After already obtaining an uneven distribution of wealth in the nation among the three estates, the debt from the American Revolution took a toll on France’s financial stability, practically bankrupting them. Struggling from the large gap between the wealthy and the poor, it was suggested by Sieyes that the third estate, commoners (97%), were the people who made up the nation of France and that they needed to take a stand, which they did. The third estate followed Rosseau, who’s ideas were developed from Locke, on his ideas of “general will” of the nation, and that they should form a national assembly of their own since they were the nation (SMW 76). The French Revolution unfolded into three phases of constitutional monarchy, radical republicanism, and military consolidation, resulting in the issue of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, among other accomplishments. Also following the American Revolution, and the Declaration of Independence, the French used Locke’s ideas in his Second Treatise of Government as a guideline to their new constitution.
Alex de Tocqueville explored aspects of the perplexing American Union Federal system in “From Democracy in America” whilst searching for a successful government style that would eradicate the failing and outdated monarchy of France. de Tocqueville first opens his excerpt by examining the lack of separation of power between head of state and congress, stating how both entities withheld the ability to “use the militias in cases of insurrection or invasion” (From Democracy in America) which consequently caused chaos during the War of 1812. This haphazard policy caused de Tocqueville to question the effectiveness of the federal system because the “absurd and destructive doctrines received not only the sanction of the Governors and the legislature,
Alexis de Toqueville, a Frenchman and author of Democracy in America, wrote that he “saw America as 'the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions’” (Feller). Toqueville wrote this statement during Andrew Jackson's first presidential term. In the election of 1824, between Jackson and John Quincy Adams, Jackson received the most popular votes and electoral college votes, but he did not acquire the necessary simple majority. As a result, the election was transferred to the House of Representatives where each state would get one vote.
“If all men were angels, then no government would be necessary” - James Madison (Federalist Papers 51.) Thomas Jefferson was an integral founding father in setting up the long term success of the United States, an undeniably skilled pen man, and the young nation’s third president and, the first Democratic-Republican to take office. The election of Jefferson is acknowledged to be a revolution in its own right as Jefferson’s ideals and voter base were very different from the Federalists he won the office from. Celebrated at the time and today as a voice of the common man heard in office. The beliefs of Jeffersonian Democracy were built on a design that served the purpose of taking away power from the government.
President Andrew Jackson was an influential, “common man” of the people. And though Jackson’s opponents, the National Republicans and the Whig party, have accused him of being despotic through his use of vetoes, expansion of presidential power, and neglect of constitution, it was clear to Jackson and the public that he had merely sought to follow the will of the people. Therefore his presidency had, indeed, reflected an era of democracy. President Jackson himself was a symbol of democracy of the Egalitarian Age. This is clear in his election in 1828.
In colonial America, the citizens did not know exactly what they wanted for their government. The colonists knew they didn’t want their lives to be like they had been in England. They were open to ideas; they did not know what would work and what wouldn’t. The colonists knew that trial and error was the best idea at the time. The democratic and undemocratic features of colonial America were very apparent in that democracy as it was a work in progress.
Democracy is the foundation of the American government, and its application creates the opportunity of social class intermingling. Albeit in the form of social interaction or working one’s way up the chain of command. The labor standoff between the Homestead workers and management became the tipping point for manners in American democracy. This tipping point resulted in violent altercations, assassination attempts, and ultimately broken spirits. The Homestead strike in the 19th century not only exemplifies how democracy instigated class blending, but also diminished morality.
Problems in America only grew worse when democracy was being added to the mixture of already complicated politics. In Woody Holton’s book, Unruly American and the Origins of the Constitution, he stated that, “many Americans. . . were growing ‘tired of an excess of democracy,’ a ‘prevailing rage of excessive democracy. . .’ [or] ‘democratical tyranny.’” Democracy was an attempt at home rule among the colonies, but not everyone was happy with this extreme excess of colonial citizens contribution to the government.
In 1831 French sociologist and political theorist Alexis De Tocqueville and a lawyer he befriended named Gustave de Beaumont, spent nine months traveling around America studying its prisons and came back with a full report on the cultural, political and psychological life in America. While Beaumont wrote about the penitentiary system, Tocqueville focused more in the cultural and political life in America. He wrote two essays and published them in a book called Democracy in America. He discussed the possible threats to democracy and the possible dangers of democracy. He believed that religion and equality were the greatest ideas and they were the most advanced in the United States and that's why democracy worked so well in America.
Research Paper On Democracy in Canada Name : Harpreet Kaur Introduction The word democracy describes a Political System of any country. Dramatic changes have taken place in recent Years at the national level with respect to the day today functioning of our constitutional democracy. In a Democratic country like Canada , America all the citizens that are eligible have the rights to participate directly or indirectly in decision making that affect them.
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.
Alexis De Tocqueville wrote one of the most relevant texts on modern democratic nations through his analysis of the United States of America, recorded in his book “Democracy in America”. The relevancy in his social and political theory lies in the fact that his analysis of the democratic state, the conditions it arises in and its consequential effects can be seen in political trends that followed after his time and can be observed even today. He certainly was able to accurately predict America’s future as a superpower in the conclusion of the first volume, wherein he states, “They (Americans) were born to rule the sea as the Romans were born to conquer the world.” . However, despite the nature of his reputable political theory, many have justifiably
Furthermore, taking the work as a whole, one finds that main problems of a democracy are the following: a disproportionately high portion of power in the legislative branch, an abuse of or lack of love for freedom, an excessive drive for equality, individualism, and materialism. The elements that Tocqueville believes can most successfully combat these dangerous democratic tendencies are: an independent and influential judiciary, a strong executive branch, local self-government, administrative de-centralization, religion, well-educated women, freedom of association, and freedom of the press. Tocqueville directly applies this newfound thesis to American democracy and explains how this situation can affect the United States. He references this thesis in talking about the pros and cons to American democracy, specifically the dangers and benefits of the
He puts forward the idea of “freedom of opinion” (Tocqueville 106) and constitutes it as “independence of mind and real freedom of discussion” (Tocqueville 104). Unlike Locke, this stretches far beyond what is done. Tocqueville is careful to differentiate this liberty from the freedom of speech, as this freedom from opinion is more meant to indicate the freedom to follow different paths of thought and not be unfairly judged for it. Once again, it is the majority who suppresses this in Tocqueville’s opinion, as scorn and persecution for unwanted opinions permeate throughout society (Tocqueville 105). Tocqueville’s entanglement of liberty and what is right means that a majority’s limitation of liberty is unjust, while Locke’s concept of liberty means it must necessarily be restrained by a majority in order to protect the principle aim of government, to protect
Democracy was often viewed by many who saw it as akin to anarchy and mob rule even as late as the nineteenth century. It was only until the revolutions which rose around the eighteenth century that democracy began to be seen as a serious force, which would eventually shape political discourse on a large, international scale. The following revolutions and rebellions were influenced greatly by these events in history. Even with the cruelty and its ultimate failure, it could be argued that the goals and events of the French Revolution is still relevant in modern society and has a large influence in future democracy with their goal of overthrowing government for equality and showcasing the dangers of mob rule.