with the past, present, and future. Men can achieve prosperity regardless of their family background, and democracy allows for them to have the same opportunities as their fellow brethren. Equality in America dissolved the ties between generations and social hierarchy, making men forget their roots while simultaneously separating their contemporaries from them. This is where solitude and isolation
Open Document