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⇒ Format Kindle Democracy in America: And Two Essays on America store ↜ By Alexis Tocqueville ∘ ⇒ Format Kindle Democracy in America: And Two Essays on America store ↜ By Alexis Tocqueville ∘ Chapter III Social Condition of the Anglo AmericansA social condition is commonly the result of circumstances, sometimes of laws, oftener still of these two causes united but wherever it exists, it may justly be considered as the source of almost all the laws, the usages, and the ideas which regulate the conduct of nations whatever it does not produce it modifies It is therefore necessary, if we would become acquainted with the legislation and the manners of a nation, to begin by the study of its social condition.The Striking Characteristic of the Social Condition of the Anglo Americans in its Essential DemocracyThe first emigrants of New EnglandTheir equalityAristocratic laws introduced in the SouthPeriod of the RevolutionChange in the law of descentEffects produced by this changeDemocracy carried to its utmost limits in the new States of the WestEquality of education.Many important observations suggest themselves upon the social condition of the Anglo Americans, but there is one which takes precedence of all the rest The social condition of the Americans is eminently democratic this was its character at the foundation of the Colonies, and is still strongly marked at the present day I have stated in the preceding chapter that great equality existed among the emigrants who settled on the shores of New England The germ of aristocracy was never planted in that part of the Union The only influence which obtained there was that of intellect the people were used to reverence certain names as the emblems of knowledge and virtue Some of their fellow citizens acquired a power over the rest which might truly havebeen called aristocratic, if it had been capable of transmission from father to son.This was the state of things to the east of the Hudson to the south west of that river, and in the direction of the Floridas, the case was different In most of the States situated to the south west of the Hudson some great English proprietors had settled, who had imported with them aristocratic principles and the English law of descent I have explained the reasons why it was impossible ever to establish a powerful aristocracy in America these reasons existed with less force to the southwest of the Hudson In the South, one man, aided by slaves, could cultivate a great extent of country it was therefore common to see rich landed proprietors But their influence was not altogether aristocratic as that term is understood in Europe, since they possessed no privileges and the cultivation of their estates being carried on by slaves, they had no tenants depending on them, and consequently no patronage Still, the great proprietors south of the Hudson constituted a superior class, having ideas and tastes of its own, and forming the centre of political action This kind of aristocracy sympathized with the body of the people, whose passions and interests it easily embraced but it was too weak and too short lived to excite either love or hatred for itself This was the class which headed the insurrection in the South, and furnished the best leaders of the American revolution.At the period of which we are now speaking society was shaken to its centre the people, in whose name the struggle had taken place, conceived the desire of exercising the authority which it had acquired its democratic tendencies were awakened and having thrown off the yoke of the mother country, it aspired to independence of every kind The influence of individuals gradually ceased to be felt, and custom and law united together to produce the same result.But the law of descent was the last step of equality I am surprised that ancient and modern jurists have not attributed to this law a greater influence on human affairs It is true that these laws belong to civil affairs but they ought nevertheless to be placed at the head of all political institutions for, whilst political laws are only the symbol of a nation s condition, they exercise an incredible influence upon its social state They have, over, a sure and uniform manner of operating upon society, affecting, as it were, generations yet unborn.Through their means man acquires a kind of preternatural power over the future lot of his fellow creatures When the legislator has regulated the law of inheritance, he may rest from his labor The machine once put in motion will go on for ages, and advance, as if self guided, towards a given point When framed in a particular manner, this law unites, draws together, and vests property and power in a few hands its tendency is clearly aristocratic On opposite principles its action is still rapid it divides, distributes, and disperses both property and power Alarmed by the rapidity of its progress, those who despair of arresting its motion endeavor to obstruct it by difficulties and impediments they vainly seek to counteract its effect by contrary efforts but it gradually reduces or destroys every obstacle, until by its incessant activity the bulwarks of the influence of wealth are ground down to the fine and shifting sand which is the basis of democracy When the law of inheritance permits, still when it decrees, the equal division of a father s property amongst all his children, its effects are of two kinds it is important to distinguish them from each other, although they tend to the same end.In virtue of the law of partible inheritance, the death of every proprietor brings about a kind of revolution in progeny not only do his possessions change hands, but their very nature is altered, since they are parcelled into shares, which become smaller and smaller at each division This is the direct and, as it were, the physical effect of the law It follows, then, that in countries where equality of inheritance is established by law, property, and especially landed property, must have a tendency to perpetual diminution The effects, however, of such legislation would only be perceptible after lapse of time, if the law was abandoned to its own working for supposing the family to consist of two children and in a country peopled as France is the average number is not above three , these children, sharing amongst them the fortune of both parents, would not be poorer than their father or mother.But the law of equal division exercises its influence not merely upon the property itself, but it affects the minds of the heirs, and brings their passions into play These indirect consequences tend powerfully to the destruction of large fortunes, and especially of large domains Among nations whose law of descent is founded