Synopses & Reviews
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: was inhabited by many indigenous tribes, it may justly be said, at the time of its discovery by Europeans, to have form. ed one great desert. The Indians occupied, without possess- ing it. It is by agricultural labor that man appropriates the soil, and the early inhabitants of North America lived by the produce of the chase. Their implacable prejudices, their uncontrolled passions, their vices, and still more, perhaps, their savage virtues, consigned them to inevitable destruction. The ruin of these nations began from the day when Europeans landed on their shores: it has proceeded ever since, and we are now seeing the completion of it. They seemed to have been placed by Providence-amid the riches of the New World to enjoy them for a season, and then surrender them. Those coasts, so admirably adapted for commerce and industry; those wide and deep rivers; that inexhaustible valley of the 'Mississippi; the whole continent, in short, seemed prepared to be the abode of a great nation, yet unborn. In that land the great experiment was to be made by civilized man, of the attempt to construct society upon a new basis; and it was there, for the first time, that theories hitherto unknown, or deemed impracticable, were to exhibit a spectacle for which the world had not been prepared by the history of the past. CHAPTER II. ORIGIN OF THE ANGLO-AMERICANS AND ITS IMPORTANCE, lit RELATION TO THEIR FUTURE CONDITION. Utility of knowing the Origin of Nations in order to understand their social Condition and their Laws.?America the only Country in which the Starting-Point of a great People has been clearly observable.?In what respects all who emigrated to British America were similar.?In what they differed.?Remark applicable to all the Europeans who established themselves on the shores ...
Over 175 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French nobleman and an astute political scientist, came to the United States to evaluate the meaning and actual functioning of democracy. His brilliant discussion of majority rule is still vitally relevant today.
About the Author
Alexis de Tocqueville was born in 1805 to a noble French family that had survived the French Revolution. His father gained some political power under the reign of the Bourbons, and after the July Revolution of 1830, the family was exiled along with the king. Tocqueville, then twenty-five years old, stayed in France, swearing allegiance to the new government. Shortly thereafter he and a friend, Gustave de Beaumont, sought and received a government assignment to study the prison system of the United States. They arrived in America in 1831. After extensive travels across the young nation, Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America
(published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840). The publication of the first volume made Tocqueville a well-known figure, but he led a quiet life, accepting modest governmental posts, traveling around Europe, and marrying an Englishwoman. In 1848, Tocqueville once again rose to political prominence after a prescient speech that foretold of revolution. After serving through the massive upheavals and overthrows of government, Tocqueville retired from political life in 1849. Always weak in health, his lung disease grew progressively worse from that period on. Moving south several times on doctor’s recommendations, Tocqueville succumbed to death in 1859, in Cannes.
Richard D. Heffner received his A.B. and M.A. from Columbia University and has taught history and political science at the University of California, Sarah Lawrence College, and the New School for Social Research. He has been University Professor of Communications and Public Policy at Rutgers since 1964. Mr. Heffner also produces and moderates his prize-winning weekly public television series, The Open Mind, and for twenty years was Chairman of the motion picture industry’s film rating system. In addition to Democracy in America, Mr. Heffner is the editor of the Mentor book A Documentary History of the United States.