An introduction to the necessity of democracy in the united states

Author's Introduction AMONG the novel objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people. I readily discovered the prodigious influence that this primary fact exercises on the whole course of society; it gives a peculiar direction to public opinion and a peculiar tenor to the laws; it imparts new maxims to the governing authorities and peculiar habits to the governed. I soon perceived that the influence of this fact extends far beyond the political character and the laws of the country, and that it has no less effect on civil society than on the government; it creates opinions, gives birth to new sentiments, founds novel customs, and modifies whatever it does not produce. The more I advanced in the study of American society, the more I perceived that this equality of condition is the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived and the central point at which all my observations constantly terminated.

An introduction to the necessity of democracy in the united states

Materialism Situation of women[ edit ] Tocqueville was one of the first social critics to examine the situation of U. Consistent with this limited view of the potential of women to act as equals to men, as well as his apparently missing on his travels seeing the nurturing roles that many men in the United States played, particularly in the Delaware Valley region of cultures where there was a lot of influence by Society of Friends as well as a tradition of male and female equality, Tocqueville considered the separate spheres of women and men a positive development, stating: Tocqueville seeks to apply the functional aspects of democracy in the United States to what he sees as the failings of democracy in his native France.

These include his belief that democracy has a tendency to degenerate into " soft despotism " as well as the risk of developing a tyranny of the majority. He observes that the strong role religion played in the United States was due to its separation from the government, a separation all parties found agreeable.

He contrasts this to France where there was what he perceived to be an unhealthy antagonism between democrats and the religious, which he relates to the connection between church and state. Tocqueville also outlines the possible excesses of passion for equality among men, foreshadowing the totalitarian states of the twentieth century.

Insightful analysis of political society was supplemented in the second volume by description of civil society as a sphere of private and civilian affairs. Letters and Other Writings. Impact[ edit ] Democracy in America was published in two volumes, the first in and the other in It was immediately popular in both Europe and the United States, while also having a profound impact on the French population.

By the twentieth century, it had become a classic work of political sciencesocial scienceand history. It is a commonly assigned reading for undergraduates of American universities majoring in the political or social sciences, and part of the introductory political theory syllabus at Cambridge, Oxford, Princeton and other institutions.

In the introduction to his translation of the book, Harvard Professor Harvey C. Mansfield calls it "at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.

He anticipates the potential acrimony over the abolition of slavery that would tear apart the United States and lead to the American Civil War as well as the eventual superpower rivalry between the United States and Russia, which exploded after World War II and spawned the Cold War.

Noting the rise of the industrial sector in the American economy, Tocqueville, some scholars have argued, also correctly predicted that an industrial aristocracy would rise from the ownership of labor.

According to Tocqueville, democracy had some unfavorable consequences: Translated versions of Democracy in America and effects on meaning[ edit ] This translation was completed by Reeve and later revised by Francis Bowen.

Init was reissued in a modern edition by Alfred A. Knopf edited and with an extensive historical essay by Phillips Bradley. George Lawrencetranslated in with an introduction by J.of American essayist E.B. White: Democracy is the Characteristics of Democracy Some local jurisdictions in the United States still practice a form of direct democracy, as in this town meeting in Harwick, Vermont.

An introduction to the necessity of democracy in the united states

Schools and taxes tend to be popular issues. Introduction Enacted in , and taking effect on July 5, , the Freedom of Information Act 5 Rather, "[i]t defines a structural necessity in a real democracy." As President Obama has declared, "[a] democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires a relatively speedy remedy in the United States district courts, where.

With this question in mind we will look at De Tocqueville’s critique of democracy in America, evaluating his perspective on American democratic traditions, and evaluating whether or not democratic traditions as outlined by De Tocqueville make the United States a democracy.

- The Evolution of the American Democracy "United States can be seen as the first liberal democracy. The United States Constitution, adopted in , provided for an elected government and protected civil rights and liberties. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education is a book by John Dewey..

For Dewey, this distinction was largely a false one; like George Herbert Mead and Lev Vygotsky, he viewed the mind and its formation as a communal the individual is a meaningful concept only when regarded as an . The United States is not a direct democracy, in the sense of a country in which laws (and other government decisions) are made predominantly by majority vote.

Some lawmaking is done this way, on.

Democracy and Education - Wikipedia