upon the right of primogeniture landed estates often pass from generation to generation without undergoing division, the consequence of which that family feeling is to a certain degree incorporated with the estate The family represents the estate, the estate family whose name, together with its origin, its glory, power, and its virtues, is thus perpetuated in an imperishable memorial of the past and a sure pledge of the future.When the equal partition of property is established by law, the intimate connection is destroyed between family feeling and the preservation of the paternal estate the property ceases to represent the family for as it must inevitably be divided after one or two generations, it has evidently a constant tendency to diminish, and must in the end be completely dispersed The sons of the great landed proprietor, if they are few in number, or if fortune befriends them, may indeed entertain the hope of being as wealthy as their father, but not that of possessing the same property as he did the riches must necessarily be composed of elements different from his.Now, from the moment that you divest the landowner of that interest in the preservation of his estate which he derives from association, from tradition, and from family pride, you may be certain that sooner or later he will dispose of it for there is a strong pecuniary interest in favor of selling, as floating capital produces higher interest than real property, and is readily available to gratify the passions of the moment.Great landed estates which have once been divided never come together again for the small proprietor draws from his land a better revenue, in proportion, than the large owner does from his, and of course he sells it at a higher rate The calculations of gain, therefore, which decide the rich man to sell his domain will still powerfully influence him against buying small estates to unite them into a large one.What is called family pride is often founded upon an illusion of self love A man wishes to perpetuate and immortalize himself, as it were, in his great grandchildren Where the esprit de famille ceases to act individual selfishness comes into play When the idea of family becomes vague, indeterminate, and uncertain, a man thinks of his present convenience he provides for the establishment of his succeeding generation, and no Either a man gives up the idea of perpetuating his family, or at any rate he seeks to accomplish it by other means than that of a landed estate Thus not only does the 1aw of partible inheritance render it difficult for families to preserve their ancestral domains entire, but it deprives them of the inclination to attempt it, and compels them in some measure to co operate with the law in their own extinction.The law of equal distribution proceeds by two methods by acting upon things, it acts upon persons by influencing persons, it affects things By these means the law succeeds in striking at the root of landed property, and dispersing rapidly both families and fortunes.Most certainly it is not for us Frenchmen of the nineteenth century, who daily witness the political and social changes which the law of partition is bringing to pass, to question its influence It is perpetually conspicuous in our country, overthrowing the walls of our dwellings and removing the landmarks of our fields But although it has produced great effects in France, much still remains for it to do Our recollections, opinions, and habits present powerful obstacles to its progress.In the United States it has nearly completed its work of destruction, and there we can best study its results The English laws concerning the transmission of property were abolished in almost all the States at the time of the Revolution The law of entail was so modified as not to interrupt the free circulation of property The first generation having passed away, estates began to be parcelled out, and the change became and rapid with the progress of time At this moment, after a lapse of a little than sixty years, the aspect of society is totally altered the families of the great landed proprietors are almost all commingled with the general mass In the State of New York, which formerly contained many of these, there are but two who still keep their heads above the stream, and they must shortly disappear The sons of these opulent citizens are become merchants, lawyers, or physicians Most of them have lapsed into obscurity The last trace of hereditary ranks and distinction is destroyedthe law of partition has reduced all to one level.I do not mean that there is any deficiency of wealthy individuals in the United States I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men, and where the profounder contempt is expressed for the theory of the permanent equality of property But wealth circulates with inconceivable rapidity, and experience shows that it is rare to find two succeeding generations in the full enjoyment of it.This picture, which may perhaps be thought to be overcharged, still gives a very imperfect idea of what is taking place in the new States of the West and South west At the end of the last century a few bold adventurers began to penetrate into the valleys of the Mississippi, and the mass of the population very soon began to move in that direction communities unheard of till then were seen to emerge from the wilds States whose names were not in existence a few years before claimed their place in the American Union and in the Western settlements we may behold democracy arrived at its most extreme In these States, founded off hand, and, as it were, by chance, the inhabitants are but of yesterday Scarcely known to one another, the nearest neighbors are ignorant of each other s history In this part of the American continent, therefore, the population has not experienced the influence of great names and great wealth, nor even that of the natural aristocracy of knowledge and virtue None are there to wield that respectable power which men willingly grant to the remembrance of a life spent in doing good before their eyes The new States of the West are already inhabited but society has no existence among them.It is not only the fortunes of men which are equal in America even their requirements partake in some degree of the same uniformity I do not believe that there is a country in the World where, in proportion to the population, there are so few uninstructed and at the same time so few learned individuals Primary instruction is within the reach of everybody superior instruction is scarcely to be obtained by any This is not surprising it is in fact the necessary consequence of what we have advanced above Almost all the Americans are in easy circumstances, and can therefore obtain the first elements of human knowledge.In America there are comparatively few who are rich enough to live without a profession Every profession requires an apprenticeship, which limits the time of instruction to the early years of life At fifteen they enter upon the calling, and thus their education ends at the age when ours begins Whatever is done afterwards is with a view to some special and lucrative object a science is taken up as a matter of business, and the only branch of it which is attended to is such as admits of an immediate practical application In America most of the rich men were formerly poor most of those who now enjoy leisure were absorbed in business during their youth the consequence of which is, that when they might have had a taste for study they had no time for it, and when time is at their disposal they have no longer the inclination.There is no class, then, in America, in which the taste for intellectual pleasures is transmitted with hereditary fortune and leisure, and by which the labors of the intellect are held in honor Accordingly there is an equal want of the desire and the power of application to these objects.A middle standard is fixed in America for human knowledge All approach as near to it as they can some as they rise, others as they descend Of course, an immense multitude of persons are to be found who entertain the same number of ideas on religion, history, science, political economy, legislation, and government The gifts of intellect proceed directly from God, and man cannot prevent their unequal distribution But in consequence of the state of things which we have here represented it happens that, although the capacities of men are widely different, as the Creator has doubtless intended they should be, they are submitted to the same method of treatment.In America the aristocratic element has always been feeble from its birth and if at the present day it is not actually destroyed, it is at any rate so completely disabled that we can scarcely assign to it any degree of influence in the course of affairs The democratic principle, on the contrary, has gained so much strength by time, by events, and by legislation, as to have become not only predominant but all powerful There is no family or corporate authority, and it is rare to find even the influence of individual character enjoy any durability.America, then, exhibits in her social state a most extraordinary phenomenon Men are there seen on a greater equality in point of fortune and intellect, or, in other words, equal in their strength, than in any other country of the world, or in any age of which history has preserved the remembrance.No better study of a nations institutions and culture than Tocquevilles Democracy in America has ever been written by a foreign observer The New York TimesThe Bradley edition of Tocquevilles classic is the best now available in English Charles A BeardProfessor Bradleys edition should remain the standard one for our time F O MatthiessenWith an Introduction by Alan Ryan Democracy in America and Two Essays on Penguin Democracy Classics Alexis de Tocqueville, Isaac Kramnick, Gerald Bevan FREE shipping qualifying offers A contemporary study of the early American nation its evolving democracy, from a French aristocrat sociologist In Tocqueville Harvey C Mansfield, Delba Winthrop came to see what great republic was like What struck him most country s equality conditions America Republic or William P Meyers by Meyers Lately, politicians, radio talk show hosts, other commentators, we have heard that should forget about because USA is for Our Candidates DFA committed transforming Democratic Party ground up Part this mission means supporting Democrats who will fight progressive values change Is United States democracy I often hear people argue republic, not But false dichotomy common definition is, quote Heritage Dictionary Regions NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY belongs no single nation, but rather it birthright every person That why National Endowment works all corners globe, activists six continents countries The True Danger yahoo Jul , The founders worried political disunity at home would allow hostile foreign governments exacerbate domestic cleavages, sow strife, undermine sovereignty Alexis Wikiquote public, therefore, among democratic people, has singular power, which aristocratic nations cannot conceive does persuade others beliefs, imposes them makes permeate thinking everyone sort enormous pressure Apr conditions, democracyThe book he wrote his return France, America, both best ever written AmericaIt remains quoted States, only Tocqueville Series SPAN Beginning May SPAN School Bus retraced steps author traveled throughout Guide Eminent Lives Nov Joseph Epstein first foreigners recognize trumpet grandness project His two volume classic Bibliothque OMA Bibliothque public library metropolitan region Caen la Mer Normandy, France m multimedia located tip peninsula extends out city English Channel u history endure, until politicians realize they can bribe with their own money thinker historian Wikipedia De La Dmocratie en Amrique pronunciation d dem k asi n ame ik published volumes, second text TocquevilleIts title translates as On translations are usually simply entitled AmericaIn book, examines revolution Charles Henri Clrel, burggraaf Verneuil sur Seine, juli Cannes, april een Frans aristocraat, politiek filosoof socioloog, historicus staatsmanHij geldt als theoretisch grondlegger van het moderne politieke liberalisme visionair Tocquevilles analyses samenleving gelden nog steeds Private Wealth Management Jan Asset established serve long term investment needs high net worth families individuals value proposition private clients results driven investing degree personal attention changed since opened our doors What foretold despotic This powerful insight time Imagine might say today mass media saturated world, world GRTGuide Reviews Buyer Guide Sep GRTGuide created online shopper mind We test review thousands products website publish ratings right here An Animated rightly ourselves without honest feedback Those surround themselves sycophants just want hear, never get an accurate sense capabilities shortcomings L Individualisme selon Le Qubcois Libre prochaine fois que vous entendrez un commentaire naf lequel le capitalisme transforme les citoyens larves lobotomises, pensez L analyse qu il faite propos l individualisme est trs pertinente US friend, Gustave easy use format Democracy in America: And Two Essays on America


    • Democracy in America: And Two Essays on America
    • 3.1
    • 252
    • Format Kindle
    • 992 pages
    • 0140447601
    • Alexis Tocqueville
    • Anglais
    • 20 May 2017

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